Book Review : Grace, faith & glory : freedom in Christ
Grace, faith & glory : freedom in Christ is a short book, compiled from the talks the author, Dominic Smart, gave at Keswick Conventions some years ago. The topic remains relevant as many in our churches still toil under legalistic teaching, not only from conservative and traditional churches but also from some Pentecostal ones. I’m more familiar with the ways that legalistic thinking seeps into conservative churches so it was interesting to read of how other churches face the same problem in different ways.
I appreciated the way Smart explained legalism. It’s not just about obeying rules but a mindset that believes we’re earning favour with God by strict adherence to not only moral laws but also the church’s interpretation of a holy life. Smart goes to great lengths to emphasize he doesn’t believe in having no rules, but rather he wants Christians to cultivate a Spirit-led life that doesn’t need rules. He also explains how we steal from God’s glory by insisting that people submit to our man-made rules.
The book commences with two brief fictional stories of two young adults caught up in legalistic churches from different ends of the theological perspective. I was hoping he would continue with these two people throughout the book, but he only occasionally mentions them again. This means much of the book is written in a theological tone which gets a bit dry in places.
However, Smart’s message is an important one and his arguments are well-thought-out and explained.
Overall, a worthwhile read.