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Twelve What Abouts: Answering Common Objections Concerning God's Sovereignty in Election Paperback – February 21, 2012
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This book functions as an introduction and defense of the doctrine of election as understood and believed by reformed Christians. The author, John Samson, is the pastor of King's Church in Phoenix, Arizona.
The book was published in February 2012 by Solid Ground Publishers. It has endorsements by John Hendryx (monergism.com) and James White (aomin.org). Both men are well known in reformed Christian circles.
The first three chapters of the book explain the theological position of election. Then, the following chapters attempt to answer common objections to election. Topics covered include: God's love, sovereignty, foreknowledge and explanations of common "gotcha" scriptures that attempt to refute the reformed doctrine of election (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Tim. 2:4; Matt. 23:37; 1 Tim. 4:10 and John 12:32). Also included are chapters on reprobation, lost loved ones, prayer, evangelism, faith, doubt, spiritual blindness and church mission.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. John Samson's writing style is eminently readable. He writes with knowledge, passion and compassion. He understands the difficulty that election can pose for some and he is sensitive to the reader. John explains concepts well, and presents a strong case for the reformed position on election.
The book is brief, which is a plus. Readers will not find exhaustive treatment of all the relevant scriptures in this book. It's brevity is a strength, but also a weakness. There is not much in the way of footnotes, however there are ample quotations of scripture to back up his points. Readers are given an extensive "for further reading" list to explore topics further.
Again, this book is introductory. It seems that the target audience is Christians who may be investigating the reformed doctrine of election. I believe, along with the author, that it is the biblical position. John exegetes the scripture both thoroughly, concisely and accurately.
At 165 pages, the book is a fairly quick read. Fast readers should be able to complete the book in 2-3 hours. The book flows well, and for a non-fiction title, in my opinion it is a page turner. I have found this to be somewhat unusual for books of this type.
I would recommend this book to all Christians. Those who will gain the most benefit are those Christians who may be new to a reformed understanding of election, and want to dig a little deeper. I would recommend approaching this book with an open mind. The author repeatedly warns about our traditions and how they can sometimes blind us to different perspectives. We need to maintain an openness so we can at least understand the perspective presented here.