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A Review of The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented

The updated version is even more useful than the original, and I strongly recommend it to those who desire a sound, clear, Biblical presentation on the five points of Calvinism in a pastoral, communicative style.

  • Byron Snapp,
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A Calvinistic world and life view encompasses the sovereign providence of a gracious God and clearly defines what is known as the five points of Calvinism.

In this updated and expanded second edition, the authors clearly explain the differences between arminianism and Calvinism and show how the view one takes in this ongoing controversy will greatly affect one’s understanding of the depth of man’s depravity, the all-encompassing nature of God’s sovereignty, and the depth of God’s love and work on behalf of sinners. The authors then develop the Biblical teaching on the five points — man’s total depravity, God’s unconditional election, particular redemption, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints. They correctly assert that one’s commitment to and understanding of the first point, that man is dead in sin and without any ability to save himself, will measure his commitment to the remaining four points. This section is full of relevant Old and New Testament references. The authors then devote several pages to books on Calvinism as a whole and on the individual five points. For readers who struggle with God’s sovereignty, they have included a number of excellent books for further study. The authors have commented on several of the recommended volumes, providing direction to the reader who may have questions in a specific area.

The appendices add to the value of this excellent work. One appendix addresses how to pastorally preach Calvinism. Another instructs the reader on the importance of pursuing greater sanctification in light of the saint’s perseverance. Other appendices include a study of the meaning of “foreknow” in Romans 8:29 and a look at how to practically apply Calvinism. In this article the author, Curt Daniel, includes some pitfalls Calvinists face such as pride and evangelistic apathy.

This volume was extremely useful in its original edition. The updated version is even more useful. This is an excellent book to have on one’s library shelf. I strongly recommend it to those who desire a sound, clear, Biblical presentation on the five points of Calvinism in a pastoral, communicative style.

  • Byron Snapp

Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia.  He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina.  He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren. 

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