Yes it is true, I, a non-Presbyterian, married a Presbyterian. I now go to a Presbyterian church. Yet, not being raised with reformed doctrine, I don’t always understand all the terms and theology, to make matters worse I don’t always know if I agree with them. The questions that keeps rattling around in my mind run like this, “what are we going to teach our children?” “what am I going to say if they have questions?” So I have decided to read some books on reformed theology more specifically the 5 points of Calvinism. Hence the book. review.
A Journey in Grace: A Theological Novel by Richard P. Belcher Published by Richbarry Press, 1990, 2002
This book follows the story of a young Baptist theological student as he studies the five points of Calvinism (John Calvin’s view of how Jesus saves a person as he saw it from the Bible).
- Total Depravity
- Unconditional Election
- Limited Atonement
- Irresistible Grace
- Perseverance of the Saints
The young man, Ira Pointer, who before had been totally unfamiliar with these doctrines, searches through the scriptures to answer doubts and questions raised by his own mind (and others) concerning the 5 points. He also comes into contact with preachers who are either “hyper-calvinist” (meaning they don’t believe in witnessing or missions or intercessory prayer) and love bashing people over the head with their doctrine, and preachers who are “Calvinist-haters” and love condemning any Christian’s ministry who believes this theology. Ira comes to realize how these views are not scriptural but a twisting of scripture. Overall this book was a good introduction to the Calvinist view of theology. It helped me to understand where in the Bible theologians saw these points.
The book is only 240 pages long, making it a quick read. The story is rather lame and not that well written, but the purpose of the book is not the story. That being said, it does help you read the book, otherwise it would have probably taken me a year to read through a 200 page book solely on theology. There is also a lot of internal review which helped me not to lose track of the theology discussion in the midst of the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who want a good introduction to the basic tenets of Calvinist theology.
As of yet, my conclusions have not been draw, so you may see more books like this on my blog as I probe deeper into reformed theology.