Chosen By God – Sproul
Chosen By God is an excellent read penned by R.C. Sproul and published by Tyndale House. It was originally published in 1986 and has sold over 200,000 print copies. This book very clearly and understandably articulates the classic reformed doctrines of predestination and election. In classic R.C. Sproul style, the author makes difficult matters easily understood. No matter which side of this issue you happen to take, you would benefit from the understanding of reformed Christianity that this book promotes. I would give this book the official Theology Nerd five-star rating. Be sure to fill your pocket protector with markers, highlighters, and pens when you read this. You will surely want to take notes.
One awesome part of this book is that R.C. Sproul does not ignore the claims of those who differ with Calvinism. Rather, he engages their beliefs. Of course, the result is total derailing, debunking, and dismissing of those arguments. In the process, there is plenty of material for those who want an answer as to why reformed soteriology is the right, true gospel. He draws from Scripture, theology, philosophy, church history, and practical examples to make a strong case for his belief system. If you are looking for rational material that illustrates reformational truth, then look no further.
Of extreme practical significance is chapter eight, titled, “Can We Know That We Are Saved?” As would seem apparent, this chapter deals with the assurance of the believer. Can I know right now that I am going to wind up one day in heaven? There are many even within the church today who do not feel that they can answer this affirmatively. However, Sproul shows carefully through scripture that we do, in fact, have assurance. If salvation is presented and understood in a biblical manner, that salvation can be trusted. We are assured of our destiny as God’s people. The problem is that the modern church does not always clearly present what the Bible teaches, so questions remain as to people’s salvation. According to Sproul, this is entirely unnecessary. He masterfully weaves the theme that God desires us to rest in the absolute assurance that our destiny is safe, secure, and providentially based.
In the conclusion, Sproul makes the following comment regarding reformed Christianity. ”It is a theology that begins and ends with grace. It begins and ends with doxology. We praise a God who lifted us from spiritual deadness and makes us walk in high places. . . We delight in our Savior who truly saves us and preserves us and intercedes for us. We marvel at His craftsmanship and in what He has wrought.” I believe that sums up the greatness of this subject well. Predestination, election, and reformed theology are all about the greatness and the glory of God. This book is designed to cultivate a passion for that understanding. If the book has one short coming, it is this: when I got to the conclusion, I was sad that there was not more to read. I found myself wanting to hear more and more. Of course, there are always more books to be read, and here at The Theology Nerd, we are all about the books.
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