Cork Free Presbyterian Church, 10 Briarscourt (Annex) Shanakiel, Cork, Ireland Pastor: Colin Maxwell. Email: cfpc@esatclear.ie

CALVINISTIC BOOK REVIEWS

Just a few thoughts on various books which I have read over the years. We don't sell the books…contact Amazon or the publisher. I'm not taking the time to put up the ISBN number etc., If you are really keen to get hold of a copy and need it, you can email me, and I will help you, if I can. BOT = Banner of Truth Trust. The reader will know that there must be hundreds, if not thousands, of books out there dealing with the Calvinistic issue. I do not make a point of buying or reading every last book I can which expound these blessed doctrines. Those listed below are found in my own library/or I have read them in the past.

CALVIN'S INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION - WESTMINSTER. REVIEW: The great text book expounding the Biblical Doctrines of Grace. I haven't read it all but I have read all the controversial bits which deal with election etc., It's a pity those who take upon themselves to oppose Calvin don't do likewise instead of picking out bits here and there and quote them out of context. You need to read it all. I have the entire Institutes on CD Rom and also a good hardback copy, complete with search engine (Rom) and several indices. It is relatively easy to read, although the size (2 large volumes) may well put some folk off. There are some edited efforts which may well get you started but I always feel we miss something in edited productions.

CALVIN'S SERMONS - ON GALATIANS, EPHESIANS, ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION: ETC., VARIOUS PUBLISHERS. REVIEW: My experience with Calvin's sermons is that you need to read the whole sermon for all the drift. They do not yield their full potential if you are just looking up his comments on a verse or part of a verse. He is not wordy as such, but neither is he noted for his concise comments. If I am tired, I will read someone else. However, he is good and there is always a blessing waiting for those who will find a quiet seat somewhere and start to read. I usually let a few weeks lapse between reading one set of sermons before starting another. His sermons on Election and Predestination are largely based on Jacob and Esau's birth and life together and are wider than the title suggests. When you remember that his church was crowded every day to hear these sermons, there was obviously something there! I am currently reading his sermons on the Saving Work of Christ based on some gospel passages. These sermons are worth reading if you would rather get away from the controversial debate type books and see how these doctrines are worked out in the various books of the Bible. Calvin, it is said, was first and foremost a pastor and only studied theology in order to be a better pastor. The way it ought to be!

CALVIN'S WISDOM - AN ANTHOLOGY BY GRAHAM MILLER. BOT. REVIEW: A very useful book indeed giving snippets from Calvin's works and arranged under many subject headings. Well documented and a very useful tool. Calvin's comments are always weighty. I picked my copy up at a fraction of the RRP and therefore feel very pleased with myself indeed!

THE GOSPEL AS TAUGHT BY CALVIN BY RC REED. BAKER HOUSE. REVIEW: Small (155pp) easy to read paper back explaining and defending the "5 points" In many ways, a mini version of Boettner's Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. His arguments are simple…and irrefutable. I was greatly encouraged by the statistic he gave, that in his day in America (early 1900's) while 1 in 10 Christians were Presbyterians, yet this strain of evangelicalism yielded 1 in 4 of the foreign missionaries. Who says that Calvinism kills off missionary enterprise? A delightful read and useful as an introduction to the doctrines.

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