Book review: Long-time EFCA pastor and able theologian, Jack Brooks, provides a biblical, theological and logical examination of what he sees as the merits and shortcomings of both Calvinism and Arminianism. Written in an accessible style for scholar and layperson alike, this pithy but trenchant examination of the most relevant texts used to defend both theological perspectives is presented with grace, yet conviction.
Jack treats relevant texts within their biblical context, rather than cherry picking those verses that support one or the other position. The author does not shy away from trying to resolve difficult passages; he points the reader to what the text actually says and doesn’t say, reminding us that we should not let our theological biases make inferences that are not specifically supported by the text.
Readers may not agree with every jot and tittle in this short treatise, but they will be led to deal honestly with Jack’s logical and winsome arguments. The author’s irenic tone accords well with the ethos of the EFCA, which accommodates both Calvinist and Arminian perspectives. The Cal-Minian should be required reading by any who argue for their theological framework above than wrestling well with what Scripture actually says, especially those “difficult” passages they tend to ignore.
Book review by Mike Maggard, former EFCA pastor and Reach Global missionary. Mike currently serves with Strategic Impact, catalyzing gospel movements by providing leadership training in Southeast Asia.