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But God...: The Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel [Kindle Edition]

Casey Lute
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Whether from the pen of Moses, Paul, or other biblical authors, “But God” appears in various forms hundreds of times in the Bible. To understand these two words as they are used in Scripture is to understand the gospel. This book focuses on nine of the most important appearances of this key phrase, drawing in numerous other passages of Scripture and in the process unfolding the magnificent drama of God’s sovereign grace—from his mercy on Noah to our security in a resurrected Savior.

James Montgomery Boice wrote, “May I put it quite simply? If you understand those two words—‘but God’—they will save your soul. If you recall them daily and live by them, they will transform your life completely.” Boice was right. To the left of “But God” in Scripture appear some of the worst human atrocities, characterized by disobedience and rebellion. To the left of “But God” is hopelessness, darkness, and death. But to its right, following “But God,” readers of Scripture will find hope, light, and life. Following God’s intervention, the story of Scripture becomes one of grace, righteousness, and justice. In fact, this phrase is used to describe God’s activity in nearly every great salvation story in the Bible. It is the perfect phrase for highlighting God's grace against the dark backdrop of human sin.

“But God” marks God’s relentless, merciful interventions in human history. It teaches us that God does not wait for us to bring ourselves to him, but that he acts first to bring about our good. It also teaches us of the potential consequences if God were not to act. Scripture shows over and over that without God’s intervening grace, without the “But God” statements in the Bible, the world would be completely lost in sin and under judgment.

May the reading of this book, and of the biblical “But God” statements it contains, cause you to understand these two words, recall them regularly, and allow them to transform your understanding of God’s grace and thus transform your very life.

Editorial Reviews


"Of all the Cruciform Press books, this may be their best to date." - Terry Delaney, Christian Book Notes

"Every believer in Christ will be encouraged and edified by this book, as will every person who wants to be a more effective hope-dispensing counselor." - Paul Tautges, The Biblical Counseling Coalition

"...a helpful lens for viewing an overarching theme of Scripture. A very readable, enjoyable book." - Mark Powell,

From the Back Cover

"Casey Lute reminds us that nothing is impossible with God, that we must always reckon with God, and that God brings life out of death and joy out of sorrow. Faith looks to God for everything we need, and we are reminded here that our God is the fountain of living waters, and that nothing can defeat us if God is for us."
Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Casey Lute has seized upon the brief expression, 'But God...' that appears at some crucial locations in the Great Story of God's plan for his creation. He traces these references within their contexts and with concise and meaningful commentary. What results is a mini-theology that will speak to the needs of every reader of this small but powerful book. Read it yourself and you will be blessed. Give it to a friend and you will be a blessing."
William Varner, Professor of Biblical Studies, The Master's College
"Keying off of nine occurrences of 'But God' in the English Bible, Casey Lute ably opens up Scripture in a manner that is instructive, edifying, encouraging, and convicting. This little book would be useful in family or personal readings, or as a gift to a friend. You will enjoy Casey's style, you will have a fresh view of some critical Scripture, and your appreciation for God's mighty grace will be deepened."
Dan Phillips, Pyromaniacs blog, author of The World-Tilting Gospel

Product Details

  • File Size: 331 KB
  • Print Length: 110 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Cruciform Press (April 30, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004YTT4KU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,943 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"But God..."

You wouldn't think that two little words would carry so much weight, would you? Yet, it's on these two words that so much of the Bible--even the gospel itself--hinges. Casey Lute gets this, and in "But God...": The Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel, he walks readers through the Scriptures to show us just how important these words are.

And important they are. Over and over again, we see in Scripture how "But God" serves as a turning point in God's saving work among fallen humanity. Indeed, Lute writes, "It is the perfect phrase for highlighting the grace of God against the dark backdrop of human sin" (p. 5).

From the flood account of Genesis 6-8, to the Exodus and God's preservation of His stiff-necked people, the promise of a better sacrifice in Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the dead, to His saving for Himself a people from among all the nations and his preservation of them until the end, "But God" lies at the heart of all God's work in history. These words show us how God saves, the salvation He offers and how He applies that salvation to His people.

In a word, it's grace.

Lute does an exceptional job of illustrating this reality, particularly in the earliest chapters of the book as he delves into the flood account. Often, we hear or read the story of Noah as little more than "Noah was a good man among a sea of bad men, so God used him to build the ark." Lute is quick to observe that this is not the case. He writes:

"[T]he flood story is about God's grace.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
While not exhaustive, But God... offers a wonderful introduction to this extraordinary "doctrine" of the Christian faith. If it were not for these two words, we would have no hope at all. Lute does an excellent job in a small space bringing these truths to light. Furthermore, he builds the entire book on the electing grace of God. In other words, if our salvation was left up to us, we would have no real hope. But, because our salvation rests squarely on God, we can rest assure that our salvation is secure.

This resource can very much be used in the same vein as Desiring God's For Your Joy or Don't Waste Your Life. For the unbeliever, they know their need though they do not recognize it (see Rom. 1). Once they begin to see that despite all of their past sin and lifestyles there is always the promise of "But God."

This book would also make an excellent resource for those who are spiritually depressed as they seek the Light in the apparent darkness around them. For the believer, the truth of "But God" is a sweet balm to a hurting soul. Of all the Cruciform Press books, this may be their best to date.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God is great July 13, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because Ephesians 2 is one of my favorite passages and my Christian life has thrived because of that single "But God..." Lute sums my feelings on that passage, "To the left of `But God' is hopelessness, darkness, and death. But to its right, following `But God,' readers of Scripture will find hope, light, and life" (pp. 5-6). Kindle Edition.

Before reading this book, I had no idea what the structure would be. I assumed because of how much I loved Ephesians 2 that the entire book would an exposition of that passage. Lute does explain Ephesians 2 but he follows this larger theme of God's necessary work in the affairs of men throughout the entire Bible. He starts with Noah, moves to Israel, then Nehemiah, into the Psalms, and ending in the New Testament with Romans 5:8, Acts 13:30, 1 Corinthians 1:27, Ephesians 2:4, and 2 Timothy 2:19. Before starting he lays out his cards on the table,

"But God" marks God's relentless, merciful interventions in human history. It teaches us that God does not wait for us to bring ourselves to him, but that he acts first to bring about our good. (p. 6). Cruciform Press.

These passages are examined carefully and simply. His exposition could be easily understood by the newest Christians. The chiastic structure of the "But God" is demonstrated throughout the Bible. He points out,

The Hebrew Bible is unlike other ancient documents--it does not shy away from recording the sins of its people because it is not ultimately about the people. (p. 40). Kindle Edition.

My wife and I recently discussed this very point while reading through Genesis together. These people are shady. None of them are commendable outside of the grace of God. That gives us hope as we plead for God to intervene in our daily lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great book! January 3, 2012
I bought this because a blog I follow recommended it. I'm so glad I did! It's such a helpful book to remind me of God's faithfulness amidst hopeless and desperate situations recorded in Scripture. It's an easy read and full of amazing promises of God that are timeless and applicable as we face trials in this life. Highly recommend!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "But God"...Review: May 20, 2011
"But God" by Casey Lute is another offering from Cruciform Press. I love what these guys are doing in offering Theologically rich books that are clear, well written, easy to read, and Gospel saturated. These books are small but they pack a huge Theological punch without a lot of Theological `jargon' that may scare some folks off. I can't recommend these guys highly enough. The same thing can be said for "But God".

Casey Lute does an excellent job of walking us through the Scriptures and pointing out instances of the use of the term, "But God...". It is amazing that 2 words can mean so much to a story so big, but indeed, you would be hard pressed to find a better summation or description of the `Gospel'. These 2 words as they are used in the Scriptures to describe the history of salvation tell us 2 major things: God is different than us, and God is active in the saving of His people. In fact apart from these 2 words, mankind would have no hope, for apart from these 2 words and the God in whom they are pointing us to, there is no salvation. This is not only true in the initial act of salvation, but also in the sustaining of our Christian lives and our persevering in the faith. From beginning to end, our Christian lives wholly dependent on God. Mr. Lute does an excellent job of unpacking these truths for us.

Again, I can't recommend this book highly enough. It would be great read for either a seasoned Christian, new Christian, or even an unbeliever. Get this book, maybe even a couple and give some away. People will be blessed...I promise.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting book.
Published 5 months ago by KyGoods
4.0 out of 5 stars But God
Two words that change lives. This book reminds us of what we came to know when we first believed! Awesome.
Published 10 months ago by judith
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: But God...
Casey Lute, the author of But God... analyzes places in Scripture where this phrase is used. His conclusion is that the phrase "but God" is critical to understanding God's... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jim Erwin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Contents of book are biblically based and a refreshing reminder of the awesome God we serve as believers. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Pastor Cliff Mattox
4.0 out of 5 stars great simple read!
I highly recommend this book as a popular level treatment of God's redemption of His people throughout history. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Tim Chaney
5.0 out of 5 stars A Blessing
This book was a blessing to me and I marked all the "but God" passages the author discusses in my own Bible How thrilling it is to see our mighty God in His powerful glory! Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mom2Many
5.0 out of 5 stars Turning points in the history of the faithful
This work pulls out the vivid unexpected words "...But God." This signpost of exclamation sheds new light on God's grace.
Published 21 months ago by Dr. Keith J. Wise
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Recently I read the book Cruciform Press book But God by Casey Lute. In the book Casey explores nine different passages of scripture that begin with the phrase "But God". Read more
Published on February 16, 2013 by Todd
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I read this book because it was recommended by a very close relative who knew the author personally. It was a short and easy read. Read more
Published on November 27, 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars But God
Had my attention from beginning to end. Helped me to dig deeper into the scriptures and see how God takes us from fear hopelessness and despair to hope, trust and a greater faith... Read more
Published on August 16, 2012 by Cristina Turull
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More About the Author

My name is Casey Lute. I currently live in my hometown of Salem, Oregon, where I serve as a pastor at Bethany Baptist Church. My first book is entitled "But God...": The Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel and was published by Cruciform Press in May 2011.

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