“What is Dr. Geisler warning the Christian community about in his book Chosen But Free? A new cult? Secularism? False prophesy scenarios? No. Dr. Geisler is sounding the alarm about a system of beliefs commonly called “Calvinism”. He insists this belief is “theologically inconsistent, philosophically insufficient, and morally repugnant.” (From the back cover) It is with that backdrop, comes a reply by one of the most well known Reformed Apologists in the field today, Dr. James White, as he sets out to paint a clear and pointed picture of what Calvinism actually is through logical process, exegetical precision and bold refutation of Dr. Geisler’s unfair and unfounded assertions. This is not a book for everybody’s tastes, but everybody should read it—especially those in disagreement or question of the Reformed system of faith.
It may not look like much, but this modest volume published by Calvary Press is jam packed with much needed argumentation, Scripture explanation and what can only be described as top-shelf scholarship mingled liberally with pastoral concern for the truth of the Gospel.
The book is described as “A Defense of the Reformation and a Rebuttal to Normal Geisler’s Chosen But Free” a long subtitle, but an accurate one in all respects. Dr. White minces no words and wastes no space as he sets to work in defining and defending the historic understanding of the system commonly nicknamed “Calvinism” that was, has been, and will continue to be, opposed from all sides in the evangelical community. It is easy to see the intelligence and charity that Dr. White wrote the book in, as you dive into the explanations of Romans 9, the exegesis of John 6, and discussion of the key points of Particular Redemption, Irresistible Grace, the fallen and enslaved will of man, extent of the fall and ultimately the freedom of God.
It was some time ago I read and reviewed Dr. Geisler’s book, and in that time I have had rehashed, explored and considered his objections, as we all should, and still I have found them lacking in so many ways. When I picked up James White’s response, I found what I was looking for in the issue: a strong, Scriptural and God-exalting discussion of the issues and how we are to consider them.
This book is written in a way that anyone can appreciate and I definitely enjoyed. It’s loaded with information! It is not a skim-read or a book you merely reference now and then, it is a book that is built on the principles of logic and consistency, guided by an absolute devotion to the veracity of Scripture and the glory of God.
However this is not a book without struggle and personal implications. As a Reformed Christian, I was consistently rejoicing with Dr. White as he explained the issues, and as a former Arminian fundamentalist, I felt my old self tug again at some of the hard truths. That is why this book is so very important. It causes us to face ourselves and our egalitarian strongholds we have built around our thoughts of God to make Him more comfortable. It is important because it doesn’t simply deal with the issues of TULIP or whatever variation you prefer (R.C. I’m looking at you) it deals with the issue of God Himself, and that no matter what you believe the truth on those issues are, God is still God and we must remember that God is free.
Most reading this review are probably not Calvinists, or if you are, you probably have this book on your shelf already. Either way, it is not one to be ignored by any, it is a vitally important voice in the discussion of the Gospel, God, and the believer’s comfort. No matter where you are in this issue, I encourage you read this book along with Dr. Geisler’s, with prayer and a quiet heart, listening for the Spirit’s voice and let God have the final word.
Published on 30 April, 2014. Last updated on