Part of writing the last post was the realization that this theology of grace is more what I want to see in Hope Theology, I needed to get it out to recognize that. I think I can build this case, but it is not as simple as I would like.
Another aspect of grace that I really want to explore is grace as the great equalizer. I really dislike the notion of spiritual levels, that is an understanding that some people are further along in their spirituality than others. The reason I dislike it is because I've seen many examples of this simply manifesting as arrogance. Don't get me wrong, I do think there are some people who just exude wisdom. But usually they are the last people to claim a higher level of spirituality. Grace is a great proof against such nonsense.
Grace says that our relationship with God is contingent on nothing I could achieve in and of myself. It is freely offered with no strings attached. Now this bugs people. How can that horrible adulterous backstabber have a clean conscience before God while I, the one who works so hard to please God, have the same standing. It strikes us as unjust. But the reality is it has nothing to do with justice, at least not in the ways we like to conceive of justice. It is a triumph of mercy over judgment. It doesn't mean that God leaves us messed up (when we are messed up), but that God meets us individually with the same offer of grace. It means that even though each of us is treated as a completely different person, we are all loved and accepted in the same way.
OK now I can move on to Christology, that one will be a bit harder to tackle.