Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book Review: Finding Joy - A Radical Rediscovery of Grace

In recent times I've been reading a few books about grace, of varying standard and with varying results. As can sometimes happen, I discover books that have been on my shelf for a while and haven't yet been read. I don't know where they came from, how long I've had it, but there it is, jumping into the 'to read' pile.

This is definitely one of the better books on grace. Marcus Honeysett examines what the Bible says about joy, discovering that it is rooted in God's grace. The two are inextricably linked. The full and proper experience of receiving God's grace will bring joy to the believer. Yet for many Christians, there is a distinct absence of joy. For Honeysett, the answer is to rediscover God's grace, and he does this by showing the connection in Paul's letters to the Galatians and the Philippians.

Galatians helps to bring the gospel back into focus - the gospel of grace, where we are saved not by our works, but by God's amazing grace. He points to the dangerous legalism that was rife in Galatia, and can also play a big part in our religious thinking. The way to stop legalism is by focusing on Jesus and his gospel of grace, and the freedom it brings.

Philippians then builds on this with the message of rejoicing, being joyful, in a variety of contexts and situations. There are some challenging applications, as well as helpful encouragements to go the way of rejoicing in grace, rather than depending on yourself.

My only (slight) complaint was that he seemed to jump around the Bible quite a bit. In fact, we ended up in Romans as much as Galatians and Philippians. Perhaps the book should have had Romans as its focus, rather than the other letters.

This is a good book for those who are struggling with the absence of joy. The gospel of grace is clearly and simply explained and applied. The implications of that grace for our life are spelled out. The Christian will be empowered and spurred on for joyful service with a spring in the step.

Finding Joy is available from IVP.

No comments:

Post a Comment