Skip to main content

Book: The Truth About Grace

One of the joys of the internet is that anybody can write a book review. One of the dangers of the internet is that anybody can write a book review. No matter how unqualified the reviewer may be in comparison to the writer---and today is no exception to that issue. After all, John MacArthur has spent more time preaching through the New Testament than I’ve been alive.

Nevertheless, the book was put out there for review, so I’m going to take a look at MacArthur’s The Truth About Grace.

First note: this book is part of a series of short books published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Currently, there are three titles in the series. These are The Truth About: Grace; Forgiveness; and The Lordship of Christ. Each one is taken from previously published material of other books. That actually makes sense: the diversity of MacArthur’s prior books gives snippets about these subjects. Now, those are compressed into small volumes.

That is a critical note: these are small volumes. The whole series is, even though I’m just reviewing one. If you pay the cover price of $12.99, you might feel cheated. However, checking an online price or two shows the price somewhere less than half of that for either print or e-book, which makes much more sense.

To the content of The Truth About Grace: the claimed intention of this book is to make accessible Biblical teaching about the matter named in the title. This leaves the reader expecting a clearly-worded, easy-to-grasp explanation of the subject matter. In the case of “Grace,” MacArthur has hit that goal.

He does so by explaining his terms well, and then explaining the terms he used for definition if necessary. The reader is not left with “oh, grace means unmerited favor” but instead is given what “unmerited favor” means in view of Scripture. MacArthur does so without being condescending.

One area that will stir up a few will be MacArthur’s explanations of sovereign grace. If you swim in American Evangelical Christian seas for your theology, you are not going to be surprised that MacArthur connects his understanding of grace with the term Calvinism as well as connecting it with the Bible. He shows no fear of presenting that view of grace as not too be preferred but to be held as the only correct one. That may stir a few folks, but that is his view and he presents it well in the material selected here.

The greatest potential for this book, though, is blunted slightly by the lack of discussion questions or any form of study guide. This would make an excellent 5-7 week discussion starter for a small group or one-on-one Bible study, and I know that value added by the teacher developing their own questions would be good. However, a few starting points would make a nice addition to this text.

In all, I would recommend this for use in discussion groups or for individual learning. It will fit that bill nicely.

Note: free book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for the review. No demand was made that the review be positive. Of course, I picked a book I thought I would like.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!