Book Review: Mere Calvinism

“Mere Calvinism” by Jim Scott Orrick is another book on the doctrines of grace as summed up in the acronym TULIP. Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, and Perseverance of the saints make up what are commonly referred to as the 5 points of Calvinism. Many Calvinists, including Orrick occasionally prefer different or more precise language to describe these doctrines so at times the author explains where he might use different words than those just listed.

I tried to read this book keeping in mind how I felt first exploring the doctrines of grace and what I wanted from or did not like about works on the same topic. One major thing I wanted was thorough exegesis of Calvinist proof texts, which is more suited for a commentary than a short book such as this. In his chapter on limited atonement Orrick offers a wonderfully compiled list of passages which plainly state the doctrine. He does not, nor do I believe he sets out to offer an extensive exegesis of each specific verse, however he does an excellent job of explaining and laying the foundations of these doctrines. I would say compared to other works, “Mere Calvinism” is actually one of the more thorough in explaining what each doctrine means and the biblical foundation for believing them. I also found his explanations of what world and all mean in context to be beneficial.

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for the new Calvinist to gain a more solid foundation in what they believe, “old” Calvinists looking to refresh their knowledge, or the curious non-Calvinist who simply wants to know what Calvinists believe, don’t believe, and why.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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