Description : Joy comes to a person who lives a life filled with God’s grace — enjoying it, being empowered by it, and freely sharing it. But we cannot earn grace and obligate God to give us grace. However, we can certainly create the right conditions — the right state of heart and mind — to find grace when it comes and be ready to receive it. And when we do receive it and use it according to his will, we can enter into a virtuous cycle of grace that will bring us the lasting joy we earnestly seek.
Description : In this Very Short Introduction, Jon Balserak explores major ideas associated with the Calvinist system of thought. Beginning during the Protestant Reformation in cities like Zurich, Geneva, and Basel, Calvinismâalso known as Reformed Theologyâspread rapidly throughout Europe and the New World, eventually making its way to the African Continent and the East. Balserak examines how Calvinist thought and practice spread and took root, helping shape church and society. Much of contemporary thought, especially western thought, on everything from theology to civil government, economics, the arts, work and leisure, education, and the family has been influenced by Calvinism. Balserak explores this influence. He also examines common misconceptions and objections to Calvinism, and sets forth a Calvinist understanding of God, the world, humankind, and the meaning of life. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Description : This book is, along with Outward Signs (OUP 2008), a sequel to Phillip Cary's Augustine and the Invention of the Inner Self (OUP 2000). In this work, Cary traces the development of Augustine's epochal doctrine of grace, arguing that it does not represent a rejection of Platonism in favor of a more purely Christian point of view a turning from Plato to Paul, as it is often portrayed. Instead, Augustine reads Paul and other Biblical texts in light of his Christian Platonist inwardness, producing a new concept of grace as an essentially inward gift. For Augustine, grace is needed first of all to heal the mind so it may see God, but then also to help the will turn away from lower goods to love God as its eternal Good. Eventually, over the course of Augustine's career, the scope of the soul's need for grace expands outward to include not only the inner vision of the intellect and the power of love but even the initial gift of faith. At every stage, Augustine insists that divine grace does not compromise or coerce the human will but frees, heals, and helps it, precisely because grace is not an external force but an inner gift of delight leading to true happiness. As his polemic against the Pelagians develops, however, he does attribute more to grace and less to the power of free will. In the end, it is God's choice which makes the ultimate difference between the saved and the damned, and we cannot know why he chooses to save one person and not another. From this Augustinian doctrine of divine choice or election stem the characteristic pastoral problems of predestination, especially in Protestantism. A more external, indeed Jewish, doctrine of election would be more Biblical, Cary suggests, and would result in a less anxious experience of grace. Along with its companion work, Outward Signs, this careful and insightful book breaks new ground in the study of Augustine's theology of grace and sacraments.
Description : This book is primarily a biography of Richard Cookston Grace, but it includes short stories of his life, travel journals from thirty years of international travel and his ancestor family history, as well as some genealogical history.