Foundations of Grace: A Long Line of Godly Men by Travis Evans
December 31, 2006, 4:06 pm
Filed under: Evangelism

by Travis Maples

I’ve been reading a book my brother David gave me for Christmas called Foundations of Grace: A Long Line of Godly Men by Dr. Steve Lawson. It traces the roots of the doctrines of grace (T.U.L.I.P) to the Bible beginning with Moses himself in Genesis. The book is apart of his “A Long Line” series, which will continue revealing the doctrines of grace from the early church through to the modern giants of the faith (the others have yet to be published). Few things have encouraged my personal evangelism as the doctrine of the sovereignty of God in the salvation of the lost. Lawson ties the sovereignty of God in the creation of man to the necessity of God’s sovereignty in our spiritual rebirth. He writes,

“God formed the physical body of the first man, Adam, from the dust of the earth, then breathed the breath of life into him–and he became a living being. Adam certainly could not have formed his own body. Neither could he have caused himself to come to life. God alone could do this…God does a similar life-giving work in His regeneration of lost sinners. God breathes spiritual life into those whom He saves, each at his appointed time…No spiritually dead sinner can cause himself to come alive. God alone can perform this work of regenerating grace.”

It is this truth of the sovereignty of God in the salvation of sinners that should shape every facet of our evangelism. It builds our faith to continue sharing, by oftentimes repelling discouragement and doubt when people aren’t responding as we think they should when we think they should. Salvation is from the Lord. Therefore, humility, compassion and grace should adorn the way we share the gospel. Self-righteousness is decimated in the presence of such truths. Lastly, it’s freeing to be reminded that we weren’t meant to bear that burden of changing hearts. It is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to waken the spiritually dead. Ours is to faithfully proclaim the gospel of Christ. God made man and it is he alone who must give the re-birth of man today.


4 Comments so far
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Are you digging that book Travis? I though it looked good, too.


Comment by Jonathan Oldacre

Man I am eating it up. In Lawson’s first book he traces the doctrines of grace throughout Scripture beginning with Genesis. In his forthcoming books he will trace the doctrines of grace through the early church. He states that “the doctrines of grace were the conviction of those who led the early church.” Men like Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Athenasius, Augustine, and Jerome.
He then traces the doctrines through the Dark Ages with men like Gallus, Gottschalk, Peter Waldo, Anselm, and Thomas of Brandewine. Continuing on men like John Wycliffe, John Huss, William Tyndale helped to usher in the reformation. Then ofcourse the reformation exploded onto the stage of history with Martin Luther, John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli. After which followed the Scottish and English reformers with John Knox, John Foxe, John Rogers, Hugh Latimer. His point is that throughout the ages these men may have been the minority at times yet they still trumpeted the truths of the sovereignty of God in the doctrines of grace. He will go into the pilgrims which were Calvinistic theologically with John Winthrop, Thomas Hooker, Roger Williams, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather. The first American Colleges Yale and Harvard were both Calvinistic. Ofcourse he goes into the first and second Great Awakening with Calvinistic fire starters George Whitfield and Johnathan Edwards. Princeton, Dartmouth, Rutgers and Brown all Calvinistic in origin. He even reveals Calvinistic influence in the pen of John Witherspoon, who was the only pastor to sign the Declaration of Independance. He continues naming Archibald Alexander, J. Gresham Machen, Charles Hodge, A.A. Hodge, B.B. Warfield, Southern Baptist Convention, James P. Boice, The birth of the modern mission movement in William Carey, Adoniram Judson, John Paton, 18th & 19th Century England and Scotland with Andrew Bonar, Thomas Boston, Robert Murray McCheyne, Thomas Chalmers, CH Spurgeon, JC Ryle, Charles Simeon and George Mueller all Stalwarts in Christian History all faithful to the sovereignty of God in the doctrines of grace. In his fifth and final book of the series he will bring us to the present with the modern reformers, RC Sproul, John Macarthur, John Piper, Al Mohler and on and on. I didn’t even name most of the men that he lists as men that have held tightly to the truth of the gospel throughout the ages. God has done amazing things through men such as these and why shouldn’t he bless there efforts when they were committed to preaching a sovereign God over all. A God that is to be worshipped and adorred.

Comment by Travis

looks like a good read. I will have to put it on my ‘to read’ list when I get done with the rest of the books I’m reading.

Comment by Daniel Chapman



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