書評:先存恩典


編輯室 2015年10月31日

It is an odd fact, but nonetheless a fact (as Tom Schreiner has rightly complained), that Arminians have not done a thorough job of articulating what the concept of prevenient grace means, and why it is important. Fortunately, there is now a book by Brian Shelton, which he kindly sent me a copy of, to remedy that deficiency. The book is 283 pages long and covers the subject from stem to stern, including discussions of Scripture, historical and systematic theology. Shelton shows that the idea makes sense, and in fact is vital to a proper theology of human fallenness and God’s grace. My concern, as I’ve already expressed it in The Problem with Evangelical Theology soon out in a second edition, is that the exegetical foundations for this concept would appear to be weak, and one shouldn’t build huge theological edifices, no matter how splendid or consistent, on weak foundations. This post will then focus on what Brian says about the exegetical evidence for the concept, which takes up 44 pages of the book (but in fact the first ten pages of that chapter mainly deal with human depravity and original sin, not with prevenient grace).