What Is Reformed Theology? Understanding the Basics


Reviewed by: Rylie Harrison, a Professional Writing major at Taylor University, Upland, IN.

 


Introduction

Book Title: What Is Reformed Theology? Understanding the Basics

Author: R.C. Sproul

Publisher: Baker Books

Publication: 2016

Format: Print book

Length: 253 pages

OVERVIEW

People in the church tend to view Reformed Theology in one of two ways: either they have no idea what it is about or they see it as harsh and robotic. In his book, R.C. Sproul attempts to present an overview of Reformed Theology. In the first part of the book, Sproul walks through the historical background of Reformed Theology, both providing the basis and essential clarifications for understanding the Theology. In part two, Sproul explains the five central doctrines of Reformed Theology, most popularly known as the Five Points of Calvinism.

Overall, Sproul does a good job of explaining his viewpoint in an accessible manner. The first half of the book can become convoluted and difficult to follow at times, particularly when Sproul is relating information about church history and doctrines. However, he does manage to get back on track rather quickly. The second half of the book flows more smoothly, though it is not an easy read by any means. Theology in general, but particularly Reformed Theology, tends to be dense and requires disciplined focus to follow the train of thought. Sproul does well at presenting Reformed Theology and the five points in particular as a flow of logic; they are not five separate, unrelated points, but a logical progression of thought.

The book can at times be confusing and incredibly dense, making it intimidating to many. Also, there are some Christians who find the doctrines to which Reformed theologians hold to be harsh and deterministic. This book is an attempt to explain a theology that some find difficult to swallow.

 

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5): 4

Suggested Audience:

Both men and women will enjoy this book. It would most appeal to theology buffs who would like clarification about what Reformed Theology actually is. People outside the Reformed tradition will learn the basics of Reformed Theology. Those who do consider themselves Reformed will also gain a more in-depth understanding of the theology they proclaim.

Christian Impact:

This book is helpful for any reader, whether Reformed or not. It sheds light on a theology that is often misunderstood and mysterious to many. The reader must stay engaged in order to follow Sproul’s flow of logic, but the payoff is worth the investment.

 

 


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The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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