Grounded in the Faith, by Kenneth Erisman, a client of Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency, has received two all-star reviews in prestigious review organs. While these reviews’ exposure will influence current sales, the discipling guide’s all-star status was established before publication when Dr. J.I. Packer agreed to write the Foreword and the author gathered endorsements from Dr. Bruce Waltke, Jerry Bridges, Joni Eareckson Tada, Sam Storms, and Rebecca M. Pippert.
Tim Challies, respected blogger, author, and book reviewer, concluded his review: “I am excited about it and give it my highest recommendation.” In his review he wrote:
Grounded in the Faith is a new tool for catechesis, that is, for laying a consistent, systematic groundwork for the Christian life. Kenneth Erisman, its author, writes, “The aim of this book is to see the church flourish for the glory of God. We are convinced that by designing this guide to be user-friendly but at the same time keeping Reformation depth, followers of Christ will have a transferable tool to become grounded in the faith.”
Indeed, they will. In three levels (sections) and twenty-four chapters, Erisman advances from the elementary doctrines of the Christian faith (justification, sanctification, overcoming sin and temptation, and the importance of Scripture) to level two (the inspiration of Scripture, prayer, guidance and the will of God, and the Trinity) and finally to level three (the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ, perseverance and assurance, the attributes of God and the mystery of God’s sovereignty).
Each chapter follows a consistent format of listen (read a short lesson), absorb (pause and think) and interact (answer questions of comprehension and application). Every chapter concludes with a section geared toward cultivating spiritual habits such as Scripture reading, praying and memorizing Scripture. It is all packaged in an attractive and contemporary paperback workbook format.
But I know you have a greater concern than the format and layout. You want to know about the teaching. The author gave a hint earlier when he wrote of “Reformation depth.” Erisman sticks very closely to the doctrine of the Reformation. You can get a good sense of where he goes from the list of sources cited and the list of endorsers. For example, in his discussion of the Trinity he relies primarily on James White with several hat tips to Wayne Grudem, while in two chapters on the sovereignty of God, he cites John Piper, Louis Berkhof, and John Flavel while tracking very closely with R.C. Sproul. Meanwhile, the book carries endorsements from Jerry Bridges (who calls it “an outstanding tool” for discipleship), Bruce Waltke, Sam Storms and Joni Eareckson Tada.
Grounded in the Faith is a book you will find useful for one-on-one or group discipleship or, dare I say it, catechesis. It is a book parents may want to use with their children. It is a book for mature believers to go through with and beside new Christians. It is one for pastors to stock up on. It is, as Sam Storm says, “discipleship as it was meant to be: God-centered, Christ-exalting, and solidly grounded in the authority of Holy Scripture.” I am excited about it and give it my highest recommendation.
“Notable Books” Review in World Magazine
In its most recent edition, World Magazine’s reviewer chose Grounded in the Faith for one of its Notable Books reviews, commenting:
Catechizing has fallen out of favor in most Christian traditions—and the church is the worse for it. Just a few years ago J.I. Packer offered this challenge: “Where wise catechesis has flourished, the church has flourished. Where it has been neglected, the church has floundered.” Kenneth Erisman’s Grounded in the Faith is a new tool for catechesis, that is, for laying a consistent, systematic groundwork for the Christian life. In three levels and 24 chapters, Erisman advances from elementary doctrines of the Christian faith, such as justification and sanctification, to level two (the inspiration of Scripture, prayer, the Trinity), and finally to level three (perseverance and assurance, the attributes of God). It will prove an ideal tool for training, for growth, and for discipleship.