A Quick Read Of Infinite Value

Most readers of Prevailing Winds, and anyone, pretty much, who’s ever been stuck in line with me at Safeway, knows I am not a Calvinist. Not a three-point, not a four-point, and not an any-point admirer of the TULIP, the acronym representing the five points of John Calvin’s doctrine of soteriology, or how God saves human beings.

(As a refresher, those points are Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints, and they don’t mean what most Christians think they mean. They must be read and understood as Calvin, Augustine, and contemporary Reformed scholars put them forth, and I find them utterly incompatible not with just my idea of God’s saving work, but with the Scripture’s testimony thereof. I’m not Arminian, either — but that’s another post).

A brief but comprehensive book on Calvinism is George Bryson’s “The Five Points of Calvinism: Weighed and Found Wanting.” I think his work here is brilliant, and I recommend it to every believer. Especially my Reformed readers, many of whom, I imagine, understand the Five Points in ways amenable to evangelicalism, but not as Calvin, et al, intended. I’m happy to loan out one of my copies.

The book’s analysis of the Five Points is lauded by a Reformed scholar who insists that Bryson has correctly represented the essence of Calvinism, even if the reviewer disagrees with his application. Readers who grapple with “Weighed and Found Wanting” can be assured that Bryson has allowed Calvinists to define Calvinism, and it speaks well of his work that a staunch Calvinist, obviously opposed to his rejection of the Five Points, nevertheless lauds his accuracy in representing them.

The reviewer, by the way, is a local Reformed pastor — a guy named Doug Wilson. You may have heard of him.

2 Responses to “A Quick Read Of Infinite Value”

  1. Hiroko says:

    Thanks for the introduction to Bryson’s book. While it is fine to know what you do not believe in, it would also be nice to know what you do believe with regard to the categories that Calvinism’s TULIP touches on. Or, to put it another way, what do you think of, say, the Five Articles of the Remonstrants? (http://www.crivoice.org/creedremonstrants.html) I get the impression that Bryson, even while rejecting Calvinism, does not consider himself an Arminian, at least in the classical sense. Seeing “Because a Gospel that doesn’t liberate everyone, can’t liberate anyone” in your sidebar seems to suggest that you are not a classical Arminian either. (I.e, Arminius did not think all people were saved, if that’s what your sidebar means.)

  2. Nice try. I know you’re writing using your wife or other family member’s name. Consider this your introduction and your departure, until you confirm your ID and repent of the hatred you demonstrated here. Keely

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