"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « Knowing Ourselves | Main | What is Most Savory to Your Soul - Christ or the World? »

    Book Review: “No One...”: When Jesus Says it, He Means it, by J. D. Wetterling

    Synopsis: “No One...”: When Jesus Says it, He Means it, is a clear and helpful little book that occupies a unique place in a world of postmodern uncertainty and academic elitism. In a simple, unadorned, and yet heartfelt style, J.D. Wetterling gives a concise presentation of a handful of truths that are both rock-solid in a world full of shifting-sand epistemologies, and practically applicational for a people that have been left without moorings by the prevailing popular opinions which decry all absolutes. Throughout its length, this book is characterized by that rare combination of diverse qualities which was most perfectly expressed in our Savior: a no-nonsense affirmation of absolute truth together with a true compassion for those who have been deceived.

    The Gospel of John has long been recognized for its beautiful and well-crafted chains of related sayings or events, which work together to form a harmonious whole. Some well-known examples would be his seven “I Am” statements, and his seven sign-miracles. In “No One...”: When Jesus Say it, He means it, J. D. Wetterling has picked up on another such series of related statements from the Gospel of John which has not been as commonly recognized or discussed: the “No one” sayings of Jesus. Like the other Johannine saying-series, this one reflects a theological development from the beginning of the gospel to the end: starting with the absolute necessity of divine monergism in the initial stages of salvation, it concludes with the unshakeable certainty of the eternal preservation and joy of those in whom this process of salvation has begun.

    In a brief and easy-to-read format, Wetterling unpacks each of these six significant statements: “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again”; “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”; “No one comes to the Father except through me”; “No one takes it [life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord”; “No one can snatch them out of my hand”; and “No one will take away your joy”. As these sayings unfold, the result proves to be the same as that of all of Jesus' words and actions: an utter undoing of any thoughts of self-sufficiency in any arena of life, combined with an absolute peace and certainty for all who have fled to Jesus alone for salvation.

    Following the text of the book are three appendices which may prove to be as helpful as the book itself. These include a brief description of the five “points of Calvinism,” together with lists of scripture passages that support each point; and a very brief and easy-to-understand summary of the gospel, together with a passionate call to sinners to cry out to Jesus for salvation. These simple features will make this book a valuable tool to hand out to friends and relatives who are either unsaved, or else plagued with a man-centered theology.

    “No One...”: When Jesus Say it, He Means it, is not a detailed exposition, or an exegetical masterpiece. It will probably not become a revolutionary new way of approaching Johannine studies. What it will prove to be is only this: unapologetically true; unabashedly simple and straightforward; undeniably sympathetic and heartfelt. This might make it less influential in the scholarly spheres, but it is exactly what will make it impacting in the world in which we live, a world desperate for solid truth and drifting in the hopeless seas of postmodern relativity and meaninglessness.

    Available at Monergism Books

    Posted by Nathan on December 31, 2007 12:21 PM

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