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Why I Am Not a Calvinist

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Overview

What's wrong with Calvinism?

Since the Reformation, Calvinism has dominated much of evangelical thought. It has been so well established that many Christians simply assume it to be the truest expression of Christian doctrine. But Calvinism has some serious biblical and theological weaknesses that unsettle laypeople, pastors and scholars alike.

God is sovereign. All evangelical Christians--whether Arminians or Calvinists--have no doubt about ...

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Overview

What's wrong with Calvinism?

Since the Reformation, Calvinism has dominated much of evangelical thought. It has been so well established that many Christians simply assume it to be the truest expression of Christian doctrine. But Calvinism has some serious biblical and theological weaknesses that unsettle laypeople, pastors and scholars alike.

God is sovereign. All evangelical Christians--whether Arminians or Calvinists--have no doubt about this fundamental truth. But how does God express his sovereignty? Is God a master puppeteer, pulling our strings? Or has he graciously given his children freedom to respond to his love?

In this eminently readable book, Jerry L. Walls and Joseph R. Dongell explore the flaws of Calvinist theology. Why I Am Not a Calvinist is a must-read for all who struggle with the limitations of this dominant perspective within evangelical theology.

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Editorial Reviews

Kelly James Clark
"Without the usual rancor, hysteria and triumphalism, Walls and Dongell offer a clear and forceful biblical and philosophical case for Arminianism. This book is a welcome and important contribution to the recent upsurge in discussions of Calvinism and Arminianism."
Roger E. Olson
"The biblical, theological and rational case against Calvinism has never been stated more clearly, concisely, irenically or convincingly."
Doctor - James F. Sennett
"Walls and Dongell present an exceptional blend of careful scholarship, readable presentation, uncompromising conviction, and graceful opposition in their forcefully argued book Why I Am Not a Calvinist. Points that make this a book well worth buying and reading include the following:The book demonstrates well the often overlooked fact that the issues between Calvinism and Arminianism are not primarily exegetical but theological and even philosophical.This task is ably accomplished by the combination of an exegetical scholar and a theological philosopher in the authorial team—an ideal amalgamation for such a book.The book clearly identifies and explains the most powerful problems for Calvinism—conceptual problems with the notion of freedom, logical consistency problems and problems of ingenuous application of Calvinist theology to Christian life.While clearly and unapologetically non-Calvinist, the authors are most assuredly not anti-Calvinist. Their treatment of Calvinism and Calvinists is always in the spirit of Christian love, acceptance, understanding and unity.The book is very timely, given the central debates in contemporary conservative and evangelical theology and the resurgence of pro-Calvinist sentiment over the last two decades."
Dr. James F. Sennett
"Walls and Dongell present an exceptional blend of careful scholarship, readable presentation, uncompromising conviction, and graceful opposition in their forcefully argued book Why I Am Not a Calvinist. Points that make this a book well worth buying and reading include the following:

The book demonstrates well the often overlooked fact that the issues between Calvinism and Arminianism are not primarily exegetical but theological and even philosophical.

This task is ably accomplished by the combination of an exegetical scholar and a theological philosopher in the authorial team--an ideal amalgamation for such a book.

The book clearly identifies and explains the most powerful problems for Calvinism--conceptual problems with the notion of freedom, logical consistency problems and problems of ingenuous application of Calvinist theology to Christian life.

While clearly and unapologetically non-Calvinist, the authors are most assuredly not anti-Calvinist. Their treatment of Calvinism and Calvinists is always in the spirit of Christian love, acceptance, understanding and unity.

The book is very timely, given the central debates in contemporary conservative and evangelical theology and the resurgence of pro-Calvinist sentiment over the last two decades."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830832491
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/2004
  • Pages: 230
  • Sales rank: 569,950
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry L. Walls is professor of philosophy of religion at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. His annual C. S. Lewis seminar is one of the school's most popular offerings. He is also author of Hell: The Logic of Damnation.

Dongell is professor of biblical studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Approaching the Bible
2. Engaging the Bible
3. Calvinism and the Nature of Human Freedom
4. Calvinism and Divine Sovereignty
5. Calvinism and Consistency
6. Calvinism and the Christian Life
Conclusion
Names Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2004

    A D*mned Good Read!

    Walls and Dongell, with this book, make a sharp and welcome contribution to the growing interest in the debate over Calvinism. Their approach is polite enough, but readers take warning - this book touches a nerve. 'Why I Am Not a Calvinist' aims to equip the reader with the philosophical terminology surrounding the issues, while also guiding us through central passages in scripture. Half of the book, Dongell's half, focuses on scripture, but many may be dissatisfied that the book doesn't spend ALL its time on scripture. Part of the tension underlying the Calvinist/Arminian debate is the way that scripture is used. Walls and Dongell take scripture no less seriously (in my thinking) - they simply deal with it in a different way. One critique of the book I've read elsewhere stems from Walls and Dongell's mention of Openness Theism. The authors shouldn't be surprised at the snappish responses, by mentioning Openness Theism they plant a firm, quick kick into the Reformed beehive. Better understood within a Wesleyan, Catholic, or Eastern Orthodox theology, Openness seems anathema to many Protestants. Yet it is not - whatever others may say - heretical. In Walls and Dongell's book, it should be noted, the authors do not even advocate it. They use it, rather, to make a point about sovereignty: namely, that sovereignty can still make sense even under a view like Openness - with its somewhat circumscribed view of the divine attributes. 'Why I Am Not a Calvinist' is a careful, studied work by two academics in full. It's accessible for college students and older, but not for the timid. Walls and Dongell are well-mannered but take no prisoners in the end. It's a good book, but not tame.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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