In need of a good book against Calvinism


#1

Friends, I have a copy of Calvin’s, “Institutes” and before I start reading it I would like some recomendations of a book that would be a good companion to read and point out the flaws of his book. God bless all here and thank you.


#2

I recommend the Bible. Calvin was the first to teach that we are justified by faith alone, but the ONLY place in the Bible where the term faith alone appears is in James 2:24, where it says we are “justified by works and not by faith alone.”

JU


#3

Well other than the Bible… :smiley:

I would recommend two books on Calvinism in general

Chosen But Free (Bethany House, 2001) is evangelical Norm Geisler’s response to the 5-point Calvinism of R.C. Sproul, although Geisler considers himself a moderate Calvinist, much philosophy and logic in the book, and some biblical commentary (James White disagrees in The Potter’s Freedom, sorry don’t have his book yet)

Life in the Son: A Study of the Doctrine of Perseverance by Robert Shank (Bethany House, 1989), is a response to “eternal security” from an Arminian baptist viewpoint

Two articles by Catholics

Tiptoe Through TULIP by Jimmy (James) Akin
Calvinism and Catholicism Contrasted by Jim Burnham

As for book length treatments of Calvin’s Institutes, don’t know of any. It’s a rather large book covering many topics.

Phil P


#4

Another good book is the “Salvation Controversy” by James Akins. It incorporates and expounds upon the article “Tiptoe through the TULIP” by James Akins.

Peace,

MilesJesu


#5

[quote=jusher7281]I recommend the Bible. Calvin was the first to teach that we are justified by faith alone, but the ONLY place in the Bible where the term faith alone appears is in James 2:24, where it says we are “justified by works and not by faith alone.”

JU
[/quote]

Peace be with you!

Actually Luther was the first to preach that, but Calvin agreed with him. Calvin also thought that everyone is predestined either to heaven or hell before we are born and there is absolutely nothing any of us can do to change it. There’s a Calvinist telling me about this and trying to say how God predestines everything…but he doesn’t make us sin. Oh, and evil doesn’t come from Him. But he predestines everything. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

In Christ,
Rand


#6

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Peace be with you!

Actually Luther was the first to preach that, but Calvin agreed with him.
[/quote]

Luther wrote that without works, faith was “false, and not true” and he taught that justification is a process, and not just a one time event. This sounds precariously close to the Catholic position, wouldn’t you agree?


#7

Don’t read Chosen But Free (I saw this book recommended. It is full of fallacious reasoning and exegesis. It builds a strawman of Calvinism and then does a pretty substandard job of dismantling that. Don’t waste your time or money.
If you want an Arminian book, I’d recommend trying Picirrili. I disagree with him, but he’s far better than Geisler.

And, yes, God does predestine and determine ALL things (Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11). Rand Al’Thor. You need to allow Reformed people to define their own positions. If you want to disagree with that position that’s your business, but just because it doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean that it isn’t what we believe. Also, you speak as though we have no exegetical basis for our positions, and then use “logic” to argue against it. A better starting place would be the Bible and not what makes sense to you. Exegesis trumps “logic” any time.


#8

[quote=SEMPEREFORMANDA] Exegesis trumps “logic” any time.
[/quote]

How do you arrive at your exegesis?


#9

The Holy Bible!!!


#10

[quote=SEMPEREFORMANDA]Don’t read Chosen But Free (I saw this book recommended. It is full of fallacious reasoning and exegesis. It builds a strawman of Calvinism and then does a pretty substandard job of dismantling that. Don’t waste your time or money.
If you want an Arminian book, I’d recommend trying Picirrili. I disagree with him, but he’s far better than Geisler.

And, yes, God does predestine and determine ALL things (Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11). Rand Al’Thor. **You need to allow Reformed people to define their own positions. **If you want to disagree with that position that’s your business, but just because it doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean that it isn’t what we believe. Also, you speak as though we have no exegetical basis for our positions, and then use “logic” to argue against it. A better starting place would be the Bible and not what makes sense to you. Exegesis trumps “logic” any time.
[/quote]

The problem is they do define them and re-define them … there are a host of “definitions” out there. Why is this one any better than that one?


#11

Definitely “The Great Heresies” by Hillaire Belloc. The author may have a work just on John Calvin as well.


#12

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

It’s not exactly “against” Calvinism, but the following book, available on-line for free, might be of help:

Grace, Predestination and the Salvific Will of God: New Answers to Old Questions
by the late Fr. William Most

I hope this helps. :slight_smile:

By the way, SEMPEREFORMANDA, I think it would be great if you could give this title a close and careful reading, and then let us know what you think. In my opinion, it pretty much decimates Calvin’s theology of predestination, even without addressing it directly.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA


#13

[quote=SEMPEREFORMANDA]Don’t read Chosen But Free (I saw this book recommended. It is full of fallacious reasoning and exegesis. It builds a strawman of Calvinism and then does a pretty substandard job of dismantling that. Don’t waste your time or money.
If you want an Arminian book, I’d recommend trying Picirrili. I disagree with him, but he’s far better than Geisler.

And, yes, God does predestine and determine ALL things (Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11). Rand Al’Thor. You need to allow Reformed people to define their own positions. If you want to disagree with that position that’s your business, but just because it doesn’t make sense to you doesn’t mean that it isn’t what we believe. Also, you speak as though we have no exegetical basis for our positions, and then use “logic” to argue against it. A better starting place would be the Bible and not what makes sense to you. Exegesis trumps “logic” any time.
[/quote]

God does not predestine everything. That was not even a belief until John Calvin said the Bible says it is. Take the Adam and Eve story for example. God tells them not to eat the fruit, ie gives them his expressed will. But if he predestines everything, then his actual will was for them to eat it. So he gives them his expressed will and the whole time his actual will is to be disobeyed. And yet throughout the entire Bible, Old Testament and New, God commands us to obey his expressed will. And yet many do not. So again, we would have God’s expressed will and actual will contradicting each other.

I don’t see proof of predestination in those passages. God calls us all to do certain things, true, but he let’s us decide whether to do them or not. We can choose to ignore his call. Luther said that we cannot seek out the Holy Spirit of our own will, because He is always there. But he did say that we can choose not to accept the Holy Spirit into our hearts. Hence, Luther did believe in free will.

In Christ,
Rand


#14

[quote=Jim Baur]The Holy Bible!!!
[/quote]

That’s cute…you know the Bible is the reason that I am a Calvinist.

The problem is they do define them and re-define them … there are a host of “definitions” out there. Why is this one any better than that one?

TULIP–this is the historical Calvinist position. If someone deviates from it they are not a Calvinist. Calvinism is primarily soteriological. All Calvinists more or less agree on these issues.

God does not predestine everything. That was not even a belief until John Calvin said the Bible says it is

Actually, Augustine said it before Calvin. And Paul and Daniel said it before Augustine.

Take the Adam and Eve story for example. God tells them not to eat the fruit, ie gives them his expressed will. But if he predestines everything, then his actual will was for them to eat it. So he gives them his expressed will and the whole time his actual will is to be disobeyed. And yet throughout the entire Bible, Old Testament and New, God commands us to obey his expressed will. And yet many do not. So again, we would have God’s expressed will and actual will contradicting each other.

Check out desiringgod.org/library/topics/doctrines_grace/2wills.html

This gets into the difference between God’s decretive and perceptive wills.


#15

[quote=SEMPEREFORMANDA]TULIP–this is the historical Calvinist position. If someone deviates from it they are not a Calvinist. Calvinism is primarily soteriological. All Calvinists more or less agree on these issues.
[/quote]

Semper,

Not all TULIPs are created equal. Could you please tell us if you agree with the following presentation of the subject?

Tiptoe Through TULIP by Jimmy (James) Akin

Without a fairly firm understanding of how you understand TULIP, we could very easily wind up talking past eachother…

Thanks, and God bless,
RyanL


#16

[quote=SEMPEREFORMANDA]Actually, Augustine said it before Calvin. And Paul and Daniel said it before Augustine
[/quote]

Actually, Augustine and Paul’s biggest thing was that we can do no good without the Holy Spirit working through us. If Augustine believed in complete predestination like Calvin did, he wouldn’t be St. Augustine; he would be a heretic like Calvin.

In Christ,
Rand


#17

In need of a good book against Calvinism…

How about “The Institutes of Christian Religion” by John Calvin? :smiley:


#18

[quote=RyanL]Semper,

Not all TULIPs are created equal. Could you please tell us if you agree with the following presentation of the subject?

Tiptoe Through TULIP by Jimmy (James) Akin

Without a fairly firm understanding of how you understand TULIP, we could very easily wind up talking past eachother…

Thanks, and God bless,
RyanL
[/quote]

Akin’s presentation is more of less what I believe. I would shift the perspective on the question of the extent of the atonement (from extent to efficacy). I also think that the presentation on double predestination was somewhat inadequate. But, all in all, a fairly accurate representation (in its facts, though not necessarily the analysis or explanation of bases).
Thanks for being willing to allow me to explain what I believe, rather than telling me what you think my beliefs are and then arguing against them.

[quote=Rand Al’Thor]Actually, Augustine and Paul’s biggest thing was that we can do no good without the Holy Spirit working through us.
[/quote]

This may have been their “biggest thing,” but your analysis does not take into account Paul’s emphases in Romans 9:1-23.

If Augustine believed in complete predestination like Calvin did, he wouldn’t be St. Augustine; he would be a heretic like Calvin.

What a delightfully superficial and circular argument…


#19

[quote=MilesJesu]Another good book is the “Salvation Controversy” by James Akins. It incorporates and expounds upon the article “Tiptoe through the TULIP” by James Akins.

Peace,

MilesJesu
[/quote]

Miles thank you for the suggestion. I picked it up today (thanks to the local Catholic bookstore) and have already started reading it. I’m quite impressed with all the bibical arguments against Calivinism he lays out in it. Great resource material. :thumbsup:


#20

[quote=SEMPEREFORMANDA]. . . but your analysis does not take into account Paul’s emphases in Romans 9:1-23.
[/quote]

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

Just in case you didn’t catch my earlier reply to the original poster’s request – I think you might enjoy the following biblical and theological investigation of the concept of predestination:

Grace, Predestination and the Salvific Will of God: New Answers to Old Questions
by the late Fr. William Most

Fr. Most definitely gives St. Paul in Romans 9 and others a thorough treatment.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

IC XC NIKA


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