Grace Defined and Defended by Kevin DeYoung: A Book Review
I will admit that I didn’t know what I was getting into when I picked up Kevin DeYoung’s newest book, Grace Defined and Defended. Maybe I should’ve read the subtitle, What a 400-Year-Old Confession Teaches Us about Sin, Salvation, and the Sovereignty of God. I wasn’t expecting a history lesson on the Canons of Dort, but that is exactly what I got. Even more so, I needed such a lesson. We all could stand to know more of where Christianity has come from.
Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina and assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte). I’ve had the privilege of hearing DeYoung speak on numerous occasions and I’ve read a couple of other books he’s written. I always enjoy his style of writing and this book is no exception, but it is different.
DeYoung writes in a very accessible way, but this book brings out a lot of history. I think it is history that we need to understand no matter where you fall on the soteriology spectrum, but some will not pick this up just because of the nature of the book. DeYoung walks the reader through the Canons of Dort chapter by chapter laying out the actual statements of the confession then offering his own insight and implication afterward. DeYoung says, “We live in an age where passion is often considered an adequate substitute for precision.” When having a discussion, integrity demands we understand the argument we’re advocating for and not just speak about it passionately. That is what makes Dort so important in the salvation debate. It is the original source spelling out the doctrines of grace. That is what makes DeYoung’s newest book so important.
In Grace Defined and Defended, DeYoung gives the reader everything they need to know regarding all things surrounding Dort. He gives history, definitions, and even gives the statements from the opposing side in and Appendix. He does all of this in a short, easily readable package. “At its very heart, the Canons of Dort are about the nature of grace—supernatural, unilateral, sovereign, effecting, redeeming, resurrecting grace, with all of its angularity, all of its offense to human pride, and all of its comfort the weary soul,” DeYoung says. In writing this book, DeYoung has taken readers back to the heart of the matter. He has shed new light on an old confession. No matter which side you fall on in the salvation debate, I think you will find Grace Defined and Defended to shed even more light on your current understanding.
You can pick up your copy of Grace Defined and Defended on Amazon.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.