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The Grace of Godliness

Charlie Wingard

Charlie Wingard

Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson and Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Yazoo City, Mississippi

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In my opinion, the best manuals of the Christian life remain the historic Reformed confessions and catechisms, and especially the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms, the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort. In them we learn what we are to believe about God and man, the way of salvation, the shape of godly behavior, and the life of prayer.

Michael Barrett’s The Grace of Godliness: An introduction to doctrine and piety in the Canons of Dort places the Canons in their early 17th century historical context and provides a good exposition of its main points. Both the Canons and Barrett’s fine commentary identify the vital connection between the doctrines of God’s sovereign grace and Christian piety.

Barrett wisely observes: “”[T]o theologize is to worship, and should we theologize wrong we will worship wrong.” (126) A careful reading of the Canons will evoke our adoration, thanksgiving, and comfort in the Lord.

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