"O'Sullivan, Brian P" wrote:
> Nancy asked
> "When did "gift" become "free gift," as if one ever paid for a gift?"
> I realize that this is a rhetorical question, but Google Books can suggest an actual answer: it happened sometime before 1520, when Luther wrote the following in his "Letter to the Christian Nobility of the Nation of Germany, Concerning the Reform of the Christian Estate":
> "Let this be your fixed rule: What you must buy from the pope is neither good nor of God; for what is from God, to wit, the Gospel and the works of God, is not only given without money, but the whole world is punished and damned because it has not been willing to receive it as a free gift."
I think it is possible to gloss "free gift" (of/from God) in a
non-redundant sense: It (presumably grace) is a gift which God _freely_
gives: The gift is neither a _necessary_ expression of the Nature of God
nor is it given for the purpose of receiving anything back. God does not
_need_ to create, nor does God _need_ the love of humans; hence all his
actions with respect to humans (creation, gift, etc) are _free acts."
"Necessity approach not me" (or something like this) the Father
proclaims someplace in Book III of PL. God is self-sufficient and need
not create in order to be Himself.