Title: hand in Hand
Author: Randy Alcorn
Genre: Biblical Study
Publishing Date: October 14, 2014
About the Book:
If God is sovereign, how can I be free to choose?
But if God is not sovereign, how can he be God?
Is it possible to reconcile God’s sovereignty with human choice? This is one of the most perplexing theological questions. It’s also one of the most personal.
In hand in Hand, Randy Alcorn says that the traditional approach to this debate has often diminished our trust in God and his purposes. Instead of making a one-sided argument from select verses, Alcorn examines the question in light of all Scripture. By exploring what the whole Bible says about divine sovereignty and human choice, hand in Hand helps us…
· Carefully and honestly examine the different views on this issue
· Gain a deeper understanding of God
· Appreciate God’s design in providing us the freedom of meaningful choice
· See the value in better understanding what we cannot fullyunderstand
· Learn how to communicate about the issue in clear and compassionate ways
· More fully experience the unity Christ intends for his Church
A careful guide through Scripture, hand in Hand shows us why God’s sovereignty and meaningful human choice work together in a beautiful way.
I was introduced to Randy Alcorn nearly twenty years ago through his fiction stories, and I still consider many of them among my favorites. I’ve also read a few of his theological studies and I greatly respect his opinions. Despite growing up in church, the terms “Arminianism and Calvinism” weren’t even a part of my vocabulary. It wasn’t until college that I remember being introduced to Calvinism, and I’m now aware that it was clearly Hyper-Calvinism. It wasn’t until over a decade later that I’ve been made to feel pressured into siding as one or the other. Randy Alcorn shares that he was raised in an Arminian church but now considers himself a 4-point Calvinist.
Alcorn first shared the traditional beliefs of Calvinism and Arminianism before splitting them up further into some more radical groups (like Hyper-Calvinism). Although he shares what his own theological thoughts are, he also tries to allow scripture to do the talking so that people are able to come to their own conclusions based on what God’s Word says. I found this book to be extremely helpful. I maintain that I consider myself neither Calvinist or Armenian, but I am at least able to see that some of my views towards the two groups have been formed by some that lean too heavily on the extreme sides (particularly Calvinism).
One of the statements I have heard someone I know say is “you should believe like a Calvinist, but you need to preach like an Arminian.” I won’t go into all the reasons that phrase has bothered me, but this book actually takes a look into that kind of thinking and how it’s not necessary to separate the two.
I highly recommend taking the time to read this book. I personally recommend the print version considering how many sections I wrote in and highlighted. There is a lot of deep, theological study contained in this book. Although you can read without looking up all of the extra scriptures, it’s important that the scriptures are where you are finding your truth and understanding.