It all started with a request for help from a friend. Could I recommend a book on the doctrine of grace? I promised to have a look in my study, as nothing came to mind immediately.
Having moved along each shelf in turn, still nothing was jumping out. Was grace completely absent from my study? (A worrying thought!) A closer look brought up random, scattered paragraphs or sentences, as well as perhaps a section of a doctrine book, but not an actual book celebrating or explaining God's grace. It's all slightly concerning.
Have I been labouring away without grace all this time? Has my Christian life and ministry been imbalanced towards legalism and effort? I sincerely hope not (particularly since I'm preaching on grace this Sunday morning from Titus 2), but if my study gives a reflection of my thought life, then should I be worried?
We recently had a session in the Bishop's study at CME (Continuing Ministry Education, alternatively known as Post-Ordination Training, or Potty Training), and he was saying that you can tell when someone stopped thinking/studying by when they stopped buying books. Can you tell in this instance of a severe lack, where grace has been misplaced?
As I've said, there'll be discussions on grace in my extensive commentaries, on the particular Bible passages speaking of grace. Yet there's still no book on grace as such. Any recommendations? I've read Yancey's 'What's So Amazing About Grace?' but are there other books you would suggest must be read on the subject of grace?