The Grace of Godliness – Video Interview with Matthew Barrett
In this new interview, Matthew Barrett talks about his most recent book, The Grace of Godliness: An Introduction to Doctrine and Piety in the Canons of Dort. Barrett is Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at California Baptist University (OPS) and executive editor of Credo Magazine. Michael A.G. Haykin has written the foreword to the book, and here are some of the book’s commendations as well:
By reducing the discussion of Calvinism and the doctrines of grace to the simplified acrostic T-U-L-I-P, I’m afraid we have generated far more heat than light. A book that looks deeply within, behind and around the five points of Calvinism is long overdue. Whether you find yourself saying “Yea” or “Nay” to the five points, we all need to say thank you to Dr. Barrett for his delightful, informative and light-generating book.
Stephen J. Nichols, Research Professor of Christianity and Culture, Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Wow! I really like this book. Matthew Barrett has given us history, theology, ministerial counsel and impetus to true piety in this treatment of the Synod and Canons of Dort. The brief but vibrant historical accounts are informative, his guidance in some thick theological discussion is expert, and his focus on piety leads us to the true purpose of all theology—the production of a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. Dr. Barrett’s continual insistence on the necessity of monergism for a truly biblical grasp of the character of salvation from beginning to end is a much needed emphasis for contemporary evangelicalism. The appendices provide valuable source material. This is an excellent account of a vitally important subject.
Tom J. Nettles, Professor of Historical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
Matthew Barrett offers a wonderfully simple and direct exposition of one of the more misunderstood confessions of faith. The Canons of Dort are often vilified, but under closer examination Barrett demonstrates that they are biblical and pastoral and a potent tonic for a flagging faith. Tolle et lege, take up and read!
J.V. Fesko, Academic Dean, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Westminster Seminary California
Matthew Barrett has given us a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to and review of the history and the source documents of the Calvinist-Arminian debate. And with that he has given us a vivid reminder that a right understanding of these doctrines—in themselves considered and in the minds of the framers of the Canons of Dort—is indispensable to Christian worship and devotion. Highly recommended.
Fred G. Zaspel, Pastor, Reformed Baptist Church; Professor of Systematic Theology, Calvary Baptist Seminary, Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Christians speak freely and often about the Canons of Dort and the international synod of 1618–1619 which produced them without really knowing much about either. Matthew Barnett’s The Grace of Godliness will do much to remedy this lamentable situation. In a very accessible manner, referring to a number of important background documents, Barrett provides the historical context of the Synod of Dort. He also makes a solid case that the Canons themselves are filled with careful biblical reflection, wise pastoral application and exhortations to a warm and genuine Christian piety. Dort’s stalwart defense of divine monergism in the salvation of sinners does not produce a fear of God, lack of assurance of one’s salvation or indifference to good works—as critics often charge. When read and understood, the Canons of Dort present the so-called doctrines of grace as the foundation for a believer’s confidence in God’s mercy and, as the consequence, the basis for a life of gratitude.
Kim Riddlebarger, Senior Pastor, Christ Reformed Church (URCNA), Anaheim, California; co-host of the White Horse Inn radio broadcast
Matthew Barrett has produced an excellent and much-needed treatment of the intimate connection between the Canons of Dort and vibrant Christian piety. Whatever the readers’ attitude toward those canons, this book will reward them with greater understanding and appreciation of the spiritual richness and practical value of Reformed theology. I highly recommend it.
Steven B. Cowan, Associate Professor of Christian Studies, Louisiana College, Pineville, Louisiana
By breathing new life into historic events, documents and people, Matthew makes them speak to our culture, our churches and our hearts.
David P. Murray, Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan