Let me start by saying I would rate this book 3 stars according to the Goodreads rating system. My review on Proof is mixed so I will divide my response accordingly to present why…
Proof is modern day primer for the doctrinal position of God’s Grace from more of a reformed perspective. It uses the acronym of Proof to lay out the design of the topic. The acronym is:
- Planned Grace
- Resurrecting Grace
- Outrageous Grace
- Overcoming Grace
- Forever Grace
The author’s do a great job of laying out the topic, developing each section on Grace and then driving home the truth’s and providing you with the opportunity to decide how you will now live your life based on understand the Grace of God.
You will be able to draw many principles that you then can turn into action points, into applications for your life. You will be comforted by the Grace of God and His Mercy as well.
The authors, Jones and Montgomery do well at presenting the topic with comfortable whit and relevant language for instance, they use zombie analogies to connect with culture. There are even some good nuggets in this book that helps the reader understand grace. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
The empty wisdom of human religion proclaims, “What goes around comes around. God helps those who help themselves. You get what you pay for”— but these are lies that lead only to bondage and despair. The gospel of grace speaks an entirely different word, a word that’s filled with paradox and mystery. By God’s grace, we get what someone else paid for. By grace, God helps those who not only can’t help themselves, they don’t even want to. By grace, what goes around stops at the foot of the cross, never to come around again. (p.17)
“Grace means God’s love in action toward people who merited the opposite of love. Grace means God moving heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves.” (p.18)
What Is Grace? God’s wonderful acceptance of us not because we have earned it or deserved it but because he gives it us freely at Christ’s expense. (p.23)
Our need for a substitute is clearly just that — a deep and desperate need. But not one of us deserves the substitute that God’s righteousness demands. That’s what makes God’s “amazing” grace so amazing! On the cross, God did the unimaginable: The Lawmaker took the penalty that lawbreakers deserve. (p.36)
While the authors do well to lay out their points on grace what I found in this book was more so a defense of Calvinism. Not exactly what I expected to find. I wanted to read this book to refresh and renew perspective on God’s grace which often times becomes too easy to downplay or take for granted. This book did not do that for me. I ended the book with a better understanding of Calvinism and the doctrine of grace from this perspective. The authors did do a good job at presenting some defenses to the common assumptions that divide people from Calvinistic theology.
If you just want to be overwhelmed and reframe perspective on the grace of God then I would consider choosing another book. Don’t get me wrong there are large nuggets of truth that help the reader see God’s grace in a new way; sadly it just doesn’t come out as the central theme of this book.