Calvinism often get a bad wrap, carrying the image of prideful or boastful, arrogant even. The modern push to bring back Calvinism and reformed theology to face off with secular Christianity has all the right intentions, but lacking love. Those who hold to Calvinism as their source of doctrine are often said and even joked about, that they must go through various stages including the “caged-stage” before they reach what many call the “sage-caged” The “caged” Calvinist are those who generally give most Calvinists a bad name, as they come off as arrogant and prideful. They often make judgements based on scriptural knowledge of the person they are debating and will not hold anything back. Humbleness is a term that isn’t generally associated with Calvinism and would be laughed at by many on the outside.
Humble Calvinism by J.A. Medders takes a new fresh approach at modern Calvinism. The purpose of the books sets out to provide a brief historical look at the reformation, then walks the user through TULIP, the five points of Calvinism; T=totally depraved, U=unconditional election, L=limited atonement, I=irresistible grace, P=preservation of the saints. Medders drops a quote on page 27 that says it all, “We don’t need less Calvinism, we need more real Calvinism.” This quote sets the tone for the whole book, a look at what Calvinism should be, and not what it is today. Medders takes the reader through each point and lays out a new perspective that centers on love and humbleness. With Christ always at the center of what we do, we should be the lowest of people in service, helping anyone we can. Our love should be on display for the world to see, and to see Christ working through that. This book is great for those who don’t even have a clue as to what Calvinism is. Medders does a fine job in the introduction and break down of each point of TULIP to ensure the readers are familiar with the various terms.
This is a must-read book for all Christians. J.A. Medders does a fantastic job of taking a difficult doctrine and making it easy to understand, and enjoyable to read. Humble Calvinism will ensure the modern Calvinist to re-examine their approach to doctrine and decisions. We should be more focused on loving people and being of service to them instead of bashing them over the head with theology. Our arrogance must take a back seat if not be kicked out of the car entirely, as it is un-christlike. I highly recommend this book to any and all Christians looking to explore theology a little deeper, and to set up the monumental challenge of living a humble and grace-filled life.
I received this book from The Good Book for a free in exchange for an honest review.