Resources for Studying Calvinism
When Phil Johnson taught on Spurgeon at the 07SR he referenced some of Spurgeon’s contentions regarding Calvinism. I thought it would be helpful for some of our youth staff and students to get a better grasp on what Calvinism really is, so I began a brief series entitled “God Saves Sinners” during our Sunday morning meetings (see the end of this post for links to that material). We are more than halfway through and I thought now would be as good a time as any to suggest some additional resources for those interested in studying Calvinism on their own.
- J.I. Packer’s Introduction to The Death of Death in the Death of Christ is one of the best summaries of the Doctrines of Grace I’ve read. * Charles Spurgeon, “A Defense of Calvinism.” Spurgeon on sovereignty, enough said. * The Canons of Dort. This is the original document written to refute the false teaching of the Remonstrance. * Phil did a seminar at this year’s Shepherds’ Conference that he’s turned into a blog series titled, “Why I Am a Calvinist.” This particular post has links to a one message mp3 he preached on “The Story of Calvinism” and a 600+ page Word document on Calvinism that is near the top of his recommended reading list. * Here is a page that covers TULIP in outline form, with verses, and a few other pertinent quotations. * This is a position paper from Bethlehem Baptist Church (John Piper), What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism.
The first two of these are in my top 10 list of most influential books. If you’ve been waiting for a good time to start your theological library, wait no longer.
- The Five Points of Calvinism, by Steele, Thomas, and Quinn. I’d recommend the newest version that has an updated typeface and some additional articles in the back. If you are going to buy just one book, this is the standard. * The Sovereignty of God, by A.W. Pink. You can also read this book online, or print it out for free, though it is worth having on your bookshelves–after you’ve read it, of course. * The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, by Loraine Boettner. Likewise, you can read this online.
If iPod listening is your thing, I wholeheartedly recommend:
- John Piper’s seminar messages on TULIP mp3s. Once you get to the page, scroll down until you see “TULIP.”
And though I haven’t listened to any of these, and though it is only focused on the “L” of TULIP, I’m planning on listening to:
- Steve Lawson on 10 Reasons Why the Bible Teaches Definite Atonement.
My own material is obviously not the first, nor is it the best, nor will it be the final word on Calvinism. Yet it is my attempt to explain it.
God Saves Sinners
2008 Faith Bible Church Reformation Conference
- Total Depravity - God Saves Spiritually Dead Sinners * Unconditional Election - God Chose Sinners to Save * Limited Atonement - God Substituted Himself for Sinners * Irresistible Grace - God Awakens Sinners to Life * Perseverance of the Saints - God Keeps Saved Sinners Forever
We Are Not Our Own
UPDATED [August 20, 2009]: These are messages I preached at the 2009 Faith Bible Church Reformation Conference. In 2008 they asked me to preach on the five points of Calvinism. These are follow up messages. I titled the series: We Are Not Our Own: The Implications of Calvinism, driven by this quote from Calvin in his Institutes:
We are God’s: let us therefore live for Him and die for Him. We are God’s: let His wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward Him as our only lawful goal. (3.7.1)
The audio for each session is available if you’re interested.
- The Heart of Calvinism - How to Live Like a Whole-Hearted Calvinist * God May Perhaps Grant Repentance - How to Correct Opponents Like a Calvinist * For the Sake of the Faith of God’s Elect - How to Tell THE Story Like a Calvinist * Created to Walk in Good Works - How to Obey Like a Calvinist * Born Again to a Living Hope - How to Suffer Like a Calvinist
If you have other recommended resources for studying the sovereignty of God in salvation, please share those suggestions in the comments.