Prepared by Grace for Grace Blog Tour

Shaun Tabatt —  June 24, 2013

Prepared by Grace, for Grace: The Puritans on God’s Way of Leading Sinners to ChristThis week the Cross Focused Reviewers are participating in a book review blog tour for Prepared by Grace, for Grace: The Puritans on God’s Ordinary Way of Leading Sinners to Christ by Joel R. Beeke & Paul M. Smalley. Excerpts and links to the reviews will appear below as they are available:

“I found this book particularly helpful in clarifying how God works in a person’s life to prepare him or her for conversion. In particular, I have come to a newfound appreciation for preaching God’s law and have come to see more clearly why the Puritans so stressed the law of God–they wanted sinners to be saved… Prepared by Grace, For Grace is an extremely helpful guide to this often confusing issue. I’m heartedly commend this timely and practical gift to the church!”
Reviewer: Brian Cosby (waysidechurch.org)
Rating: 5 Stars

Prepared by Grace, For Grace is an excellent overview of Puritan thought on the area of how God prepares the unregenerate for salvation and how God through the Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer.”
Reviewer: Michael Boling (intelmin.org)
Rating: 5 Stars

“It’s true: This book reads more like assigned reading from a seminary syllabus than it does like the latest paperback by Chan or Platt… But—and this is key—do not let this dissuade you. It’s accessible, intelligent and rewarding.”
Reviewer: Josh Bishop (joshbishopwrites.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“Pastors will especially benefit from the Puritan wisdom on preparation since it gives insight into gospel preaching. But, that wisdom from the past isn’t just reserved for pastors, and so anyone who wants to better understand how the doctrine of preparation works should probably pick up a copy of this book and give it a read.”
Reviewer: Nate Claiborne (nathanielclaiborne.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“I thought this book was well-written, impeccably researched and provided also a great sense of the majesty of Christ through its pages.  I gather than many will be encouraged and will rethink their previous assumptions about the Puritans.”
Reviewer: Spencer Cummins (spencerdeancummins.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“This book fills a void, as Ferguson makes clear in the introduction. There’s not much written on the subject. In fact, I’ve just finished a class on soteriology in seminary, and we only briefly mentioned preparatory grace. A whole book on the subject, analyzed through the lens of the Puritans, is a great tool not only to go deeper with the subject but also to get into the minds of the towering pillars who came before.”
Reviewer: Eric Durso (ericdurso.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“I highly recommend this book. While at times a bit heady, it is full of heartfelt, encouraging truths. It will also introduce you to some men from the past who will deeply affect your walk with Christ. This is a great book about great men teaching an important truth.”
Reviewer: Tyler Eason (tylerceason.blogspot.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“The authors do a masterful job of maintaining the balance (for a lack of a better word) of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility while refuting the claims of critics who say that the Puritan doctrine of preparation is antithetical to Reformation theology.”
Reviewer: Timothy Harris (activedidactic.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I have no hesitation about recommending Prepared by Grace, for Grace to those who want to study theology or the Puritans. I would simply caution that this is not a quick read.”
Reviewer: Doug Hibbard (doughibbard.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“This book is not a dry, boring systematic theology, but really is a book about grace, the incredible grace showered on lost sinners by a loving God.  Highly recommended!”
Reviewer: Alex Houston (reformed-at-last.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

Prepared by Grace, for Grace is biblically grounded, pastoral, and seeks to apply its teaching, all to help us understand what the Reformers and Puritans taught about preparation. While this book would help the average laymen, I believe this book is especially helpful for Pastors who need to understand the importance of preaching the law and gospel to their congregations”
Reviewer: Dave Jenkins (servantsofgrace.org)
Rating: 5 Stars

“Beeke and Smalley do an excellent job in what they aim to do. They explain the Puritans’ positions on preparatory grace, and they refute the false claims of modern scholars who misinterpret the Puritans’ thoughts… The authors are academic in pursuit of biblical truth, and I commend them for that. Prepared by Grace, for Grace is a fine result of their hard work.”
Reviewer: Elliot Kang (elliotkang.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I encourage all who want a better understanding of how the Puritans thought and believed about God’s grace for the sinners, to get a copy of this book and start reading.”
Reviewer: LaTawnia Klintz (latawniakreviews.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“With the resurgence of Reformed Theology that has been spreading for the past few years, it is good to read up on the puritans and what they taught from the Bible. This book is an excellent collection of theology from the puritans on such a controversial topic that should encourage us not only in evangelism but in the preaching of the Bible.”
Reviewer: Chris Land (keepingthemainthing.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I for one, found the book interesting in the fact that I could see into the world and thoughts of the great Puritan theologians of old. Their love for God and truth, and the steps they would take for the freedom to practice their faith is inspiring. I also came away with a greater understanding of the entire “event” of salvation. So often, we settle for a simplistic, vague understanding, when we should long to immerse ourselves into the depths of these glorious truths.”
Reviewer: Brandon Lehr (my-livinghope.blogspot.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“My general impression of this book is very favorable.  It is easy to read and follow, and has opened my eyes to a facet of our Savior’s grace that, to be honest, I had not given much thought or consideration to in the past.  It has, on a personal level, driven me to a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the grace that was exercised towards me (and all of my brothers and sisters in Christ) by the True and Living God.”
Reviewer: Justin Combs (arcticpilgrim.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“Whenever I read a book by Joel Beeke, I come away with a greater desire to know God in Christ Jesus with the same depth, ardor and sincerity as the Puritans did. Encountering this book was no exception. I recommend it!”
Reviewer: Kevin Fiske (kevinfiske.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I enjoyed reading the quotes of the various Puritans, but it took a lot of concentration, because these people wrote many years ago.  I thought Joel R. Beeke and Paul M. Smalley could have written this book in an easy to read format, because it might be difficult for the average person to read.  It would work well for a college text. I would recommend this book, because we need to know the different ways people think and how God can lead us to Christ.”
Reviewer: Rani Grant (christsbridge.blogspot.com)
Rating: 3 Stars

“This is a well reasoned and interesting account of Puritan theology. Because of the academic nature of this book, I do not recommend it for general consumption but anyone with an interest in theology or history (or historical theology) will appreciate the benefits of this book. If you are looking for an introduction to the theology of the Puritans, look elsewhere because the focus of this book is too narrow for that. But the initiated will appreciate this.”
Reviewer: James Matichuk (thoughtsprayersandsongs.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“[Prepared by Grace, For Grace] shows that the Puritans thought that “preparation is Christ’s loving pursuit of the hostile soul, casting down everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, so that ultimately, through the gift of faith, the sinner receives Him.  Thus preparation is Christ-centered, not man-centered.”  AMEN!”
Reviewer: Joey Parker (parkerjreviews.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I heartily recommend this book and am very grateful for Professors Beeke and Smalley and Reformation Heritage Books for this production.  A worthy addition to any serious theological library.”
Reviewer: Ryan Rickard (declinationblog.wordpress.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

[Prepared by Grace, For Grace] is written more along academic lines, although I believe anyone would benefit from reading it. You will have a better understanding of how the Holy Spirit was working in your life even before you made a decision to make Christ your Lord.”
Reviewer: David Shaw (humblyservingchrist.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“If you’re interested in the topic of preparation or historical theology, you’ll love Prepared by Grace, For Grace. The authors are even-handed and survey a smorgasbord of Puritan writing and secondary scholarship. I appreciated many times the way they quoted larger sections of these writings to set the context. It’s slightly more academic than your standard fare, but the work is worth the prize.”
Reviewer: Mathew Sims (graceforsinners.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“This is a serious book for serious believers, for the doctrinally astute, for a upper college or seminary level student. Prepared By Grace for Grace is weighty, yet it’s not ponderous. It is most certainly not ‘milk’ for babes in Christ. This would be that medium-rare cooked Kobi ribeye steak that only a connoisseur of the ‘meat of the Word’ will read and be able to use to great benefit.”
Reviewer: Kevin Sorensen (aclutteredmind.org)
Rating: 4 Stars

“I’ve read a couple of other books by Joel Beeke. I’ve really enjoyed his books in the past, and this one was one of the best… Great audiences for this book are: people interested in evangelism, pastors, group leaders, those involved in grooming church leaders and adult Sunday School classes.”
Reviewer: Asa Veek (worldofasa.blogspot.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“the authors convincingly make their case that Puritan teaching was unified among themselves and with Continental reformers, biblically sound in teaching purely divine, gracious preparation for purely divine, gracious salvation in this highly recommended overview of an important topic in soteriology. It will be helpful for those seeking to understand more of the great redemptive salvation into which all genuine believers in Christ have been divinely called.”
Reviewer: Douglas Wallace (pilgrimsontheway.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“Recommended for pastors and those who have a heart for seeing the church present the Gospel with biblical integrity.”
Reviewer: Gary Ware (garyware.me)
Rating: NA

“This is a delightful book which paints a historical portrait of a central Puritan doctrine in vivid colors.  Beeke is a very good historian and his volume is loaded with historical nuggets of delight.  Step by step, phase by phase, development by development he unfolds the map of doctrinal history… Those interested in the key question of the way in which souls are prepared for the reception of salvation would do well to read it.”
Reviewer: Jim West (zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com)
Rating: NA

“Beeke and Smalley do an excellent job of guiding readers through the thickets of seventeenth-century literature, and the book, believe it or not, is a pleasure to read.”
Reviewer: Sarah White (awonderfulprovidence.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“This text is helpful, highlighting the role/work of the Holy Spirit, the power of conviction, and power of the Gospel for Salvation. While the title of the book focuses on preparation, I would highly encourage readers (both reformed & non-reformed) to prepare themselves for the reading of this text and to not open the book with theological ammo in hand, ready for destruction.”
Reviewer: Louis Zinc (louiszinc.tumblr.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“This book surveys Puritan literature in order to assess their views on the preparation of sinners for salvation. It is somewhat technical, but gives some interesting perspectives on a neglected subject. Various perspectives on preparation are compared and help clarify the issues.”
Reviewer: Emmanuel Durand (erdurand.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“[Prepared by Grace, For Grace] will prove to be immensely helpful for those serious about Puritan theology. It’s a tough read, but if you are committed to do some hard digging–scholar or not– you will find a few, precious diamonds to take with you.”
Reviewer: James Pruch (jamespruch.wordpress.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

“The authors accomplished the remarkable task of presenting the Puritan preachers as loving individuals concerned with the eternal salvation of souls with its assurance in Christ rather than just outward display of good works… this is a thought provoking read allowing the reader enough interest for further personal study.”
Reviewer: Karen Chevalier (buildingherhouse.blogspot.com)
Rating: 5 Stars

“if you have an interest in Puritan history or their theology, this book is fascinating. The author spends time with each key supporter of preparationism and therefore, the reader gets a bird’s eye view of the theological conflict surrounding this doctrine (primarily in the 17th century) and some of the extreme variations within.”
Reviewer: Clint Letterman (pastpresentblog.com)
Rating: 3 Stars

“It’s in some ways an academic book, and deserves a more thorough and scholarly review than a blog and an Amazon recommendation can give it. And I am sure it will get it – watch in the pages of the more serious Christian magazines! But for what it’s worth, this humble reviewing blogger found this demanding book very helpful. Good stuff!”
Reviewer: Alan Davey (daveys2france.blogspot.fr)
Rating: 5 Stars

“I enjoyed this book as I enjoy History generally and Church History specifically as well as Biographies of men of God and this book blends both into one. I look on this book as satisfying in one way but leaving me with a desire that the authors would extract the shorter book that could be written on the working God in the soul of man.”
Reviewer: Richard Lucian
Rating: 5 Stars

“This is the kind of book that I relish and one that is written more from an academic standpoint. I am not saying that it would not be beneficial for others, but this book is geared for a niche market…  it will reward the reader with a greater appreciation of how doctrines are developed.”
Reviewer: Martin Pitcher (nauvoopastor.com)
Rating: 4 Stars

Where to Buy:
Look for Prepared by Grace, for Grace: The Puritans on God’s Ordinary Way of Leading Sinners to Christ by Joel R. Beeke & Paul M. Smalley at your local Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

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