My new book, The Means of Grace, hit the digital bookshelves a few days ago. As you can imagine, this is exciting for me personally. I wrote this book because of how strongly I believe in the importance of its subject matter. And I think it could be a real benefit to Christians who are looking for a way to bring a disciplined pattern to their discipleship.
I wanted to do a little writeup on The Means of Grace for anyone who might be interested in it for personal use or for small group study. I’ll do that below in Q&A format. If you have any questions after reading it, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below this post!
What is The Means of Grace about?
This is a book about those practices and habits that bring us closer to Jesus Christ by opening us up to the power of his grace. They are drawn, either directly or indirectly, from the Bible. My own understanding of them is deeply shaped by the way that John Wesley taught about them. That comes through in some significant ways in the book. At times the means of grace are called by other names: spiritual disciplines, practices of discipleship, and the like. Those are good terms, but I believe that embracing the term means of grace is important because it reminds us that the source of their power is indeed the grace of God.
Who was it written for?
The Means of Grace is geared toward a broad reading audience. My hope is that churches will find it to be a fruitful book for small group or congregational use. It can also be read profitably on an individual basis.
How is it organized?
The book begins with an introductory chapter that lays out a Wesleyan understanding of grace. Thereafter it is divided into three sections: instituted means of grace, prudential means of grace, and general means of grace. While these terms may sound technical, they are explained easily enough in the text. And the individual means of grace ought to be familiar to people with any familiarity with the Christian faith: prayer, searching the Scriptures, fasting, the Lord’s Supper, etc.
Most of the book’s chapters are arranged in similar fashion. Each of the means of grace is explained as it appears in the biblical witness. The way in which they are framed in Wesleyan spirituality follows. Finally, each of the means of grace is described as it can find a place in daily discipleship. The point is to show how the means of grace are grounded in a biblical and Wesleyan framework, while also showing how practical they are for day-to-day use.
Why did you write it?
I wanted to offer Christians a practical guide for how the means of grace can become the “pattern of the Christian life.” I believe this the way that John Wesley envisaged them, and I think it is the way they can be most effective in our lives today.
Does it have a study guide?
Yes it does. There is a “Discussion Starters” section at the back of the book intended to facilitate small group study.
Are there any other resources to go along with it?
The book is put out by Seedbed Publishing. Later this year, Seedbed will be producing a video series that will accompany the book as another tool for small group and congregational use. I’ll update my readers on this blog when those videos have been published.
That’s all for now. Let me know if I’ve left anything out that would be helpful to share. And if you check it out, let me know what you think!