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List price: $18.99|
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3.0 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0764225219
Manufacturer : Bethany House Publishers|
Release data : July, 2001
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Philosophical But Not Biblical!
Dr. Norman Geisler is by far one of evangelicalisms premier apologists, but when it comes to a solid treatment of the biblical text (in regard to the doctrine of election) he uses a method that is far from exegetical.
His arguments are persuasive from a philosophical point of view, but after a thorough examination of what the Scriptures say, they only prove to be unfounded.
It baffles my mind that he would even claim to be a "Moderate Calvinist". Nothing he believes even comes close to Calvinistic soteriology.
What is most dissappointing is that he will rip a verse or verses out of their context and apply them to support his faulty view of election. The Bible is not "unclear" or "fuzzy" on the fact that God has chosen out a people for Himself to be the recipients of His eternal salvation. There are no grey areas on this particular doctrine (or on any doctrine for that matter!).
Unfortunately, the title of the book, "Chosen But Free", is not in keeping with what the Word says about fallen man. How is it that one can be totally free to accept or reject the message of the Gospel and at the same time be blinded, dead, and unable to respond to the Gospel? The problem is that man is not free, instead he is in bondage to Satan. Man is only "free" to do what his corrupt and depraved nature will allow him to do! The real question is this: Is God free to do as He pleases or is He in subjection to the will of man?
This book is a failed attempt to "reconcile" the biblical paradox that exists between God's soveriegn elective purpose and man's responsibility (not man's free will). We must remember that man is still responsible to recieve the message of the Gospel, even though he cannot respond to it outside of God's elective grace.
I would like to say that Dr. Geisler is a wonderful apologist and has written a plethora of wonderful material, but this book is not one I could recommend to anyone who is seriously looking into the debate on Calvinism.
More homework required
I have only been studying reformed theology for about a year and was hoping to read this to understand another point of view. With only my limited reformed education, I felt that Dr. Norman Geisler didn't really understand the reformed or Calvinistic position and how it relates to free will and choices we do make every day. I was disappointed with his handling of the Scripture and not really answering the strongest of the Reformed arguments. This affects every part of the book as it sets up a straw man that is easy to defeat. I have read Dr. Geisler's work before, and this did not seem to be on par.
I'm thankful to Dr. Geisler for attempting to find the truth where the answer is not as simple as some like to pretend. He allows the scriptures to speak for themselves, though that doesn't give the clear cut answer that most people demand. This book is done with Christian charity as well as conviction; as opposed to James White's rebuttal, which is arrogant and condescending.