imagesCA264B16The Doctrines of Grace or what is commonly known as “Calvinism” are the systematized theology of  the biblical doctrine of salvation. These doctrines were highly held by Reformers such as Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, Theodore Beza and many others. Martin Luther argued in his book the Bondage of the Will that these doctrines were at the heart of the reformation. The term “Calvinism” or “5 Points of Calvinism” comes from a response to a group called the Remonstrance (followers of James Arminius) who challenged these precious biblical truths with what was called the five points of the Remonstrance. The TULIP acrostic came about as a response to the Remonstrance. The followers of Arminius came to be known as “Arminians”. While the majority of protestant churches are Arminian in their soteriology, the doctrines of Grace have seen much more interest in the last few years due to the preaching of John MacArthur, John Piper and R.C. Sproul.

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The doctrines of Grace take time to really understand and it is with a desire to study God’s word as a whole that will bring light to these teachings. There are a number of books that will be a great help to gaining an understanding of God’s Sovereignty in Salvation and all the theology that is brought in to demonstrate God’s redemption. Here are some recommendations.

Beginning

Pink - Sovereignty of GodThe Sovereignty of God (A.W. Pink)- Prior to exploring the biblical message of human sinfulness, redemption, predestination or election, we must begin with a study of the foundation of God’s redemption mainly the Sovereignty of God. Written in around 1919, A.W. Pink’s classic has stood the test of time and it is a must read for any professing Christian especially those who are interested in the discussion. Pink eloquently writes regarding God’s sovereignty in all things including creation, administration and even salvation. He explores the main question in the debate on God’s Sovereignty by writing an excellent chapter on God’s Sovereignty and human responsibility.

chosen-by-godChosen by God (R.C. Sproul)- This book serves as an excellent introduction to the doctrines of Grace. Sproul in his gifted ability to explain difficult subjects with clarity expounds these doctrines to demonstrate their cohesiveness and their biblical foundation. This books is very useful to someone who is just beginning to explore this theology.

0875528279The Five Points of Calvinism (Steele, Thomas, Quinn) – We recommend this book due to the fact that it is a great resource for people who are interested in simply viewing the relevant text of scripture associated with these doctrines without getting into depth with the explanation behind it. The books does a great job in referencing the multitude of scripture references that address this topic.

Intermediate

0875521126The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Loraine Boettner)- This is one of the most thorough books ever written on the topic. Boetter spends the first part of the book establishing his interpretive structure, moves on to presenting a positive affirmation of the 5 points of Calvinism and then moves to answering the most common objections to this theology. This is a must read for anyone who is serious about exploring the doctrines of grace.

1187526The Potter’s Freedom (James White) – This was the book that has helped numerous individuals in embracing the doctrines of grace. The book is a response to another book titled “Chosen but Free” by Norman Geisler who attempted to critique the doctrines of grace with some very strange argumentation. Dr. White’s defense of the historic Calvinistic faith is a true biblical response to the distortions and misapprehensions that are rampant amongst non-Calvinistic Christians.

500x500_3250305_fileDebating Calvinism (Dave Hunt & James White) – This volume is a debate book between Calvinist James White and non-Calvinist Dave Hunt.  This book has its flaws since there are at times that accusations muddied the dialogue due to  both parties against each other failing to directly addressing the arguments presented by the other. I would still recommend the book since there are at times the interaction really demonstrates the foundation of two positions.

Advanced

martin_luther-bondage_of_the_will2The Bondage of the Will (Martin Luther)- This book is considered a classic amongst the sons of the reformation and it is without question one of the greatest rebuttals in the history of the church. Luther’s response to Erasmus demonstrates his sheer genius and Luther himself states that the topic addressed in this book was the foundation behind the protestant reformation.

product_permalinkThe Justification of God (John Piper)- This is one of the most difficult books that I’ve ever read due to the complexity of the exegesis especially entire citations in greek. With that said, there has yet to be a more in-depth analysis of Romans 9 that we have come across. Piper destroys those arguments which attempt to posit the text of Romans 9 as some kind of corporate election rather than an individual election.

The Atonement

heavenFrom Heaven He Came and Sought Her (Various Contributors)- This book focuses on the topic of the atonement by examining the doctrine from a historical, biblical and theological study. This is a lengthy book however the riches found in this single volume will cause you to praise God for the particularity of his redemptive work towards His people.

 

9780851513829-owen-death-deathThe Death of Deaths in the Death of Christ (John Owen) – Written by the greatest of the puritan theologians, Owen masterfully takes us through the power and perfection of the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ for His people. This book has been a standard in the studies of particular redemption.

 

229065Redemption Accomplished and Applied  (John Murray)- This is a much shorter volume than the rest of our recommendations but still worthy of a read. Murray does a fantastic job on not only defining the atonement and its power but also how God applied this redemption to a particular people.

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