Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 14:2 (Autumn 2001)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace: Recovering the Doctrines That Shook the World. By James Montgomery Boice. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001. 224 pp. (Cloth), $17.99.

During the first message presented at Ligonier’s Conference in Orlando last June, Dr. R. C. Sproul indicated that Dr. James Boice, a scheduled speaker at the conference, was dying in faith that very night.

Dr. Boice died that very night, June 15th. When this book, published posthumously, arrived at my office, I was understandably interested to see what he had to say about grace.

In one sense this book is merely a restatement of Reformed Lordship Salvation. However, in another sense it is quite a candid restatement. In reading this book one can get a clear idea of the type of mixed thinking that speaks of justification by faith alone and yet which warns believers that they must produce abundant and persevering good works in order to make it to heaven.

Let’s start with some positive observations.

Chapter 1 is entitled, “The New Pragmatism,” and is a fine chapter in which the author points out how the evangelical church today is following the example set by the liberal church 30 years ago, adopting the world’s agenda and methods.

Boice’s discussion of the dangers of television in chapter 2 (pp. 51–54) is superb. He clearly demonstrates how TV robs us of our ability to think.

Chapter 8 is on “Reforming Our Worship.” It too is outstanding. The author shows how modern worship has become light on meaningful content about God. The singing is often designed to merely make us feel better, with the choruses saying very little to or about God.

I also found much to like in chapters 3 and 4 on “Scripture Alone” and “Christ Alone.” Boice defends the primacy of Scripture and the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross.

The problems occur primarily in chapters 5 and 6 on “Faith Alone” and “Grace Alone.” Here Lordship Salvation is fervently proclaimed.

It has been said that you can’t tell a book by its cover. But you can tell a lot about a book by what it doesn’t cover. A simple survey of the index reveals that Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace fails to even mention key texts like John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47; 11:25–27; 20:30–31. That is amazing. How one could write a book on the...

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