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What is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics Paperback – June 1, 2005
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From the Back Cover
Perhaps you've heard of Reformed theology, but you're not certain what it is. Some references to it have been positive, some negative. It appears to be important, and you'd like to know more about it. But you want a full, understandable explanation, not a simplistic one.
What Is Reformed Theology? is an accessible introduction to beliefs that have been immensely influential in the evangelical church. In this insightful book, R. C. Sproul walks you through the foundations of the Reformed doctrine and explain how the Reformed belief is centered on God, based on God's Word, and committed to faith in Jesus Christ. Sproul explains the five points of Reformed theology and makes plain the reality of God's amazing grace.
R. C. Sproul is the author of more than sixty books, the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, and a professor of systematic theology and apologetics at Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
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Top Customer Reviews
Dr. Sproul begins in the introduction affirming that what is being discussed is not a Reformed religion, but more appropriately Reformed theology. It is "not merely a religion without theology. It is driven first and foremost by its understanding of the character of God." (20)
The book is divided into two parts. The first consists of five chapters on the foundations of Reformed theology- 1) Centered on God 2) Based on God's Word Alone 3) Committed to Faith Alone 4) Devoted to Prophet, Priest, and King 5) Nicknamed Covenant Theology.
Part two is Dr. Sproul's explanation of what is commonly known as TULIP- 6) Humanity's Radical Corruption 7) God's Sovereign Choice 8) Christ's Purposeful Atonement 9) The Spirit's Effective Call 10) God's Preservation of the Saints.
Throughout the book Dr. Sproul draws Reformed theology up against Roman Catholicism and Pelagius, periodically against Dispensationalism, and at a couple of points against Lutheranism. This is often helpful in order to more fully understand the Reformed position, but I suspect at some points the opposing views are short changed and dismissed without a fair hearing.
This is not a book defending Reformed theology.Read more ›
What Is Reformed Theology?, which was formerly published under the more obscure title Grace Unknown, is Sproul's attempt to help others understand the basics of Reformed theology. Surprisingly, only fifty percent of the book is dedicated to a discussion of the Five Points. The first half provides the foundations for Reformed theology which so many similar books have overlooked. Without first understanding the foundations, the reader will have a much more difficult time understanding the Five Points. And so Sproul begins by discussing God's sovereignty; the importance of Scripture as the only infallible rule for our faith; faith alone; Christ's threefold office of Prophet, Priest and King; and Covenant Theology. Each of these is explained in detail, yet with sufficient precision that they are simple enough to understand.
The second half of the book is an examination of the Five Points of Calvinism: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverence of the Saints. Like many other theologians, Sproul has come to see that this acrostic, while helpful, does as much to obscure the points as it does to clarify them.Read more ›
The book is designed to center around the central themes in Reformed theology. He begins with what Reformed theology is not, and gives a short description of how Reformed theology came to be. He does not use the standard terms in his descriptions, like the 5 Solas or the 5 points of Calvin, aka TULIP. Basically, Sproul uses the evidence he proposes to work into these terms instead. He discusses how Reformed theology relates to other Christian theologies, namely Catholicism and Lutheranism. In my ministry, I have been in contact with some from the Reformed theology that puts their beliefs in pretty harsh language when comparing it to others' theology. Sproul makes his case without this harsh language, which I thought refreshing.
His discussion is scholarly without being too much for lay-people to understand. He discusses the history and controversies throughout, and many early and current theologians. He does not ignore the arguments used against ideas such as perseverance of the saints, and gives the opposition a fair shake.
This is a superbly written and thorough introduction to Reformed theology. He does not go to tradition or teachings of others first and then go to Scripture as some do in their defense of Reformed theology. And, he follows the Christian precept given in 2 Tim 4:2 telling us to carefully instruct by speaking in less harsh tones. Overall, this is a perfect book to learn about Reformed theology's teachings.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just read this again for a class. I love R C Sproul's ability to condescend as a caring person and explain the big things in such a clear manner.Published 2 days ago by Natalie
Most Americans call themselves Christian, yet much confusion exists as to what “Christian” actually means. Read morePublished 5 days ago by C.H.E. Sadaphal
Excellent reading,a real eye opener.Not for anyone with a closed mind.Published 4 months ago by maurice caron
This was the first book I've ever read about Reformed Theology. I've always admired Sproul's ability to teach and explain things that even I, as a new Christian who knew nothing... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Greg Bahnsen Burner
The best book after the bible.
It is especially wonderful to those who want to understand clearly the biblical doctrine of "Predestination".
The very name "Jesus" means that Yahweh saves. Your theological framework determines what this means. Sproul would limit the meaning to only the elect. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Rom3:22