Eric Mascall on Uncreated and Created Grace

For all you fans of E. Mascall, here is a quote from Pontifications:

Q. Could you elaborate on what you consider to be the correct understanding of the difference between created and uncreated grace? Do you think that the West has perhaps underemphasized the insight that is at the roots of the Eastern stress on uncreated grace?

Mascall: Certainly the pure nature view, which was held in the West for a good long time, is vulnerable to the criticism which the Easterns have made. But I think that if grace is something that relates man to God and God to man, it must have both an uncreated and a created aspect. And according to what I consider the correct understanding of the difference between created and uncreated grace, the difference between the two is simply the difference between looking at the same thing from two opposite poles. Any relation between God and man is a very mysterious thing. It is obvious that a God who is absolutely perfect can create creatures, but any relation between God and man is bound to have a created and uncreated aspect. I find the Easterns rather perverse in their insistence that grace is simply uncreated. It seems to me that if you take that attitude, then you would tend to be saying that grace simply turns man into the uncreated God. I believe that grace does allow the lifting up of man into the life of God with the proviso that this does not in fact destroy man’s complete dependence upon God but rather enhances it.

E. L. Mascall, Nature and Supernature (1976), pp. 89-90.


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