Item description for Whatever Happened to The Gospel of Grace?: Rediscovering the Doctrines that Shook the World by James Montgomery Boice...
We don't like to admit it, but anyone who honestly evaluates the church's life and outlook will understand that these are not good days for evangelicalism. We've achieved success, but in a worldly sort of way--big numbers, big budgets, and big outreaches. Yet church attendance is actually down and alleged "born again" believers do not differ significantly in their worldview from their neighbors. Why? We have forgotten our theology and, consciously or not, have pursued the wisdom of the world, accepted its "doctrines," and utilized its methods.
Pastor James Montgomery Boice believed that our ignorance of God and neglect of the gospel of grace is the root of the problem. Here he identifies what's happening within the church and explains how the five doctrinal truths that transformed the world during the Reformation not only offer the solution but can shape a renewal today.
By offering people what they desperately lack--the Word of God and salvation through Christ--rather than giving them an imitation of what they already have, we will see Christianity thrive once again. And in holding fervently to the foundational truths of the gospel, we will know the power of spiritual renewal in our churches.
"Without these five confessional statements--Scripture alone, Christ alone, grace alone, faith alone, and glory to God alone--we do not have a true church, and certainly not one that will survive for very long. For how can any church be a true and faithful church if it does not stand for Scripture alone, is not committed to a biblical gospel, and does not exist for God's glory? A church without these convictions has ceased to be a true church, whatever else it may be." --James Montgomery Boice
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.8" Width: 5.8" Height: 0.9" Weight: 0.99 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2001
Publisher GOOD NEWS PUBLISHING #65
ISBN 1581342373 ISBN13 9781581342376
Availability 0 units.
More About James Montgomery Boice
James Montgomery Boice, Th.D. (July 7, 1938 – June 15, 2000) was a Reformed theologian, Bible teacher, and pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1968 until his death. He is heard on The Bible Study Hour radio broadcast and was a well-known author and speaker in evangelical and Reformed circles. He also served as Chairman of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy for over ten years and was a founding member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.
Boice received a diploma from The Stony Brook School (1956), an A.B. from Harvard University (1960), a B.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary (1963), a Th.D from the University of Basel in Switzerland (1966), and a D.D., (honorary) from the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church (1982).
He died on June 15, 2000.
James Montgomery Boice lived in Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania. James Montgomery Boice was born in 1938 and died in 2000.
James Montgomery Boice has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Whatever Happened to The Gospel of Grace?: Rediscovering the Doctrines that Shook the World?
A Foundational Work for Reforming Your Church Feb 22, 2007
"Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace?" is one of James Montgomery Boice's final books. He wrote it in response to what he believed to be the ignorance of God and neglect of the gospel of grace as the root problem of the church today. Instead of a focus on God and His gospel, the church has become focused on worldly success-large memberships, large budgets, programs up the wazoo, a nosedive in worship. Boice's belief was that only a return to the Word of God can change the state of today's church.
Boice felt that the major emphasis of this change should be centered around the five foundational truths of the Protestant Reformation; that is, the modern church must have as its central confession the Five Solas of the Reformation. "Sola Scriptura, solus Christus, sola gratia, sola fide, and soli Deo gloria" must once again become the standard of theology and practice in our churches if we are ever to hope for a second Reformation. By the way, for those reading who don't know what these are, those Latin terms mean "Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and Glory to God Alone."
Boice presents a convincing argument that we as a church have abandoned these five foundational principles. We have abandoned the sufficiency of Scripture; abandoned the exclusivity of the Gospel; abandoned a salvation given, not earned; abandoned trust in God through Jesus alone as the way of salvation; and abandoned the exaltation of the Creator rather than the creature. Instead we have taken on worldly substitutes that are but pale imitations. We have replaced sufficiency with ambiguity; exclusivity with relativism; the free gift with a salvation of works; surrender at our inability with self-confidence; and humble deference and awe with arrogant self-esteem or self-importance. Boice examines each of these five "solas" individually, building a case for each as the standard for Christian practice.
He then moves toward application in the areas of worship and life. Boice does excellently in outlining the failures of modern worship techniques and concepts, showing them to be largely man-focused rather than God-focused. He points out very glaringly the Godward thrust of the old hymns, and challenges the reader to consider worship that has a Godward focus rather than personal enrichment.
The final chapter on reforming our lives I found to be somewhat disappointing. While Boice soundly hammered home what is necessary to achieve reformation in our lives-i.e. lives of repentance, lives of faith, and lives of community-but he does little to give the reader practical suggestions of how to achieve this. He is long on theory in this chapter but short on application. I find myself wondering if this chapter was actually published unfinished.
All in all, this book is a great precursor to his final book, "The Doctrines of Grace." Indeed, they seem to be meant to be read in tandem, this one first and "The Doctrines of Grace" second. I would recommend this book to all of us; particularly one who is looking to bring about change in his or her church or ministry.
A Good Book on the Doctrines of Grace Apr 19, 2005
Anyone wanting a good introduction to the doctrines of grace from a Reformed and Calvinistic perspective must look here. It is reliable and easy to read. It is geared towards the laity so anyone can pick it up and read it. The section on the 5 solas of the Reformation is very well-written.
A Return To The Principles of the Reformation Jan 30, 2004
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. He shows how the world's patterns of secularism, humanism, relativism, materialism and pragmatism have infiltrated the church. Perhaps even worse is the onset of mindlessness where people in the world and in the church no longer use their minds, deliberately choosing ignorance as a way of life. Set against these principles are the absolutes of the Reformation which need to be related to our culture in a new and relevant way.
The bulk of the book is dedicated to an examination of each of the five principles. Each section is a fascinating, Scriptural study. Though he is a theologian, Boice was primarily a pastor and thus a great communicator. He relates difficult principles in a way that the laity can understand and not become overwhelmed.
Having related the principles, Boice spends the final section discussing their application to our worship and to our lives. I found this section disappointing and for a time was almost convinced that it had been written by a different author. Where the first part of the book praised the Reformers, this section lauded the pope and Brother Lawrence. It also seemed to end very suddenly without tying the ideas together and providing a satisfactory conclusion.
Regardless of my annoyances with final section I highly recommend this book. Boice left behind a thought-provoking study of the principles upon which the Protestant church was founded. He provides a respectful but at times necessarily harsh call for churches to re-examine their principles and determine if they truly are living for God's glory alone.
A Modern Reformation Dec 10, 2003
I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Boice's book titled "Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace?" It is a well-written indictment of the Church that we have strayed too far from the doctrines that brought about the Reformation of the 16th century.
As noted, the section on the Five Solas was outstanding.
I was struck by one particular aspect of the book early on. In it, Boice recounts Luther's objection to the Peasant War, and in objecting, Luther notes that reformation would come as follows:
non vi, sed verbo
Not by force, but by the power of God's Word. That is how reformation will come today. Not by political clout or by enacting laws. True reformation starts from the bottom and works its way up; or better yet, from the inside out.
soli Deo gloria,
Neo Reformation May 11, 2003
This book by Dr. Boice (Ph.D., Basel, Switzerland) was a rich, fresh read for those suffocated by pluralism and relativism. When looking at the decay at the world, one is excited to read that the same decay was present before the Reformation. Dr. Boice expouses the same hope for today.
Dr. Boice expounds the five reformational creeds (Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, and Soli Deo GLoria), the impact that they had on their world, and the possible impact that they can have on our world. Boice notes the dangers that plague our churches and our homes, relativism and pragmatism, and how each of these creeds, immersed in Scripture, provide the elixir for our dying land. Also with these Scripture Creeds, he shows the impact that Reformation minded saints can transform society.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is not as deep as many of these type of works (as scholarly as he is, Boice is a pastor and communicates as one), making it a readable work that can be read in a busy schedule.