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Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation…
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Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition (edição 2010)

por James K. A. Smith (Autor)

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"Who would have guessed that something as austere as Calvinism would become a hot topic in today's postmodern culture? At the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth, new generations have discovered and embraced a "New Calvinism," finding in the Reformed tradition a rich theological vision. In fact, Time cited New Calvinism as one of "10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now." This book provides pastoral and theological counsel, inviting converts to this tradition to find in Calvin a vision that's even bigger than the New Calvinism might suggest. Offering wisdom at the intersection of theology and culture, noted Reformed philosopher James K. A. Smith also provides pastoral caution about pride and maturity. The creative letter format invites young Calvinists into a faithful conversation that reaches back to Paul and Augustine, through Calvin and Edwards, extending to Kuyper and Wolterstorff. Together they sketch a comprehensive vision of Calvinism that is generous, winsome, and imaginative" -- Publisher description.… (mais)
Membro:Chadd.Huizenga
Título:Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition
Autores:James K. A. Smith (Autor)
Informação:Brazos Press (2010), 160 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca, Read
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Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition por James K. A. Smith

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Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Great primer on the Reformed tradition. Smith frames the book as a series of letters to a young man (Smith said that the young man is the younger version of himself, in some ways) who is learning more about Reformed Christianity. Smith touches on some basics while also warning against the arrogance that usually comes at that stage. Smith really does a nice job pointing out how inviting the Reformed tradition is supposed to be, which is a wonderful reminder. (Especially since my denomination seems to be raising lots of angry, divisive people.) ( )
  wordsampersand | Dec 6, 2018 |
Pros:
-Smith rescues the Reformed tradition from TULIP reductionism. TULIP is great, but it's far from the whole point.
-The introduction to a range of excellent Reformed thinkers. More Kuyper than Piper.
-Encouragement to reject the hubris that often accompanies certain brands of Calvinism.
Cons:
-While accessible, the format of a series of letters lent itself to a tone that felt condescending. I got over it eventually, but it took a while.
-Despite his urging of humility, Smith was oddly dismissive of Southern Baptists that are learning to appreciate Calvin.

I recommend this book to anyone within or considering the Reformed tradition. Also, let me know if you would like to borrow this on Kindle (it's lending enabled). ( )
  LauraBee00 | Mar 7, 2018 |
A great introduction to Calvinism but not 'dumbed-down' too much for those already acquainted with theologies. Since it's written in letter format, the style is engaging and each chapter thorough while still managing to be delightfully concise. The emphasis was less on the 'intellectual-ness' that an understanding of Calvinism tends to generate and more on the broader beauty of the catholicity and engagement of the heart in relationship to a beautiful Saviour that is typically misunderstood or entirely overlooked in current perspectives on Calvinism.

In light of recent developments of neo-Calvinists, New Calvinists, and even emergent thought, I think traditional Calvinism (or broader, "Reformed" or even broader, as the author prefers, "Augustinianism") gets a bad rap for being cold, intellectual, and overly concerned with predestination and how a loving God could possibly predestine some to hell. This small book serves as a warm and gentle defense to shed light on some misperceptions of Calvin himself and his theology, which was certainly not original thought during the Reformation,

I could have stopped after the second chapter, in which Smith addresses theological pride. Even in my own Dutch Reformed background I have often come across arrogance from an individual level to entire bodies and denominations - the subtle attitude that "finally, we've got it right, and everyone else will catch up if they keep studying." Smith shows that this attitude, which is sadly characteristic of many Calvinists, is actually opposite to Calvin's intention and to the heart of Reformed teaching, which rightly turns the focus from ourselves (and adding the 'work' of theological understanding and doctrine to grace) and towards the glory of a great, gracious, and benevolent God. ( )
  booksofmoerman | Dec 22, 2017 |
Letters to a Young Calvinist by James Smith is the second book I have reviewed targeted at the Young Calvinists. The first was Young, Restless, Reformed by Collin Hansen and you can read that review here. Both of these books seek to address the growing interest in reformed theology among a younger audience.

“Reformed theology often goes by the name Calvinism, after the renowned 16th-century Reformation theologian John Calvin. Yet even Edwards rejected the label, saying he neither depended on Calvin nor always agreed with him. Still, it is Calvin’s followers who produced the famous acrostic TULIP to describe the “doctrines of grace” that are the hallmarks of traditional Reformed theology: Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints.” ~ Christianity Today

Smith’s book is written much like its title. In each chapter “Smith” writes a letter to his younger self in the past whom he names Jesse and each chapter seeks to share some insight about Calvinism. The fictitious Jesse is having a run in with an Armenian and the author helps the young man arpaoch various subjects and doctrine from a more mature view.

I hope that Smith’s attempt at writing this book was to somehow make reformed theology easier to understand, I know that is part and partial why I read it… but even for me several of the chapters were very heavy and left my mind spinning. The chapters were written with the idea that you already had some reformed theology background, or at least were already heading off in that direction – so there were several times I wished there was some backstory to help me out.

There is a wonderful chapter that gives some reformed theology history… but again it read like a history lesson and not as a letter between friends.

Actually, do you know what this book felt like? It’s a cross between Brian McLaren’s New Kind of Christian and The Screwtape Letters only the book was about Calvinism. So if THAT sounds interesting to you, then I would certainly pick it up. ( )
  dckenney | Apr 20, 2012 |
Written as a series of letters to a "young Calvinist," Smith offers a tour of Reformed Theology, from the doctrines of grace (very briefly) to historical confessions of Reformed theology and even Reformed ecclesiology. Smith's purpose here is to invite evangelical Calvinists to the depths of the Reformed tradition (beyond the five-points of Calvinism to confessionalism, convenant theology, and more). While interesting and - at some points - helpful (e.g. the differences between Scottish and Dutch Reformed theologies), this is more of a personal confession (highlighting Smith's theological baises, assumptions, and soapboxes) than thoughtful theological invitation. Rather than giving the reader a grander vision of Reformed Theology, Smith paints a narrow and exclusive picture of a rich theological tradition. C ( )
  bsanner | Mar 6, 2012 |
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But more seriously: if you don't recognize the temptations of hubris early, the infection of religious pride soon spreads, and you'll find that Reformed theology is reduced to polemics - and the worst kind of polemics: directed only at other Christians.
But it was as if the books stacking up around me functioned as walls of isolation, creating a fortress of solitude that was also a bastion of pride. How strange it is that we can become prideful about gifts and can seize possession of what's given as if it was somehow our accomplishment.
If my own experience suggests anything, it's that pride can swell in isolation, though it can also have a mob mentality too.
...perhaps nothing is so important for our walk with the Lord as good friends. I think God gives us good friends as sacraments - means of grace given to us as indices of God's presence and conduits for our sanctification.
In a word, Reformed theology is fundamentally about *grace*.
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"Who would have guessed that something as austere as Calvinism would become a hot topic in today's postmodern culture? At the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth, new generations have discovered and embraced a "New Calvinism," finding in the Reformed tradition a rich theological vision. In fact, Time cited New Calvinism as one of "10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now." This book provides pastoral and theological counsel, inviting converts to this tradition to find in Calvin a vision that's even bigger than the New Calvinism might suggest. Offering wisdom at the intersection of theology and culture, noted Reformed philosopher James K. A. Smith also provides pastoral caution about pride and maturity. The creative letter format invites young Calvinists into a faithful conversation that reaches back to Paul and Augustine, through Calvin and Edwards, extending to Kuyper and Wolterstorff. Together they sketch a comprehensive vision of Calvinism that is generous, winsome, and imaginative" -- Publisher description.

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