It’s time to open your eyes to the freeing power of authentic grace—grace that releases us from trying to earn God's favor, grace that enables us to rest in the finished work of Christ, grace that liberates from the tyranny of trying to please others.
That's what the theology of Martin Luther and John Calvin did in their own day for the people around them. Time magazine recently dubbed Calvinism as one of the top ten ideas changing the world right now. And yet most of these discussions center on the issue of predestination or on whether particular people agree with the five points of Calvinism. Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones think it's time to rescue the theology of the Reformers from such stale scholasticizing and to declare anew the dangerous and intoxicating joy of the gospel that they
PROOF stands for planned grace, resurrecting grace, outrageous grace, overcoming grace, and forever grace. The authors offer proof of God’s grace upon which people can stand against the attacks of legalism that have led many of God's people to lose sight of the freedom and joy of the gospel. And this proof is intoxicating—it’s like a 200-proof drink that will leave you spiritually staggering at its effect on your life. God’s grace not only declares us “not guilty!” in his presence, it changes our relationship with God—forever.?
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About the Author
Daniel Montgomery is founding pastor of Sojourn Community Church, a multi-site congregation with three campuses in Louisville, Kentucky and one in New Albany, Indiana. Sojourn began in 2000 with about sixty people and has grown into a community of nearly four thousand. Daniel now serves Sojourn as pastor of teaching, leadership, and church planting. He has served on a leadership task force for the Southern Baptist Convention and on the board of directors for the Acts 29 church planting network. In 2011, Daniel cofounded the Sojourn Network to multiply churches in North America and beyond. He is the coauthor of Faith-Mapping (Crossway, 2013).
Timothy Paul Jones serves as professor of leadership at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and works in the Sojourn Kids children's ministry at Sojourn Community Church. Before coming to Louisville, Timothy led churches in Missouri and Oklahoma as a pastor and an associate pastor. He has been widely recognized as a leading writer and researcher in the fields of apologetics, church history, and family ministry. He has authored or contributed to more than a dozen books, including Misquoting Truth (Inter Varsity, 2007), Christian History Made Easy (Rose, 2010), and the CBA bestseller The Da Vinci Codebreaker (Bethany House, 2005).
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Dangerous Delight of Divine Grace
Human hopes falter and fail. Asked to tell a story in only six words, one novelist responded with these words: “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Human hopes can fall to pieces. But here is a beautiful bit of good news when we consider how often our plans can fall apart: This never happens to God. God knows all things, past, present, and future–so nothing happens that he cannot predict. God is powerful above and beyond all things–so no challenge ever arises that he can’t stop. That’s good news for believers in Jesus Christ.
If you’ve trusted Jesus, it’s not because you planned out your life in your fleeting and faulty wis-dom. It’s because God set his heart on you from eternity past; God made this choice knowing eve-rything about you–past, present, and future! As a result, nothing can change his choice to pour out his grace on you. Not your sin. Not your fears. Not the darkness that gnaws at your heart that no one else knows about. Nothing in your future. Nothing in your past. Nothing in all creation can sep-arate you from God’s love. Nothing. God proved his love for you once and for all through the cross of Jesus and the empty tomb–and nothing can change that determination to save you by his grace. His grace was…
PLANNED from all eternity, knowing that he would
RESURRECT your lifeless soul to lavish grace into your life that is
OUTRAGEOUS because it doesn’t depend on what you’ve done and
OVERCOMING because it transforms your desires so that you long for Jesus. Because this grace depends on what God has already determined and done, it lasts
Together, that spells “PROOF,” which is precisely what God has provided in Jesus and poured out into our lives through the gospel: Proof of grace that will never let us go because it never depended on us in the first place; it depends instead on a God who is greater than anything we could ask or imagine.
Chapter One: Planned Grace
Chapter Two: Resurrecting Grace
Chapter Three: Outrageous Grace
Chapter Four: Overcoming Grace
Chapter Five: Forever Grace
Chapter Six: PROOF in Action
Conclusion: The Beautiful Paradox
What People are Saying About This
Daniel Montgomery doesn’t just understand grace … no, grace arrested him, then grace tutored him, and now grace compels him to help others stand amazed. Dave Harvey, Pastor, Four Oaks Community Church
PROOF paints a powerful picture that the gospel is not a cheap bucket of grace that sits at the foot of the cross. Rather, the gospel is an ever-flowing, deep river of irresistible grace that flows from the foot of the cross. Brian Croft, Senior Pastor, Auburndale Baptist Church
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When TIME magazine described the "New Calvinism" as one of the top ten world-changing ideas in 2009, it posited the perception of Calvinism as a stale system of reactionary theology with "an utterly sovereign and micromanaging deity." While the title "Calvinism" can be argued as not the ideal title given to Reformed theology (Calvin himself would certainly object), the legacy of his theological thought approaches readers afresh in PROOF: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace. Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones team up to provide readers with a 21st century helping of Reformed theology that is sure to invigorate minds and awaken souls to the precious doctrines of grace hammered out in the Reformation and it's immediate progeny. PROOF stands for Planned Grace, Resurrecting Grace, Outrageous Grace, Overcoming Grace and Forever Grace. This acronym, argue Montgomery and Jones, more accurately reflects the thought of Reformed theology, particularly stemming from the Synod of Dort. Unfortunately, the not always helpful acronym TULIP paints Reformed theology in a negative light, focusing more on the things it is not than what it is. Portrayed in contrast to the Five Articles of Remonstrance (the formal declaration of Arminianism in the 17th century), the Canons of Dort shaped and formed the doctrines of Reformed theology which would later be summarized as the acronym TULIP (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the saints). It is these five points which most people associate with Calvinism. PROOF attempts to set the record straight and give readers a breath of fresh grace while upholding the life-giving doctrines forged in the fires of the Reformation. In their wake-up call to grace the authors state, "The untamed God gives underserved, unwarranted, unearned mercy. God shows grace, not due to any human deed or desire, but because He has a merciful plan – a plan that began before time and requires no contribution from any of us" (14). Montgomery and Jones, describing humanity as spiritual zombies in need of a resurrection, assert, "If God waited to give the gift of salvation until one of us made the right response, we would all be damned. That’s because, left to ourselves, none of us will ever desire what Jesus requires" (54). Encouraging the faithful in their perseverance the authors proclaim, "Grace is free and it is forever, but when God lavishes his grace on you, it changes you. It enables and inspires you to live out your faith openly, in a way that produces far more goodness than when we try to earn our salvation by good works, apart from grace" (pg. 114-115). Readers of all sorts will find PROOF satisfying. To the interested lay reader, PROOF provides a mix of winsome prose and academic footing. To the novice, PROOF will gently hold your hand while pointing to the stirring truth of God's word attesting to the breathtaking doctrines of grace. To the scholastic among us, PROOF will furnish you with a stout helping of theological reflection. Regardless of your entry point, PROOF will supply you with some hard-hitting grace which will likely leave you staggering at the wonderful love and awesome power of the Triune God. For those of us on the fence of Reformed theology (or firmly on the other side), PROOF will be a helpful read if for nothing else than to gain an accurate perspective of what Calvinism really stands for. I recommend those who would not own the label "Calvinist" to give PROOF a chance and let Montgomery and Jones walk you through the biblical and historical understanding of the Reformed doctrines of grace. For those who would more readily own the label "Calvinist," I invite you to take PROOF and let it re-orient you back to what is the most precious point about Calvinism–not the man for which it is named but the grace-filled God to whom it so passionately praises.
I understand what harsh of a delusion cheap grace can seem when you feel as though merit can earn favor from The Holy One and sin can cancel salvation. I have professed to be a Christ-follower for almost two years. I had heard the gospel message that "grace is undeserved". Yet as a hipocrite I would share the idea with nonbelievers and say Romans 3:23 says salvation is a gift through gracefully shed blood, yet at the same time, I felt like even being out spreading a gospel I hadn't fully believed made God have favor on me (certainly more than those Christians who weren't witnesses. Iam speaking in human terms.) This book takes Scripture and shines light for those who have lived to please God with the intention of saving our own eternity. Believe me. I said I believed that God loves us regardless of our performance, but I never could fully grasp the Truth. If you spend your life trying to earn God's love and acceptance, what happens when you fall short? You will. I have only read the first chapter of this book but it is eye-opening.