Book Review: Beat God to the Punch by Eric Mason

  • Hardcover: 128 pagesBeat God to the Punch
  • Publisher: B&H Books (September 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433684500
  • Amazon.com
  • B&H Books

Many thanks to B&H Books for a review copy of Eric Mason’s Beat God to the Punch: Because Jesus Demands Your Life.

It’s a short read on how to live a grace-filled life.  The message of the book maybe summed up in the following: “In our willingness to bow, we find a grace-filled existence in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Beating God to the punch involves willingly bending one’s life to Jesus now, and forever.”  Dr. Mason then explores this grace-filled existence and life around five chapters: (1) Crossing Paths with Grace. (2) Experience Grace. (3) How Grace Works. (4) Grace Recovered.  And (5) Completing Work of Grace.  The book is loosely based on Jesus’ interaction with the disciples in John 1:35-51.

While I am excited about the title, Beat God to the Punch, and the contents, the grace-filled life, I experienced a disconnect as a reader.  What do I mean?  I understand that I need to beat God to the punch by living a grace-filled life through Jesus Christ, but beating God to the punch, which Mason describes as the punch of God’s wrath, was often a footnote.  I sensed a Gospel and Law motif, but it never really materialized, which would have been a better organization of the book, in my opinion.

Though the book has a few mechanical problems (lack of transitionsal elements to authors quoted, for example), Beat God to the Punch shines whenever Mason uses personal illustrations.  Chapter 4, “Grace Recovered,” is especially good, notwithstanding Mason’s decision to hightlight Charles Finney and the Second Great Awakening (which some readers might stumble over).

If as Mason says that the title is to draw the reader into the complexities (and simplicity) of a grace-filled life, then he has made a valiant effort.

(Check out my review of Eric Mason’s Manhood Restored here)

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