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What's So Great About the Doctrines of Grace? Hardcover – April 21, 2008
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Rick Phillips has an unbounded love for the doctrines of grace and writes about them with an enviable simplicity and clarity. Here is persuasive exposition of biblical teaching that captures the thrill of knowing a sovereign God. 'What's So Great about the Doctrines of Grace?' Never loses sight of the grace to which these doctrines point. This is a wonderful book to read, study, lend, and give away. --Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson: Senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia SC
The heart of the gospel is contained in the doctrines of grace. To understand these truths is to understand the height, depth, breadth, and length of the saving grace of God for sinners. Richard Phillips has done an outstanding job of capturing the heartbeat of these precious truths. Prepare your heart to be greatly blessed as this pastor and author guides you into a greater appreciation of the sovereign grace of God. --Dr. Steven J. Lawson: Senior Pastor, Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, Mobile, Ala.
Richard 'Rick' Phillips has done it again! In summarizing the doctrines of grace in this book, he brings us into the arena of historic Calvinism, which, as C.H. Spurgeon said, 'is the Gospel and nothing else.' But what we have here is more than just a re-telling of the doctrines themselves; it is an account of why these truths matter in the church of the twenty-first century. Its enthusiasm is infectious, its urgency compelling, and its logic irrefutable. --Dr. Derek W. H. Thomas: Professor of systematic and practical theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Minister of teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Miss.
About the Author
Rev. Richard D. Phillips is senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, S.C., having served previously as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Coral Springs/Margate, Florida, and as minister of preaching at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. He serves on the council of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and as chairman of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Michigan, a master of business administration degree at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, and a master of divinity degree at Westminster Theological Seminary. Prior to entering the ministry, he commanded tank units as an officer in the U.S. Army and later served as an assistant professor of leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Rev. Phillips is the author of numerous books, including Hebrews (part of the Reformed Expository Commentary series) and Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating, co-written with his wife, Sharon.
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Though short, it was refreshing to see each point explained in plain language. The structure of the book made sense and I also appreciated Phillips expositing some less conventional passages of scripture to provide support for each doctrine. He also gave a few helpful analogies, which can be useful when trying to explain complicated Theological concepts (if used properly, of course). I wish the book were longer but would recommend it to anyone interested in this topic, regardless of Theological background.
In "What's So Great About The Doctrines Of Grace" Richard Phillips lays out these doctrines in a clear and understandable way. He expounds on these teachings with many scripture references and brings you through what the Bible says. I feel this is one of the best books I have read on the subject as he has written in a way that someone just being introduced to these doctrines can easily understand and where someone who has studied these doctrines for sometime will gain more understanding and be better able to properly explain to other these wonderful truths of our God.
You can't help but praise and honor God all the more after learning these God exalting truths that draw the sinner to the Savoir through the grace of God.
It is obvious that Mr. Phillips is devoted to what scripture actually teaches about all of the Christian Doctrines. The Doctrine of Grace is the basic belief of Christianity, and is so often misunderstood, even by long time believers. This book is certainly a valuable help for all Christians who want to fully understand all aspects of their faith. It is easy to read, and certainly holds the reader's attention through out.
I love how he takes great truth from difficult writers like Owen and makes it easy to understand. For example, he mentions that both Calvinists and Arminians believe in Limited Atonement, only how it is limited is different. (For the Calvinist, it is limited because it affects only the elect, for the Arminian it is limited because it needs man's agreement to be efficacious. (He says this much better than this.))
This tackles important subjects in a very accessible way. I have recommended it to many and will recommend it to many more.
In 97 pages, Phillips sets forth compelling arguments for why he thinks the Doctrines of Grace, the five-points of Calvinism, are so great. In the Preface Phillips writes:
"But I especially love these doctrines because of their marvelous theme: the sovereign grace of God for unworthy sinners. For even greater than their enlightening effect on the mind, the doctrines of God are utterly transforming to the believing heart. To love the doctrines of grace is to love God as He has revealed Himself in His Word."(p. xi)
Even I found the book compelling and engaging on the TULIP: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints.