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Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition Paperback – November 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
In 2009, Time magazine called New Calvinism one of the "10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now," noting both the draw and the drawbacks within this postmodern return to grace-driven Christianity. In this series of epistolary exhortations, Smith addresses the faults of the Calvinist theology to which he subscribes--for example, its seeming lack of charity and production of arrogant followers. He then calls on young Calvinists to rise above haughty intellectualism to embrace the richer, more sustainable Reformed tradition that grew out of Calvinist ideas. Though written for a college-level audience, Smith's guide to all things Reformed may leave some searching for a glossary of theological terms. And critics of Calvinism will not find answers to all of their questions: why aren't humans more responsible for their destiny, and why wouldn't God choose to save everyone? Yet Smith welcomes readers to embrace more than just a grumpy theological debate. He opens them to a tradition defined by grace, enjoyment, and group worship. This slim introduction will leave readers wanting more history and will prepare them to dive into more challenging texts. (Nov.)
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From the Back Cover
Exploring the Riches of the Reformed Tradition
"I wish there had been a Jamie Smith to write letters like these to me when I was a young Calvinist. This is a wise and delightfully written portrayal of a robust Calvinism for the twenty-first century."--Richard J. Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary
"James K. A. Smith winsomely steps into one of the most fascinating conversations in contemporary evangelicalism--the surprising resurgence of Calvinism among younger Christians. Letters to a Young Calvinist is thoughtful, nuanced, provocative, relational, and informed. No one will agree with everything here, but what I appreciated most was Smith's careful insistence that there's much more to being theologically Reformed than believing in the famous (and fabulous!) five points of Calvinism. A thoroughly engaging read!"--Tullian Tchividjian, author, Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels
"Jamie Smith has done a fabulous job articulating a winsome and engaging account of the depth, splendor, and joy of the Reformed tradition. I found much of what I hold dear about Calvinism reaffirmed in these interesting letters and at the same time was delighted to learn new insights that got me excited about the tradition all over again. I hope this book introduces a whole new generation to the richness of the Reformed understanding of the faith."--Jim Belcher, author, Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional
"Most of the time I cheered 'Amen!' as I read these letters, but even when I disagreed, I appreciated Jamie's model of charity and humility as well as conviction. In the midst of all the encouraging energy of the 'New Calvinism' movement, it is also important to say that being Reformed is more than TULIP. These are rewarding and creatively written letters for all of us."--Michael Horton, Westminster Seminary California
"A splendid book that speaks to both head and heart, counseling the 'young, restless, and Reformed' toward growth into a wider and deeper Reformed tradition. . . . This wise and witty book is a delight to read!"--J. Todd Billings, Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan
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With hundreds of Christian denominations in America, most of them publicly grouped on the basis of their historic opposition to the largest; and the...Read more
Smith avoids the stereotypes of Reformed theology by beginning with creation. Creation is radically dependent on God’s existence (Col.Read more