Richard P. Belcher has written what he calls a "theological novel." "A Journey in Grace" is a book that teaches theology through the fiction genre. While the story itself is often suspenseful and has many emotional swings to it, it is what is learned from this book that I highly recommend.
This is the story of a young man in seminary who lands his first pastoring job. While he begins as any other typical seminary student, Ira Pointer is driven to dig deeper into theology. Throughout the story, we learn some church and denominational history, some denominational differences, and the differences between Arminianism, Calvinism, and hyper-Calvinism. We also get a glimpse into seminary life, both in the classroom and out, in the professors' offices, and in daily interactions with other students. Organization, logic, and expository teaching abound in this story. The author is not afraid to tackle the "hard" verses on the subject of the Doctrines of Grace and he goes to the Greek roots when necessary. We learn about how a pastor is chosen in certain denominations and how and why churches change pastors. Through the power of a story, we learn about conflict resolution, taking the high road, and how to debate theological issues.
Designed for high schoolers and adults, my children and I loved this book! We read it out loud and used it as a daily Bible study. Of all that we have studied so far on the Doctrines of Grace, this was by far the most clearly presented, logical, and understandable. We have a much firmer stance now on many points of theology, all from a good story.
I did buy the rest of the series of fifteen books and will be reviewing them here throughout the coming year. Each book covers a different theological topic. Since I bought a whole set, I have a duplicate of this first book "A Journey in Grace," which I will give away free to the first person to contact me through email. I highly recommend this series.