- Series: A Students Guide
- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: CF4Kids; Student edition (September 20, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1845509803
- ISBN-13: 978-1845509804
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rebels Rescued: A Student's Guide to Reformed Theology Paperback – September 20, 2012
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This terrific little book is a clear explanation of and a winsome apologetic for the reformed faith. (Reformation 21- Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals)
Without blurring the beauty of or shallowing the depth of Reformed Theolgy, Brian Cosby in Rebels Rescued has been able to write a book that makes the truth of our theological heritage accessible to young minds. Packed with timely illustrations, key scriptures and important historical facts from the Reformation, this primer has more than enough information for the student who wants to know more about Reformed Theology. No longer will I struggle to recommend a resource when I am asked about a clear way to explain Reformed Theology to students...Rebels Rescued will not only be the first but I suspect the only book I will need to recommend from that point forward. (Danny Mitchell ~ Coordinator of Youth and Families, Presbyterian Church in America)
"Brian Cosby has written a wonderful little book-simple, clear, and deep all at once-setting forth the essentials of Reformed theology. A helpful primer for students, and for anyone else who has ever wondered, "What's all this fuss about?" (Timothy George ~ Founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama)
""Rebels Rescued turns to the beautiful old truths of the Reformation and perfectly targets them at a whole new generation. As a Reformed theology primer it is a joy to read." (Tim Challies ~ Blogger at www.challies.com)
“Brian Cosby has written a wonderful little book—simple, clear, and deep all at once—setting forth the essentials of Reformed theology. A helpful primer for students, and for anyone else who has ever wondered, “What’s all this fuss about?” Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School and general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture. “Rebels Rescued turns to the beautiful old truths of the Reformation and perfectly targets them at a whole new generation. As a Reformed theology primer it is a joy to read.” Tim Challies, Pastor and Blogger
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It is a great resource for students or those wanting to get started in understanding the doctrines of grace. My students have responded well as we have met in a small group setting and read it together (taking turns each reading a paragraph). The book is quite simple, quotes and explains Scripture, and offers discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
One downside to the book is that in an attempt to make a nice acronym (R.E.F.O.R.M.E.D) with chapter titles and topics, the author tried to talk about 10 points (5 points of Calvinism and 5 Sola's) in a mere 8 chapters! This means he did not write a chapter on "P"- perseverance of the saints. I don't know his reasons but I would have appreciated a chapter on this point.
Someone mentioned in a review I read and I would have to agree, the author should have included a list of book recommendations for further study on these important topics.
I would heartily recommend the book but for deeper study and understanding would also recommend, "What's So Great About the Doctrines of Grace?"
Cosby begins the book by asking an important question, "What is Reformed Theology?" In this introductory chapter and/or introduction, the author sets the course for this brief 112 page book. His goal is simply stated on page 3, "This book is an introduction to Reformed Theology with a particular view towards teenagers".
How does Cosby plan to achieve such a lofty goal? To begin, he purposely makes the book ascetically relevant. The front cover is bright red with funky lettering and a title that attracts the rebellious teenager, Rebels Rescued. Also, the graphics of the chapter titles remind the reader of paintbrush strokes and possibly a subtle graffiti theme. For all of his anti-gimmick language, Cosby is keen to draw upon the angst of the American adolescent.
Furthermore, the words of the chapter titles are simple and shrewd. Total Depravity is replaced by Rebels at Heart. Limited Atonement is For His sheep. Irresistible Grace is booted for Mastered by Grace. Sola Scriptura is cast aside for Enjoying God's Word. Cosby's emphasis on theological concepts rather than the classic terms is a clever, astute strategy. Lastly, the illustrations used by the author are modern, personal, well-placed and humorous. Oh, and one more thing: Dr. Cosby surprisingly evades the fatal flaw of cheesy rhetoric, which can quickly annoy a perceptive teenage reader.
Another pertinent question this reviewer asked was, "Did the author water-down Reformed Theology in order to make it palatable to his teen audience?" Not at all. In Cosby's chapter on Unconditional Election, the author seeks to save Calvin from popular criticism. He argues,
"Because Calvin seemed to take freedom away from man, Calvin has been given a bad rap. But what Calvin sought to do, however, was to show that man's heart is not free to begin with. Our hearts are prone to wander away from Christ every time--if left on our own. Apart from God's grace in giving us new hearts to love him, we remain chained and imprisoned by sin and unbelief. There is no freedom apart from God's work of grace and it's grace precisely because his salvation is something we don't deserve."
No mincing of words here. How about Limited Atonement? Cosby must have soften on this point, right? Judge for yourself.
"God is not in the business of taking risks. He's in the business of purposefully saving his people by grace. He doesn't scatter the breadcrumbs of atonement across the world in hopes that some will happen to see them and eat. No, God sent his Son to die for his people "according to the purpose of his will" (Ephesians 1:5). Christ's death was purposeful, intentional, and definite!"
And yet Dr. Cosby never shoots over the heads of his audience. Though he uses illustrations generously, he intensely desires the reader to understand that `Reformed Theology is first and foremost biblical theology (p. 5). This statement is reinforced by a liberal splattering of biblical references, which can be found on virtually every page.
Any theological system has its detractors and the Reformed perspective is no exception. In this book, Dr. Cosby endeavors to address the most common objections to Predestination and Limited Atonement. Again, I was astounded how seamless and succinct these arguments were. No tangents, no hobby horses. In dealing with the issue of evangelism and predestination, the reader is simply reminded that God ordains not only the end, but also the means. Therefore, there is no room for indifference towards the proclamation of the gospel.
The concept of Limited Atonement is without question the most debated of the Five Points of Calvinism. Cosby wisely funnels all his attention to 1 John 2:2, the preeminent text used to attack this doctrine. Here he gives the typical retort, discussing the various ways to understand the word "world" and then gives the reader John's contextual meaning of the "whole world". I was a little surprised the author did not allude to the wide evangelical disagreement about this doctrine, but again, a comprehensive 100 page book on Reformed Theology limits such eye-opening statements.
It is a habit of this reviewer to alert the reader to inherent flaws or inconsistencies within each book. I have no criticisms. In my opinion, this is one of the clearest treatments of Reformed Theology I have ever read. Rebels Rescued is a literary landmark in the genre of Youth and Theology.
I guess if I would to add anything, I wish Dr. Cosby would have included a robust appendix, which would better prepare the small group leader or young theologian from the verbal darts of the anti-Reformed community.
This book is a masterpiece. It should be read by every youth leader and used as annual curriculum in every teenage small group. Furthermore, Cosby's work should be used as a theological primer in Christian colleges and/or given as a membership gift in churches that reside in the Reformed tradition.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Cross Focused Reviews as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
In his new book Rebels Rescued: A Student's Guide to Reformed Theology (Christian Focus Publications, 2012), Brian Cosby explains Reformed theology in an understandable way, written especially for teens.
Brian Cosby is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church. I happen to be familiar with his work. He's written several books, and two of his children's biographies are fantastic: John Bunyan: The Journey of a Pilgrim and David Brainerd: A Love for the Lost - both are in the Christian Focus Trailblazers series. Mr. Cosby is also a contributor to several blogs, including one I frequent, The Gospel Coalition. One of the articles he's written is MTD: Not Just a Problem with Youth Ministry. It explains the infectious Moralistic Therapeutic Deism - a religion that has wormed its way through youth ministries and into sanctuaries. It's worth reading - right after you read about his new book, Rebels Rescued.
Mr. Cosby intertwines stories and metaphors, history, and Scripture to explain each point. Each chapter is followed by four or five "Reflection Questions" meant to spur teen to apply what they've learned.
The 103 page book begins with a brief overview of the Reformation, and an explanation of the five Solas and TULIP - the five central expressions of Reformed theology. By the end of the nine short chapters, students should have a basic understanding of Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria, Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints.
Rebels Rescued does a good job of addressing some of the most common concerns regarding TULIP. For instance, the third chapter - Elected by Love - covers the predestination passages in the Bible, the Scriptural testimony of Hell, God's sovereignty, John Calvin, why predestination is offensive to many, the notion of "fairness" and God's love, mercy and grace. Mr. Cosby manages to walk students through that information in just 11 pages - and he does a good job.
Rebels Rescued: A Student's Guide to Reformed Theology is an excellent resource for students and parents. A clear understanding of theology is vitally important, yet it is conspicuously missing in our Christian culture. May this be a step toward changing that, one family at a time.
I want to thank Christian Focus Publications for providing me with a copy of Rebels Rescued in return for my honest opinion.
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Rebels Rescued by Brian Cosby is a concise, enjoyable, and...Read more