When I lived in Seattle one of the main questions I got from many non-Christians friend was, “I live a moral life, and I’m a good person, so why do I need the gospel?” At first glance, this might seem like a no-brainer issue to most Christians, and they would be right to think that. The truth though is this is one of the major hurdles that non-Christians have to overcome in order to see their need for the gospel. Many of the answers related to this issue lie in the doctrine of common grace. The Problem of Good When the World Seems Fine without God edited by D. Marion Clark was written to address this issue from a wide variety of backgrounds and explores God’s common grace and its daily implications on our lives.
This book has two parts. Part one considers an exposition of the doctrine of common grace. In this section, Dr. Steve Lawson looks at restraining sin and wrath while Dr. Sean Michael Lucas looks at the good gifts of common grace. Part two considers the application of common grace for worship and life. Here, D. Marion Clark looks at worship and glorifying the Creator and Provider. In chapter four, John Leonard looks at sharing the gospel in light of common grace. Chapter five considers common grace and loving your neighbor, chapter six looks at the question, “How should we then lie in the world?” Chapter seven considers the question, “How may we learn from the world? Dr. Paul David Tripp in chapter eight looks at pleasure, and Dr. Marion Clark in chapter nine talks about the “good” neighbor and concludes with a look at the limits of common grace.
The Problem of Good is a really good book that will help readers to understand the neglected doctrine in common grace. Common grace relates to life in the present world, with or without a loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Only saving grace brings people into a personal relationship with the living God that lasts forever. Thus, it is important to recognize the limitations, as well as the implications of common grace. Little work has been done in this particular field which is why this book is so helpful. This book will serve as a primer for lay Christians on up to seasoned scholars on the doctrine of common grace. I highly recommend this book and believe it will help Christians understand this neglected but critical doctrine.
Author: Edited by D. Marion Clark
Publisher: P&R (2014)
I received this book for free from P&R for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to his wife, Sarah. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021), The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022), and Contentment: The Journey of a Lifetime (Theology for Life, 2024). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.