Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Review: Charles Spurgeon. A Defense of Calvinism.

A Defense of Calvinism is a brief tract written by the preeminent Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), long considered to be the Prince of Preachers.

Although many Christians today recognize Charles Spurgeon as one of the most able preachers, and certainly among the most quotable pastors of all time, and certainly the last 200 years, most do not realize that he was also an ardent Calvinist.

Although Spurgeon rarely mentions John Calvin by name in his sermons, and quotes him directly rarer still, this small booklet was meant to show his own unequivocal alignment with traditional Reformed Theology ("Calvinism") as against the Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinistic trends of his own day.

In this brief work, Spurgeon defends the doctrines of total depravity, election, limited atonement, and perseverance on Biblical and logical grounds. Here, he explains that the doctrine of the Reformers (and Calvin in particular) is nothing other than the Biblical theology of Jesus, Paul, and the Apostles.

At the end of this tract, Spurgeon explains how the sovereignty of God in election does not in any way stand in opposition to the doctrine of human responsibility, and does not preclude man as a moral agent, responsible for his own sin.

This short work will not likely take the reader any more time than half an hour, and will greatly enhance his understanding of Spurgeon's theological foundations as well as that of Calvinism.

Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida.

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