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Whether you think of yourself as a Calvinist or not, your understanding of “Calvinism” probably involves some misinformation, stereotypes, and ambiguity. Written for those in high school and up, Jim Orrick’s fresh, evangelistic explanation gets to the heart of the matter: the Bible teaches that God always does as he pleases and that he initiates, sustains, and completes the salvation of everyone who goes to heaven. This focus sets Calvinism apart from other views within Christianity—and has huge, positive implications for daily life. Calvinism is more than the “five points” for which it is known, but those five points make an excellent framework for understanding its teaching. Taking us back to the Bible, Orrick examines what we mean when we talk about total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints—and why those ideas matter.
|Title: Mere Calvinism|
By: Jim Scott Orrick
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: P & R Publishing
Publication Date: 2019
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Weight: 11 ounces
Stock No: WW956140
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Many treatments of the Calvinistic TULIP are worthy of careful reading. This one by Jim Orrick, in my opinion, has characteristics that stand out a bit beyond these other worthy expositions. Not only does Dr. Orrick give great clarity to the doctrines themselves and show their necessary connections and internal coherence, but his plain and clear biblical exegesis is gripping and woven into the doctrinal narrative in a form that elevates the readers attention and gives fluidity to the story-line. I choose that word purposefully, for this book reads like a good story, incorporating a literary artfulness rare in this subject matter. Orricks personal crafts and knowledge of a wide range of human artfrom hunting, to bee-keeping, to tanning animal skins for the purpose of making clothes, to production of works of literature, et alare all put to the task of arresting interest and increasing the clarity of these deeply theological expositions. His reflections on the quantitative element in the atonement just might be the best in print.
Jim Orrick has written a book explaining Calvinism in a way that is simple, but not simplistic. By that I mean it is easy to read, but not shallow. He conveys biblical truth so simply that anyone can understand it, but so perceptively that even those well-taught in these doctrines will discover many fresh insights. This book is winsome without being sentimental. Orricks homespun style reads like a neighbor talking with you over a mug of coffee while the two of you sit by the fireplace, and his tone is that of a kind and earnest friend. This Scripture-saturated book would be a great gift to someone as an introduction to Calvinism, or an excellent choice for a small group to read together, or an edifying selection for individual reading.
As a pastor, I sometimes cringe at the mention of Calvinism because of the amount of misinformation about it and the bad examples of it. This creates unnecessary controversy about beliefs that should bring encouragement and unity. You will not find any of that in Dr. Orricks book. He explains each doctrine with patience and clarity. In the book, he so aptly illustrates the doctrines that even my young sons could understand it when I read it aloud to them. If you are looking for a clear explanation of Calvinism that is neither condescending nor overly academic, this book will greatly benefit you.