Discerning Reader Editorial Review
Reviewed 03/16/2006 by Tim Challies.
Recommended. Decent fiction, but great theology
It took me seven years to pick A Journey in Grace from my shelf and finally read it. I so enjoyed it that I immediately turned to the sequel, A Journey in Purity which had been sitting beside it all this time. Where the first title in this series of theological novels addresses the doctrines of grace (ie the 5 Points of Calvinism), the second title examines the purity of the church.
The story of young pastor Ira Pointer picks up precisely where it left off in the final pages of A Journey in Grace. Ira is faced with a church with a huge membership, but with low attendance. The book describes his struggle in attempting to purify the church by making membership meaningful. He leads the deacons of his congregation through the long process of discovering what the Scriptures teach about church membership, responsibilities and discipline and then leads them through a difficult time of change as the leadership attempts to purify the church. There is plenty of intruige and some fun plot twists that keep the book a novel rather than solely theology.
I was delighted to see that A Journey in Purity is better fiction than its predecessor. Richard Belcher is still more a theologian than a story-teller, but this title shows a marked improvement over the first. And as with the first novel, this one presents deep theological truths in a way that is accessible to anyone who enjoys reading a story. I recommend this series.
Having finished this book I did a bit of research and found that there are ten more titles in this series and they cover a wide variety of topics. I doubt I will ever read them all, but I do intend to purchase the next two books at some point so I can at least read that far.