|Interview in latest issue of byFaith|
It was a delight to be asked by Richard Doster Editor-in-chief of PCA magazine byFaith for an interview, just out in the latest issue, on my new book GRACE WORKS! (And Ways We Think It Doesn’t), P&R, 2014, by Douglas Bond
BF: What compelled you to write GRACE WORKS?
Being a student of Church history. Church history includes a chronicle of the ways we “distort the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7), abandon grace, and trouble the church with a contrary gospel (1:6-9). But it’s not just the other guys’ churches that make a mingle-mangle of gospel truth. The Bible and Church history relentlessly demonstrate that it can happen in your church and mine.
Who hasn’t heard preaching that was more about what we do than what God in Christ has already done by grace alone? I wrote GW because my own heart is prone to tear the grace of Christ apart and look to my own performance instead of the perfect righteousness of my Redeemer. I am prone to thinking that faith and obedience are conditions, fail to meet them and I forfeit justifying grace, to think that the gospel is a “responsible partnership” wherein “we determine our destiny by our faith and our obedience.” I wrote GW because I was hearing law-creep begin to erode the purity of the gospel of free grace in Christ alone—in our churches.
BF: Why write GW now? Because in every generation “Satan’s stratagem is that he does not attempt an avowed destruction of the whole gospel, but he taints its purity by introducing false and corrupt opinions” (Calvin). I wrote GW now to unmask the ways we “tamper with God’s Word” and teach a “disgraceful, underhanded” gospel (II Corinthians 4:2). The jury of church history is in. This can and will happen in your church and mine, hence, “We must exercise the utmost caution lest we allow any counterfeit to be substituted for the pure doctrine of the gospel” (Calvin).
BF: What will readers know/understand that they don’t know/understand now?
GW is about equipping the church to heed these warnings, and to root out the various ways we become partners with him in his relentless scheme to redefine the gospel—in our generation. In GW I explore the various ways we doubt that grace actually works and the various ways the Enemy makes covenant moralism look more attractive than the covenant of grace, and the devastating effect of gospel distortions on our children.
Each chapter of GW concludes with discussion questions drawn from Scripture and catechisms, and ends with ways to pray for gospel unity and discernment.
BF: And how will readers’ lives be different as a result?
In GW there’s no tidy formulas, or simplistic how-to strategies. None of that works. Grace works. Only the Prince of Peace breaks down dividing walls and unifies His church around grace itself, grace that truly does work, because grace is not a thing but a person, Jesus Christ.
Finally, GW is a book about rediscovering the loveliness of Christ. My hope is that readers will close the book bedazzled with the Savior, slack-jawed in wonder at a gospel of grace that works, that accomplishes all that our gracious Redeemer said it would.
Church history tours in Europe. , author of more than twenty books, is husband of Cheryl, father of six, and grandfather of two. He is a ruling elder in the PCA, a history and English teacher, a speaker at conferences, and a leader of