There are some books written today that are great editions to tons of others out there on the same topic, there are other books that are good but expected and then there are books that are needed! Humble Calvinism is a book that needed to be written!
The heart cry of the book is that Calvinists need to be humble. If you’re a Calvinist, which I am, then you will probably have gone through the phase where you think every Christian has to be a Calvinist.
This usually happens when someone first understands Calvinism and feels the need to ‘convert’ everyone. However, this often results in more harm than good, more long winded arguments but little caring conversation, more arguing than encouraging. This is not how it should be!
Hence, this book was seriously needed!
This book is so important because Medders explains, very well and winsomely, what Calvinism is and what is not. He says that
“The most important five-letter word in Calvinism isn’t TULIP. It’s Jesus.”
TULIP is the acronym that most people think of when they hear Calvinism, it stands for the 5 points of Calvinism:
Total Depravity: We are totally unrighteous and need God to save us.
Unconditional Election: God chose to save sinners apart from any human merit.
Limited Atonement: Jesus’ death on the cross secured the salvation specifically of his people.
Irresistible Grace: Sinners believe in Christ because God draws them to himself.
Perseverance of the Saints: Christians cannot lose their salvation; they will endure till the end.
If you do not hold to these points, or maybe you’ve been burned by someone in the past who tried to convince you of Calvinism. I’ve heard people say that if Calvinism didn’t exist then Christianity would be better off. But as Medders says
“We don’t need less Calvinism, we need real Calvinism – one that resides in our hearts rather than merely lodging in our heads”
If only we all understood that from the start! I’ve been that guy who argues Calvinism until I’m blue in the face. I’ve doubted and questioned those who do not agree and I’ve learned verses and quotes to win an argument but not to win the individual. However, the teachings of Calvinism aren’t the problem, but some Calvinists are!
Calvinism is useless if it is only head knowledge, like all theology, Calvinism should lead us to love our brothers and sisters more, marvel is Christ and be humble before Him.
“Humble Calvinism hungers to see people meet Jesus”
I highly recommend you read this book if 1) you’re a Calvinist, 2) if you’re not a Calvinist; and 3) if you aren’t sure where you stand.
Medders doesn’t try to convince people that Calvinism is true, he simply explains what true and Biblical Calvinism is.
As I read this book I was challenged to my own attitude when speaking about Calvinism, and how the doctrines that I hold to should affect my life. If Calvinism is simply an acronym that we can cite off my heart, or a set of quotes from Spurgeon and others, or just a few Bible verses that back up our position then we have a problem.
All of our doctrine should lead us to love God more, love His Church more, love His people more and love the lost. Too often we sit and debate theology when there is a world that is dying without the one thing that will make them right with God – Salvation through Jesus.
Humble Calvinism will challenge you, build you up and point you to Jesus! Buy it here and read it because there are too many quotes for me to add it this post.