The doctrines of grace are often known as the five points of Calvinism, but they were not the invention of John Calvin or his reforming cohorts of the sixteenth century. Rather, they are biblical doctrines, as Dr. Steven J. Lawson demonstrated in his book Foundations of Grace. Now, in Pillars of Grace, Dr. Lawson shows that the doctrines of grace have been understood and taught—sometimes in embryonic form, sometimes with great clarity—throughout church history. From the time of the early church fathers to the years of the Reformers, there have been key men in the church, pillars as it were, who stood on the foundation of Scripture and upheld the truth of God’s sovereign role in salvation.
In Pillars of Grace, Dr. Lawson walks readers through the ups and downs of church history, profiling these voices for the truth. The inescapable conclusion is that the doctrines of grace are no innovation, but the consistent witness of some of the greatest men of the church.
With the Logos edition, Pillars of Grace is fully integrated with the other resources in your digital library, including Bibles, maps, dictionaries, and numerous other Bible study tools. All Scripture references are linked directly to the text of your favorite Bible translation, making your Bible study and teaching preparations more effective and rewarding. You can also explore Scripture on a deeper level with powerful search features, Passage Guides, and all the other interactive features in your Logos library. That makes this important book more useful than ever before for pastors, teachers, Bible study leaders, and anyone else desiring to get deeper into the truth of God’s Word.
This book will ignite and impassion your heart for the gospel and the doctrines of grace that undergird it. Dr. Lawson has done something for which we will forever be grateful—he demonstrates conclusively that the truths of Calvinism and the Reformed faith are rooted in the history of the church, from the apostles to the emergence of Martin Luther in the sixteenth century. We have, of course, always suspected this to be true, but few attempts have been made to demonstrate it, and none with such infectious zeal as is to be found in these pages. Few writers can marry church history, exposition, and sound doctrine in such a manner as this. Do not start reading this book unless you are prepared to find that you are unable to put it down. It is that good.
—Dr. Derek W. H. Thomas, professor of systematic and practical theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, minister of teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi
Reading Steven Lawson’s Pillars of Grace is like taking a helicopter tour of a mountain range—a breathtaking survey of a series of majestic peaks all pointing upward to heaven. Each chapter offers an informative, fascinating, and accessible look at a significant teacher of God’s glorious grace, from Clement to Calvin. Read this book and discover that to be Christian and Reformed is to be rooted in the church through the ages.
—Dr. Joel R. Beeke, president, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Steve Lawson’s research takes us into the controversial and somewhat neglected area regarding the development of the doctrines of grace before John Calvin. Of special value is his large collection of quotations, which show that, yes, there were indeed a few notable TULIP flowers in the church garden before the Reformation blossomed. I especially like his challenge to imitate these heroes. I am pleased to recommend this volume and look forward to the next in the series.
—Dr. Curt Daniel, pastor, Faith Bible Church, Springfield, Illinois, author, The History and Theology of Calvinism
Bringing witness after witness to the stand, Steve Lawson marshals testimony about the sovereign grace of God from twenty-three specific exemplars, from Clement of Rome to Calvin of Geneva. Following a masterful overview, with the weight of original sources and helpful context from these witnesses, both clarity and unity result. Steve Lawson is to be commended for assembling such a superb cast, arranged in such useful parts—road-tested in a men’s group from his own congregation—to sing such a deep and moving chorus. Each study is useful for local church studies and libraries, for pastoral enrichment or officer training, or as fodder for illustrations, gathered by an experienced shepherd. We can rejoice over this excellent work that truly exhibits that which has been believed everywhere in all ages of true and vibrant Christianity. I join Dr. Lawson in praying that this book will cultivate a new generations of pillars.
—Dr. David W. Hall, senior pastor, Midway Presbyterian Church, Powder Springs, Georgia
Dr. Lawson has produced a veritable tour de force with this historical survey of the church’s witness to the sweet doctrines of divine sovereignty. Not since the voluminous Dr. Gill has this really been attempted, and Gill’s study is seriously dated in many ways. Hence the need for this winsome and judicious work, in which Lawson shows the reader the way these golden threads of grace have wound their way through the church’s life in the Patristic, medieval, and Reformation eras. Contrary to popular thought, it can be seen that the eras prior to the Reformation were not devoid of powerful witnesses to these great truths. This is a must read for anyone interested in the way these biblical truths have been received by the church.
In this important book, Dr. Lawson has documented the teachings of many of the most important theologians, churchmen, and Christian thinkers of these centuries, showing that these men did indeed have much to say about God’s saving grace—and much that will be of great encouragement to evangelicals today.
—Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
Dr. Steven J. Lawson is the senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama.