Wednesday, January 17, 2007

By His Grace and for His Glory, 20th Anniversary Edition

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Twenty years ago Tom Nettles' book, By His Grace and for His Glory, was first published in paperback by Baker. In it Nettles argues that the doctrines of grace were the demonstrably theological consensus within the Southern Baptist Convention from its beginning in 1845 until the second decade of the 20th century. His thesis has never been seriously challenged. In fact, it has hardly even been engaged by those who disagree--even by those who disagree loudly and with much bravado.

I am delighted to announce that Founders Press is now prepared to release a 20th anniversary edition of this outstanding book. For the next 4 weeks (through Feb. 16), it is available at a
pre-publication price of only $19.50 (plus S/H). I know that is lot of money, but the book is 486 pages, contains 24 sketches and retails for $34. 95. To get the discounted price, you must order the book online from the Founders' bookstore. The first link above will take you to the appropriate page.

This excellently bound hardback edition is completely repaginated and has been expanded at several key points. The historical section has 2 new chapters, bringing the book up-to-date. How up-to-date, you ask? Good question. Let me simply say Nettles interacts with men and movements that have emerged to places of influence and prominence in Baptist life over the last twenty years and, in fact, over the last few months. Of course, as is his custom, he does so carefully and graciously. In these chapters you will read about Steve Lemke, Paige Patterson, Malcom Yarnell, Frank Page, Al Mohler, Adrian Rogers, Hershel Hobbs, Dale Moody, Phil Newton, Fred Malone, Mark Dever, Joe Nesom, Roy Hargrave and others.

In addition, the book contains new sketches drawn by Dr. Nettles' son, Robert, who also painted the portrait that appears on the cover. That portrait demonstrates the author's own understanding of the progress of theological understanding and practice throughout history. The Apostle Paul represents the inspired authors of Scripture. Calvin reresents the systematization of Scripture truth in the Protestant movement and Spurgeon represents the clarification and application of that revealed truth in Baptist life. The portrait reminds me of John Broadus' famous statement that was inspired by his vision of the Alps:
The people who sneer at what is called Calvinism might as well sneer at Mont Blanc. We are not in the least bound to defend all of Calvin's opinions or actions, but I do not see how any one who really understands the Greek of the Apostle Paul or the Latin of Calvin and Turretin can fail to see that these latter did but interpret and formulate substantially what the former teaches.
This new edition of Nettles' book is due by the end of January. Through a special arrangement, a few advance copies arrived in time for the annual Founders Ministries' Board meeting in Cape Coral. The printer did a great job.
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While much of our nation bundled up against the bitter cold of winter storms, we were able to meet on the lanai of our hosts, Don and Barb Reisinger. It may be hard to believe but at times the warm temperature almost made us seek refuge in air conditioning! Such is winter in Southwest Florida.
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I presented Dr. Nettles with an advanced copy of this new edition of his book during our meeting. When I first saw a copy, I could not help but thank the Lord for this book's usefulness over the last twenty years and pray for its even greater usefulness over the next twenty. If you genuinely long for reformation among Baptists, I urge you to secure a copy of this book and do all that you can to put a copy into the hands of every pastor, seminary professor and denominational worker who you think will read it. Purchasing and distributing this book will be an investment in reformation.

Finally, join me in praying that the Lord will make this book a blessing to thousands of church leaders in this generation and generations to come.

31 comments:

Fred said...

Years ago, I was given a copy of By His Grace and for His Glory. I saw how the Doctrines of Grace burned in our forefathers hearts. I discovered that they saw these glorious truths as foundational to all we do as Baptists. I pray with the new edition will come a rekindling of that first fire and a rediscovery of those truths that exalt the grace of God and humble the pride of man.

Andrew said...

Completely off-topic...

a while ago you spoke at my Church and talked a little while about how you would convince those in the younger generation of people planning on going into ministry to stay with the SBC. Could you reiterate that in detail? I am struggling with that very issue right now. What advantages does the SBC really offer? What disadvantages do you think will bog us down? Do the advantages really outweigh the disadvantages?

Thanks for all you do.

scripturesearcher said...

I am honored to know Dr. Thomas Nettles, one of the most faithful and courageous men of God living today.

Tom is a Christian gentleman and careful historian whose pilgrimage on earth (and ministry in several theological seminaries) has blessed, encouraged and inspired hundreds of men and women around the world.

I am honored to have personally given more than 30 copies of his great book BY HIS GRACE AND FOR HIS GLORY to younger (and older) preachers through the years. This was when I was younger, richer and the cost of this very valuable book was less than it is in these grossly inflated times.

I intend to purchase a copy of this
special anniversary issue and urge
all readers of this blog to do the same.

willreformed said...

I have ordered my copy and look forward to reading it.
YBIC
Will

Tom said...

Andrew:

I have written about this in an article a few years ago. You might get some insight from it.

B Nettles said...

Can it really be over 20 years ago that he and I would have "healthy discussions" at summer reunions and Christmases in Mississippi? Over 20 years ago when in frustration I remarked, "Would you just write all this down so that I can digest it?" Praise the Lord for older brothers who love their pesky little brothers! Praise the Lord for such a careful and Scriptural handling of the Doctrines of Grace.

Timmy said...

Three Tom's I am deeply grateful to God for their influence in my life:

1. Tom Brister (my father)
2. Tom Ascol
3. Tom Nettles

May the Lord continue to use you to make an impact for the kingdom of God and the upbuilding of His Church.

Rhett said...

I just ordered a copy last night. I am very excited about this book and want to thank you all for getting it updated and published so that us "younger than 30" people can have copies readily available!

God bless!

RK

Tom said...

Bill:

It is hard to believe that it has already been 20 years. The Lord has done some wonderful things during that time. I along with many others share your appreciation for your brother's writing ministry.

Tom said...

Timmy:

Thanks, brother! You are a great encouragement to me!

ta

johnMark said...

Tom,

Have you ever heard of Dr. Z.T. Cody and his essay “Are Baptists Calvinist” which Peter wrote about here:
http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2006/12/are_baptists_ca.html

Given the topic and Dr. Nettles’ renewed book, which I will order, I thought it might make interesting discussion.

Here is another post concerning SB’s, Jesse Mercer and Georgia history.
http://peterlumpkins.typepad.com/peter_lumpkins/2007/01/doctor_jesse_me.html

I also have the book “Jesse Mercer and Evangelistic Calvinism” which is an interesting read.

Mark

Doug said...

Here is a good question to ask when considering a break with the SBC: "What could I do tomorrow that I cannot do today if I were to leave tonight?"

Tom, this along with the rest of your article you referenced make some very good points about why NOT to leave the SBC.

I, however, as a non-SBC Baptist pastor, have another question. We are currently unaffiliated. Are there good reasons why we SHOULD join the SBC? Keeping in mind that I am reformed and am not looking for a fight from non-reformed SBCers in Maryland...

Doug

Tom said...

maDoug:

I will make a brief attempt to address your question. First, I should say that I do not think everyone with our doctrinal convictions can or should be Southern Baptist. The same reasoning that I employed in the article can be used here. What can you do tomorrow that you can't do today if you joined tonight. The answer is "lots of things"--including accessing IMB opportunities. Plus it would give you opportunity for closer fellowship with other Baptists, opening the possibility of mutual benefit. Additionally, you could become more involved in the good things that are taking place in the SBC, including the conversation about our identity as confessional Baptists.

This is too brief, I know. I would be glad to talk with you further about it if you want to give me a call sometime next week. You can email me off of the Founders web site.

Doug said...

Thanks, Tom. I'll email you later.

Doug

Bill Moore said...

What great joy to read that By His Grace and for His Glory is updated and reprinted! One of the great blessings during this pilgrimage has been to have Dr. Nettles as my PhD supervisor and friend.

Tom, I really appreciate Founders' seeing this project through.

Bell

Bill Moore said...

I see I have taken to signing "Bell" in my advancing age. :)

Must have something to do with stiff fingers resulting from the ice that's now melting in upstate SC! Don't you wish you were here, Tom?

Bill

GUNNY said...

I have two other copies, both paperback & hardback, but I can't resist the new & improved.

; )

Hey, any excuse to get another book ... I'm in.

Those others can be my loan out copies, which may mean they never come back, of course.

Doug said...

Just ordered! Thanks, Tom, for making this available. I am still salivating over my Boyce's Abstract I got for Christmas!!!

Tom said...

Bill (or Bell):

What a privilege God granted you to study under Tom! I took every course he taught at SWBTS and would have loved to have pursued doctoral studies under him. You will appreciate the updated version of his book.

I hope you thaw out soon. It got down to the high 50s last night, but we survived! :-)

ta

Stephen Thomas said...

Gee, I have such a nice slighly older copy of the book...Can I trade it in for the revised one at a discount price, like with a car? Heh heh heh.

BTW, I see that a Founders Conference is going to be held in Lake City, FL. There is a cult there that contains many of my relatives. I won't go into the details, but just take my word for it when I say that we would all call it a cult. If any of you are going to the conference, watch where you shop because the "End-Timers" or "Meade Ministries" people own a lot of business, and they love to rip off the "Gentiles," cuz God wants them to have all of our money.

Kevin Rhyne said...

Tom,

I just ordered a copy today. I have never read it. I did not grow up Baptist and am fascinated by the history of the SBC.

I have read Dr. Nettles’ book Ready for Reformation and am looking forward to a book on Baptist history that is supported by scholarship of his caliber...

Earl M. Blackburn said...

What a great book. The revision should be even greater! Our church plans on buying two boxes to give away. We plan on giving a copy to our DOM, our state President, 1st VP, 2nd VP, our state Executive and one to every pastor who attends our area Founders Fraternal. May Christ grant the revision much sucess.

Tom said...

Mark:

I have not heard of Cody before. The article that Peter printed is new to me. From the little interaction that I have had with Peter he strikes me as a good guy. I would not put the weight that he does on this one article, though it certainly is worth noting. I suggest that a person take this one article by Cody and measure it against the considerable documentation that Nettles puts forth in By His Grace and For His Glory. Then base your conclusions about our history on wherever the evidence leads.

Tom said...

Earl:

What a great idea! That kind of thinking is what we need in order to promote the ongoing work of reformation in local churches. I am very encouraged by this, and by Gunny's stated intentions and the comments of others as well who intend to help make Nettles' book widely known. Wouldn't it be great if someone (or "ones") to whom the Lord has entrusted significant resources would be willing to underwrite the distribution of hundreds or even thousands of copies?

Even without that if 100 churches would do what Heritage in Shreveport is doing, thousands of these books would be placed in the hands of church leaders. That is a hopeful prospect!

The D.O.G. House said...

Tom & Co.,

I have had 3 copies. The Lord provides me with excellent opportunities to converse with certain other pastors in our county & give them this book, so YES I need a new copy now!

I met Bro. Nettles @ Bethel last summer. I went to him and asked if he would sign a copy of his book I had just bought (...but was back at the hotel). He said he would be glad to. I forgot to bring it to him till the last day. By this time, I was able to have a conversation with him, see him in worship (man, he can sing!), and watch him be gracious to those around him, and here more wonderful things from some others there that new him well.

I never did ask him to sign the book. I was grateful that I had gotten to meet the man (a man of god in whom there is no guile!). That was good enough for me. I am...

Grateful for grace,
The DOGpreacher

Rob Mart said...

I can't believe this God awful portrait on the cover of a Baptist history book! To put the Apostle Paul and Spurgeon along side the Christian persecutor, John Calvin, is repulsive. But then you Calvinistic Baptist are so willing to overlook the errors of the Protestants so long as they share the soterioligcal views. What a shame!

Andrew said...

K Mart,
Perhaps you saw the cover art and had yourself a cow without reading the post. Did you miss this part?

The portrait reminds me of John Broadus' famous statement that was inspired by his vision of the Alps:

"The people who sneer at what is called Calvinism might as well sneer at Mont Blanc. We are not in the least bound to defend all of Calvin's opinions or actions, but I do not see how any one who really understands the Greek of the Apostle Paul or the Latin of Calvin and Turretin can fail to see that these latter did but interpret and formulate substantially what the former teaches."

C.T. Lillies said...

Well I've ordered a copy for the reading table and one to give away--should I actually encounter a pastor who's interested.

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

C.T. Lillies said...

Wow. That sounded cynical didn't it?

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

C.T. Lillies said...

For what its worth I found just such a pastor last week. He lives right up the street from us and was delighted to have my extra copy. Thanks again for making it available.

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9

C.T. Lillies said...

For what its worth I found just such a pastor last week. He lives right up the street from us and was delighted to have my extra copy. Thanks again for making it available.

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."
--2 Timothy 2:9