Monday, October 3, 2016

What is Reformed Theology? by R. C. Sproul

The current book is a reissue, having been originally published in 1997. It remains a good introduction to and review of reformed theology, especially for those not familiar with reformed Christianity.

Sproul begins by explaining the ways to study theology and the various ways to obtain knowledge about God. He explores the foundations of reformed theology. It is centered on God. He explains that how we understand God affects our understanding of everything else. “Reformed theology applies the doctrine of God relentlessly to all other doctrines, making it the chief control factor in all theology.” (31)

Reformed theology is based on God's Word alone. Sproul helps readers understand the various ways God reveals Himself. The Reformers had a high view of the Bible's inspiration and were assured of its infallability, inerrancy and authority. With the same attention to detail, Sproul explores the remaining foundations. That includes justification by faith alone, the person, work, and offices of Christ, and the importance of covenants.

Sproul then takes readers through the five points of reformed theology: humanity's radical corruption, God's sovereign choice, Christ's purposeful atonement, the Spirit's effective call, and God's preservation of the saints.

Sproul does an excellent job of showing how reformed theology is cohesive and firmly rooted in Scripture. With many contemporary theologians straying from long accepted doctrines, it is good to be reminded of doctrine firmly centered in the Bible. He explains the doctrines of reformed theology in an understandable way, even the hard to accept ones like predestination and “limited atonement.” He also clarifies the difference between orthodox Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism.

I highly recommend this book to those who want to understand reformed theology. It is an excellent introduction to the theology. Readers will see how the theology is evangelical, is consistent in logic, and is firmly rooted in Scripture.

You can read a sample chapter here.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

R. C. Sproul has been a seminary professor and pastor and has authored more than ninety books. He is the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, and his teaching can be heard on the radio program Renewing Your Mind. He holds degrees from Westminster College, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, the Free University of Amsterdam, and Whitefield Theological Seminary. He and his wife live in Sanford, Florida.

Baker Books, 274 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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