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For Calvinism

Narrated by: Maurice England
Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The system of theology known as Calvinism has been immensely influential for the past five hundred years, but it is often encountered negatively as a fatalistic belief system that confines human freedom and renders human action and choice irrelevant. Taking us beyond the caricatures, Michael Horton invites us to explore the teachings of Calvinism, also commonly known as Reformed theology, by showing us how it is biblical and God-centered, leading us to live our lives for the glory of God.

Horton explores the historical roots of Calvinism, walking readers through the distinctive known as the 'Five Points,' and encouraging us to consider its rich resources for faith and practice in the 21st Century. As a companion to Roger Olson's Against Calvinism, readers will be able to compare contrasting perspectives and form their own opinions on the merits and weaknesses of Calvinism.

©2011 Michael S. Horton (P)2011 Zondervan

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Excellent information

This book does an excellent job of defending the doctrines of Grace with biblical evidence and exposition, provides historical perspectives, along with highlighting the significance that Calvinists had in world missions. Great book, highly recommend it.

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For Calvinism?

I probably shouldn't have come out of this book less convinced of Calvinism and Reformed theology considering the title, and yet here I am. As I read For Calvinism, I found myself gradually turning against Horton (and Calvinism!) as I read. Here's just a few criticisms I had:

1. Calvinism's anthropology and theology of the Fall is extremely particular, but Horton does not match the level of evidence to the level of the claim being made. Rather, Calvinism treats the Fall's influence on human nature as a blank check, allowing passages about the depth of sin in human nature generally to serve as evidence for their particular intepretation.
2. Horton insists that election is not the central doctrine of Calvinism. He clearly does not actually believe this, as this book is almost completely about election.
3. Horton argues for the regulative principle by creating a false dichotomy between those practices he believes are explicitly proscibed and those that are not, as if the church's time any energy is a very narrow zero sum game.
4. Horton's explanation of salvation provokes a number of deeply troubling questions Horton doesn't even consider.
5. Horton plays right in to the criticsm that Calvinists have a narrow view of scripture by citing almost exclusively from Romans and John.
6. As is often typical of Calvinists, Horton's response to the New Perspective on Paul is to act as though it does not exist.
7. Horton has an annoying habit of dumping long lists of scriptural references without explanation, as if their meaning is self-evident. This practice is probably the norm is systematic theology, but it's also both idiotic and lazy. Scriptural references are NOT self-explanatory.
8. Unusually for a man that wrote a book about the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity is conspicuously absent. One would almost think that Calvinism in non-trinitarian from this book.
9. Horton frequently applies a double-standard between Calvinists and non-Calvinists. It a particularly grievous passage, Calvin is allowed to describe missionary efforts as the "persuasion" of non-believers without comment, when such a formulation would surely be considered damnable in an Arminian.
10. Horton claims that Calvinism is not some sort of innovation in Christian history, but rarely mentions a name between Augustine and Luther. Far from being concerned about Calvinism's seeming lack of precedent in Christian history, Horton extends his general contempt for anything he does not see in scripture to the idea of Church history itself, dismissing the value of anything other than confessions.

Ultimately, Horton problem is that he is making a case for Calvinism on the terms of the Calvlnists. He seems entirely uninterested in the actual concerns about Calvinist theology (Is Calvinism's God good? Is Calvinism's gospel actually good news? Is Calvinism more like algebra than theology? Does Calvinism reflect the teaching of the whole of Scripture, or distort it by a narrow focus on Paul?). Instead, he preaches to the choir, answers the questions he wishes you would ask, and stays in Calvinism's systematic theology safe space. If Calvinism is satisfied which such bizarro apologetics, its reputation will continue to suffer.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

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For Calvinism

The constant reciting of verse sources for the scriptural portions was very distracting and greatly disturbed and interrupted the flow of the reading.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A must listen for both sides...

Once though myself as an Arminian... now thinking Molinist....

The issues I have with Calvinism weren't all addressed, but this book cleared up a lot of misunderstanding.

My problem is really hearing Calvinists and thinking "yea, I agree with most of the things you say..."

Then hearing Arminians and thinking "I agree with even more of what you say..."

I honestly believe the truth is somewhere in the middle... which Molinism seems to be where it lies...

This will be one of the great questions answered by the Messiah when we are all standing in our glorified bodies before Him...

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fair to both sides

This book is very fair to both sides of the debate. Even though I strongly disagree with the view in this book, it is still a fair representation of Calvinism as a whole.

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Great Book and Great Narrator!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It is clear and concise and is informational for anyone wanting to study the subject or know how to better address these issues.

What did you like best about this story?

The Narrator was fantastic. I could listen to him all day long. Kind of like listening to Alistair Begg, but the narrator doesn't have an accent.

Have you listened to any of Maurice England’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I will definitely listen to more as long as they contain such deep and accurate theological content.

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Succinct and Worth Any Christian's Time

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A great book<br />

I loved it and every moments i spend reading it is so helpful and great.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good, but not great

I got this to see how Horton presented his case as opposed to Roger Olson's in "Against Calvinism." While Olson I thought was more personal (against those who hold to Calvinism) while presenting his case, I found myself not listening to his message as openly as I might have otherwise. Horton on the other hand didn't appear to really offer a case for Calvinism, rather his perspective (at least what I got out of it) of what Calvinism should be. It just didn't seem to me to be a case for Calvinism, which was very disappointing considering that Michael Horton was the author.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful