Here’s Lane Tipton, from the CTC 2011 Highlights show:
Is there any renovative feature at all — actual, consequential, conditional, potential — is there any renovative feature in Calvin’s doctrine of justification? Absolutely not. He is what makes the Roman Catholic tradition furious, because here you have a person who affirms a gratuitous, forensic imputation of righteousness as the sole ground for the believer’s justification, received by faith alone.
What grabbed me here is the use of the word gratuitous. I had never before made the etymological connection between gratuitous and gratia, as in sola (it makes a little more sense when you include gratuity in the mix). Usually gratuitous is taken to mean something like arbitrary or reason-less. And given that we are Totally Depraved and Unconditionally Elected, can God’s grace be described any better way?
From now on, I’m going to be looking for ways to use gratuitous when others might use gracious…