“It is not what you said; it is how you said it.” Have these words ever been directed at you before? In the midst of a conversation, things become heated, you believe you are right in your assessment and act like it. You passionately state your side of the case but fail to show understanding to the other person. The problem, then, is not with the content you have shared but the manner in which you have shared it. Truth spoke in absence of love. Theological conversations are prone to this, especially within Reformed circles. As a young man who holds to Reformed theology, I have witnessed heated theological conversations that provide the content of biblical truth but lack the character of biblical love and graciousness. This should not be and must change. But the question is, what does truth wed with love look like? Thanks to Pastor John Crotts we find the answer in his new book, Graciousness: Tempering Truth with Love.
While many Christian works in recent years have emphasized the importance of graciousness and love in a Christian’s life, resources providing practical instructions in these areas have been lacking. Christians have been left in the abstract. In Graciousness, John Crotts makes concrete how to show grace and love alongside biblical truth. He devotes the first half of the book (chapters 1–5) to add his voice to the conversation on the importance of graciousness, examining the example of Jesus Christ in Scripture and the positive and poor examples found throughout the life of the Apostle Paul and the Ephesian church in Revelation 2. The remainder of the book (chapters 6–10) picks up the theme and considers practical applications of graciousness, considering both personal and communal implications.
Graciousness: Tempering Truth with Love by John Crotts calls Christians to cultivate graciousness with biblical truth and shows them the way to live such grace and truth out! Crotts does a wonderful job wedding biblical truth and graciousness. He makes clear throughout the book the gospel is central to the life of a Christian and only for those who trust in Christ as Lord and Savior can they follow Jesus Christ as their example. Crotts is also fair in considering the example of the Apostle Paul, pointing out both his areas of strength and weakness in showing love. For those tempted to speak truth without showing love in theological conversations, they will appreciate Crotts reminder the wisdom of God in His Word and the power of God through prayer are needed in this endeavor. For any Christian who desires to follow Christ’s example, get yourself a copy of Graciousness. You will see what it means to not only know what to speak as truth but how to say it in love and with grace.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reformation Heritage Books via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.