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Back to Basics: Rediscovering the Richness of the Reformed Faith Paperback – January 1, 1996
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"An excellent, concise presentation of the essence of Reformed faith. . . . a much needed wake-up call to the church." --R. C. Sproul
"Newcomers to Reformed thinking will be introduced to the wonderful majesty and unity of the great doctrines of the faith. Long-time members . . . will be able to fill in gaps in their understanding." --Marvin Olasky
". . . to the point . . . useful and intriguing . . . well suited to reach out to people in our age." --James Montgomery Boice</>b
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The book is divided into four sections, each written by a different author:
Doug Wilson contributes the chapters on salvation. He very able covers justification and predestination. Doug Jones contributes the section on covenantal theology. Covenant theology is the true heart of the Reformed viewpoint. These few chapters ably lay out the scriptural basis for it and explore the implications of it. A third section concerns the church, including its nature, the sacraments, and church discipline. This is the weakest section of the book, but still adequate for the overall purpose. Particularly, one wishes that more time would have been spent on the nature of worship and on the place of the sacraments in the corporate life of the church. Finally, Hagopian himself handles the section on the Christian life, which is mostly a theology of sanctification. This is perhaps the most immediately practical of the sections.
Each chapter ends with a dozen or so review questions. We are considering using this book in a Sunday school class, so that is a very definite plus. Any criticism that could be leveled against the book would be on the basis that it could have treated a subject more thoroughly, but doing so would have necessitated expanding the book beyond its purpose.