Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Biography of Savonarola Off to Publisher (EP)

This is my first co-authored book, and what a delightful experience it has been to collaborate with my friend and colleague, Douglas McComas, founder of INKBLOTS! The book is part of the short biography series published by Evangelical Press (EP) in the UK, with Michael Haykin in the role of series editor (the same series as my biography on Augustus Toplady). We found Savonarola's life fascinating.  He was one of the pre-Reformers God raised up in the 15th-century to prepare the way for men like Luther and Calvin in the Reformation. But it was a rough time for him.

As we read Savonarola, it's no exaggeration to say that we fell in love with this flawed but deeply passionate lover of Christ. How could we not do so with a man who prayed like this,  “O Lord! Arise, and come to deliver thy Church from the hands of devils, from the hands of tyrants, from the hands of iniquitous prelates.”

In his prison meditations the night before his martyrdom, Savonarola wrestled with himself in soliloquy, “Do you have faith?  Yes I have it. Good: this is a great grace of God, for faith comes of his gift, not of your works, that no one may glory in them.” And that from the pen of a Dominican friar. Though not fully orbed in his theology, we found Savonarola not only to be on a trajectory away from medieval synergism, but growing clearer and clearer about the doctrines of free grace in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

One of my readers said after reading a draft, "Your portrayal of Savonarola himself succeeded in that test of a multi-dimensional figure, towering in his allegiance to Christ and cross but yet flawed, a bit irascible yet brilliant, fervent yet failing according to...well, Machiavellian standards. Fascinating!

We found Savonarola's life to be exciting, dangerous, and tragic--but ultimately a triumphant one. All by grace alone, with his mind and heart riveted on Christ Jesus alone.

Read an excerpt and learn more. Audio excerpt coming soon...

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