New Book: “John Bunyan & the Grace of Fearing God” by Paul M. Smalley & Joel R. Beeke


John Bunyan and the Grace of Fearing God
by Paul M. Smalley & Joel R. Beeke

AMZ: $14.99/£11.41 | RHB: $8



He was the author of the best-selling Christian book of all time. His Bible-saturated works have inspired generations of believers all over the world. And yet, as influential as it is, John Bunyan’s theology contains a unifying thread that is sorely neglected in the modern church: the vital importance of the fear of God.

Fearing God is seen by many as psychologically harmful—at odds with belief in a God of love. But Bunyan knew personally that the only freedom from a guilty fear of God’s wrath is a joyful, childlike fear of his holiness. Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley guide us through Bunyan’s life before exploring his writings to illuminate the true grace of fearing God.


“Wisdom requires it, Jesus emphasized it, the apostles encouraged it—and yet few things are more feared in contemporary Christianity than . . . the fear of God. This timely book . . . shows how the fear of God was, in contrast, the heartbeat of one of the most loved and admired of all Christians.”

Sinclair B. Ferguson, Dean of the Doctor of Ministry program, Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies

“We today need to read and treasure Bunyan. . . . Beeke and Smalley take the reader through the core of Bunyan’s corpus and whet the reader’s appetite to plunge afresh into Bunyan’s works.”

Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Authors:

Paul M. Smalley is a teaching assistant to Dr. Beeke at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and a bivocational pastor at Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, where he also serves as professor of systematic theology and homiletics. He is a pastor of the Heritage Netherlands Reformed Congregations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the author of several books, including Truth That Frees, The Quest for Full Assurance, and A Reader’s Guide to Reformed Literature.


Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
Publisher: P&R Publishing

Preparatory/Prevenient Grace From Prepared By Grace, For Grace Book – Rob Ventura

Prepared by Grace, for GraceOver at Reformation21, Rob Ventura points out a helpful book and delves deep into one of its chapters. He begins:

I trust that all of us desire to lead sinners to Christ in the most biblical and God honoring way possible. I’m sure that all who read this blog (and write for it) want to be used of the Lord to bring their unsaved friends and family members to Jesus. But how do we do this and from whom can we learn? This is where I have been extremely helped by Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley’s new book entitled Prepared by Grace, For Grace. This work teaches us from the great Puritans themselves how to do this most noble work in a way that squares with Scripture. Not only is this volume a helpful clarification on what the Puritans taught about this matter and a great antidote to much of the easy believism that is so rampant in our day, but it is also a prod to do the work of spreading the glorious gospel to the lost…


With the publisher’s permission, here are some key aspects of the book from chapter fourteen:


Positive Lessons from Puritan Preparation


Despite all these criticisms and cautions, the Puritan doctrine of preparation still offers a great deal of truth and wisdom. Here are several lessons we can learn from it. Puritan preparation…


1. assists the free offer of the gospel.

2. is thoroughly Reformed, not Roman Catholic or Arminian.

3. highlights the common work of the Holy Spirit.

4. engages sinners with the law but not with legalism.

5. respects the mystery of regeneration and its timing.

6. honors God as Creator and Savior.

7. reveals the sufficiency of Christ.

8. is biblical.

Read the rest (including explanation of the above points) or listen to readout [22 min.]