Michael Horton's book is a very tight summary of the basics of Calvinism. He uses the basic structure of T.U.L.I.P. (though he has changed some of the point names and ends up with T.U.P.E.P.) to walk the reader through Calvinism with a great variety of points of view and arguing for his own understanding. Speaking as an MDiv student studying Theology, this is a great introduction and should be easily understandable to any person looking to learn more about Calvinism.
I highly recommend reading this book along with Roger Olson's Against Calvinism for a balanced view on the strengths and weaknesses of this view.
Let me say this first: Roger Olson has a very urgent, forceful way of writing. Though I've never met him personally, I can say with relative confidence that he is an incredibly passionate individual. This may turn many people away from this book thinking that he is arrogant (which he kinda is) or that he hates Calvinists (which he really doesn't).
This book poses a conceptual problem. While it is a great counterpoint to Michael Horton's For Calvinism, it does not stand on its own very well. This is because it is a negative apologetic; it is written for the purpose of poking holes in Calvinism and not to support Olson's view (Arminianism). This come across as Olson being vindictive and often uncaring. If one were to read Horton's companion book or even Olson's Arminian Theology (a great but challenging book) then one would see that Olson isn't writing out of pure spite, but out of a loving urgency and passion for the subject matter. Regardless, this is why I couldn't give it 5's across the board.
I do, however, think this was a phenomenal read and worth the >10 hours it would take for any serious thinker who wants to understand some of the limitations of Calvinism and the importance of individual discernment, thought, and study in the life of every Christian.
I bought this book with high hopes. I really wanted to enjoy it. At first I did! The birth narrative was humorous and exciting. Shortly after, however, the book fell apart. My main problem with this book is that is was not well written. The characters were shallow and unlikable. The plot was rushed and barely comprehensible at times. I was expecting a book which explored the depths of the characters of Glinda, Elphaba, etc. What I got instead was a writer who couldn't decide if he wanted to write a trashy romance novel or a semi-interesting action book. What he eventually turned out is a book which only teases to get better, but only gets worse with each sentence.
I listened to it because I wanted to love it. Now, I would never recommend it to anyone unless you are really interested in an ankle deep approach to the land of Oz.
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