“But God…”: The Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel by Casey Lute
“But God” Moments
Casey Lute has written a great little book! “But God…” looks at the gospel from a fresh angle. By “fresh” I do not mean “new.” For this book does not present any new truth, but instead draws the reader into nine of the “But God” events or statements in the Bible. By doing so, Lute demonstrates how the biblical authors use this phrase to “highlight God’s grace in every aspect of salvation… It is the perfect phrase highlighting the grace of God against the dark backdrop of human sin.”
Lute effectively shows us that “to the left of ‘But God’ in Scripture appear some of the worst human atrocities, characterized by disobedience and rebellion. To the left of ‘But God’ is hopelessness, darkness, and death. But to its right, following ‘But God,’ readers of Scripture will find hope, light, and life. Following God’s intervention, the story of Scripture becomes one of grace, righteousness, and justice.”
Three Simple Parts
The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 takes a fresh look at three significant moments in Israel’s history: the Flood, the Exodus, and the Exile and Return to the Promised Land, and how the overpowering grace of God wins the day each time. One particular point made by the author that grabbed my attention is the fact that God Himself led Israel to the Red Sea. He backed them into a corner—by His own leading—so that He could demonstrate His power and saving grace!
In Part 2, faith and joy in Jesus are renewed as we see God provide salvation for his people and are reminded of the essentials of the gospel: the incarnation, cross, and resurrection. Part 3 then explores the application of God’s salvation to the heart of the sinner by means of election, salvation, and perseverance.
Concise and Punchy
This is the third Cruciform Press book that I’ve read in the past few months and I have been blessed by each of them. From my limited assessment, Cruciform, a new publisher, is quickly making a mark in the publishing world by focusing its attention on producing small-word (20,000), well-written books that pack a lot of punch. “But God…” will not disappoint.
Beneficial for Every Believer
Every believer in Christ will be encouraged and edified by this book, as will every person who wants to be a more effective hope-dispensing counselor. It successfully leads the reader to ponder the love of God anew as displayed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Personally, as an average believer in Christ, I was very refreshed by this little one-evening read because it humbled me once again before the amazing grace of God and reminded me of the “‘But God’ moment” when He rescued this wretched sinner from a life of self-destruction.
Profitable for Counselors
As a pastor and counselor, I was reminded that the storyline of the Bible (because its theme is Christ), is one of hope, not condemnation. I found myself asking, “Am I a ‘But God’ counselor?
As I help other believers wrestle with sin and the daunting problems of living in a fallen world, do I consistently help them look at the ‘But God’ examples in Scripture and for evidences of His grace in their own lives? As hopelessness threatens to defeat them, because that is all that their tearful eyes can see, do I consciously attempt to shift their focus to “But God…” in Christ so they find hope, light, and life? As God uses pain in the lives and hearts of other believers to bring them to a new level of brokenness, I pray that I will listen well and then effectively dispense hope by declaring, “But God…”