- Paperback: 440 pages
- Publisher: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company (April 15, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0875521126
- ISBN-13: 978-0875521121
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Paperback – April 15, 1991
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About the Author
Boettner is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (Th.B., 1928; Th.M, 1929), where he studied systematic theology under Dr. C. W. Hodge. In 1933 he received the Doctor of Divinity, and in 1957 the Doctor of Literature. He taught the Bible for eight years at Pikeville College (Kentucky). His books include The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (1932), Studies in Theology (1947), Immortality (1956) and Roman Catholicism (1962).
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Top customer reviews
I note that, although the copyright date is 1932, the book has clearly seen some revision since that date, as it contains references to events from the 1950s and 1960s. The date of revision is not indicated on the copyright page.
My only complaint with the book is the poor print quality. Five stars for the content, minus one for the print quality.
He also gives a history on John Calvin, and the effect Calvinism has had on places where it was believed.
Overall great book. It will probably serve as a reference for me later on.
The Reformed label for a particular understanding of Christian theology has seen a resurgence in recent decades. But exactly what is Reformed theology? Basically it is the understanding that God is sovereign in the salvation of man (i.e. every Christian was predestined to be a Christian long before they lived). And it is called Reformed because it was a key teaching of the Reformation. Of course the Reformers taught much more than predestination, but believing in God's complete sovereignty in salvation is essential if one wishes to call themselves Reformed.
So what is entailed in the Reformed doctrine of predestination? Boettner's book is an old but helpful defense of the Reformed doctrine of Predestination. Initially in the book Boettner asserts key doctrines concerning God's planning, sovereignty, providence and foreknowledge. Then he moves on to teach the five points of Calvinism:
(i) Total inability/depravity;
(ii) Unconditional election;
(iii) Limited atonement;
(iv) Efficacious/Irresistible grace;
(v) Perseverance of the saints.
Then Boettner answers common objections against Reformed doctrine:
(i) it is fatalism;
(ii) it is illogical;
(iii) it makes God the author of sin;
(iv) it discourages motivation to exertion;
(v) it represents God as unjustly partial;
(vi) it is unfavourable to good morality;
(vii) it precedes a sincere offer of the gospel;
(viii) it contradicts the universalistic Scripture passages.
Next Boettner teaches about other relevant issues including the harmony of Reformed doctrine with science and Islam. The book then closes with a quick review of Calvinism in church history.
My only problem with the book is that it briefly promotes post-millennial eschatology and seems to be ignorant of Reformed Baptists.
Nevertheless, if you are trying to understand what exactly is Reformed theology, Boettner's book is an excellent and convincing treatment of the subject.
If I were to criticize this book, I would have liked to have seen a fuller treatment of reformed theology. While the 5 points of the Calvinistic system are foundational, they do not cover the entire breadth of reformed theology.
With all that said, I would like to list the topics that Boettner covers in this book:
1) God's plan; sovereignty; providence; foreknowledge; authority of the scripture
2) Five points of Calvinism : total inability; unconditional election; limited atonement; efficacious grace; perseverance of the saints
3) Objections : fatalism; God the author of sin; discourages good works; God as respecter of persons; unfavorable to morality; precludes a sincere offer of the gospel; contradicts universalistic passages
4) Salvation by grace; personal assurance; predestination for the physical world; comparison with Islam
5) Practical importance of predestination
6) Calvinism in history
As you can see, a lot of ground is covered in this book. I think it is worth everyone's serious attention and consideration. Boettner makes a very strong case and to me at least, he is convincing. I highly recommend it.