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A Journey in Grace
A Journey in Grace
Author: Richard P. Belcher
ISBN-13: 9780925703118
ISBN-10: 0925703117
Publication Date: 6/1990
Pages: 154
Edition: 1
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 5

3.7 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Crown Publications, Inc. (MA)
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 2
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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jcvest avatar reviewed A Journey in Grace on + 34 more book reviews
Belcher sets out to explain the "doctrines of grace" (i.e. Calvinism) using a story about a seminary student/young preacher who explores these topics for himself.

The story itself is thin, often painfully so. Dickens and the other great authors of history have no concern about being displaced by Belcher. As a novel, it's no good. HOWEVER ... it's not really meant to be a novel, per se. It's a theological treatise with a little story thrown in to kind of break it up and keep it from becoming "just another theology book." At that, he basically succeeds. A more engaging story would have been nice, but not necessary. Belcher created a treatment of Calvinist doctrine which is pretty readable.

As to the doctrinal aspects of the book, he does a pretty fair treatment. Occassionally, he assumes knowledge in readers that may be a bit of a stretch for the intended audience; for example, a working knowledge of atonement is assumed - he uses this theological term without sufficiently explaining the term or its implications for those who do not already understand it. For someone with a good background in theology, this will be an easy and enjoyable read. This is definitely not a "new Christian" book because of the prerequisite knowledge.

One of the best points of the book is that it explains and defends Calvinism WITHOUT the usual straw man attacks on Armenianism. As a matter of fact, Belcher completely ignores Armenian doctrine and focuses entirely on just explaining Calvinist views. This is a VERY welcome development as most books on Calvinism spend the bulk of their text attempting to refute their "enemy" instead of laying out a decent explanation of their own belief.

So, for anyone with a reasonable understanding of theology and the Bible - not talking about seminary, just a basic understanding of words like "atonement" and "justification" - this is an EXCELLENT description of Calvinist doctrine. For those who are well-versed in theology (seminary students/etc.), this is an EXCELLENT introduction to the doctrines of grace. For a beginner who doesn't have the prerequisite knowledge, you must be prepared to do some study outside of the book to get through the material.

All in all, recommended reading, whether your of a Calvinist persuasion or not.


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