The failure of modern Christianity in the West is generally a product of a consumerism about Christ. The commodities are heaven, hell, and the capital is belief, literally by way of the correct denomination; that there exists a “final language” about Christ and some certainly know it. And of course this is mistaken in every way.
It can be easily understood by any laymen as a competition between “I believe in order to get” versus “I do in order to get”, and the two distinctions are both a radical departure from fourteen centuries of Christian theology. Neither are efficacious to salvation.
It is because God’s grace lights on us that a change begins. It is “because of” grace faith is born, and “because of” grace and its work that our lives, in participation with it, bears witness to God’s grace in us. Justification is merely a cooperative principle that as long as we work with the good and seek it, our status as sharing in the covenant of God is never in doubt; how could it be. Our lives are then a continual resurrection with Christ and shared as the endeavors of a new life, all possible by grace, in response to it, hallmarked by it. Grace is a gift; faith and works are consequences.
To suggest there is a golden ticket to the chocolate factory by way of something owed to us “because of” faith or “because of” works or “because of” some combination or interplay between either is to be at the better end of a mistake and folly of Reformation thinking, devoured absolutely in a Western, consumer culture as if we have any capital whatever!
And if it is the grace of God which justifies, however Christ managed it once and for all, and grace which enables its fruit to be born through humans endeavoring to make a world full of such things, then what is believed is no longer containable within the mere framework of Christianity or Christian thinking once one has understood it. God’s grace and Christ are both much larger than we can imagine, and certainly much larger than what we have already.
God’s grace is venture capital in humanity and all that term can imply.