Willing to Believe: The Controversy over Free Will - eBook
Willing to Believe: The Controversy over Free Will - eBook  -     By: R.C. Sproul
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Willing to Believe: The Controversy over Free Will - eBook

Baker Books / 2002 / ePub

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Product Description

What is the role of the will in believing the good news of the gospel? Why has there been so much controversy over free will throughout church history? In Willing to Believe R. C. Sproul traces the free-will controversy from its formal beginning in the fifth century, when Augustine took up the pen against Pelagius, to the present. Sproul's historical tour provides an accessible resource for understanding the nuances separating the views of Protestants and Catholics, Calvinists and Arminians as well as the Reformed and Dispensationalist traditions. Sproul also highlights how this debate over free will shapes our view of humanity and our understanding of God's character.

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2002
ISBN: 9781585581535
ISBN-13: 9781585581535

Publisher's Description

What is the role of the will in believing the good news of the gospel? Why is there so much controversy over free will throughout church history? R. C. Sproul finds that Christians have often been influenced by pagan views of the human will that deny the effects of Adam's fall.
In Willing to Believe, Sproul traces the free-will controversy from its formal beginning in the fifth century, with the writings of Augustine and Pelagius, to the present. Readers will gain understanding into the nuances separating the views of Protestants and Catholics, Calvinists and Arminians, and Reformed and Dispensationalists. This book, like Sproul's Faith Alone, is a major work on an essential evangelical tenet.

Author Bio

R. C. Sproul (1939-2017) was founder of Ligonier Ministries, an international Christian discipleship organization located near Orlando, Florida. He was also founding pastor of Saint Andrew's Chapel in Sanford, Florida, first president of Reformation Bible College, and executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. His radio program, Renewing Your Mind, is still broadcast daily on hundreds of radio stations around the world and can also be heard online. Dr. Sproul contributed dozens of articles to national evangelical publications, spoke at conferences, churches, colleges, and seminaries around the world, and wrote more than one hundred books, including The Holiness of God, Chosen by God, and Everyone's a Theologian. He also served as general editor of the Reformation Study Bible.

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  1. Academy252
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Willing to Believe... a church history on free will
    March 28, 2018
    Academy252
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Willing to Believe, repackaged edition.
    This book is a second edition of the original by the same title published in 1997.

    First of all, I encourage you to read the Introduction to the book because it truly sets the stage for the following debate on free will. Sproul shares how all of this is still relevant to us today, too. It affects so much of our thinking without us even being aware. The biblical view and the humanistic view have been battling it out for centuries. Sproul shows us how things connect and it lays the groundwork for the rest of the book very well.

    Sproul takes the topic of Free Will and lays out the church history on the subject. If you are a church history buff this will be drool worthy for you. The debate started with Pelagianism vs. Augustinianism theology and the very different perspectives that they brought to the subject. The debate began with the question about sin and were we born with a sin nature or not and it takes off from there with all kinds of banter back and forth between the two camps.

    We move through history from the time of Augustine to a Semi-Pelagian view, Martin Luthers defense with an Augustinian slant and then on to John Calvin, James Armenius, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Grandison Finney and finally we land on Lewis Sperry Chafer to close out the discussion.

    It is a thick book in the sense that it took me a longer period of time to read but when I took it in small chunks it really was quite interesting. There is SO MUCH to think about in each chapter. I love that Sproul always took the time to share such indepth things with us to encourage us to dig deeper and really know what we believe. It is designed for both the teacher/preacher and the layperson. I have learned so much in this book about where the Church has come from and the intricate twists and turns as they hammered out what the Bible really says on such things as free will, sin, forgiveness, grace and so forth.

    The book is complete with timelines, a Latin dictionary, lists of names of theologians throughout the churchs history and many resources where you can read more. There is a reference page in the back with scripture references to back up each idea that is presented. Sproul did a beautiful job of telling what free will is and why it is important to our walk with Christ.

    If you are interested in learning more about church history and knowing more about those who have gone before us in this journey I think you would love this book.

    This book was sent to me by Baker Publishing Group, Baker Books Division free of charge. All they ask in return is that I read and give an honest review of this book.
  2. Clay
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Fight of the Century?
    February 3, 2018
    Clay
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Willing to Believe, repackaged edition.
    A review of Willing to Believe: Understanding the Role of the Human Will in Salvation

    by R. C. Sproul

    The greatest pugilistic event of the last century was the Joe Frazier vs. Muhammad Ali fight on March 8th, 1971. In the theological world, one of the greatest standoffs between two theologians was between Saint Augustine and Pelagius in the 5th century CE. The controversy created by the teaching of Pelagius, and the denunciation of that teaching by Augustine, would have far-reaching consequences.

    Sproul details the controversy in the specific area of man's will and salvation. He then goes on to show how the division between the two men had long-lasting repercussions for the following centuries.

    Not only Augustine and Pelagius got into the "ring" to duke it out over the theology of sin and man's will, but later Luther would debate Erasmus, and Calvin would debate critics of the Augustinian position in his day. Jonathan Edwards would pick up the fight on this side of the Atlantic at a later date.

    Much of the controversy was not over a "pure" form of Pelagianism, but over what has become known as semi-Pelagianism. That debate continues today, according to Sproul, in the works of Finney and Chafer, who he says represent a semi-Pelagian position.

    The book concludes with a detailed timeline for the life of each individual mentioned, and a list of works by and about each.

    Reading the arguments is much like watching a quick-handed boxer. You need to pay close attention to what is happening in the text. Sproul is apt to use Latin phrases and dense theological language requiring thorough concentration. This book is not for novice theologians who want a quick, easy read. However, it will benefit those who take the time to read and carefully digest the contents.

    Baker was kind enough to provide me a copy of the e-version of the book for my unbiased review.
  3. mjohn11
    Huntsville, AL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 20, 2012
    mjohn11
    Huntsville, AL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Excellent book! A bit more technical in its theology, but yet an edifying book. For an easier to read book by the same author on the same subject, try Chosen by God by RC Sproul
  4. pamela cowles
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 16, 2007
    pamela cowles
    R. C. sets all the propositions of evangelical thought on the will 4th-21st century. This book answers the question what is man able to do in salvation, whether salvation is all of God alone or a cooperative effort between God and man. This is a much bigger issue than many think because it has to do with whether man is justified by Christ alone or if man has a part in his own justification. What man is and is not capable of doing has great bearing on all the doctrines of grace.
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