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Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism Paperback – April 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805464166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805464160
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Allen is dean of the School of Theology, professor of Preaching, and director of the Center of Biblical Preaching at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Steve Lemke is provost and professor of Philosophy and Ethics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.


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Customer Reviews

This is a book that I feel comfortable saying everyone should read.
Timothy Fish
This work presents a fair assessment of 5-Point Calvinism and offers an alternative look at the key doctrines.
Mark Ballard
The book is a collection of essays written by various scholars in the field.
Mark A Lindsay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Seeking Disciple VINE VOICE on May 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Over the past few years we have seen some solid Arminian books appearing on the scene. I am thankful for this as the rise of Calvinism can largely be placed on the number of books being published by Calvinists such as Dr. John Piper or Dr. John MacArthur. The book Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Five-Point Calvinism is a needed book and one that I do recommend to my fellow Arminians.

The book opens with some brief introductions concerning the historical background for the debate within the Southern Baptist Convention and Calvinism. It then contains a sermon by Jerry Vines on John 3:16. The sermon is okay but does a good job of opening the door for the debate.

Now let us examine each chapter from an Arminian perspective.

Chapter 2 Total Depravity by Paige Patterson
This is a good chapter and presentation on total depravity. Patterson does a good job of presenting an Arminian view of the doctrine (though he doesn't call it that). He shows that total depravity is biblical but it is not the doctrine as taught by Calvinists. He shows that while mankind was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), we are depraved (Ephesians 2:1-3) in the sense that there is nothing we can now do to merit eternal life apart from grace given to us in Christ Jesus.

An Arminian could read this chapter and agree with nearly all of this.

Chapter 3 Congruent Election by Richard Land
This was perhaps the chapter that I struggled with the most. Land seems to be teaching molianism though he never calls it that. Nonetheless, Land advocates a "middle knowledge" viewpoint that God knows all things and that since He knows all things then it follows that He does foreknow those who are His own.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mark Ballard on August 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first time I remember hearing the term "Calvinism" came from the lips of my Dad and the preachers he would gather in our living room to discuss various aspects of theology for hours upon end. I would listen as the participants would claim 5-points, 4-points, and 3-points. When I got to Bible College and eventually Seminary, I heard the same discussions hashed and re-hashed numerous times.

I learned quickly most of the discussion centered on logical argumentation and quoting various theologians, commentators, and authors. Of course everyone had their favorite passages of Scripture to quote in their favor. Yet often the arguments were reduced to 5-point Calvinist appealing to the Sovereignty and Glory of God, while others would appeal to a need for a genuine evangelistic message.

As I continued to study the issues I observed a few facts. First, I found myself in agreement with many 5-point Calvinists on some things. I also found myself in agreement with Non-Calvinists on some things. Second, I found that depending on the passage I would preach, my Calvinist friends often assumed I was a Non-Calvinist, while my Non-Calvinist friends assumed I was a Calvinist. Eventually I came to the conclusion the reason for this phenomenon was because I place a higher emphasis on Hermeneutics than on Systematic Theology. Therefore I determined not to be labeled by "points" in any theological system. Rather, I would prefer to sit down and discuss what I believe about specific passages of Scripture where the battle lines are often drawn.

Another fact came to surface in my examination of the subject. There were many authors who proposed good arguments for a 5-Point Calvinist position.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Fish on October 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is by far the most thorough discussion of Calvinism that I've ever read. I won't say I agreed with absolutely everything the authors said, but then I'm in the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) and the authors are Southern Baptist writing for a Southern Baptist audience. I didn't expect to agree with everything. Even so, most of my disagreement had more to do with terminology than anything else, with a few disagreements on church history. I can easily brush those aside because just the first several pages that discuss John 3:16 are worth the price of the book. I don't know that what the authors have said will persuade anyone put aside Calvinism (though what former Calvinist Jeremy A. Evans says in Chapter Ten might), but after reading this book I feel like I have a better understanding of the issues and understand how Calvinists think a little better. I'm particularly grateful to these guys for writing this book because I found myself recognizing some Calvinist thinking of my own. As I read the logical problems with this thinking that they presented it wasn't hard for me to see that they were correct.

One of the things that I hadn't considered before is that "Calvinists are more open to ecumenism." Then there's the statement, that this "may also explain why some Calvinists adopt open communion while many Baptists favor either closed Communion or even strict Communion." I had never thought to even link these two issues.

If there's something I can say against this book it is that the authors use some big words that most people have never used in a sentence, if they've heard them at all. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but this book isn't light reading. If you're looking for a book that gives you a definition of Calvinism, this book is overkill.
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