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Grace Alone---Salvation as a Gift of God

What the Reformers Taught...and Why It Still Matters
Carl R. Trueman (Author) , Matthew Barrett (Series Editor)
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Grace is the heart of the Christian gospel. It's a doctrine that touches the very depths of human existence and makes Christianity such an essential alternative to the dissolution and nihilism of modern culture. Grace Alone guides you into a better doctrinal understanding of the issue and gives you a more glorious vision of an active and saving God.

The language of grace fills the Bible so much that to say "grace alone" may not evoke much reflection. Unlike "faith alone," there's no theological controversy among expressions of Christianity. Reviving one of the five great declarations of the Reformation (and one of the more overlooked)—sola Gratiaprofessor and church historian Carl Trueman:

  • Provides a thorough definition of grace as it's found in the Bible and an overview of biblical references to, and teaching on, grace.
  • Tracks the doctrine of grace as it's been articulated throughout church history, with discussions of Augustine, Pelagius, Thomas Aquinas, and ending with the Reformation and theologies of Luther and Calvin.
  • Looks at the relationship between the means of grace and the modern church, defining the practical implications of the Reformation's understanding of grace.

Explanations throughout on the relationship of grace to sin, salvation and glorification, God's sovereignty, the sacraments, and the controversies regarding freewill and predestination. Grace Alone is a beautiful and much-needed revival of this foundational doctrine and the assurance of salvation.


Historians and theologians have long recognized that at the heart of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation were five declarations, often referred to as the "solas." These five statements summarize much of what the Reformation was about, and they distinguish Protestantism from other expressions of the Christian faith: that they place ultimate and final authority in the Scriptures, acknowledge the work of Christ alone as sufficient for redemption, recognize that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, and seek to do all things for God’s glory.

The Five Solas Series is more than a simple rehashing of these statements, but instead expounds upon the biblical reasoning behind them, leading to a more profound theological vision of our lives and callings as Christians and churches.

About the Author

Carl Trueman is professor of historical theology and church history at Westminster Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous books, including The Creedal imperative: Histories and Fallacies; Goods Rush in Where Monkeys Fear to Tread; Republocat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative; Reformation Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow; John Owen: Reformed, Catholic, Renaissance Man, Minority Report;and The Wages of Spin. Trueman is also a contributor to Reformation21 where he writes from a Reformed vantage point.


Where is grace? What is grace? Who is grace? And how is it conferred to us? I resonate with Trueman’s lament that grace has become an empty sentiment in much of contemporary Christian literature. What does the Reformation cry “grace alone” really mean? And why is it so important today? To answer these questions, Trueman gives us both a history and a theology of grace. He shows the reader that grace is confrontational, that one can’t have a proper understanding of grace without a proper understanding of sin. Read this book to learn what a grace alone church takes seriously. -- Aimee Byrd, Director of Women’s Initiatives at The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

Trueman takes complex biblical and theological ideas and makes them easy to understand. The key message is that God's grace, healing our sinful neediness, is at the heart of true biblical piety. Trueman develops this theme with relation to the Church, preaching, sacraments, and prayer. As a Catholic, I resonated deeply with Trueman's portrait of biblical piety, and I found much else to treasure--including his emphasis on the priority of God's action and his stirring account of the ministry of preaching. This is a book that will instruct everyone who loves the gracious Lord Jesus Christ. -- Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

Carl Trueman is always worth reading. I am especially eager to recommend this excellent volume on the Protestant battle cry “Grace Alone.” It is obvious that it comes from one who is both a scholar and a churchman. It at once challenges the mind and warms the heart with the grand theme of God’s gracious salvation. This is a book to be savored. -- Todd Pruitt, Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Harrisonburg, VA

Trueman, a master of the art of making historical texts of the Christian tradition relevant and applicable for use in our time, effectively presents the ways in which Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin put the foundational biblical concept of grace to work in their day. This serves him well as a basis for a lively exploration of how God’s grace functions in the church today through the proclaimed Word of God, the sacraments, and believers’ prayer. This volume demonstrates how grace, as the lively disposition of God in Christ, frames God’s dealing with a sinful world as Trueman confesses its significance for the twenty-first century. -- Robert Kolb, Professor of Systematic Theology emeritus, Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis

This is an outstanding book on an extraordinary subject. It clearly explains the biblical foundations of grace, and navigates the historical debates in a way that is both highly engaging and deeply informed. Perhaps even more importantly, the practical applications of grace – both for individuals and for churches – are sharply driven home. I am grateful this book was written, and I highly commend it to any and all who are interested in learning more about the matchless grace of the Triune God. -- Jonathan L. Master, Professor of Theology and Dean of the School of Divinity, Cairn University

Grace is a word so common in our day and age as to border on the cliché. Yet prizing the gospel means treasuring grace. Carl Trueman does us all the service, then, of helping to make connections that are crucial: between grace and the active presence of the triune God, between the promises of the Old Testament and the intervention recounted in the New, between the ancient faith of the early fathers and later Protestant reforms, and between a rich theology of grace and its necessary implications for piety and worship. This book brings remarkable biblical, historical, and pastoral perspective to an oftentimes ambiguous but genuinely amazing reality. -- Michael Allen, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL

  • Product Details
  • Page Count: 272
  • Format: Softcover
  • ISBN: 9780310515760
  • Release: April 18, 2017

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