I recently purchased the book, Soteriology Simplified, which states on the back cover that, “All men are both responsible and response-able to respond to God’s initiatives in redemption, revelation and reconciliation.” This intuitively makes sense to me. To which, I’m hoping to have more “bullets in my gun” with which to better counter the arguments put forth by Calvinists. Living in the “land of Piper” (Twin Cities MN), I’ve found Calvinism to be a thorn in my side for longer than I’ve even understood what it was that Calvinists believed and taught. I’ve stated before that within my own dealings with Calvinists and non-Calvinists alike, I’ve discovered multitudes of smart and good-willed people on both sides putting forth persuasive arguments. The conundrum, then, is that many of the same scriptures are used to argue both sides of the spectrum which has led me to wonder if Christianity isn’t little more than a faith based on personal-opinion. I readily admit that my opinion on Christian doctrine is largely based on my antipathy toward Calvinistic thought and how I view the nature and character of God through the Calvinist’s lens. Nevertheless, my having “bad feelings” toward Calvinism doesn’t make it wrong.
Although I haven’t gotten very far in the book, I’m impressed that author Bob Hadley has nearly 550 references. The book looks to be well thought-out, clearly written with lots of references and I look forward to reading it. It may be true that for most people, the issue of Calvinism’s limited atonement (ref pg 11) is the fundamental point of contention. However, for me, it’s unconditional election. It’s my sense that if my arguments can undermine the concept of unconditional election, then limited atonement is less problematic. Granted, I understand how unconditional election must logically follow limited atonement. But I find the notion that God withholds the ability of some from coming to faith abhorrent and revealing an undeniability that God (per Calvinist doctrine) has not only chosen some for grace, he’s also intentionally chosen some for destruction.
I’m delighted to have this book on my shelf and will plan to write a more substantial review after reading it.