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on December 3, 2012
I severely underestimated this book. R. C. Sproul brings balance and clarity to the conversations surrounding pleasing God, sanctification, and total depravity. Also, if you've heard Sproul speak you can expect the same scholarly approachability you're used to.

In Pleasing God, Sproul takes a different approach than most of the recent books on sanctification. He tackles topics that the other books don't cover (see overview below) and he addresses pertinent points with clarity and depth.

He begins and ends with grace
Regeneration is the beginning of a journey. It is a journey with successes and failures, with growth amid stumbling. At times, the progress seems painfully slow, but progress is there. It is a movement to sharper focus--a life that begins with a touch of tender grace and moves towards more grace. (p. 14)
He discusses the goal of Christian living, self-righteousness; he tackles our battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil; he pastorally approaches the topics of fear, guilt, and forgiveness; he also addresses carnality and the core sins of pride, slothfulness, and dishonesty. I found his closing discussion on doctrine and life particularly enlightening.

Sproul has a strong word against perfectionism and second blessing theology. Again he emphasizes the journey:
Sanctification requires far more than a quick experience of the laying on of hands. Rebirth is instantaneous. Justification instantaneous. But sanctification is a lifelong process. It involves a diligent struggle against a multitude of obstacles. It is like the journey of Bunyan's pilgrim, filled with pitfalls and laden with perils. It is a journey that takes us through the dark night of the soul, through the valley of shadow of death, and through the wilderness of temptation (p. 20).
An implicit point but one that must not be overlooked is the instantaneousness of justification. There's no need for a second blessing when you've been adopted by God, robed in the righteousness of Christ, and are transformed daily by the Spirit.

Sproul also delivers an important word against seeking " spirituality" (or what some may call religion now days) and actual righteousness (obedience rooted in our justification; see pp. 26-27). But his section on sanctification was the most helpful in the book. Discussion Matthew 5:20 "Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" Sproul says,
The deeper question, still remains: How do I know that I have the saving righteousness of Christ? Might I not deceive myself into thinking I have the real thing when, in fact, m faith is fraudulent? Just because a person claims to believe in Christ is no guarantee that he or she has saving faith (Matt. 7:21-23). It is by our fruits that we demonstrate the reality of our faith (Matt. 7:16-20). We know that God is pleased with those who truly honor Christ. We feel just as certain that He is not pleased when people blithely use His name but avoid any real life-affecting commitment to Him. That is the scary part of Jesus's warning. (p. 36)
There's so much more gold I could share from Pleasing God but I don't want to ruin your journey. I highly recommend checking this older Sproul book in the newly released format through David C. Cook. They're doing a great service for the church. We need more straightforward thinking on this topic. A final word of encouragement, especially for those who feel their faith fading
When Satan whispers to the believer, "You, with all your sin, can't be pleasing to God," the believer replies: "Ah, but I am. To God be the glory." (p. 93)
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on October 27, 2012
"Every Christian should have a passion to please God," Sproul writes. "We are to delight in honoring Him. It should be our greatest desire to please our Redeemer." The priorities of the Christian life are to be seeking the kingdom, seeking righteousness.
Spirituality is often confused with righteousness. "Spirituality can be a cheap substitute for righteousness." Righteousness is doing what is right in the sight of God. The demand of true righteousness is so great that no one will achieve it in this world. (Sproul distinguishes the righteousness we have in Christ and righteous living - pleasing God.)
Sproul covers several topics as he discusses the behavior that pleases God. He is pleased when we obey the Golden Rule, when we pursue justice and mercy, and when we practice loyal love. God is please when we resist Satan, when we throw ourselves on His mercy when we sin, when we gratefully accept His forgiveness, and when we make amends for the sins we commit against others.
He also covers a variety of other topics in his discussion. He writes about God demanding a transformed mind. He distinguishes forgiveness and the feeling of being forgiven (and the same with guilt). He writes on the error of the "carnal" Christian. He looks at pride, slothfulness, and dishonesty.
He ends with the necessity of right doctrine for right thinking and right living. His final encouragement is to never give up.

R. C. has written this book as a practical guide to Christian living. He covers a variety of issues dealing with righteousness and pleasing God. This is not light reading. Sproul doesn't like fluff and it shows. Any Christian desiring to know what it means to please God will benefit from reading this book.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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on January 19, 2013
This book was of significant import to me. As one who has struggled to understand how God can forgive and "remember my sins no more" (He is, after all, all-knowing), and how He can look at a sinner and be pleased, Sproul's chapters on Forgiveness and Satan as Accuser were eye-opening, freeing and life-changing.
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on November 26, 2013
I was motivated to read Pleasing God after hearing a number of messages by Dr. Sproul on his daily broadcast/podcast Renewing Your Mind. He provides exceptional clarity on the critical doctrines of Christianity in both the written and the spoken word. There are two critical words that stood out for me in Dr. Sproul's book: arrogance; and accusation. If God says that we are forgiven, then we are forgiven indeed. If we question our forgiveness or feel differently about it, then Dr. Sproul advises us to pray for humility. However, there's a vast difference between that and the accusations of the Prince of Darkness or Satan who would rather see us believe that we are not forgiven after all. As Dr. Sproul writes, "He can make us feel good when we should feel guilty and make us feel guilty when we should be at peace ... Satan's accusations drive us to despair, but there is something sweet about the conviction of the Holy Spirit. When He brings our guilt to our attention He brings also the consolation of forgiveness and restoration." We must hold fast to the Lord!
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on November 17, 2012
R. C. Sproul in his new book, "Pleasing God" part of the Classic Theology series published by David C. Cook helps us in Discovering the Meaning and Importance of Sanctification.

From the Back Cover: Sanctification is not an everyday word. In fact, it's an idea that has little value in our me-focused, instant-gratification world. Yet regardless of trends, culture, or opinion, being sanctified--being set apart from the world--remains a vital part of our journey with Christ.
But what does this process look like? How do we begin? And is it even possible to live a life pleasing to God?
Renowned theologian and teacher Dr. R.C. Sproul believes it's not only possible, it's our calling. Pleasing God delivers an in-depth look at God's plan and pathway for spiritual maturity. Clearing away the confusion of religion and dogma, Dr. Sproul reveals how every believer can experience authentic, lasting life-change through their relationship with God. Built on sound doctrine and rich in Biblical insights, Pleasing God offers a practical guide for anyone longing to live a life that honors their Savior.

The Dictionary defines sanctify as, "to set apart to a sacred purpose." Another way to put it is to sanctify means to "cleanse, purge, purify". Or simply once we are sanctified we are washed clean and being clean sets us apart from those that are not. Once we are cleansed or sanctified doesn't mean that the process is over. Actually, the process has just begun. In fifteen chapters Dr. Sproul shows us where the battle lines are drawn and deals with a few of the sins that beset us. We were made to please God and our choices determine how pleasing we can be. Obviously Dr. Sproul does a much more magnificent job in explaining which is one of the reasons why you need to have this book. Once we accept Jesus we are cleansed but the work is ongoing and we need to understand just what is involved. "Pleasing God" is a must have book. It is a must have for you because you will read it once, stash it on your bookshelf and come back to it again and again for refreshing. It is a must have for your friends and family so that they can do the exact same thing. We all need to learn and understand and who better than Dr. Sproul to help us with that understanding. I recommend this book highly!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from David C. Cook for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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on January 16, 2013
For those looking for good theology Sproul is a reliable author and this book stays true to the course. On the flip side I did not feel this book offered much beyond the basics, which can be found in many similar books on the market today.
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on January 3, 2013
I have had this book on my "to read" list for a long time. When I saw it on a list of review copies, I jumped at the chance.

R.C. Sproul was my first introduction to Reformed Theology. I saw "Chosen by God" on a shelf but had never heard of R.C. It looked very interesting. I had no idea that book would open up my mind and heart to a whole new way of thinking.

Since that day, I have read numerous Sproul books. Some better than others. This one is destined to be a classic.

How do we please God?
What is sanctification?
Is it OK to tell a lie if it is for a good cause?
Is pride always a bad thing?
What does God think about slothfulness?
Can we become perfected in this life?

These and many more questions are answered in this book. It is short, to the point, and very informative. R.C. is at his best. I would not rank it quite as high as "The holiness of God" or "Chosen by God", but it is pretty close.

In this book, he shows that regeneration is just the beginning of our salvation. We are being sanctified throughout our whole life, but will only be perfected in the next.

We are to continually move forward. Even though we have times that we seem to fall back, the spirit is there to push us forward. He shows us that spiritual birth is instantaneous, but sanctification is a life-long process.

I give it ? out of 5 stars.

*I received this book, free of charge, from David C Cook Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
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on May 22, 2013
Another classic book written by RC Sproul, Pleasing God, was a great book. This book took me a little bit longer to get through both because new baby/schedule along with that and because I really wanted to understand this and "get" it.

The book starts with a chapter on grace, dives into the Battle's that we face as Christians and wraps up with grace. That is the book in a small nut shell. It is a good book on the basics.

This book was clear, well written and well worth a read. This book will answer questions on a high level. Questions such as Is it possible to live a life pleasing to God?

This is a very rough review, but I wanted to get those immediate thoughts down and say that I recommend this book and that every last penny you spend buying it will be well worth your time.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes by David C Cook Publishing. I was not required to post a positive review and the views expressed in this review are my own.
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on November 21, 2013
This book is well written explaining deep doctrines in a easy to read fashion . I found it very encouraging
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on January 22, 2016
How to topple yourself into action. R.C. Sproul clearly presents our cooperative mandate to please God. He laysout his argument to all Christians who are seeking to live a life that pleases and therefore glorifies God. He organizes his work into 15 chapters. The consolidated themes revolve around pleasing God in Christian living, battling, forgiving, and persisting. He does a thorough job of traveling through truthful doctrines and deceitful lies we believe. It was worth reading for the solid reminder that "failure to believe what God says is the foundation of all sin." I highly recommend this book.
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