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Humble Calvinism: And if I Know the Five Points, But Have Not Love ... Paperback – 1 March 2019
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J. A. Medders
J.A. Medders is Lead Pastor of Redeemer Church, Tomball, Texas. The author of Humble Calvinism and Rooted, J.A. is married to Natalie and they have two children, Ivy and Oliver. He loves vinyl records and sour candy, and is a popular blogger and speaker as well as the host of the 'Home Row' podcast for writers. J.A. holds a Masters from Southern Theological Baptist Seminary.
Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Young, Restless, and Reformed and Blind Spots
"Maybe in another generation the term "humble Calvinism" won't seem like such an oxymoron. If so, this encouraging and challenging book will have been used by God to help us live up to what we believe."
Lore Ferguson Wilbert, Author, Handle With Care
"The words Humble and Calvinism probably feel at odds to many of us. Jeff Medders speaks straight to the elephant in the echo chamber, showing himself to be the chief of prideful Calvinists and charting his subsequent journey toward humble Calvinism. For years I've watched Jeff take a low road, aware of his own desire to achieve but instead choosing humble faithfulness. He is the right person to write this book and he has handled it in humility, with beautiful writing and rich theology."
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas; President, Acts 29; author, Take Heart
"Reformed culture seems to be known for its harshness and lack of grace. Yet Reformed soteriology should create a joyful heart and a deep, glad humility that overflows into compassionate evangelism and graciousness to all. I hope Jeff's book will be used by God to renew a spirit of gentleness and humility among us, and will encourage those who have rejected these beautiful beliefs to consider them anew."
Barnabas Piper, Author and podcaster
"I knew the ins and outs of Calvinism well before I understood the ins and outs of God’s grace, which is an insane thing to write—but also why Jeff’s book is so valuable. I likely would’ve been too arrogant to appreciate it then, but looking back it is exactly the message I desperately needed as a young Reformed guy. Medders’ message of Jesus-centric, humble, grateful life and theology is what I was missing, and I was a theological wrecking ball because of it, leaving bruised and broken people in my wake. I’m so grateful this book is available now and I pray it will save some other cocksure Calvinist from himself."
Reformed culture seems to be known for its harshness and lack of grace. Yet Reformed soteriology should create a joyful heart and a deep, glad humility that overflows into compassionate evangelism and graciousness to all. I hope Jeff's book will be used by God to renew a spirit of gentleness and humility among us, and will encourage those who have rejected these beautiful beliefs to consider them anew. --Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas; President, Acts 29; author, Take Heart
Maybe in another generation the term "humble Calvinism" won't seem like such an oxymoron. If so, this encouraging and challenging book will have been used by God to help us live up to what we believe. --Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Young, Restless, and Reformed and Blind Spots
About the Author
- Publisher : The Good Book Company (1 March 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 128 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1784983721
- ISBN-13 : 978-1784983727
- Dimensions : 12.7 x 1.52 x 19.56 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 491,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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But others reading this review might be thinking, “Wait—I don’t really know what Calvinism is. Neither do I know the ‘five points’ mentioned in the subtitle.” To this, I’ll say that Medders does of faithful job of bringing readers up to speed. After the introduction there is a short section that covers historical background and definition of terms. In the rest of the book, Medders unpacks each of the five points of Calvinism (often identified by the acronym TULIP) and how each point should produce meek not malicious Christians.
As someone who has read a number of books on this topic, let me also say how enjoyable Medders made his book, which is not easy to do when explaining theology; his sentences snap, crackle, and pop. For example, he writes of those who wield their Calvinism like a lead pipe; getting his first whiff of TULIP; making theological taxidermy a hobby; and predestination as the prequel of our faith in Christ (pp. 19, 43, 45, and 77).
Humble Calvinism is a helpful book for those trying for the first time to understand the Calvinistic view of God’s sovereignty in salvation. And it’s also a convicting book for pastors like me who need to be reminded that if our understanding of Calvinism—or any other doctrine—produces in us arrogance, then we haven’t learned the doctrine as we ought.
Jeff Medders powerfully helpful book Humble Calvinism attempts to let the air out of the pride tank and fill it with beautiful, Christ-exalting humility. This is the very thing that a true embrace of the Doctrines of Grace should produce. By showing the humbling, and heart-warming, realities of TULIP in all of Scripture and calling Christians to that same kind of humble charity, we find what true Calvinism is supposed to be, which is really who Jesus has made us to be!
Medders’ writing is filled with the gospel and grand theological truths, but it is also devotional and doxological. This was one of my favorite things about the book. Medders does not simply argue for Humble Calvinism, he displays it over and over again in his writing. I deeply enjoyed this book and found my thoughts and affections stirred for Jesus over and over again.
But there’s not a shred of humility here. It just repackages the 5 points of Calvinism and tries to present them in a nice, neat, friendly way. Literally zero attention is given to addressing the common objections to Calvinism. And the author leaves no room at all for the distinct possibility that the 95% of the Christian world that rejects Calvinism might be right. Instead, as always seems to be the case, the tone is that of, “Hey, not everybody knows what we know (poor things). So, let’s be nice to them. That’s what Calvin would have wanted.”
If you want to learn about Calvinism, then sure, this is a good starter book. If, however, you are looking for a humble discussion on Calvinism, I don’t recommend it.