Do You Want Grits with That? You Get them Anyway (Wesleyan Theology and Great Southern Food)

I have trouble explaining grits to British friends, so I thought I would share a post from Richard Mouw at the Faith and Leadership Blog. He relates a couple of delightful stories about the theological significance of that great staple of Southern Cooking (for my British readers, maybe April and I will cook you some Shrimp and Grits if you come for dinner). [N.B. A Waffle House is something you simply have to experience – the sweet middle age waitresses you call you ‘honey’ and eating meat with purple ink.]

A guy goes into a Waffle House and orders a waffle accompanied by scrambled eggs and bacon. When the waitress brought the order to his table, there were also grits on the plate. “Miss, I did not order grits,” the man said. “Honey,” she replied, “you don’t order grits, it just comes!”

The theological lessons in those stories are clear to a couple of Calvinist theologians. It’s all about grace. There is nothing wrong about explicitly asking for grits when you order your food at a Waffle House. But whether you ask or not, “it just comes.”  God’s grace “just comes” to us — not because we order it, but because we can count on grace as a sign of the faithfulness of the provider.

I think as Wesleyans we, too, can confirm that grace keeps coming, whether we ask for it or not. Prevenient grace begins coming to us from the start, always pulling and drawing us into the life of God. Like grits, we can leave grace on the plate or we can pick up a fork to taste and see.

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5 thoughts on “Do You Want Grits with That? You Get them Anyway (Wesleyan Theology and Great Southern Food)

  1. Great illustration – even for a Brit who’s never seen a grit! Grace is one of the themes I have focussed on a lot, and it’s always good to learn more about it, or be refreshed in one’s thinking about it – so thank you for that.

    I’m always learning about God’s gift of grace; and maybe one day I’ll get the chance to try some grits!

  2. It’s good when Grist “just come”. The real problem, of course, is when you order the grits and the cook says “That guy can’t have any. Just because.”

  3. Martyn: Thanks for your comment. Grace is something I need to focus more on as well. I give very little to myself. I’ll make sure you visit us and we will be glad to serve you up some grits!

    Pam: In my illustration, God is the cook and he gives it to all who come to his Waffle House! That does bring an interesting perspective to the Calvinists… I wonder if Mouw would say the grace is only for some ‘because God predestined it.’.

  4. You can have your chance in March if you really want – I’m popping up to see your Superintendent for a couple of days!

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