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An Unexpected Journey: Discovering Reformed Christianity Paperback – April 1, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"For those puzzled by the ongoing grip of Calvinism on many serious believers, Godfrey's journey from an Alameda, California, high school swimming pool to the biblical truth we call Calvinism will be an eye-opener . . . and possibly a turning point in their own lives." --Joel Nederhood

"Although written in autobiographical form, this book is really about God. Regardless of one's theological background, any believer can read with great edification this hymn to God's grace in Christ from one whom many of us have been privileged to know as a mentor, example, churchman, and friend." --Michael S. Horton

About the Author

W. Robert Godfrey (Ph.D., Stanford University) is president of Westminster Theological Seminary in California. He is the author of Reformation Sketches: Insights into Luther, Calvin, and the Confessions, and God's Pattern for Creation: A Covenantal Reading of Genesis 1.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 154 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875527191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875527192
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,387,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
I would hazard a guess that most non-Reformed Christians and even non-Christians think that the Reformed tradition is something you have to be born into to understand or believe. It might be thought of as archaic and not in touch with today's evangelical Christian. Granted I was born into a "Reformation" family, but through the life of Dr. Godfrey we can see that somebody can come into Reformation theology from the outside!

Reformed Christians know that the truths of the Reformation are exciting, applicable, vibrant and most importantly come straight from Scripture. Dr. Godfrey does a great job of laying down the framework for Reformed Christianity from innumerable Scripture references and shows his passion and excitement for his faith. It was fun to read the first couple pages of a chapter concerning a portion of his life and then having him lead us into a deeper discussion of what and why the Reformed tradition believes about certain things.

This book can be a quick read, or it can be a starting point for further study. In my title for this review I called it a "Reformed Theology Primer", which I think is quite applicable for somebody wanting to know more about the Reformed faith. But for somebody who has been studying the Reformed faith for a number of years, I still found the book very engaging and quite worth the read.

I like Mike Horton's quote on the back which reads something like, "...this book is really more about God." (I loaned the book out so I can't quote it directly!) I couldn't agree more.

Mark Vander Pol

Soli Deo Gloria
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Format: Paperback
From my experience attending few conferences or events where Dr Godfrey was the speaker, it is hard to be bored when one listens to or in this case, reads his lectures and texts. This man can talk, loves to talk, and knows what he talks about, though he claims to be more interested in "books" than "people." Now this book is the first book I read by Dr. Godfrey, which is a unique autobiography unlike other autobiographies you usually read. I was puzzled initially and somewhat worried, when in the Introduction, he wrote that his wife used this book in her woman's Bible study class, thinking how one could use someone's autobiography as Bible study material other than the autobiography of Jesus Christ himself. Only after reading the content did I understand that this book is not about Robert Godfrey primarily, but about God and his inspired, infallible and inerrant Word, whom he worships, particularly the central message of the gospel, that is, the work of the Lord Jesus Christ in saving and sanctifying sinners, formulated most faithfully and explained most clearly in Calvinistic theology. Dr. Godfrey describes his first encounter with Reformed Theology when he was a junior in high-school, and every chapter of his life, as an illustration of the doctrines of grace and the sovereignty of God (p.18-21). The great emphasis of the Reformation is on the centrality of the Bible, whereby he specifically discusses its core message of justification by faith (p.31-40). But he also added the importance of other related-doctrines central to the Reformed faith; particularly assurance (which he calls "certainty), worship, the role of the Law, sanctification, perseverance, disciplines in Christian life; of mind, actions and time; time for God and time with God (p.43-44).Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is fine. The title and the book text are a bit off-center. I fully expected a bit more biography of Godfrey's journey of heart, soul, and mind out of a life of arminianism and into reformed theology. I would have like to hear in what ways God touched his mind and heart with the Reformation teachings. The book is more about the doctrines of grace and how he discovered each doctrine. He does a superb job of drawing the big picture on the doctrines of grace. However, as one who also had an unexpected journey in my teen years and early college, I wanted to see more biography of life journey.
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Format: Paperback
This is such a clear presentation of the basics. Having come into the Reformed Christian faith out of Episcopalianism, I can relate to some of Godfrey's journey so well. His gentle, illuminating style of explaining Reformed doctrine is so refreshing and informative. This would be a great book to give as a "profession of faith" gift, especially to someone coming out of another denomination. What a treat to read! I found myself applying so many of his insights to current situations in my life -- that means to me that this is an extremely relevant book. Thank you, Dr. Godfrey!
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Format: Paperback
W. Robert Godfrey has written an engaging theological/autobiographical book concerning the doctrines of the Reformation, and how he discovered them in his Christian pilgrimage.

It was refreshing to hear how he borrowed Calvin's "Institutes" from a local pastor as a teenager, and also read Cornelius Van Til's "Defense Of The Faith" as a young person. My own conviction is that we patronise our youth far too much in our churches, rather than teach them the solid meat of the Word. There must be other Robert Godfreys out there wanting to be fed!

I share Godfrey's appreciation of Reformed theology. Two things that I found slightly annoying though were:

1) His emphasis on Sunday ("The Lord's Day") as the Christian Sabbath. My understanding is that the early Reformers didn't take this view, and many Calvinists today don't. He goes into it at length in at least two chapters that I can recall. When taken too far this really can bring believers into bondage!

2) Paedo-baptism as a logical outworking of his understanding of covenant theology. There's the subtle implication here that Reformed Baptists are not fully Reformed!

However, this is Godfrey's personal journey concerning Reformed theology, so perhaps I'm being needlessly critical regarding the above.

Definitely a stimulating read.
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