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Elect in the Son Paperback – September 1, 1989
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Top Customer Reviews
Dr. Shank shows that this scheme is, indeed, Biblical, when Scripture is taken in context. He largely avoids the "one sentence here, another sentence there" style of proof-texting that seems to invariably accompany defenses of Calvinism. He does the same kind of contextual quoting of Calvin and other scholars...rather than just quoting a brief sentence of two, he re-prints long passages from their work. The good news is that, by doing this, he is careful to not mis-quote anyone or take them out of context. The bad news is that the frequent and extended quotes from others break up the flow of his own writing, making Elect In The Son sort of difficult to read.
If there is one drawback of this book, I would say that that is it: the book is not nearly as "user-friendly" and easy to read as some other treatises on election that I have read. Dr. Shank seems to lack the relatability and communication skills of an R.C. Sproul...although his exegesis and conclusions are, I believe, much closer to the truth than Dr. Sproul's.
Overall, I think the basic message of this book is magnificent, but don't attempt to read it if you're not REALLY serious about election, etc. It's not easy reading.
The book dives into the history and theology of John Calvin and Calvinist. Shank first allows Calvin and other Calvinist theologians to merely state in their own words their position on election and/or predestination. Shank then spends the remainder of the book building his case for class election or that Christians become the elect (1 Timothy 4:10) in the elected one, the Lord Jesus (Isaiah 53:11-12; Matthew 1:21; Eph. 1:3-14). Shank covers nearly every major passage on election in the New Testament including Romans 9-11.
My only drawback with the book is that it is somewhat dated, Shank uses the King James Version throughout, and I don't fully agree with Shank that every case of election is class election. Certainly Israel was a chosen nation as is the Church (Deut. 6; 1 Peter 2:4-11) but there are cases where God elected individuals as in the case of the prophets, Paul (Acts 26:18; 1 Timothy 1:12-15), and many other biblical characters.
A good read on election is John Wagner's edited book REDEMPTION REDEEMED: A PURITAN DEFENSE OF UNLIMITED ATONEMENT or Norman Geisler's CHOSEN BUT FREE (Second Edition).
What is at stake with understanding the differences between these views is the very nature of God. Is God a God of love that desires everyone to be saved, has made the way possible for all and is glorified when people respond to the invitation? Or is God so concerned with His own glory that He is willing to condemn the overwhelming majority of humanity just to prove the point that He is Sovereign?
As with these thorny questions, I use the rule of thumb that to understand what Jesus (and hence the Word) meant, look at what He did. Jesus always took a propositional approach to the idea that people were free agents with the capacity to believe in Him, whether it was by his teachings, his example, or by the evidence of the miracles.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After struggling with the implications of the Doctrines of Grace as taught by my church and reading numerous books by John Piper and other modern theologians who subscribe to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by W. Fazakerly
Robert Shank is a great author and very thorough in his research. I highly recommend his writings.Published 6 months ago by C. R. Lord
This is an amazing book objectively explaining Election in relationship to the corporate church. The examination of scripture is based upon context with proper exegesis. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Bob
Simply put, if you take the Scriptures at face value, you will love this book.
But, if (as Shank notes) you "are influenced by the necessities of (your)... Read more