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IVP Academic Ten Myths About Calvinism: Recovering the Breadth of the Reformed Tradition

Historian Ken Stewart is intent on setting the record straight about Reformed theology. He identifies ten myths held either by Calvinists themselves, their opponents, or by both. His goal? To show how the "myths" are gross mischaracterizations of what is a much richer and rewarding theological stream than is often understood by its proponents, or given credit for by its detractors.

As always occurrs when stereotypes are perpetuated, accurate and informed historical research is tossed to the side and present a truncated narrow view of the depth and breadth of whatever it is that is being stereotyped. This is especially true of the Reformed tradition whose adherents often fundamentalize its doctrines, and, again, by its detractors who often fail to give proper recognition to the rigorous theology that so defines this tradition at every turn.

Ten Myths about Calvinism is a powerful exposition rooted in cutting-edge theological and historical research. Topics covered include:

  • Is the role reserved for John Calvin possibly exaggerated?
  • Are there improper, as well as proper uses of the doctrine of predestination?
  • To what extent is the popular acronym, T.U.L.I.P. a helpful device, and to what extent is it detrimental in encapsulating key doctrines?
  • Should the Calvinist position towards movements of spiritual renewal be one of support, or one of suspicion?
  • Didn't Calvinism more or less 'bring up the rear' in advancing the cause of world mission?
  • Doesn't the Calvinist approach to Christianity encourage the belief that the redeemed will be saved irrespective of their conduct?
  • Doesn't the Calvinist track-record show an at-best mixed legacy on critical issues such as race and gender relations?
  • Hasn't the Calvinist concept of the church's role vis-a-vis the state tended toward theocracy?
  • Isn't it true that Calvinistic expressions of Christianity have been a damper on the creative arts, whether the theater or painting or sculpture?


This thoroughly researched book is sure to enrich both promoters and detractors, students and scholars.
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