Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book Review: Scott Petty - Predestination

This small book was a surprise. Through the years, I have probably read a dozen books on predestination, Some were good and some were terrible. This book will be in my top 5.

It is simply written, but very good at explaining a difficult subject. Many people get angry when discussing the subject of Predestination. They see it as unfair. Instead of a cruel and terrible thing, it should be looked on as beautiful.

God is God. If He isn't in control, then who is? Us? That would be scary. I heard someone say that if a mosquito can do something that is against God's control, it would have more power than God. By default that would make it God.

The definition of God means "One who is all powerful". Without His sustaining power, we would not even be alive.

Petty's book takes us through some very hard questions.

Does God control the future?
Does God choose who will be saved?
Is it fair if God choose one over another for salvation?
And many more...

Petty not only talks about our salvation, he shows how God is involved in all our lives. We can take comfort when we have problems, because we know God is in control. He works all things for the good of those who are called.

Does this not do away with freewill?

This is also discussed. We do not have absolute freedom, but compatibilist freedom. We make choices and God is sovereign at the same time. We may not understand it, but God is even in control of our discussions, but not in a way that he is the author of our sin. It is a mystery (like the trinity). We will never understand this side of heaven.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone interested in the subject of Predestination. It makes predestination accessible to the person who has never tackled the subject.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*I received this book, free of charge, from Matthias Media and Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Great review Roger! Thanks for contributing to the blog tour.

    Shaun Tabatt
    Cross Focused Reviews

  2. Is someone else's Salvation dependent on YOU?

    One of the biggest criticisms of the Lutheran (and Calvinist) position on the Predestination of the Elect is that it removes the motivation to spread the Gospel/to do missionary work. "If God has already chosen who will be saved, why bother spending your time preaching the Gospel to sinners? God will take care of it, I don't need to worry about it."

    It is true that Lutherans believe that God has already chosen those who will be saved (but they do NOT believe that God has predestined anyone to hell, regardless of what some people believe Luther may have said at one point in his life). It is also true that we Lutherans believe that sinners do not have a free will to choose God. So no matter how hard we try to convince sinners of their need for a Savior, if God has not predestined them for salvation, they will NOT believe, they will not be saved.

    The advocates of Free Will Theology say that a sinner IS capable of choosing God. Therefore, it is our job as Christians to witness to every human being with whom we come into contact in our daily lives, because our efforts may be the trigger for them to "accept" Christ." These Christians base their belief on the passage of Scripture that states, "for whom he did foreknow, those he did predestine...". They take this to mean that God's predestination is based on God foreknowing that at some point in the future, that a particular person would make a free will decision to believe in Christ.

    Lutherans and Calvinists say that this is impossible since Romans chapter 3 tells us that no one seeks God. Making a decision for God is "seeking" God, and therefore an impossibility according to God's Word.

    But are we Lutherans and the Calvinists really off the hook when it comes to sharing the Gospel? It is true, we absolutely should be out preaching the Gospel to our neighbors simply because Christ commands us to do it, but, really, what are the consequences of our disobedience on this one issue? A slap on the wrist when we get to heaven, but no direct consequences for the "un-elect" person to whom we failed to share the Good News?

    Lutherans state that we do not know what criteria God used to choose/predestine those whom he will save. But I would like to propose this idea: Yes, it is true that a particular person's election is not dependent on HIS decision to believe since Romans chapter three states that this is impossible. it possible that this person's election is dependent on God foreknowing that YOU would obey his command to go out into the world and preach the Gospel, and in particular, he foresaw that YOU would share the Gospel with this individual, and based on YOU being faithful/obedient and sharing the Good News with that person, God chose/elected that person to be saved??

    To believe this would certainly increase our motivation as Lutherans to share the Gospel instead of sitting at home enjoying the blessings of salvation all to ourselves. (Maybe we should share this idea with our Calvinist Christian brothers and sisters to light the "evangelism fire" underneath their behinds also.)

    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals