28 July 2013

Book Description-229: WHY I AM NOT ARMINIAN (Prof. Robert A. Peterson, Ph.D. and Prof. Michael D. Williams, Ph.D.)

The debate between Calvinism and Arminianism is one of theological issues since the 17th century. Many Calvinists say that Arminianism is a heresy and many Arminians say that Calvinism is a heresy. Which theology is more Biblical?

Get the answer in the:

Prof. Robert A. Peterson, Ph.D.and
Prof. Michael D. Williams, Ph.D.

Publisher: InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 2004

In the first chapter in this book, Dr. Robert A. Peterson and Dr. Michael D. Williams explains that the debate between Calvinism and Arminianism is one of theological issues until now. Many Christians who involve in this debate curse one another and blame others: “heretic”. Dr. Peterson and Dr. Williams try to solve that debate by saying that Calvinist and Arminians are brothers in Christ, but the issue of this debate is “which of two Christian perspectives better represents the biblical portrayal of the divine-human relationship in salvation and the contributions of both God and man in human history.” Also, in history, they explain who Arminian is in the history of Canon of Dort and Remonstrance. In order to explain what Calvinism believes, Dr. Peterson and Dr. Williams tell the reader about the history of the debate between Augustianism and Pelagianism in the 5th century. From that historical event, Dr. Peterson and Dr. Williams explain that Arminianism is not Pelagianism, but Semi-Augustianism, similar to what Synod of Orange embraced. From this historical background, Dr. Peterson and Dr. Williams explain 6 things about what Calvinism believes, such as: predestination, perseverance, freedom, inability, grace, and atonement. They explain each thing clearly and Biblically and they explain what Arminianism believes (opposing 6 things that Calvinism believes) is not Biblical. For Christians who want to study this topic deeply, I recommend this book, because this book is fair enough (about what Arminianism believes), historical, theological, and the most important: Biblical.

“Peterson and Williams write with a grace which goes far deeper than their commendable style. The authors’ Arminian conversants are fairly represented from their best literature and answered with impeccable arguments which are scripturally compelling, philosophically and historically exacting, and gracefully irenic. Why I Am Not an Arminian is a book that you can get your head and your heart around--and be graced!”
Rev. R. Kent Hughes, D.Min., D.D.
(Senior Pastor Emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, USA.; Bachelor of Arts—B.A. from Whittier College; Master of Divinity—M.Div. from Talbot School of Theology; Doctor of Ministry—D.Min. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; and Doctor of Divinity—D.D. from Biola University)

“Peterson and Williams have addressed the historic debate between Calvinism and Arminianism with an irenic spirit and a zeal for truth. This is Christian scholarship at its best, characterized by biblical rigor, philosophical acumen, charitable expression and a willingness to engage opponents only after giving them a fair hearing in their own words. Not only are opponents treated fairly, so are the Scriptures. Peterson and Williams refuse to push the Bible into a box of easy answers and formula defenses. There are aspects of God's sovereignty that will remain mystery until we are face to face with him. Peterson and Williams do not shy from the mystery but embrace it as an expression of the greatness of the God who makes us his own.”
Prof. Bryan Chapell, Ph.D.
(President and Professor of Practical Theology, Covenant Theological Seminary; B.S.J. in Journalism, English literature, American history from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; M.Div. in Pastoral Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO; Doctor of Philosophy—Ph.D. in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL)

“A quick glance at this volume’s title might give someone the impression that the book is a harsh, polemical attack on Arminianism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Though clearly written from a Reformed evangelical perspective, Why I Am Not an Arminian is an evenhanded and careful critique of the Arminian approach to sin and salvation. To their credit, Robert Peterson and Mike Williams refuse to stack the theological deck in their favor by fairly evaluating only first-rate cases for Arminianism. After thoroughly addressing the historical context, theological concerns and biblical issues in a readable manner, Peterson and Williams show that even the best Arminian positions come up short. Why I Am Not an Arminian is a solid, valuable and biblically centered contribution to this never-ending discussion.”
Prof. Chris Morgan, Ph.D.
(Dean, School of Christian Ministries and Professor of Theology at California Baptist University; Bachelor of Arts—B.A. in Political Science from Southeast Missouri State University; M.Div. and Ph.D. from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary)

“Those who have been unclear about the issues separating Calvinists and Arminians will find here a carefully reasoned, understandable exposition of Calvinist theology. The authors treat their dialogue partners fairly, even compassionately, asking hard questions while avoiding triumphalism or caricature. Why I Am Not an Arminian will be a genuine help to anyone wanting to better understand the nature and application of salvation in Christ.” 
Prof. Robert A. Pyne, Th.D.
(former Professor of Theological Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, U.S.A.; B.A. from Arizona State University, 1980; Master of Theology—Th.M. and Doctor of Theology—Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary)

“Peterson and Williams do not fall prey to a rant against Arminianism. Their work displays an irenicism and charity that serves as a model for other authors. Even Calvinists may disagree with some of their arguments, but at the end of the day Peterson and Williams demonstrate that Calvinism is biblically grounded and Arminianism is not. This book is ideal for those who wonder what the debate between Calvinists and Arminians is all about.” 
Prof. Thomas R. Schreiner, Ph.D.
(James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, U.S.A.; Bachelor of Science—B.S. from Western Oregon University; M.Div. and Th.M. from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary; and Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary)

“I can hardly say enough in praise of this book. It is not flashy, but it is attractive. It models both clarity and charity. It does not fixate on pet Bible verses but covers seminal discussions in church history. At the same time it is Bible-centered in its presentation; it does not simply rehearse partisan opinions. In a new millennium, the church is looking for new direction. I believe Peterson and Williams offer it with this corrective but positive exposition of the faith. They promote church unity, aid clear thinking and set forth divine teaching in constructive dialogue with human preference. Arminians, Calvinists and everyone in between are in the authors' debt.”
Prof. Robert W. Yarbrough, Ph.D.
(chair of the New Testament Department and Associate Professor of New Testament and New Testament Department Chair, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; B.A. (major: English and Religion) from Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, Missouri; Master of Arts—M.A. in theological studies (New Testament) from Wheaton College Graduate School; Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland)

Biography of Dr. Robert A. Peterson and Dr. Michael D. Williams:
Prof. Robert A. Peterson, B.S., M.Div., M.Phil., Ph.D. is Professor of Systematic Theology at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. He earned Bachelor of Science (B.S.) from Philadelphia College of Bible, Langhorne, PA; Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield, PA; Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Historical Theology from Drew University, Madison, NJ.

Prof. Michael D. Williams, B.A., M.T.S., M.Div., Ph.D. is Professor of Systematic Theology at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. He earned Diploma in Bible and Theology from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL; Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Theology (minor: Greek) from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI; Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) in Systematic and Historical Theology from Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA; M.Div. from Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI; and Ph.D. from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

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