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Whatever Happened to The Gospel of Grace?: Rediscovering the Doctrines that Shook the World Hardcover – February 7, 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Boice was right to point out that to mischaracterize worldliness 'is to trivialize what is a far more serious and far more subtle problem.'"
Burnside Writer's CollectiveBurnside Writer's Collective

"Boice explains how the five doctrinal truths that transformed the world during the Reformation not only offer the solution but can shape a renewal today among God's people."
WRGN NetworkWRGN Network

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

JAMES MONTGOMERY BOICE was senior minister of the historic Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia for thirty years and a leading spokesman for the Reformed faith until his death in June 2000.

Lane T. Dennis is president and publisher of Crossway Books and Good News Tracts. Dr. Dennis earned his BS in business from Northern Illinois University, an MDiv from McCormick Theological Seminary, and a PhD in religion from Northwestern University. Before joining Good News Publishers in 1974, he served as a pastor in campus ministry at the University of Michigan (Sault Ste. Marie) and as the Managing Director of Verlag Grosse Freude in Switzerland. He is the author and/or editor of three books, including the Gold Medallion-award-winning book Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer, and he is the former Chairman of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Dr. Dennis serves as the Chairman of the ESV (English Standard Version) Bible Translation Oversight Committee and as the Executive Editor of the ESV Study Bible. Lane and his wife, Ebeth, live in Wheaton, Illinois.

Eric J. Alexander is the retired Senior Minister at St. George's-Tron Parish Church in Glasgow, Scotland.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books; First Edition, First Printing edition (February 7, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581342373
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581342376
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,276,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The late James Boice was a great asset to the Kingdom of God. His books communicated great truths in an understandable manner. His last book, released almost a year after his death is no exception. With grace and gentleness, yet with a passion for the truth of Scripture, he examines evangelicalism today. His conclusion is that we have lost much of the Gospel in our churches. The lives of many Christians differ very little from the world around us! He looks back to the truths of Scripture that transformed the church during the Reformation, and says that we must return to them if we hope and truly long for revival today. We need to recover the great Reformation and Biblical doctrines of Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone and Glory to God Alone.
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"No people ever rise higher than their idea of God. Conversely, the loss of the sense of God's high and awesome character always leads to the loss of a people's highest ideals, moral values, and even what we commonly call humanity, not to mention the loss of understanding and appreciation for the most essential Bible doctrines...We deplore the breakdown of moral standards in the church, even among its most visible leaders. But what do we think should happen when we have focused on ourselves and our own, often trivial needs rather than on God, ignoring his holiness and excusing our most blatant sins? To listen to many contemporary sermons one would think man's chief end is to glorify himself and cruise the malls." (pp. 151-152).
Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace? is a much-needed reminder of what we should again believe, and why it matters.
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Format: Hardcover
Whatever Happened To The Gospel of Grace?" is exactly the sort of book you might expect a traditional, Reformed pastor and theologian to leave as his final message to the world, for before this book was published, James Boice, long-time pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia went to be with the Lord. This book stands as a call to the church to rediscover the principles upon which the Protestant church was built. It was Boice's conviction that much of what passes as Christianity today is anything but. The church will only be able to be an effective witness for God when it returns to the foundation of the five solas that defined the Reformation (Scripture alone, Christ alone, grace alone, faith alone, glory to God alone).

The book begins with a critical examination of the modern evangelical church. The author shows that where the evangelical church was once known for and defined by what it believed, today it is increasingly defined by its style. He is especially critical of the church growth movement, saying that this movement adjusts Christianity to the desires of our culture. The modern church does not understand that Christianity can only thrive by offering people not what "they already have, but what they so desperately lack - namely, the Word of God and salvation through Jesus Christ." His thesis (found on page 36) is that "the chief problem [with the church] is that we have forgotten God and are not really living for His glory...the reason we do not think about Him is that we have forgotten the meaning and importance of these essential doctrines." The doctrines he refers to are, of course, the five solas.

He turns to an examination of the pattern of this age.
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Format: Paperback
This was the last book Pastor Boice wrote before his death in June 2000 and if I must say so he really left us with a another jewel. His book, "Whatever Happened to The Gospel of Grace?", is divided into three parts and it's almost like getting three books in one volume. Part One (Our Dying Culture) is a straight forward, no nonsense critical analysis of our modern evangelical church. Boice describes a church that spends more time developing programs designed toward success (does it work?) and messages that are focused on the congregation's felt need and a dedication to growing a mega-church instead of fulfilling God's calling by protecting and feeding the flock of God through the Word of God. He contends the focus of the church has been turned inward, becoming a man-centered business rather than God-centered worshipers, rightly giving God alone the glory (soli Deo gloria). Boice's criticism becomes stern at times in this section. But anyone familiar with Pastor Boice, personally or through his writings, knows this is just a reflection of his great pastor's heart.

Just like an epistle, after carefully pointing out the problems in the modern church, he moves into Parts Two and Three describing the practical remedy to a lost and wandering church. Part Two (Doctrines that Shook the World) covers the five "solas" of the Reformation (Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone and Glory to God Alone). Boice was at his best in this section section, providing one of the clearest, most concise and biblically supported study of this area of theology I have read. He dedicates a chapter to each of the solas. I especially appreciate his use of the relevant texts, focused explanations, and very effective applications of each principle.
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