Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 16:48 (Aug 2012)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Pure Grace by Clark Whitten. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 2012. 171 pp., paper, $11.49.

The basic concern of author Clark Whitten is that legalistic, performance-based “religion” has eclipsed grace-based Christianity in the lives of countless believers. He calls for a return to what he terms “pure grace” and claimed to see evidence of a “grace reformation” forming that will far exceed anything during the time of Luther and Calvin (pp. 23, 143–58).

There is much to commend in Pure Grace. For example, within its pages one will find the following correct teachings.

  • Legalism is devastating, not only for salvation but also for sanctification (p. 18).
  • Christians are not under the Old Testament Mosaic Law (pp. 21, 55–62).
  • Church age believers have been given a new nature, such that they are now fundamentally saints not sinners. This does not mean they no longer sin, but that they have been transformed so that they are saints who sin, not sinners who sin (pp. 26–27).
  • Jesus did not die to modify behavior but to radically change it (p. 29).
  • Positional truth is rightly and clearly taught throughout the book (p. 31). It is very important for saints to know who they are in Christ, that is, people who have been given the righteousness of Christ (pp. 47–54).
  • Christians are now the temple of God in contrast to the Old Testament Temple of stone (pp. 79–86).
  • True repentance addresses the foundation of the sin problem in contrast with merely dealing with the behavioral symptoms (p. 101).
  • The purpose of the Law for the church age (pp. 113–27).
  • Teaches clearly the eternal security of the saint (pp. 125–41). One who rejects Christ, or denies His deity, was never saved (p. 130).
  • Describes well the holiness of God (pp. 164–65).

However, there are a number of concerns in Pure Grace, for example:

  • The author used unnecessary, inflammatory and harsh words to describe those with whom he differs. Words such as lies, nonsense,

prideful, insane, and demonic are not uncommon. In addition he described some motives as controlling, judgmental, and using certain teachings as weapons. When he said these things, he was not speaking of heretics or false prophets but of those who do not agree with his understanding of grace. This is inappropriate at best (e.g. pp. 30, 36, 42, 65, 73, 92, 106).

  • He misunderstands and overemphasizes positional truth to the exclusion of practical application. This was (is) the error of the Keswick, or Higher Life Movement, which began in the late 1800s and taught that if o...
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