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Humble Calvinism: And if I Know the Five Points, But Have Not Love ...

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  597 ratings  ·  129 reviews
Author Jeff Medders admits that he is quick to defend Calvinism, but often slow to humbly love Christians who take a different view. His warm-hearted, challenging (and surprisingly witty) book takes readers through the the five points of Calvinism, revealing that a true understanding has a humbling effect on our hearts, fueling a love of Christ and his people that builds o ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 1st 2019 by The Good Book Company
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Matthew Manchester
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I tweeted recently that, in a year of some great theology titles coming out, there were three books coming out that all Reformed people need to read. This is one of those books.

This book is beautiful in its intent, focus, simplicity, and application. Early on, Medders rightly states,
"Many of us who love to love the “doctrines of grace” have not grown in showing grace. We have not become more gracious, kind, tender, and compassionate. And that can only mean one thing: we actually don’t know
Tom Sussex
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is EXCELLENT!!! The writing style is so punchy and fresh and all of the amazing truths about God's lavish grace are so accessible. Don't be put off by the title, or who the book is written for, read this book if you love Calvinism, hate Calvinism, don't understand Calvinism, never heard of Calvinism. It will point you to the joys found in the gospel and increase your view of Jesus. ...more
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chapter 4 on unconditional election (“The Prequel to Your Faith”) is particularly beautiful. Grateful for this colloquial, convicting little book that packs a punch and makes much of Christ.
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Humble Calvinism is a relatively short, very well constructed overview of the five points of Calvinism, with a distinct focus on how they should cause those of us who subscribe to them to live, act, and evangelise as believers.

Having come to Reformed theology around five years ago, one of the first books I read at that time was John Piper’s Five Points Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace – a book I would highly recommend to this day. Jeff’s book Humble Calvinism reminds me of that volume
Nitoy Gonzales
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Humble Calvinism is a call for all Calvinist to bow down to humility. As believers of the doctrine of grace, we have the tendency to puff ourselves in front of Arminians and sadly to unbelievers. Rather that have that attitude and because we have the biblical truth, we must clothe ourselves with utmost humility that the God of the doctrine of grace may magnified through a holy attitude. Medder’s didn’t have to take the readers any where else to see humility. He points them to the 5 points of Cal ...more
Andrew Fendrich
May 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-bookshelf
I’m still processing this one, so I’m not sure how best to review it. On the one hand, I find myself wondering what I’m seeing in other reviews: it’s unclear who the audience is. I don’t think it will convince any non-Calvinists of the doctrines of grace, especially those who have been burned by arrogant Calvinists. It seems more likely to provide them with more ammunition. (“Yes! This is why I’m not a Calvinist, because they’re all so condescending!”) And for the Calvinists, I think Medders dea ...more
Daniel Henderson
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kevin Halloran
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, theology
A well-written and Christ-exalting plea to not be a theologically-grounded jerk. I needed to hear this book's message and I need the Lord's help to change me in a couple of areas.

(PS: Medders can write--he should host a podcast on writing or something!)
Tess Mortimer
Sep 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
fellow cage-stagers will benefit
May 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
I flew through this book. Honestly, the writing style was a little elementary and I think this is a disadvantage. It feels more directed toward teenage Calvinists rather than the seasoned saint who happens to also be a huge ass. (No offense, but can’t really think of a better word to describe this reality.)

A cage stager can be an older adult and as we well known those who find themselves under a Calvinist umbrella probably already have a propensity to haughty prideful nasty behavior. The langua
Peter Dray
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed this. It unpacks the five key Calvinist convictions (TULIP) and demonstrates that they should rightly lead to humility and love, not pride and arrogance. I'm totally with this - but I'm unsure as to whether the book will communicate that to those who need it most. It's a little thin doctrinally and therefore won't persuade those who need persuading. And those who are less familiar with Calvinism might wonder what the fuss is all about. ...more
Cole Shiflet
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was exactly the book I wish I had read a few years ago.
Timothy Goldsmith
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The biggest weakness of Calvinism? Medders begins the book by being straight up. Overwhemingly it tends to be Calvinists. That includes him, and that includes me.
I loved the brutal honesty at recognising that Calvinists have a tendency toward argumentativeness & a desire to "test the orthodoxy" of others through the TULIP matrix. Medders thesis is that Calvinism (a phrase he does a good job of playing within its proper historical context) ought to drive people toward grace-filled humility & lov
Rose Elliott
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent read. Well-thought out, encouraging, and a rebuke to this often not-so-humble Calvinist.
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
So my only advice is - read this book all the way through. It’s not long. It’s an easy read. It’s really well structured so you know exactly where you are and where it’s heading. It’s refreshingly practical, theologically aware without being nerdy (that’s in his brief) and it’s full of absolutely cracking quotes from some of the champions of humble Calvinism.

[I wrote that paragraph as the last in my review, but I decided to put it up front as well because this little book deserves some solid po
Samuel Kassing
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a good book if you are familiar with Calvinism. Medders pushes back hard against the cagey proud spirit that so often accompanies young Calvinist. It essentially reads like a self-deprecating tract for why Calvinism is a good thing and you should embrace this soteriology.

I don't know if it would convince anyone who didn't already affirm TULIP. But it was an encouraging read because it shows that men and women in the New Calvinism movement see that their flavor of theology is often mark
Matt Crawford
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is what every Christian needs. Calvinism is Biblical Christianity as Spurgeon said. That’s right so let’s get it out of the way. But when two sides debate one becomes victorious and is prone to pride. Proponents of Calvinism has become proud and rather than effectively defend heir position they attack people. Medders remind us that if you really believe what we believe then you have no reason to be round. Rather, you should be charitable. The doctrines of grace should produce just that ...more
Christie Lacy
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Humble Calvinism is an excellent book on the basics of Calvinism. I very much appreciate the consistent connection back to the heart of God as Medders unpacks each point. With humility being the theme throughout, he gives practical and helpful examples of what it looks like to live out the 5 points, reminding the reader that because “this” is true of them, they can extend it to others.

I found it very approachable – not too brainy, not overly simplified, but just right. This book will be a helpfu
Lauren Fee
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for anyone who loves the Reformed doctrines of grace or any of those turned off by them because they have spoken to a "cage-staged Calvinist." In fact, as you are temporarily locking up the "cage-staged Calvinist," give them this book to meditate on inside the cage. It will shorten the time needed for their said caging. In all seriousness, this is a really helpful read for all who hold to or are turned off by reformed theology. Though the title may seem like an oxymoron, by t ...more
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an short and very readable discussion of the five points of Calvinism. Medders summarizes each point and takes readers through how they practically work themselves out in our Christian life. Theology should inform and lead to doxology.

This books was convicting as well as informative. I would definitely recommend it.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gives a good overview of the Calvinistic framework, terms and the people that have continued to confess Calvinism in the church. The author is careful to rejoice in Calvinistic doctrine, but that as believers we should center on the idea that though (in the authors opinion) Calvinistic doctrine is true, your focus—as a believer—should be making much of Christ.

The author is not writing this book for only those that are Calvinists, but to those also who are not. This book is a good read for both C
Adam Bishop
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read. Outlines TULIP, and explains how each doctrine, rightly understood, naturally leads to humility. I think it would be an especially good read for those who aren’t super familiar with Reformed Theology. Extremely clear.
Pete Williamson
A very readable book with an earnest desire to promote sound theology with a gracious heart. Book is based on understanding that Calvinism = TULIP, which is fine but the reader should know that Calvinism/Reformed theology is much, much more than that and wonderfully so.
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well if you want a book to beat you up. Here is one.
Nov 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, religion
Nice, easy read.
Zach Scheller
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-books
Medders takes you through how each of the five points should, in turn, humble you before God. It’s as good of a “heart read” as it is a “mind read.”
Michael Cunningham
Jun 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
I wish I had this book when I first started thinking of myself as a Calvinist. Still, I needed the reminders this book contains about the way I need to live out my faith as a Christian who embraces TULIP.
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an uplifting, joyful, helpful little book. Highly recommend!
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book on "heart calvinism".

Each chapter was especially helpful, with clear introduction to Calvinism in a way that showed me it is all about Jesus.

Especially with the preservation of the saints, he helpfully showed that it is preservation of the SAINTs (so we still need to pursue holiness) and preservation of the saintS (so we pursue holiness together)
Calvinism in my brain always looked at the world and saw Christians falling away, which made me trust God less, but this book helped me
Brandon Vaughan
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: soteriology
This is a very Christ honoring book. Regardless of the theological label that a person holds to, it’s possible to put doctrine and dogma above Jesus Christ. This book is a compassionate reminder to keep the main thing the main thing. The author was very open and at times made himself vulnerable in order to prove these hard lessons. I also think that this is a good introductory work to better understand the five points. An overall great read
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J.A. Medders is the Lead Pastor of Redeemer Church in Tomball, TX. He and Natalie have two kids, Ivy and Oliver. Jeff digs snobby coffee, books, and he is an uncertified grillmaster.

He blogs at and tweets from @mrmedders. Jeff’s first book, Gospel-Formed: Living a Grace-Addicted, Truth-Filled, Jesus-Exalting Life, is set to release this November from Kregel.

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