Mere Calvinism

Mere Calvinism[Read] ➲ Mere Calvinism By Jim Scott Orrick – Whether you think of yourself as a Calvinist or not your understanding of Calvinism probably involves some misinformation stereotypes and ambiguity Written for those in high school and up Jim Orrick's Whether you think of yourself as a Calvinist or not your understanding of Calvinism probably involves some misinformation stereotypes and ambiguity Written for those in high school and up Jim Orrick's fresh evangelistic explanation gets to the heart of the matter the Bible teaches that God always does as he pleases and that he initiates sustains and completes the salvation of everyone who goes to heaven This focus sets Calvinism apart from other views within Christianity‚‚€‚and has huge positive implications for daily life Calvinism is than the five points for which it is known but those five points make an excellent framework for understanding its teaching Taking us back to the Bible Orrick examines what we mean when we talk about total depravity unconditional election limited atonement irresistible grace and the perseverance of the saints‚‚€‚and why those ideas matter. From the introduction Early in the 1990s I was reading a book of literary criticism by C S Lewis when I came across an entire page on which Lewis discusses the influence of Calvinism in the sixteenth centuryThis book seeks to explain Calvinism to Calvinists That's the book at its simplest In the introduction he writes I fear that we pastors and teachers are making a serious mistake when we assume that our people and students understand Calvinism just because they call themselves Calvinists In the first chapter he writes My goal in this book is to demonstrate to you the reader that the Bible teaches that God always does as he pleases and that he initiates sustains and completes the salvation of everyone who goes to heavenBut in the process of explaining Calvinism to Calvinists there is an opportunity to explain it to others as well Perhaps to those that have long misunderstood it Perhaps to those that have feared itAnyone who carefully prayerfully reads Mere Calvinism would find it difficult to deny that Orrick's book is saturated with the Word of God That his arguments for Calvinism are rooted deeply oh so deeply in the Word of God Now mere human logic or reason will never get believers to switch teams from Arminianism to Calvinism But perhaps with a little nudge nudge from the Spirit the book will do just that Not because Orrick is super persuasive and a charismatic teacher But because his book rightly uses the Word of GodThe first chapter introduces Calvinism briefly The last chapter plays a what if and but in fact game with Calvinism In between Orrick spends a chapter on each of the five points of Calvinism T for Total Depravity U for Unconditional Election L for Limited Atonement I for Irresistible Grace P for Perseverance of the Saints Usually he includes several illustrations per chapter to help readers understand abstract ideasI did not grow up a Calvinist I was born into an Arminian church going family But as I began as an adult studying the Word listening to biblically sound teachers on the radio reading theology I had an epiphany of sorts I became an enthusiastic Calvinist who LOVED talking the five points to anyone and everyone whether they wanted to listen or not I have read many books on the subject This book is in some ways a basic beginner course in understanding the five points I didn't precisely learn anything new but it was a good opportunity to rejoice in these doctrines once again Mere Calvinism is a short and simple book which presents the five points of Calvinism in a way that few other books can Jim Orrick focuses on the Scriptures uses simple terms illustrates the doctrines from every angle responds to common objections and applies the teachings to life The book title truly does the book justice considering its brevity and simplicity The layout of the book illustrates this – consisting of a chapter on each of the five points in traditional order TULIP surrounded by a short explanation of Calvinism and a concluding argument for embracing the doctrineFull review available at BooksAtaGlancecomIn the first chapter Calvinism More than the Five Points Orrick sets out to explain what Calvinism is and what it is not What a Calvinist believes can be summarized by the following two statements “First a Calvinist believes that God always does whatever he pleases Second a Calvinist believes that God initiates sustains and completes the salvation of everyone who gets saved” 14 The book stays true to this unifying idea throughout when addressing each of the five points The book also makes clear in this opening chapter that Calvinism despite its name is about what the Bible says rather than what John Calvin has said What the Bible says will always be true and genuine Christians when they understand what the Bible teaches will believe it The Bible continually makes clear that God is the creator of all things and he does whatever he desires to do Ps 1153 Orrick does not suggest that all Christians are Calvinists and all Calvinist are Christians He rather says that the doctrines of grace are taught in the Bible and if a Christian begins to understand what the Bible says regarding Calvinism they will submit to it saying “It is the Lord Let him do what seems good to him” 1 Sam 318One of the common accusations against Calvinism is that it discourages missions and evangelism Orrick therefore addresses this issue both in this initial chapter as well as at several other points in the book He points out that many of the most zealous and powerful evangelists from William Carey to George Whitefield were devout Calvinists who were zealous for the spread of the gospel The reality is that the doctrines of grace when rightly understood serve as a motivation to preach the gospel and to call the lost to faith in Jesus This argument is backed up by the assurance that the gospel will surely be effective in light of Jesus’ assertion in John 637 and Orrick further shows an illustration of this in Paul’s experience at Corinth in Acts 18Chapter two Total Depravity We Have Received a Bleak Diagnosis lays the foundation for the other five points Orrick fulfills his promise in the introduction to stick close to the text addressing passage after passage presenting the bleak state of the unregenerate human heart He argues that “while no human is completely saturated with sin every component of human nature has been adversely affected by sin” He makes his argument by examining each of the three non physical components of human nature and showing how the Bible presents each of them as ruined by the fall The three components of human nature are understanding willvolition and affections The Bible presents the fall as bringing about a spiritual death that corrupts every aspect of our nature This is most clearly seen in the Bible’s description of fallen humanity as marked by sin Ps 515 dead Eph 21 2 a natural person who “does not accept the things of the Spirit of God” 1 Cor 214 and in the flesh Rom 85 8 These bleak pictures display the need that humanity has for an act of God to bring salvation The chapter concludes by responding to objections and providing applicationsChapter three Unconditional Election The Father Planned for the Success of the Gospel begins by arguing that anyone who believes the Bible must believe something about election because the Bible talks about election The added nuance presented in Reformed theology though relates to the condition or grounds for this election Unconditional election holds that God’s choice is not grounded upon any action of any person but upon the sovereign choice of God Universal election holds that God elects all people but not all the elect will be saved only those who believe in Jesus One might hold to this view of election because the idea of God electing some but not others seems unfair yet the Bible presents God electing Israel while rejecting other nations a choice on God’s part that is clearly not based upon anything good in Israel Deut 76 8 Alternatively many reject the Reformed view in favor of conditional election This view presents the grounds of God’s election as the future faith of those who will believe God knows those who will believe in Jesus and he therefore looks down through the tunnel of time and he chooses to elect them alone Orrick counters this view by first pointing to the inability of people to believe in Jesus Rom 310 12 Further there is an important inconstancy in this view in relation to prayer When we pray we often ask for God to bring salvation to the lost yet in so praying we contradict this “Tunnel of Time” theory behind conditional election If God honors the free will of man to the extent that he will only elect those whom he knows will believe in him on their own then why would we pray for God to interfere with this “hands off” approach to saving the “elect” With this overview and interaction with other views Orrick moves on to address two important texts related to election; Ephesians 13 14 and Romans 96 23 Ephesians 1 teaches God chose a specific people to be holy and blameless to be predestined for adoption all according to God’s will Biblical election makes salvation secure for God’s people and brings glory to God alone Romans 9 teaches unconditional election and makes clear that God’s choice is never based on godly parents or human works but is rather dependent on God’s choice This election of God may lead some to uestion God’s justice yet God’s actions fit with a perfect standard of justice that often contradict ours Other views of election often seek to align this doctrine with a human understanding of justice yet Romans 9 affirms that the true nature of election will surely sound unjust to the natural man 71This chapter concludes with several objections to Election Dr Orrick uses this section to address the idea of people being predestined to hell Those who object to unconditional election would argue that election creates an unalterable future that is fatalistic Yet the Tunnel of Time theory creates the same difficulty since God election is still set in eternity past based on future actions that cannot be altered Further election to everlasting life is unconditional but election to eternal punishment is conditional People are sent to hell because they willingly rebel against God This doctrine also does not kill evangelism because it assures us that our work of spreading the gospel is not in vain It frees Christians to ignore gimmicks and tricks having confidence that God has chosen a people for salvation that he has then chosen to reach through our preachingChapter four Limited Atonement The Son Secured the Salvation of His People focuses on two uestions related to the atonement “Did Christ die to take away the sins of every human in the world or did he die to take away the sins of his people only?” and “Did Christ die to make the salvation of every human possible or did he die to make the salvation of his elect certain” 90 The book argues that Jesus only died for the elect and that his death makes the salvation of the elect certain This is important for Christians to understand mainly because “those who hold to false ideas about the extent of the atonement nearly always give a non biblical answer to the all important uestion “What must I do to be saved?” They tell sinners that they must believe that Jesus died for them and that if they believe this then they will be saved This is deadly false” 87 Orrick lays the foundation for limited atonement in penal substitutionary atonement because this doctrine related to the nature of the atonement determines the extent and power of the atonement The book then lays out the three possible perspectives on the extent of the atonement explaining the problems with the first two and progressing through the chapter with the final view that Christ died to take away all sins of some persons The idea that Christ died to take away all sins of all persons is rejected because this reality would undermine the justice of God in sending sinners to hell for sins that Jesus paid for The idea that Christ died for all sins except for the sin of persistent unbelief is rejected because the Bible indicates that people are sent to hell for sins other than unbelief 1Cor 69 10 Gal 519 21 and this view would once again reuire God to punish sins twiceThe argument of the chapter then progresses to address three ideas that have the potential to call limited atonement into uestion The idea that limited atonement is unfair should be moved to the side considering the mercy of God in saving anyone God would be just if he did not pay for any sins but he mercifully chooses to pay for the sins of some God is under no obligation to save anyoneThe next idea that calls limited atonement into uestion is the idea that the words “world” and “all” in the Bible always refer to all people without exception including in texts such as John 316 1 John 22 1 Tim 23 6 John 1232 and Romans 518 This idea is countered by a lengthy analysis of texts which indicate that the Bible often uses the words “world” and “all” to refer to all people without distinction rather than all people without exception In Orrick’s own words “the words world and all in these passages refer to all the people groups of the world not to every person who has ever lived”The final idea that could lead people to uestion limited atonement is the idea that all sin is eual in God’s eye Dr Orrick spends several pages defending the view that different sins receive different levels of punishment Based on this understanding of God’s exact execution of justice upon sinners it follows that God was exact in his administration of justice upon Christ at the crossNext in the progression of the argument Orrick presents his three main arguments in favor of limited atonement He begins by walking through several proof texts that indicate that Jesus died for a specific group of people Jesus came to save “his people from their sins” Matt 121 he “lays down his life for the sheep” John 1011 He has a people “whom the Father has given” him John 637 and prays for them specifically in John 179 His people are his bride in Revelation 196 8 219 and he “gave himself up for her” Eph 525 Finally Romans 832 is provided as a final argument in favor of limited atonementThe next big argument provided is the tone of victory presented in the NT Because in fact Christ has already paid for the sins of the elect their salvation is secured and the victory is completely won for them individually According to Dr Orrick this would indicate that either Christ died for a chosen people and therefore their redemption is accomplished already or Christ died for all people and therefore salvation is universally accomplished and all people will be saved in the end a clearly unbiblical option that he rejectsThe final major argument of the chapter addresses the word pictures used in the Bible regarding the atonement According to Orrick the idea of Christ being a ransom a means of redemption a sacrifice of propitiation and other word pictures make sense within the limited atonement viewNext the proper use of limited atonement is addressed along with objections Limited atonement should be used as a means of assurance of salvation as a guide to preaching the true full gospel and a ground for confidence in Christ Orrick’s concluding interactions deals with complex objections related to how Christ could die for a specific amount of sin The uestion of why the elect are born condemned is illustrated with a story of how people generally value items that they have taken pride in fixing and this correlates to the way God gets glory in redeeming and repairing the elect who are born into condemnation and sin The conclusion of the chapter returns to the issue addressed at the start the uestion of how the gospel should be presentedChapter 5 Irresistible Grace The Holy Spirit Supernaturally Calls the Elect once again builds off the foundation of total depravity If in fact people are completely sinful and unable to come to Christ on their own as the Bible teaches God must act to save His people God intervenes in the heart of the elect and he overcomes the resistance inside of them “As a result of the Spirit’s work the elect person freely repents of sin and believes in Christ God uses the bees of circumstances and the honey of his kindness and goodness to lead his people to himself The objection of some that God would not interfere with human freedom because that would be unjust is rejected with an illustration If a small child was determined to walk deeper and deeper into the waves at the beach to the point of no return the parents act uickly often against the will of the child to bring deliverance In the same way God is loving to act against the will of sinful hearts to save people from their stubborn intent on walking into eternal destruction A refreshing approach to speaking well of Calvinism Orrick skillfully presents the doctrines of grace according to strict biblical exegesis instead of from a confessional perspective Due to its conversational tenor and methodological honesty it serves as a great introduction to Calvinistic soteriology for those who are either totally unacuainted with it or only understand a false caricature of Calvinism as a whole DelightfulSuccinct Clear Very readable Excellent discussion uestions Great illustrations Helpful chapter on what must be true if the five points are not I highly recommend it both as an introduction or review of the subject I don’t think I was fair to Jim Orrick My original review was pretty tough pasted below as the final note Since reading Mere Calvinism I read John Calvin Now I better understand Orrick on freedom of the will and persuasionmeans I'm still not sure Orrick's position or even Calvin's is consistent with the doctrines of grace but better to agree inconsistently than to disagree in one accord Notes 1 Personal note Calvinism is definitely popular now 92 “Just because someone calls himself a Calvinist does not mean he knows what Calvinism is” 103 “ most of the discussions she had heard about Calvinism were philosophical than biblical” 114 Well in two sentences First a Calvinist believes that God always does whatever he pleases Second a Calvinist believes that God initiates sustains and completes the salvation of everyone who gets saved145 If the Bible asserts something about God to be true and it could not possibly be true of your God then you have the wrong god 166 While sinners may try to resist him no one successfully resists him God is the one “who works all things according to the counsel of his will” Eph 111 177 Personal note is Orrick priming the reader for unreasonable arguments? 198 Personal note about reason versus revelation Scripture is prior to reason I agree with the author If I come to a doctrine that seems unreasonable and yet is clearly taught I bow my knee However this could also indicate I’ve misunderstood the doctrine If I find another interpretation that does justice to the passage while eliminating the logical problem this interpretation should be preferred9 Dr Orrick uotes a verse about God’s inscrutability Ironic that the very preceding verse clarifies Romans 9 the chief Calvinist proof text 1910 Personal note I love this idea Calvinism explained using Lewis’s model from Mere Christianity 20 pages in and I notice a contrast While Lewis was gentle Orrick lays down the gauntlet 11 God has planned in advance for the success of the gospel 2312 Admittedly this is a great mystery All persons think and act freely yet all the while God is sovereignly superintending all things so that his eternal purpose is infallibly accomplished 2413 Our Lord summarizes the doctrine of total depravity in one sentence “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” John 644 Sin has so corrupted and disordered the human race that unless God intervenes in a person’s life he or she will never repent of sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ 2714 perhaps it would be less confusing to call the doctrine total inability 2815 The Components Understanding Will and AffectionsWhen God created humans he created us in his image so that we loved him and were capable of fellowship with him He gave us the ability to understand the truth that he revealed He made us so that we eagerly chose what was good In this state of spiritual health we loved God and loved all persons and things as God intended In other words he gave us enlightened understanding free will and healthy affections1 Stated another way God created humans in knowledge righteousness and holiness2 These three ualities—understanding will sometimes called volition and affections—are essential to what it means to be human so we can say that these are the nonphysical components of human nature 29 Personal note free will?16 Even in human relationships we do not want to be friends with people who constantly disagree with our most fundamental and important beliefs If such people go beyond mere disagreement and persistently condemn us for what we love we outright avoid them when we can As long as it is our nature to love sin we will not want to know intimately a God who hates sin 35In this dead condition it is impossible for us to do anything that pleases God because no matter what it is and no matter how much it may look like a good deed to us and to other humans God will not be pleased with it Why? Because we will do our alleged good deeds for some reason other than love of God 35 Personal note Orrick’s commentary on John 319–20 is great Certainly true but he leaves out an important detail Why is the human will corrupted? Yes because the fall but how do individuals participate? Volitionally? Yet Calvinism sacrifices volition on the altar of God’s sovereignty 38Personal note Helpful discussion on total depravityIt is true that whosoever will may come to Jesus Beyond merely permitting us God commands us to believe in Jesus “And this is his commandment that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ” 1 John 323 44When humans reject God’s gracious offer of forgiveness through Christ that refusal makes it obvious that God is just when he condemns the unrepentant 44 If we reject his offer of grace through Jesus it becomes obvious that we deserve to fail and to suffer God’s condemnationMen have deliberately chosen to do evil deeds and there are far reaching conseuences to thisPersonal note Orrick’s words on our stubborn love of sin and refusal to repent are spot on But are they consistent with Calvinism? This is a blind spot within reformed theology When they're talking about God's sovereignty the Calvinist insists that God causually determines man This is conveniently forgotten when it comes to culpability 47 Calvinists assert the latter as a brute fact but it doesn’t flow from their view of God's sovereignty Why is this a problem? Consider the following Calvinists affirmI God causually determines all thingsii God does not causually determine sinful choicesThe law of non contradiction states that A cannot be both A and A at the same time and in the same way Yet this is the very trap Calvinists have set for themselves They have embedded a contradiction at the heart of their theology Christian apologists sieze these opportunities when they encounter them among the world's religionsHuman inability is the result of human disobedience 46 YesPersonal note love the headphone illustration 47Personal note My note about the Law of Non Contradiction was pretty aggressive Let me step back As I reflect on what Calvinists actually believe about free will they think it comes down to this If the topic is about God's sovereignty Calvinists are uick to affirm a Lutheran Edwardian understanding of causal determinism overlayed with compatiblism When the topic turns to human responsibility they adopt a light libertarianism As long as the creature cannot choose good but can only opt among evil alternatives then this is sufficient So Calvinists aren’t contradictory only inconsistent learning that we cannot save ourselves is an indispensable first step in our salvation 47Orrick’s Chapter on depravity could have been written by an Arminian 54Unconditional election “The Bible teaches that before God had created anyone or anything he decided that he would choose or elect some humans to be his adopted children No one deserved this honor; God did not foresee any condition in them that prompted him to choose them so we say that God chose them unconditionally God chose or elected them because he wanted to; or to put it another way it was his will to elect them” 59Why did the Lord choose you? Because he loved you Why did the Lord love you? Because he loves you” There was simply no condition in Israel that attracted God to choose them Is this fair? 61Fairness does not consist in treating everyone eually; fairness consists in giving everyone what he deserves 61Personal note given Orrick’s annoyance with how Calvinism is often represented his description of conditional election is unfortunate 63Why evangelize given the doctrine of election? “We do not believe that the elect will be saved apart from the means that God has appointed Rather God uses his appointed means to save the elect 67Molinism? “ God arranges all circumstances so that his elect hear the gospel believe the gospel and receive all that is necessary to obtain the inheritance“ 68Orrick lays out some presuppositions based on an understanding of some passages that informs his position on unconditional election I don’t find a hefty exposition of faith passages 682 Peter 39 We must take Pharaoh into account when we interpret that verse It must mean that God is not willing that any of his elect should perish 71If your version of election does not sound unjust to the natural man it is almost certainly not the version of election we have here in Romans 9 71Personal note Orrick’s comparison of double predestination to foreknowledge is unsatisfying There is a world of difference between knowing a state of affairs and causing a state of affairs Case in point A parent may be aware that a bully is harassing her child at the bus stop Yet she chooses to let her son walk anyway She hopes the boy will learn a life lesson on handling these kind of people But suppose we learn that the mother is paying the bully to beat up her child 74Election to everlasting life is unconditional but election to eternal punishment is conditional God has “endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction” Rom 922 He must be patient with them because they are rebelling against him According to the Bible God does not send anyone to hell because that person is non elect; he sends them to hell because they are sinners who willingly rebel against him 74 Excellent Every human deserves God’s wrath and God would be just to send all humans to hell Is it wrong for God to send rebellious sinners to hell? Then why would it be wrong for him to plan to do so? 74 This is great But if we are going to encounter perplexing mysteries in any system let us encounter them through embracing what is plainly taught in the Scriptures and not because we are trying to explain away what is plainly taught there 78Discretion is not deception nor is it cowardice Jesus recognized that his disciples were not yet ready to receive everything that they needed to know “I still have many things to say to you but you cannot bear them now” John 161280Orrick thinks the efficiency and sufficiency of the atonement are coeual I agree that given the Calvinist understanding this is consistent 92 Orrick may be confusing foreknowledge with causation 92 Ooh I like Orrick's argument for particular atonement 95 i Jesus died for all sins ii unbelief is a sin iii Therefore Jesus died for the sin of unbelief iv If God punished Jesus for the sins for which he died then God will not punish the sinner for that sin v God punished Jesus for the sins for which He died vi Therefore God will not punish the sinner for unbelief Orrick says passages about God lovingsaving the world do not mean universal atonement World should be taken to mean gentiles That is the point is that Jesus was not only saving Jews but gentiles as well 103“Christ purchased our redemption but we partake of it only when the Spirit effectively applies it to us by working faith in us and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling“ 135As a result of the Spirit's work the elect freely repent of sin and believe in Christ 137Is Orrick’s point that God uses means to persuade men? Even if the outcome is guaranteed this is not Calvinism On Calvinism regeneration is the means of persuasion 138“Some people erroneously suppose that when God calls a sinner to himself he does no than the turkey hunter Similar to the hunter God knows how to arrange circumstances skillfully He knows how to capitalize on our desires for love for security and for meaning in life so that we see that these desirable things are found only in him He applies his skills of superior intellect and then he sets up in a good hiding place to see if he can get a sinner to come in to him“ 143 Personal note certainly Douberley match what he said in the note above Personal note Orrick has fallen into a trap of his own making How can God “really mean” a call to salvation on Orrick’s description of limited atonement? God is calling the sinner to accept a provision that God has not supplied 144Personal note this falls into a pattern I’ve seen in Calvinism One doctrine will be affirmed when it’s convenient Then discarded when it no longer works “Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit whereby convincing us of our sin and misery enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ and renewing our wills he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to us in the gospel — Westminster Shorter Catechism answer 31” Personal note if this is all that is meant by effectual call everyone should believe it 146“Faith is that persuasion of truth which is founded on testimony” Hodge 174 Personal note there is a problem here Orrick continually uses this verbiage Persuade Convince “God has providedevidence” What do these words mean? They entail an interplay between minds How does this fit with monergism? I think Orrick is playing both sides He uses terms that suggest a classical understanding of faith He overlays them on Calvinism The uestion is is faith causally determined in the sinner? If no then wherefor is Calvinism?To illustrate Calvinists see “draw” from John 6 as being like “drag” If I drag a man through a door I haven’t persuaded him I didn’t convince him I determined him This speaks to my complaint that the Calvinist is inconsistent He adopts terms that don’t fit the intended meaning He euivocates when it suits his needs “While faith per se is a human response and therefore not a supernatural act no human ever exercises saving faith apart from the supernatu ral work of God in him” 178“Faith is a condition of salvation but faith is not a work” 178faith is a passive virtue—faith receives truth 178Personal note Dr Orrick has really opened Pandora’s box in this last chapter How is this in any way Calvinism? His entire description of faith goes back and forth Humbly either Dr Orrick or yours truly is confused He’s describing the regenerative work of the spirit in ways every Arminian would celebrate Persuade Convince Provide evidence It’s almost as if an Arminian wrote this book to trick us Let me be gentle I’m not trying to insult Dr Orrick If God is not sovereign over all then there are some things persons and events that God either cannot or will not control If that be the case then future events must be uncertain 202 Personal note i don’t know an Arminian who would accept this characterization “If unconditional election is not true then Christ could not be confident that his work would save anyone” 206 Personal note again This makes me wonder how much interaction Orrick has had with non Calvinists If irresistible grace is not true then a sinner must be capable of responding to the gospel call and the work of the Holy Spirit is not really necessary for salvation 209 Personal note this is a really bad non seuitur and straw man No Arminian would accept this Original Review I appreciate what Dr Jim Orrick was trying to do here Calvinism is rarely spoken of charitably by its detractors If someone could apply CS Lewis's accessibility to the doctrines of grace it would be helpful Alas Orrick has confused a simple presentation for a simplistic one This is frustrating He begins the book complaining that Calvinism is often misrepresented and misunderstood He goes on to misrepresent and misunderstand Arminianism Arminianists would accept very little of what Orrick attributes to them Worse I fear Calvinists would accept little of what Orrick attributes to Calvinism Explains some important biblical doctrines with great clarity Recently I was presented with the opportunity to read the book Mere Calvinism by Jim Scott Orrick a book detailing the basics of Calvinism and its doctrines Mere Calvinism provides an insightful analysis on the truth behind the doctrines of Calvinism through addressing the doctrine’s foundation providing the insight of an experienced author and challenging the reader’s common beliefs​The basis of Calvinism revolves around five points and Mere Calvinism elouently addresses this foundation while expounding where needed The tone and guidance given throughout the book displays an engaging tone seeking to convince the reader while simultaneously countering objections The author initially seeks to establish elementary level understanding focusing on the five points of Calvinism referred to as Tulip Total Depravity Unconditional Election Limited Atonement Irresistible Grace and Preservation of the Saints Orrick 2019 He references Scripture to solidify all of his points and seeks to explain it with a straightforward approach There are illustrations and stories to help the reader understand He provides uestions for contemplation and discussion at the end of every chapter which let you make decisions on your own accord ​Orrick is an experienced author on multiple levels To start he has experience as a professor at Boyce College and also as an author of various works He knows how to teach and utilizes this in his writing to much success His communication is deliberate and highly effective at communicating the basics of Calvinism as well as in depth principles of a Calvinistic point of view Another aspect that adds to Orrick’s experience as an author is a life full of experiences The most impactful illustrations in the book were those from his own life as a hunter and beekeeper which show you direct life application of the principles of Calvinism Orrick 2019​Mere Calvinism also challenges the reader’s common beliefs and causes them to examine the doctrines of grace from multiple perspectives This book suits both the beginner and seasoned Christian as it presents a variety of answers to common uestions and concerns with Calvinism It serves teachers with tools to help sharpen the minds of students by developing their critical thinking abilities and stimulating them to evaluate Calvinism outside their previous lens Orrick’s profound ability to develop the readers reasoning while providing sound arguments in defense of Calvinism just furthers the truth and capability found in this book​While a clear thought out dissertation on the doctrines of grace Mere Calvinism succeeds at providing thoughtful analysis of the truth behind Calvinism through the explanation of the foundational principles experienced authorship and the challenging of the reader’s existing beliefs The book offers much needed insight into the often confused doctrines of Calvinism in a clean and concise language that is easily comprehendible by any reader “Mere Calvinism” by Jim Scott Orrick is another book on the doctrines of grace as summed up in the acronym TULIP Total depravity Unconditional election Limited atonement and Perseverance of the saints make up what are commonly referred to as the 5 points of Calvinism Many Calvinists including Orrick occasionally prefer different or precise language to describe these doctrines so at times the author explains where he might use different words than those just listedI tried to read this book keeping in mind how I felt first exploring the doctrines of grace and what I wanted from or did not like about works on the same topic One major thing I wanted was thorough exegesis of Calvinist proof texts which is suited for a commentary than a short book such as this In his chapter on limited atonement Orrick offers a wonderfully compiled list of passages which plainly state the doctrine He does not nor do I believe he sets out to offer an extensive exegesis of each specific verse however he does an excellent job of explaining and laying the foundations of these doctrines I would say compared to other works “Mere Calvinism” is actually one of the thorough in explaining what each doctrine means and the biblical foundation for believing them I also found his explanations of what world and all mean in context to be beneficialI enjoyed this book and would recommend it for the new Calvinist to gain a solid foundation in what they believe “old” Calvinists looking to refresh their knowledge or the curious non Calvinist who simply wants to know what Calvinists believe don’t believe and whyI received a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review As an 11th grade Sunday School teacher I am tasked and privileged to teach on the Doctrines of Grace While also known as TULIP these doctrines are most famously known as Calvinism When given the opportunity to review this book I wanted to see if it would improve my teaching and enhance my understandingMore Than the Five PointsWhat sets this book apart from other books I have read on Calvinism is the tone of writing and the guidance given Author Jim Scott Orrick writes with a winsome tone seeking to persuade the reader He anticipates arguments and objections and aims for common understandingHe cites Scripture and seeks to explain it with a straightforward approach He sprinkles in illustrations and stories to help the reader understand He provides uestions for contemplation and discussion at the end of every chapter An Experienced AuthorOrrick is an experienced author I mean this in two ways First he has experience as a professor at Boyce College and also as an author He knows how to teach and write well His communication is clear and carefulSecond he has lived a life full of experiences My favorite illustrations are when he uses examples from his own life including his hobbies as a hunter and beekeeper He gives examples that I will seek to incorporate into my own teaching Life Changing TruthsThis book has challenged me to examine the Doctrines of Grace in different ways I am given a clearer picture of Christ and a deeper love for God This book serves beginners with a basic introduction to Calvinism It serves teachers with tools to help sharpen the minds of students And it has served me in strengthening my faith and reminding me of the riches I have in Christ 65 of 2020 With the resurgence of Calvinism over the past 20 of years Calvinists have faced a great bit of hostility and misunderstanding Even some who take on the title of Calvinist do not understand the theological system they are affirming Jim Orrick’s goal is to change that He wants to teach Calvinists and those interested in what Calvinism is what the five points mean and rather than leaning on the words of theologians the makes a case from Calvinism straight from the BibleThis book is a simple but comprehensive look at the five points of TULIP along with considerations and refutations for the objections that are raised against Calvinism It is a very thoughtful and well reasoned book It also has what may be the best chapter on limited atonement that I have ever read—at least on a layman’s levelThis would also if you are coming from a Reformed perspective make a great read with your teenager I could also see it working perfectly in a 10th or 11th grade curriculum as part of your child’s religious educationThis is really just a really well written book on the five points⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️#bookstagram #booklover #bookreview #theunreadshelfproject2020 #currentlyreading #merecalvinism #theology

Paperback  ¿ Mere Calvinism PDF/EPUB ¼
  • Paperback
  • Mere Calvinism
  • Jim Scott Orrick
  • 08 June 2016
  • 9781629956145