Friday, February 24, 2012
Book Review: Foundations of Grace - Steve J. Lawson
This is a book I have been looking at for a while. I have heard the name Steven Lawson around many Reformed web sites but have never read a book authored by him. At the same time I started my blog, I saw that Ligonier's website asked for book reviews. You could receive a free book for reviewing purposes. I jumped at the chance. I respect anything that comes out of Reformation Trust / Ligonier. My first exposure to the Reformed faith was from R.C. Sproul. Ligonier has always been a blessing to me. I have purchased many of their books over the years.
"Foundations" is volume one in a planned series of five volumes. Each volume is a travel through time showing the men who preached the Reformed faith. This volume moves from Genesis to Revelations to show what the Biblical authors wrote concerning God's grace and our salvation. The forward by John MacArthur is worth the price of admission. It reminds me of some of the great forwards like Packer's "Death of Death". And don't forget Sproul's afterword - 2 for the price of one.
MacArthur shows how Calvinism is a theology that glorifies God above all else. We are saved to glorify God. Everything in history is for God's glory. The thought that every leaf that falls from a tree, every bird that fly's through the air, and even greater, every person saved by the blood of Christ, brings glory to our Great God.
Lawson begins each chapter with a quote from a great man of God like Spurgeon and BB Warfield. There are also questions at the end of each chapter for discussion or just to recap the chapter.
In the preface Dr Lawson gives an overview of where he is going. He will move through the Bible showing passages that prove the five points of Calvinism (Doctrines of Grace).
He uses a very good analogy, the Continental Divide. Just as water from one side of the country flows to the Pacific and the other side to the Atlantic, Calvinism and Arminianism flow in opposite directions. Calvinism places the emphasis on the Sovereignty of God, while Arminianism places it on man's free will.
Chapter one moves from Biblical days to the present. It lists the many men in history who taught grace and sovereignty. Some may even surprise you.
After that, he systematically moves through the whole Bible showing the "Five points of Calvinism" are in every corner of the word.
I will not summarize the whole book, but this will be a book I will revisit over and over. I am looking forward to the other four volumes. I love Church History and am excited about the series. The series looks like it will be in the same vein as the series of 75 lectures - The History and Theology of Calvinism by Curt Daniel.
I highly recommend this book.
*Reformed Trust made this book available for free for review purposes.