Killing Calvinism – How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology From the Inside
By Greg Dutcher
Cruiciform Press, June 2012
This short book was convicting in many ways and multiple times. Each chapter focused on some in the Reformed tradition have allowed our Calvinism to be an idol, and Dutcher attempts to take his axe and “chop down” those idols one by one. There are eight chapters and they all shine a convicting light on several blind spots that Calvinists tend to have. Sometimes reading good theological books can replace the time a Christian should spend in discipleship. Dutcher says, when the goal is to become a theologian instead of a disciple of Christ Jesus, we have missed our way. It is like getting on the wrong train and heading in the opposite direction. By losing the urge to evangelize was a good chapter; the most convicting of all was chapter 5 – “By Learning Only From Other Calvinist.” In this chapter he thanked and highlighted people who had a major impact on his life who were not Reformed. I was so inspired by this chapter I wrote my own tribute to Ezra Nehemiah Williams.
It is a great book and I recommend it to all my Reformed brethren. It is a quick read, but worth every bit of your time.
Brian L. Spivey D.O.C.
Lydia McGrew from What’s Wrong with the World (an excellent blog, by the way) has done a three part review of John H. Walton’s The Lost World of Adam and Eve and a review of The Lost World of Genesis One. They are well worth your time, clear, helpful, faithful to Scripture, well reasoned. Let me know what you think.
The Lost World of Genesis One
The Lost World of Adam and Eve, part 1
The Lost World of Adam and Eve, part 2
The Lost World of Adam and Eve, part 3
I didn’t want to use the word ‘Eschatology’ in the title, because it might just intimidate people, but the theological word for the study of the end times is generally understood as eschatology. Most people may not even be aware of their beliefs about eschatology, while others are just fuzzy and inconsistent in their understanding, but regardless of where you are in the spectrum, Vern S. Poythress’ book, Understanding Dispensationalist will help you see some things clearer. Two things surprised me about this book: (1) his humble explanation of his own position, (2) his gracious approach to those who may embrace a different eschatology. This is a short book (137 pages), and he spent the first five chapters graciously suggesting approaches that would aid in God-honoring dialogue between Dispensationalist and Non-Dispensationalist. It was clear from the opening pages, that his intention was to spur theologically rich conversations in a Christ-like manner. It was a great book. If you decide to read it, let me know what you think.
Beginning At Moses
Michael P.V. Barrett
“Too many Christians approach the Old Testament as if they were fishing in the bathtub, expecting nothing, but at least fulfilling ‘devotion’ time” – Michael Barrett.
When I first received Christ as my personal Savior in the early 90’s, the one thing I remembered was how much I loved reading the Word of God. I liked reading it and my desire to hear it proclaimed grew more and more each Sunday; but I was plagued by one question. As I progressed in my relationship with Christ, the question seemed to grow in intensity. I asked many people, but I never received a satisfactory answer. At the time, I thought no one else wondered why the Old Testament seemed so disconnected from the New Testament. Why were so many sermons delivered from the New Testament, when more than half of God’s Word was located in the Old Testament? When someone did preach from the OT, the connection between Christ and the Old Testament seemed so unnatural. Why did those messages often lack a clear presentation of Christ?
I might have discovered the answer, or better yet, I believe that Michael Barrett has provided part of the answer in his book, Beginning At Moses.
Barrett broke this book into two sections, “Whom to look for,” and “Where to look.” There are three chapters in part I, but seven chapters in the second section. Barrett provides the layperson with comprehensible tools that will help “naturally” connect the Old Testament to the person and work of Christ. It is clear by his credentials and frequent references to theological terms, that Barrett is an accomplished theologian. He has taught Hebrew and other Old Testament classes in at least two seminaries, but he has written this book for those who are not familiar with theological terms, or the original biblical languages.
There are many gems in this book, but I think what was most beneficial was Barrett’s simple explanation of how Christ can be referred to as the everlasting Father, and still be distinct from The Father. If you ever had that nagging question about how Christ is connected to the Old Testament, then I would strongly urge you to get a copy for yourself. I am sure that your study will increase your awe and devotion of our Savior – Jesus The Christ.