Researching Past the Rhetoric
I know that many of you may have been reading this week's post and may not a whole lot about the issues addressed. Others have heard only the rhetoric and inflammatory comments made to discourage you from really know what is going on. If that is the case, I understand. For almost two years I was turned off by what I was hearing and from whom I was hearing it from. However, when they left and the rhetoric ceased, the issues remained, and I had not squared up to them with an objective, naked eye and open heart. It was then that I realized that I needed to re-search what I believe about salvation. By the time I graduated college, it had been two more years of wrestling, studying, praying, and asking hard questions. There never comes a point where you can feel like you have a sure grip on the matter, but at least you can know where your convictions lie. There could be nothing more beneficial in all of this than to drive all of us back to God's Word. Ad Fontes ("Back to the Sources") was the cry of the Reformers, and it should be heard by us today in the 21st Century. Along with the Bible, I would like to recommend to you some books to read and research. Some of these books I strongly disagree with; however, I want to provide you with both/all sides of the issue of the doctrines of grace and more specifically the doctrine of election since it above the rest has been under most of the attack. So here they are. If you would like some more information, or would like to discuss these matters over email, or if I could provide you with some direction as to how to go about studying/researching, please let me know. I do not want to be a rhetorician in this whole thing; rather I would like to be a student of God's Word and of the history He has guided for 2000 years of the Redeemed. Hope these help. Soli deo gloria!!! BOOKS Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology: New Combined Edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996. Bianchi, Joseph M. God Chose to Save: Why Man Cannot and Will Not Be Saved Apart from Election. Amityville, NY: Calvary Press, 2001. Boettner, Loraine. The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1932. Boice, James Montgomery. The Glory of God’s Grace: The Meaning of God’s Grace—and How It Can Change Your Life. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1993. Boice, James Montgomery and Phillip Graham Ryken. The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Evangelical Gospel. Wheaton: Crossway, 2002. Booth, Abraham. Reign of Grace. Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2003. Boyce, James P. Abstract of Systematic Theology. Hanford, CA: Dulk Christian Foundation, 1887. Calvin, John. The Bondage and Liberation of the Will: A Defense of the Orthodox Doctrine of Human Choice Against Pighius. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996. _________. The Institutes of Christian Religion. Eds. Tony Lane and Hilary Osborne. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987. Carson, D. A. The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. Wheaton: Crossway, 2000. Cheeseman, John. Saving Grace. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1999. Dabney, R.L. Systematic Theology. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1985. Edgar, William. Truth in All of Its Glory: Commending the Reformed Faith. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2004. Edwards, Jonathan. The Freedom of the Will. Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1996. Ferguson, Sinclair B. The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1981. Geisler, Norman. Chosen But Free: A Balanced View of Divine Election. Minneapolis: Bethany, 2001. George, Timothy. Amazing Grace: God’s Initiative—Our Response. Nashville, Lifeway Press, 2000. Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000. Hodge, Charles. Systematic Theology: An Abridged Edition. Ed. by Edward N. Gross. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1988. Horton, Michael H. Putting Amazing Back into Grace: Embracing the Heart of the Gospel. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002. Hunt, Dave. What Love Is This? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God. Sisters, OR: Loyal, Publishing, 2002. Hunt, Dave and James White. Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2004. Luther, Martin. The Bondage of the Will. Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1957. Murray, Iain H. Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching. Carlisle, PA: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1995. Murray, John. Redemption Accomplished and Applied. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955. Nettles, Thomas J. By His Grace and for His Glory: A Historical, Theological, and Practical Study of the Doctrines of Grace in Baptist Life. Lake Charles, LA: Cor Meum Tibi, 2002. Owen, John. The Death of Death in the Death of Christ. Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1959. Pink, Arthur W. The Sovereignty of God. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984. Pinnock, Clark, ed. The Grace of God and the Will of Man: A Case for Arminianism. Minneapolis: Bethany, 1995. Pipa, Joseph A. The Westminster Confession of Faith Study Book: A Guide for Churches. Ross-shire, GB: Christian Focus, 2005. Piper, John. The Justification of God: An Exegetical & Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993. _________. The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God. Portland: Multnomah, 1991. Ryken, Phillip. The Message of Salvation. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2001. Ryle, J.C. Old Paths. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1999. Schreiner, Thomas R. and Bruce A. Ware. Still Sovereign: Contemporary Perspectives on Election, Foreknowledge, and Grace. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000. Selph, Robert B. Southern Baptists and the Doctrine of Election. Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle, 1996. Spencer, Duance Edward. TULIP: The Five Points of Calvinism in the Light of Scripture. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979. Sproul. R.C. After Darkness, Light: Essays in Honor of R.C. Sproul. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2003. _________. Chosen by God: Know God’s Perfect Plan for His Glory and His Children. Wheaton: Tyndale, 1986. _________. Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997. _________. Willing to Believe: The Controversy over Free Will. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997. Steele, David N., Curtis C. Thomas, and S. Lance Quinn. The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2004. Watson, Thomas. A Body of Divinity. Edinburgh, Banner of Truth, 2000. White, James R. The Potter’s Freedom: A Defense of the Reformation and a Rebuttal of Norman Geisler’s Chosen But Free. Amityville, NY: Calvary Press, 2000. Wright, R.K. McGregor. No Place for Sovereignty: What’s Wrong with Freewill Theism. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996. ARTICLES “A Letter from George Whitefield to the Rev. John Wesley.” London: December 24, 1740. Eliff, Jim. “A Three Legged Stool: All Sides of God’s Election Process.” 1998. Hann, Robert R. “Election, the Humanity of Jesus, and Possible Worlds.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society vol. 29/3 September 1986 295-305. James, Edgar C. “Is Foreknowledge Equivalent to Foreordination? Bibliotheca Sacra vol. 122 July 1965 215-219. Newman, Carey C. “Election and Predestination in Ephesians 1:4-6a: An Exegetical-Theological Study of the Historical, Christological Realization of God’s Purpose.” Review and Expositor vol. 93/2 1996 237-247. Rugh, Gil. “Election: Whose Choice?” Lincoln, NE 1983. Schreiner, Thomas. “Does Romans 9 Teach Individual Election Unto Salvation? Some Exegetical and Theological Reflections.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society vol. 36/1 March 1993 25-40. Schwertley, Brian. “An Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism – Part II: Unconditional Election.” Spurgeon, Charles Haddon. “Election: A Sermon.”No.41-42. September 2, 1855. Tamez, Elsa. God’s Election, Exclusion, and Mercy: A Bible Study on Romans 9-11. International Review of Mission. Vol. 82 no. 325 29-37. These are just some of the works out there (I know of these because I have them). The ones bolded I think would be especially helpful and more directed on the matter of election. May you derive some benefit from their work. - t.n.b.