"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11

Monday, June 24, 2013

PREPARED BY GRACE, FOR GRACE: The Puritans on God's Ordinary Way of Leading Sinners to Christ by Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley


Few teachings of the Puritans have provoked such strong reactions and conflicting interpretations as their views on preparing for saving faith. Many twentieth-century scholars dismissed preparation as a prime example of regression from the Reformed doctrine of grace for a man-centered legalism. In Prepared by Grace, for Grace, Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley make careful analysis of the Puritan understanding of preparatory grace, demonstrate its fundamental continuity with the Reformed tradition, and identify matters where even the Puritans disagreed among themselves. Clearing away the many misconceptions and associated accusations of preparationism, this study is sure to be the standard work on how the Puritans understood the ordinary way God leads sinners to Christ.

Authors  Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Paul M. Smalley is a teacher’s assistant for Dr. Beeke.


Prepared by Grace, for Grace is a book that is to be taken in small bites in order to be appreciated. Though I am still reading this book, I am encouraged in the Puritan view of how God leads sinners to Christ Jesus. 

One of the reasons I chose to review this book was because the authors, Beeke and Smalley, include one of my favorite ministers, Jonathan Edwards, in their work. Through he technically wasn't of the Puritan era, his theology closely reflected the Puritans. Having read many of his sermons, today he is still a breath of fresh air in this time of confusion in the church at large. 

In spite of some the differences the various Puritans had, they still maintained that true conversion, those professing of faith in Christ, had evidences of being broken to repentance. That is still how God works today. 

I will write another review when I have finished this book, but in the meantime, I encourage all who want a better understanding of how the Puritans thought and believed about God's grace for the sinners, to get a copy of this book and start reading.

This review was made possible by Cross Focused Media, Cross Focused Reviews, by providing me with a free review copy.


1 comment:

Shaun Tabatt said...


Prepared by Grace, For Grace is definitely a bit of heavy reading, so it's wise to read it in small bites. I'm glad you're finding your time with the Puritans fruitful. Thanks for contributing to the blog tour.

Shaun Tabatt
Cross Focused Reviews