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The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  1,029 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
One of the 20th-century's most reasoned explanations of the sovereignty of God and the Reformed interpretation of salvation. Whoever really wants to know what Calvinism teaches cannot do better than to read this book from cover to cover.--United Presbyterian magazine.
Paperback, 440 pages
Published December 1st 1992 by P & R Publishing (first published January 1st 1932)
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Aug 26, 2013 John rated it really liked it
This is THE book to read on Calvinism. The title leads you to believe it is about predestination alone, but Boettner demonstrates that the Calvinistic system is a whole--predestination necessarily leads to "TULIP".

He uses the acronym, though modifies it somewhat into clearer terminology, that perhaps isn't quite so provocative. The book is structured largely around TULIP, followed by rebuttals of common arguments by opponents.

There is also a section showing the way Calvinism has transformed cul
Adam T Calvert
Jun 30, 2009 Adam T Calvert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Believe it or not this book was very exciting to read. Yes, it had SOME dull parts in it, but for the most part it was very engaging in discussing this paramount doctrine so oft neglected.

This work was remarkably articulate in answering many objections to the particular point of Calvinism - predestination - with which I so strongly agree (because of its clear and manifold presence in the Scriptures). One of this work's great strengths was Boettner's precision in defining predestination and contr
Douglas Wilson
Apr 10, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Excellent. Also read in May of 1988.
May 24, 2008 Rob rated it it was amazing
This is the FIRST book I read concerning Reformed Doctrine and was the writing that the Holy Spirit used to open my eyes to the Truth of Scripture. It provided the Foundation that had been omitted from teachings of Scripture for the first 26 years of my life. Those teaching were not fully incorrect but were misguided by false doctrine (though I would later be told that a doctrine was not being taught).
Teaching includes doctrine whether it is stated or implied. I much prefer a stated doctrine in
Jon Cardwell
Jun 05, 2013 Jon Cardwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my humble opinion, this work by Loraine Boettner is his magus opus and should never gather dust from the book shelf of the student of Reformed Theology. It is more than a classic; it is a standard that should be read every few years. It has been a few years since I read it last so I'm due.

Although I have a signed first edition of the book, I did not know Dr. Boettner personally. Some of my friends, my elder contemporaries in the Reformed faith, did know him, however. My friend, Dr. Ed Wallen,
Scott Cox
Jan 17, 2016 Scott Cox rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, theology
This was one of the first books that I read when learning the Reformed faith many years ago. I still remember Boettner's analogy for Total Depravity, "In a gang of pirates we may find many things that are good in themselves. Though they are in wicked rebellion against the laws of the government, they have their own laws and regulations, which they obey strictly. We find among them courage and fidelity, with many other things that will recommend them as pirates. They may do many things, too, whic ...more
Natalie Weber
Oct 29, 2009 Natalie Weber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
This is one of the best books that I have ever read! I have studied the doctrines of Calvinism and predestination for years and this book gave me a much clearer understanding of them. Mr. Boettner does an excellent job of gently guiding the reader through the process of understanding topics and passages that are potentially very confusing. I finished the book not only with a more complete understanding of these doctrines, but also a greater appreciation and love for God Himself.
William Dicks
Sep 03, 2011 William Dicks rated it it was amazing
After many years of online debate, as an Arminian against Calvinists, I was challenged to read this book. This is the book that convinced me of the veracity of the doctrines of grace found in what is commonly known as Calvinism.

Boettner goes from passage to passage in the Bible to show how the doctrines of predestination are thoroughly Biblical.
Jun 02, 2013 Corey rated it it was amazing
"For Calvinism shows us God and traces His footsteps - God, in all His greatness, majesty, wisdom, holiness, justice, love. Calvinism shows us God high and lifted up; and our souls cry out again, 'What is man that THOU... art mindful of him?"
Jay D
Jul 21, 2013 Jay D rated it did not like it
Books from an immature, embarassing time in my life. This book presents a case for Calvinism, which, ultimately, is one of the worst things to have ever existed. Stay away.
Apr 08, 2013 Shawn rated it it was amazing
This book was instrumental in helping me on my pilgrimage going from believing in free will to embracing the doctrine of election.
Robert Mckay
Feb 09, 2013 Robert Mckay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first encountered this book in 1992, when my pastor loaned it to me. At the time I held to standard Southern Baptist theology, which is essentially Arminian, with a weak "once saved, always saved" tacked on at the end. I had heard all sorts of things about "Calvinism," all of them negative, and so I wasn't disposed to think kindly of Boettner's views.

And in fact I did argue with him (in my mind) quite a bit. I instinctively reacted against what I read, for it wasn't what I believed. Yet there
Jon Cardwell
Jun 05, 2013 Jon Cardwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my humble opinion, this work by Loraine Boettner is his magus opus and should never gather dust from the book shelf of the student of Reformed Theology. It is more than a classic; it is a standard that should be read every few years. It has been a few years since I read it last so I'm due.

Although I have a signed first edition of the book, I did not know Dr. Boettner personally. Some of my friends, my elder contemporaries in the Reformed faith, did know him, however. My friend, Dr. Ed Wallen,
Dorian Driscoll
This book has an excellent summary of the history of Calvinist influence in the founding of America, as well as a brief history of Calvinism in Europe. Boettner's unfortunate lack of training in logic and argumentation makes this book sort of a haphazard argument when distilled down to its roots. That's not to say the arguments are bad, but they aren't framed very well, and there are a number of philosophical blunders any Reformed philosopher ought to cringe to read...but which will probably nev ...more
Jamison Johnson
Jul 20, 2014 Jamison Johnson rated it liked it
This was a very dry book given to me by a friend. I thought it was worth reading and there are many great points in there, but it was very theological in approach and could have been written in a much simpler way, but academics tend to not do simple well. Overall, it discusses reformed doctrine well and how it compares with other doctrines and provides some great points and insight into every day faith questions for those that are looking for answers and have decided down the path of Christianit ...more
A.J.  Holmes
Apr 27, 2012 A.J. Holmes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Boettner does a remarkable job of establishing the doctrine of predestination as biblical,theologically sound, and rewarding for those who believe it. This scholarly and exhaustive work covers all 5 points of the TULIP of Calvinism, and shows the deep wells of God's grace and joy of espousing these truths in the reformed tradition. Highly recommended, Boettner's book remains the authority on Calvinist apologetics.
John Yelverton
Jan 30, 2014 John Yelverton rated it really liked it
There are so many poignant and profound sections in this book that it was a true pleasure to read. This is a great, modern explanation of the doctrine of predestination that is easy for the reader to understand, and the author is fair and concise when refuting any counterarguments. That being said, when the author leaves the Bible and begins quoting Presbyterian Church in the United States position papers, he goes way, way off the reservation.
Rock Rockwell
Oct 07, 2007 Rock Rockwell rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Christians
Shelves: doctrine
The clearest exposition on "Predestination" biblically for people who may have a difficult time reading deep theological books. Boettner keeps it biblical, clear, and straight-forward. The last chapter that compares and contrasts Calvinism and Arminianism with the respective counsels is worth the book alone. Don't say you've rejected predestination until AFTER you've read this book.
Jeff McCormack
Aug 17, 2010 Jeff McCormack rated it really liked it
Shelves: doctrine, reformation
This book has been in my possession since my earliest days of studying the Reformed Faith. The content in this volume was very pivotal in helping me to understand and get a much better grasp on the doctrines of the Reformed faith. This book along with A.W. Pink's "Sovereignty of God" where the two books I carried around and referenced the most back in the day, to defend the Reformed position.
Jul 22, 2011 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The chapter on Calvinism in History is worth the price of the book and the section on Calvinism and Education ought to be read in every major University and Ivy League school across the United States which owes its existence largely to the system of Calvinism which inspired so much growth in public education and the founding of so many schools.
Greg Godwin
Sep 09, 2011 Greg Godwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good and thorough summary of Reformed doctrine. Boettner challenged me to consider more carefully the centrality of the sovereignty of God, and his treatment of the various subjects was overall quite good. There are a couple of times, however, where his thinking appears to be inconsistent. All in all, it's well worth reading.
Steven Wedgeworth
Jun 15, 2011 Steven Wedgeworth rated it it was ok
Boettner was trying to do the right thing but suffered from such a narrow understanding of the subject. This is perhaps the first major use of "TULIP" to explain predestination. It lacks the larger covenantal context, as well as any well-informed explanation of moderate Calvinism. The exegesis is strained as well. This book is historic but flawed.
G Walker
Dec 13, 2012 G Walker rated it it was ok
See my notes from his _Studies in Theology_ This is a good volume overall, at least by way of communication and presentation... one of the more pastoral and theologically convincing arguments available in the US... that said, I find that it still ultimately fails... I hold a great deal of respect for Boettner... see notes from _Studies in Theology_
Wesley Robinson
Sep 24, 2012 Wesley Robinson rated it it was amazing
Very well written. Boettner was talented in persuasively arguing and defending his beliefs. Very good exegetical remarks, and I enjoyed the fact that he went through even minute things like 'Mohammedan Predestination'. Being a man who looks through every detail and studies to find consistency and Biblical faithfulness, I enjoyed this book quite a bit.
Justin Andrusk
Sep 24, 2011 Justin Andrusk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Christians.
This was by far the best book on predestination next to Calvin's Institutes. I really like how the author quotes historians who are typically anti-Calvinistic where they give a more objective assertion on the impact of Calvinism on American.
Steve Hemmeke
Dec 31, 2009 Steve Hemmeke rated it really liked it
Only read the first section before sending it off to a friend.
Very good and clear on the topic, though a bit too partisan and flag waving at times - not charitable enough toward Arminians, for instance.
Tim Renshaw
Jul 05, 2012 Tim Renshaw rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, ebook
Well worth the time and intellectual challenge to work through this in-depth material. Makes me interested in tackling The Institutes and Augustine soon after I clear my theological palette with some history reading.
Edward Gleckler
Jun 07, 2007 Edward Gleckler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reformedtheology
I thorough argument for the reformed doctrines of predestination, this book tackles the 5 points, as well as things like God's sovereignty. It also has a section for common arguments raised against the doctrines, and a brief history of calvinism and its influence on modern society.
Tsun Lu
May 28, 2012 Tsun Lu rated it really liked it
A close-to-perfect infralapsarian presentation of the doctrine of the predestination with excellent intellectual and exegetical persuasion. Make this one a gift to your friend who is interested in Calvinism.
This is a great resource and systematic breakdown of what Predestination really is. This should be in the top 5 resources for anybody that is exploring Predestination or wants a deeper understanding of it.
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Loraine Boettner (1901-1990) was a Reformed Theologian, born on a farm in Linden, Missouri. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree from Tarkio College in 1925, he attended Princeton Theological Seminary where he studied Systematic Theology under Dr. Casper W. Hodge and received his Th.B. (1928) and Th.M. (1929). He taught Bible for eight years in Pikeville College, Kentucky. In 1933 he recei ...more
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“This doctrine of total inability which declares that men are dead in sin does not mean that all men are equally bad, nor that any man is as bad as he could be, nor that anyone is entirely destitute of virtue, nor that human nature is equal in itself, nor that man’s spirit in inactive, and much less does it mean that the body is dead. What is does mean is that since the fall, man rests under the curse of sin, that he is actuated by wrong principles, and that he is wholly unable to love God, or to do anything meriting salvation. His corruption is extensive, but not necessarily intensive. It is in this sense that man, since the fall, is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, wholly inclined to all evil. He possesses a fixed bias of the will against God, and instinctively and willingly and turns to evil. He is an alien by birth, and a sinner by choice. The inability under which he labors is not an inability to exercise volition, but an inability to be willing to exercise holy volitions. And it is this phase of it which led Luther to declare that ‘free will’ is an empty term, whose reality is lost; and a lost liberty, according to my grammar, is no liberty at all.” 14 likes
“Why precisely this or that one is placed in circumstances which lead to saving faith, while others are not so placed, is indeed, a mystery. We cannot explain the workings of Providence; but we do know that the Judge of all the earth shall do right, and that when we attain to perfect knowledge we shall see that He has sufficient reasons for all His acts.” 3 likes
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