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  1. Pillars of Grace
    Pillars of Grace
    Steven J. Lawson
    Reformation Trust Publishing / 2011 / Hardcover
    $18.99 Retail: $28.00 Save 32% ($9.01)
    3 Stars Out Of 5 1 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    CBD Stock No: WW692112
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  1. Michigan
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Helpful Historical Survey of TULIP
    October 13, 2012
    Mathaytes blogspot
    Michigan
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    In this second volume of the series, "A Long Line of Godly Men" Steven J. Lawson walks the reader through almost 1500 years of history calling attention to the development and defense of what later became known as the doctrines of grace. If the reader is looking for sophisticated historical and theological analysis, they will not find it here. What they will find, however, is something that is greatly needed in the evangelical world today, namely a framework for understanding their theology in the broader context of Church history. In addition to his introductory and concluding material, Lawson examines the doctrines of grace in the works of 23 influential Christian teachers between the years of 100 and 1564, including:

    Clement of Rome

    Ignatius of Antioch

    Justin Martyr

    Irenaeus of Lyon

    Tertullian of Carthage

    Cyprian of Carthage

    Athanasius of Alexandria

    Basil of Caesarea

    Gregory of Nazianzus

    Ambrose of Milan

    Augustine of Hippo

    Isidore of Seville

    Gottschalk of Orbais

    Anselm of Canterbury

    Bernard of Clairvaux

    Thomas Bradwardine

    John Wycliffe

    John Hus

    Martin Luther

    Ulrich Zwingli

    William Tyndale

    Heinrich Bullinger

    John Calvin

    Lawson is able to demonstrate that although the emphasis and systemization of the doctrines of grace during the Reformation was dramatic it did not simply appear out of nowhere. He capably shows, with brief biological and historical sketches, that the trajectories of Reformed thought were familiar to Christian teachers in every age. The Reformers saw themselves as defenders of classic Christian teaching but sadly, many who identify as Reformed today have little or no familiarity with any pre-Reformation writers other than Augustine. Lawson does this generation a service in providing an accessible account of this history.

    The historical and theological segmentation of the book make the book a bit redundant but the advantage is that each of the segments can stand on their own making it useful as a quick reference or to those who are only interested in particular eras or teachers. The repetition gives it an almost devotional quality as the same themes are introduced and reinforced in segment after segment. The biggest drawback is that at times, Lawson seems to stretch a bit in his analysis. Often quotations are given and applied to themes that were unlikely to have been intended given the context of the original quote. In places, Lawson admits this and does a fair job of pointing out that although the original writer may not have always fully appreciated the consequences of their own ideas and observations that the seeds of those conclusions were nevertheless present.

    I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in early Church history and especially the doctrines of grace. It should be required reading for anyone who considers themselves "Reformed" and is unfamiliar with the development of these doctrines prior to the Reformation outside of Augustine. While being an apology for Reformed history it avoids the polemics of earlier works on the topic (Toplady, Gill, etc.). I believe that many will find it interesting and informative.

    *A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher at no cost in exchange for a review. The review is not required to be positive and all opinions expressed are my own.
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