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The Potter's Freedom: A Defense of the Reformation and a Rebuttal of Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free
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The Potter's Freedom: A Defense of the Reformation and a Rebuttal of Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  817 ratings  ·  62 reviews
What is Dr. Geisler warning the Christian community about in his book, Chosen But Free? A new cult? Secularism? False prophesy scenarios? No. Dr. Geisler is sounding the alarm about a system of beliefs commonly called "Calvinism." He insists that this belief system is "theologically inconsistent, philosophically insufficient, and morally repugnant." This book is written as ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published June 5th 2000 by Calvary Press (first published May 15th 2000)
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Start your review of The Potter's Freedom: A Defense of the Reformation and a Rebuttal of Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free
J. Rutherford
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am tired of reading books that attempt to make me think big thoughts about myself and small thoughts about God; Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free was a textbook example of this kind of book. Fortunately, it produced this response;White's book is anything but a book that will leave you thinking big thoughts about yourself. White masterfully rips apart Geisler's quite terrible book, and in the process provides, as far as I have read so far, the best exegetical defense of the 5 points of Calvinism ...more
Adam Calvert
Jul 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, favorites
The Potter's Freedom has an interesting history. In 1986 (updated in 1994) R.C. Sproul published a book titled "Chosen By God," which served (and still serves) as a great introduction to the doctrine of predestination at the popular level. In 1999 (2nd edition in 2001, 3rd edition in 2010) Norman Geisler responded to that book with his own work entitled "Chosen But Free." Geisler's work was touted as the definitive work on the relationship between divine election and human choice. However, the v ...more
Bryant Rudisill
Aug 12, 2011 rated it liked it
What will jump out first from picking up this book is it seems the entire Reformed community has come together to pay its respects for the work Dr. White has undertaken. But what exactly is the burden Dr. White has taken upon himself in writing a rebuttal of Dr. Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free? The Potter's Freedom stands not only as a rebuttal of Dr. Geisler; nor as merely a defense of Reformed theology; but the very gospel itself. It is a call for a new section in our Theology Proper: the fre ...more
Brent McCulley
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, favorites
Dr. White's examination and thorough refutation of Chosen But Free is simply fantastic. He breaks down the text, and thoroughly refutes all of the argumentation against the Reformed position. Dr. White has done some serious exegetical homework in The Potter's Freedom, as he wrestles with the tough texts, thoroughly documents objections and positions to the contrary, and systematically refutes such objections in a gracious, yet firm tone.

What I loved most about the book was it was as scholarly as
Zoe Scrivener
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
White's book was excellent throughout. His use of Scripture was prolific, and his argumentation generally sound. While he has been accused of arrogance, I only detected this a smattering of times. I appreciated the clear explanation of the Calvinist position; it is definitely the best I have read so far.
Travis Lee
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
James White at his best. A necessary book for the library of any Reformed believer, and a must read for anyone who has any false notions of free will!
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
'Surely the strength of Reformed theology is its biblical basis, and the weakness of Arminian theology is its philosophical basis. The Reformed position begins with Scriptural truths. The Arminian position begins with philosophical necessities, and we have seen, over and over again, the result of forcing philosophical presuppositions into the text of Scripture.'

Either the Bible means what it says or it doesn't. Those are really your only two options.

Given that, it's stunning to think of how mu
Simon Wartanian
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What an amazing book. Firmly biblically with good exegesis, perfect!
The only bad thing is the poor presentations of Dr Geisler, his eisegesis and his ability to find free will even in passages like John 6:44 and Romans 9:16.
Dennis Beery
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is probably one of the most devastating critiques of Arminianism I've ever read. James White's book, "The Potter's Freedom", is basically an examination of Norman Geisler's book, "Chosen But Free". In that book Geisler proclaims to be a "moderate Calvinist", while those who adhere to classical reformed theology are labeled as "extreme Calvinists". White points out the many ways in which Geisler's "moderate Calvinism" is actually just Arminianism by another name. White also makes clear how, ...more
David Steele
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant refutation of Norman Geisler's book, "Chosen But Free."
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Getting a typical Evangelical Christian to be interested in reading “The Potter’s Freedom” is an uphill battle because from the outset, in today’s climate, it has two strikes against it. First, it is Calvinist in orientation. And second, it is polemical in its subject matter. The book that it interacts with (“Chosen but Free”) is by a well-known and well-respected Christian (Norman Geisler), some of whose books I myself have on my own shelves. Even if “Chosen but Free” is not his best effort, p ...more
Christopher S.
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the third book I have recently read on the sovereignty of God in salvation and the 5 points of Calvinism. “The Potters Freedom: A Defense of the Reformation and a Rebuttal to Norman Geisler’s Chosen But Free.” This book was the best of the bunch. What was sorely lacking in Geisler’s book, careful exegesis of the relevant passages of Scripture, was omnipresent in White’s book. Very frankly, Geisler’s work did not stand up to the careful scrutiny of James White. In fact, after reading Whit ...more
Andy Sommers
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a fantastic resource, it is easy to read and the knowledge inside of this guys head is unbelievable. *this book is a rebuttal to a previous work done by Norman Geisler which is referenced multiple times throughout the book, however it is not necessary to read both to enjoy this book.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible. Also took me forever to read mostly because I procrastinated, but I recommend this to ANYONE confused about Calvinism vs Arminianism and especially to all Arminians. ;)
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone curious of the free will vs. predestination debate; people who've read 'Chosen But Free'
Recommended to kenzimone by: My mother
This book is written as a response to Dr. Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free, in which Dr. Geisler promotes the idea of "moderate Calvinism" (actually Arminianism) and warns about the dangers of "extreme Calvinism" (Reformed Faith/Calvinism) while devoting special attention to free will.

There's no need to have read Chosen But Free to follow along in The Potter's Freedom, as James White quotes from the relevant passages out of the former and allows the reader to easily settle into the context of th
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
A response to the Norman Geisler book, Chosen but Free. Both books are a little dated by this point, I haven’t actually read Geisler’s book, just one of his apologetics books back in High School. But I’d heard a lot about White’s book as a defense of TULIP and picked it up at a bookstore a couple of years ago and decided to read through it. While some of it can be read as a basic Calvinist defense against common objections to the doctrines of grace, I can’t say I’d recommend it to someone who wa ...more
Joel Warnock
Feb 10, 2017 rated it liked it
When considering the author and the purpose of the book, I understand why it was written this way, but the abrasive and over confident nature of this book left a bad taste in my mouth. It definitely accomplished giving Chosen But Free a bare bottom spanking, but at what cost? Where is the space in this portrayal of Calvinism for not completely understanding a God whose ways are far above our own? Im not sure it is right to say Calvinism is the only consistently Biblical response to challenges ma ...more
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all Christians
Recommended to Linda by: My pastor
This book refutes man as the author of his own salvation, clearly showing forth God as The "Author and Finisher of our faith." God is either sovereign in all things, including (especially!) in salvation, or He is not a sovereign God at all. Dr. White explains God's role in saving sinners and His right to save whomever He so chooses. And unlike some other writers and debaters, White uses scripture to defend his points, not just what seems "fair" or make sense to the (infinite & depraved) human mi ...more
Feb 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
A very good book refuting Norman Geisler's "Chosen But Free." The author makes the case that Geisler is presenting what is in effect classical Arminianism, yet for some reason referring to it as "moderate Calvinism" and to classical Calvinism as "extreme Calvinism." I wouldn't agree with the review on the back cover that says it's "charitably written," however--it gets quite confrontational at times, but his doesn't seem unreasonable in light of the fact that CBF does the same thing.
Josue Manriquez
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is definitely "one of the finest explanations of the doctrines of grace and the sovereignty of God," as Phil Johnson put it.

"The Potter's Freedom" was written as a rebuttal of Norman Geisler's "Chosen But Free," and so it exposes the errors of that book quite well. Yet "The Potter's Freedom" is a great resource as something like a "beginners guide" to the doctrines of grace.

It answered many questions that I had; it was very easy to read; I recommend it.

Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
excellent exegesis, logical and concise rebuttals and arguments. I thoroughly enjoyed "the Potter's Freedom" and diving even deeper into the truth about God's Sovereignty and freedom to do as He pleases above the will of man. this will definitely not only be a classic in my library, but a frequent reach for in my own personal studies. I most definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a serious view of the reformed position in regards to the Armenian viewpoint of theology.
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity, ebook
This was scholarly yet very accessible. It was written as a rebuttal to Norm Geisler's *Chosen But Free*, which I read around 2001. The thoughtfulness and care put into this book are commendable. Each chapter is well researched and written in depth. I learned much from this as I continue my studies on the doctrines of grace.
Mar 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A must read if you have questions about the issue of Gods grace versus mans will. White is an esteemed apologist, professional debater, and an expert in many world religions and cults. White is here answering a book Norm Geisler wrote called Chosen but Free.
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read, very well written. Lots of heavy duty theology but written in such a way where you don't need a seminary degree to understand it. Classic reform theology represented; on the lines of the great writers and bible teachers like Spurgeon, Edwards and Luther.

Matthew Johnson
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
James White convincingly refutes Geisler's Chosen But Free using excellent exegesis. He shows that the Creator is the only one with free will and He is free to do whatever He pleases with His creation for His glory.
Michael Cunningham
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Refreshing book containing straightforward, exegetical teaching on biblical passages that encourage believers regarding God's sovereignty in salvation. Very helpful in answering objections to the Reformed understanding of grace.
Brad Hodges
Jul 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
A landmark book for me.
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'd like to be charitable, but frankly I highly question one who reads Geislers "Chosen but Free" and finds still finds it compelling after reading this useful and well thought out critique.
Todd Wilhelm
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was instrumental in convincing me to embrace the Reformed doctrines. I am eternally indebted to Dr. James White for writing this. HIs detailed exegesis of key passages is irrefutable.
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Dr White is a very clever man. Geisler's claim on moderate Calvinism thoroughly trounced here. Highly recommended.
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James White is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a professor, having taught Greek, Systematic Theology, and various topics in the field of apologetics. He has authored or contributed to more than twenty four books, including The King James Only Controversy, The Forgotten Trinity, The Potter’s Freedom, and The God Who J ...more

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“That God should set his electing love upon any individual is not in any way dependent upon that person’s will (Rom. 9:16), works (2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 9:11), holiness (Eph. 1:4), or obedience (1 Peter 1:1-2). Rather, election finds its sole and all-sufficient cause in the sovereign good pleasure and grace of God (Eph. 1:9; Rom. 9:11; 11:5; Matt. 11:25-26; 2 Tim. 1:9). Were election to be based upon what God foreknows that each individual will do with the gospel it would be an empty and altogether futile act. For what does God foresee in us, apart from his grace? He sees only corruption, ill will, and a pervasive depravity of heart and soul that serves only to evoke his displeasure and wrath. What this means is that Calvinism is monergistic when it comes to the doctrine of salvation. This simply means that when a person is saved it is due wholly to the working of one source of power, God. Arminianism is by necessity synergistic, in that it conceives of salvation as the joint or mutual effort of both God and man.15” 0 likes
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