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Product Details

  • Paperback: 111 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (August 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802821111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802821119
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #980,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard J. Mouw (PhD, University of Chicago) is president and professor of Christian philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is a Beliefnet.com columnist and the author of numerous books.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In this short volume (100 pages), Richard Mouw discusses the roots and implications of the doctrine of Common Grace. Though written for an audience familiar with Reformed theology, Mouw's defense of Common Grace should be required of all (especially evangelical) Christians who struggle with the implications of what it means to be "in the world but not of the world." The author's argument is sophisticated and he makes a powerful case that there is much in God's creation that Christians should embrace.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Clarke H. Morledge on January 10, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What does it mean for the Christian to be "in the world, but not of the world?"
Mouw's treatment is very balanced and christocentric. He avoids the pitfall of a separatist fundamentalist approach that would have the church isolated in a Christian ghetto for the sake of some well-intentioned, yet misguided, notion of purity. At the same time, he avoids the temptation of many Christians today who uncritically accept the ethos of an increasingly secular society.
Mouw's solution to the question of how we as Christians relate to the surrounding culture is through the classic Reformed doctrine of common grace. Even though non-believers do not participate in God's saving grace, they do participate in God's grace that is common to all of humanity. On the basis of common grace, a Christian may enter into friendships with non-believers, appreciate the beauty of art produced by non-believers, and partner with non-believers for the improvement of society. The difficulty, that Mouw recognizes, is in discerning the appropriate type of involvement with persons in the non-believing culture. Sometimes we can draw too far back from being a witness for Christ, and sometimes we can get unnecessarily entangled and even seduced by the culture. Nevertheless, the task of every Christian is to "make disciples of all of the nations", and that requires engaging the culture at some level. In the end, Mouw would have us err on the side of the "wideness of God's mercy" as opposed to living in isolation.
I never had the privilege of meeting Richard Mouw when I was a student at Fuller, but I wish I did! If you are familiar with the themes and history of Dutch Reformed theology, you will benefit greatly from this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Eames on December 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book after hearing Dr. Mouw's presentation at a conference at Calvin College. In it, he accomplishes much: he delivers a brief but cogent explanation of common grace, fairly represents the alternative argument against common grace, and encourages the reader to consider the importance of so-called "common grace" ministries. Any controversy as Mouw describes it between common and particular grace is rooted in differences primarily among Dutch reformed congregations. However, the differences have wide cultural implications and strike at the heart of how the Body of Christ responds to the non-Christian world. Theological nuances aside, Mouw encourages us to consider all that God creates to be fully worthy of our respect and compassion - including those who do not appear to be among the elect.
The beauty of this book is in its brevity. Mouw provides an excellent introduction to the theology of common grace, a brief explanation of supra- and infralapsarianism (an important but obtuse theological distinction), and most importantly, how common grace translates to the exercise of compassion through common grace ministries like psychotherapy. I highly recommend this book.
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