Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Review- The Sovereignty of God

For the Non-Fiction reading challenge I read Arthur W. Pink's book The Sovereignty of God.
Synopsis from Goodreads: Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952) explores the rich biblical doctrine of God's sovereignty in creation, redemption, and providence. The God of the Bible is in control of all things. This book is invaluable, as Pink also deals with objections to the doctrine of God's sovereignty and apparent conflicts of the doctrine with the responsibility of man.
This was an absolutely incredible book dealing with a complex but essential doctrine. Just reviewing this book makes me feel like I'm opening up a can of worms and a theological debate. However, this book was so well written and so beneficial to me that I can't not sit her and review and recommend it. I read The Sovereignty of God not longer after reading John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion and it really flowed well to go from one to the other as they really built on each other. God's sovereignty is a belief I've always held to but understanding it and it's implications is something that oftentimes confounds me so it was beneficial to read this in depth but readable book that rested strongly on scripture and freely quoted from the bible. I can't wait to read more of Arthur W. Pink's books!

There were simply too many great quotes to include them all but here are a few.
“To argue that God is “trying His best” to save all mankind, but that the majority of men will not let Him save them, is to insist that the will of the Creator is impotent, and that the will of the creature is omnipotent.”

“Nothing in all the vast universe can come to pass otherwise than God has eternally purposed. Here is a foundation of faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man or Devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own good pleasure and for His own eternal glory.”

“Here is a fundamental difference between the man of faith and the man of unbelief. The unbeliever is 'of the world', judges everything by worldly standards, views life from the standpoint of time and sense, and weighs everything in the balances of his own carnal making. But the man of faith brings in God, looks at everything from His standpoint, estimates values by spiritual standards, and views life in the light of eternity. Doing this, he receives whatever comes as from the hand of God. Doing this, his heart is calm in the midst of the storm. Doing this, he rejoices in hope of the glory of God.”

“But now the question arises, Why has God demanded of man that which he is incapable of performing? The first answer is, Because God refuses to lower His standard to the level of our sinful infirmities.”

“To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the Almighty, the Possessor of all power in heaven and earth, so that none can defeat His counsels, thwart His purpose, or resist His will (Ps. 115:3). To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is "The Governor among the nations" (Ps. 22:28), setting up kingdoms, overthrowing empires, and determining the course of dynasties as pleaseth Him best. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that He is the "Only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (1 Tim. 6:15). Such is the God of the Bible. How different is the God of the Bible from the God of modern Christendom! The conception of Deity which prevails most widely today, even among those who profess to give heed to the Scriptures, is a miserable caricature, a blasphemous travesty of the Truth. The God of the twentieth century is a helpless, effeminate being who commands the respect of no really thoughtful man. The God of the popular mind is the creation of a maudlin sentimentality. The God of many a present-day pulpit is an object of pity rather than of awe-inspiring reverence.[1]”

“To say that Christ is unable to win to Himself those who are unwilling, is to deny that all power in heaven and earth is His. To say that Christ cannot put forth His power without destroying man’s responsibility is a begging of the question here raised, for He has put forth His power and made willing those who have come to Him, and if He did this without destroying their responsibility, why “cannot” He do so with others? If He is able to win the heart of one sinner to Himself, why not that of another? To say, as is usually said, the others will not let Him, is to impeach His sufficiency. It is a question of His will. If the Lord Jesus has decreed, desired, purposed the salvation of all mankind, then the entire human race will be saved, or, otherwise, He lacks the power to make good His intentions; and in such a case it could never be said, “He shall see of the travail of His soul and be satisfied” (Isa 53:11). The issue raised involves the deity of the Saviour, for a defeated Saviour cannot be God.”
I think those of the Reformed Christian faith would find this the most beneficial but I would still recommend it for all.

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  1. I would argue that God *chooses* to let our will override His. It is part of His plan that we must be able to say no to Him. Thus does He raise up children. :)

  2. I'm Reformed, and, this is one of my favorite books. I haven't read it recently though. Thanks for the review and the reminder!


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