How often do you find a book on definite atonement? I can probably count on one hand how many I have found on the subject in the last twenty years. Not only seeing a book like this published, but also the size and caliber of the writing made one reader, if I may say, giddy with delight! This book has been needed for years. There has not been a detailed volume on definite atonement of this magnitude since Owen's "Death of Death". Not only is it detailed, it is also very accessible to the average reader.
Now that my voice is lower by a few octaves, I would like to talk about the contents of the book. Here, we not only have a volume on the doctrine itself, we also have its history, its theology, and its use in pastoral practice. Not to mention a great Bibliography at the end. At 704 pages, who could ask for more?
The four sections are divided as follows:
1. Definite Atonement in Church History
2. Definite Atonement in the Bible
3. Definite Atonement in Theological Perspective
4. Definite Atonement in Pastoral Practice
The first section takes us through names such as Augustine, Calvin, Beza, and the like. We see that even though many did not specifically teach the doctrine, they did build the foundation for which the doctrine would be built. If they had lived at a later time, it would probably have lead to the same.
The second section leads us through the bible. We see what scripture teaches concerning who Jesus died for. Did he die to save or just to make men savable? Did the Father have one desire and Jesus and the Holy Spirit another? What about the texts that proclaim that Jesus died for all?
This section and the next are the meat of the book.
The third section concerns Theology. It shows that definite atonement logically fits with the other doctrines of the bible. There is no contradiction with the central doctrines of the word.
The last section takes a look at the pastoral benefits that come with the doctrine. How can we have assurance that we are of the elect? What about the unevangelized? Who gets the glory for Salvation?
I eagerly awaited reading this book and it did not disappoint.
I would considered this one of the top two books I have read this year.
I highly recommend it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
I received this book, free of charge, from Crossway and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.