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Here is a clear scriptural case for the classic (and sometimes controversial) Christian doctrine of predestination. Through this view of a truly sovereign God, readers will see how sinfulness prevents man from choosing God on his own; instead, God must change people's hearts.


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Here is a clear scriptural case for the classic (and sometimes controversial) Christian doctrine of predestination. Through this view of a truly sovereign God, readers will see how sinfulness prevents man from choosing God on his own; instead, God must change people's hearts.

30 review for Chosen By God: Know God's Perfect Plan for His Glory and His Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    With nearly 200,000 copies sold in its 25 years, Chosen by God by Dr. R. C. Sproul is a contemporary classic on predestination, a doctrine that isn't just for Calvinists, says Sproul. It is a doctrine for all biblical Christians. In this updated and expanded edition of Chosen by God, Sproul shows that the doctrine of predestination doesn't create a whimsical or spiteful picture of God, but paints a portrait of a loving God who provides redemption for radically corrupt humans. We choose God becau With nearly 200,000 copies sold in its 25 years, Chosen by God by Dr. R. C. Sproul is a contemporary classic on predestination, a doctrine that isn't just for Calvinists, says Sproul. It is a doctrine for all biblical Christians. In this updated and expanded edition of Chosen by God, Sproul shows that the doctrine of predestination doesn't create a whimsical or spiteful picture of God, but paints a portrait of a loving God who provides redemption for radically corrupt humans. We choose God because he has opened our eyes to see his beauty; we love him because he first loved us. There is mystery in God's ways, but not contradiction. Sproul has an easily identifiable reading style with his short, pithy sentences. Additionally he is able to concisely explain difficult philosophical ideas with clarity. His treatment on the compatibility of free will and divine sovereignty the most helpful I've seen. My husband and I had the privilege of attending at least two of Dr Sproul's conferences in the past. He has always explained even sticky subjects where anyone could understand. We were saddened when he passed away a couple of weeks ago, but He definitely fought the good fight and finished the race. 2 Timothy 4:7 He was truly a man of God.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    There are a few questions you must settle in your mind to determine whether what is written in this book is true. 1. Is God all powerful, all knowing, and does He have the right to execute His Will at all times and in all situations? 2. Do you love Him, esteem Him, and desire Him to the point where you are willing to submit your life to Him, but also your will, your understanding, and your sense of right and wrong in exchange for His? 3. Are you willing to be content and at peace when God decrees s There are a few questions you must settle in your mind to determine whether what is written in this book is true. 1. Is God all powerful, all knowing, and does He have the right to execute His Will at all times and in all situations? 2. Do you love Him, esteem Him, and desire Him to the point where you are willing to submit your life to Him, but also your will, your understanding, and your sense of right and wrong in exchange for His? 3. Are you willing to be content and at peace when God decrees something to happen that you do not understand, and do you trust that He controls all things and that nothing can happen outside his permission? If so, you shouldn't have a problem agreeing to anything in this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Angelyn Vaughan

    This is one of the few truly life-altering books I've ever read. It (along with scripture, some great sermons, and the Holy Spirit, of course) completely changed the way I think about God, not only in salvation, but in all things. When I started this book I had recently joined a reformed church and was really reluctant to affirm their doctrines on the sovereignty of God in salvation. As a future missionary I saw reformed theology as a cop-out for people who didn't want to share the gospel with o This is one of the few truly life-altering books I've ever read. It (along with scripture, some great sermons, and the Holy Spirit, of course) completely changed the way I think about God, not only in salvation, but in all things. When I started this book I had recently joined a reformed church and was really reluctant to affirm their doctrines on the sovereignty of God in salvation. As a future missionary I saw reformed theology as a cop-out for people who didn't want to share the gospel with others. And i had many other practical objections as well (why do bad things happen to good people, etc.) When I finished this book (and it took a long time) all of my objections had been overruled and I was joyful about it! I was not only convinced that God was completely sovereign over my salvation, but I was thrilled because of it. And I love Sproul's short and sweet response to the missions/evangelism conundrum. This is the book that made reformed theology "click" in my head and my heart and the paradigm could never shift back. I thank God for this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Aitken

    I was wondering if I actually needed to read this book, as I have already read other R C books and was familiar with the arguments. Needless to say, this book refreshed a few things I forgot. It is more philosophical than biblical, although the Scripture is there. Although short in size, it is not necessarily an easy read. Sproul does something in this book that I have not seen him do elsewhere: he uses diagrams. A few are: Justice/Non-justice Mercy and then there is the not able not to sin diagra I was wondering if I actually needed to read this book, as I have already read other R C books and was familiar with the arguments. Needless to say, this book refreshed a few things I forgot. It is more philosophical than biblical, although the Scripture is there. Although short in size, it is not necessarily an easy read. Sproul does something in this book that I have not seen him do elsewhere: he uses diagrams. A few are: Justice/Non-justice Mercy and then there is the not able not to sin diagram Sproul's definition of the will's freedom is crucial in this book. In doing so he borrows from Jonathan Edwards: "Edwards defined the will as `the mind choosing'...before we ever make moral choices we must have some idea of what we are choosing...my inclination and my motives are shaped by my mind....I act according to those inclinations... Ergo: The will always chooses according to its strongest inclination at the moment" (54)." So in reality, we are slaves to our own free-will. In the next chapter he goes on to illustrate how any denial of original sin necessarily entails vicious question begging, especially if pressed on how society becomes bad. But what practical value does the denial of free will have for evangelism? Sproul, Boice, and Van Til maintain that if the sinner believes that he can choose God today, then he can put it off and choose God tomorrow, ad infinitum. If he realizes that he cannot choose God, but is a slave to sin, then he has to come to grips with how DESPERATE his situation is! He is driven to his knees in awful desperation. Then, and only then,can he realize that he cannot save himself. Which is what the gospel is about.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chad Warner

    One of the best explanations I've read of Reformed theology (Calvinism). Biblical, logical, and simple (yet deep). It explains several aspects of salvation: predestination, free will, original sin, assurance of salvation. I read this because I've listened to Sproul's Renewing Your Mind podcast for years, and it's informed my thinking on salvation. Notes follow. Predestination and the Sovereignty of God "It is not freedom that is canceled out by sovereignty; it is autonomy that cannot coexist with so One of the best explanations I've read of Reformed theology (Calvinism). Biblical, logical, and simple (yet deep). It explains several aspects of salvation: predestination, free will, original sin, assurance of salvation. I read this because I've listened to Sproul's Renewing Your Mind podcast for years, and it's informed my thinking on salvation. Notes follow. Predestination and the Sovereignty of God "It is not freedom that is canceled out by sovereignty; it is autonomy that cannot coexist with sovereignty." "Autonomy" means "self-law;" answerable to no one. "One does not have to be autonomous to be free. Autonomy implies absolute freedom. We are free, but there are limits to our freedom. The ultimate limit is the sovereignty of God." "God is free. I am free. God is more free than I am. If my freedom runs up against God's freedom, I lose." Analogy: parent and child have free free will; when wills clash, parent's authority overrules child's will. Predestination and Free Will Every choice is both free and self-determined, because we choose according to our strongest inclination at the moment. Jonathan Edwards said we have a natural ability (mind and will) to choose what we desire. But fallen man has lost the moral ability to make choices pleasing to God because he has lost the ability to choose Christ (Gen 6:5). Augustine said fallen man, before rebirth, has free will but not liberty; he can choose what he wants, but his desires are not at liberty due to original sin. Infants are innocent of committing specific acts of sin but are guilty of original sin. In John 6:65, Jesus is saying the ability to come to Him is a gift from God. Man alone lacks the ability. God must do something first. In John 6:44, Greek word for "draw" means "to compel" (used in James 2:6, Acts 16:19). John 3:3, 5 say that a person must be born again to see the Kingdom. Before a person can choose Christ, their heart must be changed. The flesh profits nothing (John 6:63). See also Rom 8:7-9. John 3:16 just says those who believe will be saved; it doesn't say who will believe. Adam's Fall and Mine God ordained the Fall in the sense that He allowed it, but not in the sense that He coerced it. Spiritual Death and Spiritual Life: Rebirth and Faith Human Corruption (Total Depravity) Total depravity means our whole humanity is fallen (will, heart, mind, body); sin touches the root of our lives. It doesn't mean utter depravity (that all people are as evil as they could possibly be). Rom 3:10-12, 18; Luke 18:19; Eph 2:1-10. When the Bible says to seek God (Isa 55:6, Matt 7:7, Rev 3:20, etc.) it's addressing believers. Regeneration is monergistic; only God does the work. Faith is not monergistic; we believe. It's our faith but doesn't originate with us; God gives it to us. Effectual Grace (Irresistible Grace) "God's grace is resistible in the sense that we can and do resist it. It is irresistible in the sense that it achieves its purpose." Rebirth causes a person to view Jesus as irresistible; they willingly desire to follow Him. Is Predestination Double? God actively intervenes in the lives of the elect to ensure their salvation. "The rest of mankind God leaves to themselves. He does not create unbelief in their hearts. That unbelief is already there. He does not coerce them to sin. They sin by their own choices." When God hardens hearts (such as Pharaoh in Ex 7), it's a passive hardening. He removes the restraints, increasing their freedom, which they use to sin more. In God's judgment, He gives sinners over to their sin (Rev 22:11). Rom 9 is clearest expression of double predestination. Unconditional Election Election and salvation aren't synonymous. God elects to salvation. Salvation is complete work of redemption. Salvation does have conditions, including faith (justification is by faith). God ensures the conditions necessary for salvation are met. God elects according to His pleasure (Eph 1:3-6). Phil 2:12-13 refers to sanctification (growing in grace), not election. Can We Know That We Are Saved? It's our duty to seek assurance of salvation (2 Pet 1:10-11). Paul was sure of his election; he frequently uses "we" when speaking of elect. Assurance comes from: trust in God; inward evidence of faith (true love for Christ); outward evidence (sanctified behavior); witness of Holy Spirit (Rom 8:16), who testifies primarily through His Word. Assurance can be temporarily diminished, as David after adultery and Peter after denying Christ. Preservation (Perseverance) of the Saints (Eternal Security) Phil 1:6; John 10:27-29; 1 Pet 3:5; Heb 10:14; Rom 8:23, 33-39; John 17:11-12, 24; 2 Tim 2:19; Eph 1:14; 1 John 2:19; Jer 32:40; Rom 15:5, 13. God makes saints in Heaven incapable of sin, yet they are still free. Preservation doesn't destroy free will. True Christians can fall seriously and radically, but not totally and finally. Heb 6 seems to say believers can lose salvation, but this isn't the case due to v. 9. The author is likely using an ad hominem argument. He isn't saying believers fall away; he says the opposite. Why does the Bible warn against falling away? It reminds us of our duty to persevere. Of ourselves, we could fall away. It's God who prevents it. Questions and Objections Concerning Predestination 2 Pet 3:9 could have 2 meanings: 1) God takes no delight in anyone's perishing; 2) Peter is speaking to the elect as "us" and "any." Limited Atonement God's intention with atonement was to save the elect. Matt 1:21; John 10:15; John 6:39; John 17:9.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Far be it from me to give good reviews to a book that argues for Calvinism, but this book really is excellent for a number of reasons. First of all, it lacks the heat and vitriol and outrageous (at times even slanderous) statements that a lot of books that argue for the reformed view are unfortunately known for. Even if you don't end up agreeing with him, you don't feel on the defensive the way you would after reading something by James White or Robert Morey. The tone is very much like this: "Thi Far be it from me to give good reviews to a book that argues for Calvinism, but this book really is excellent for a number of reasons. First of all, it lacks the heat and vitriol and outrageous (at times even slanderous) statements that a lot of books that argue for the reformed view are unfortunately known for. Even if you don't end up agreeing with him, you don't feel on the defensive the way you would after reading something by James White or Robert Morey. The tone is very much like this: "This is what I believe, and it is right and biblical, so you should believe it too," not "go f**k yourselves, anyone who disagrees! You must all just hate God!" Along these lines, his arguments are a lot more thoughtful. For example, he doesn't argue "I'm a Calvinist because I believe in a sovereign God." Calvinists, if you want to quickly make all non-Calvinists dismiss everything that you say, tell they that you believe in a sovereign God and they do not. Rather, Sproul early on points out that in fact, Calvinists and Arminians alike do believe that God is sovereign. Not only is this fair and Christlike, but he actually uses it to his advantage. Because we all agree that God is sovereign, many of the problems we associate with Calvinism are in fact just as much of a problem for Arminians (for example, how can a sovereign God who is completely good have created a universe with evil in it?). He's not afraid to admit when he doesn't have an answers, and this shows both humility and insight. Humility is shown in that he is willing to admit these things. For example, he does admit that Hebrews 6:4-6 sounds like Christians are in view. Obviously, he ultimately believes that it can be consistent with Calvinism. Nevertheless, the fact that he didn't just jump on the "those aren't Christians because Christian's can't fall away; next question" bandwagon is encouraging. As I said before, he is thoughtful and thorough, not just parroting what everyone else says without even thinking about it just to save his position. The insight he possesses also becomes clear because, as was the case with the sovereignty of God issue, these paradoxes and mysteries are shared by Arminians as well, which is often overlooked. He vehemently denies the idea that God actively takes part in hardening and blinding people so that they do not believe. I think he makes a good biblical explanation of this. Although his explanation of original sin does not perfectly solve the problem of original sin, it is far better and more thoughtful than most. He argues for the typical reformed view that Adam was a representative of all humans. However, he doesn't just say "that may not sound fair, but if that's not fair, then it's not fair that Jesus is our reprsentive either" and think that that is adequate. He makes the point that if God is perfectly just, the representative he picks would be a perfect representative. It's not a perfect answer, because it doesn't explain why every human, if they weren't already sinful, would have chosen to so as Adam did. However, it is still better than most answers. It is my opinion that no answer that has ever been given perfectly solves the dilemma. The idea of a fall which has affected still seems a bit wrong on a core, intuitive level, and yet, even if the Bible didn't clearly say that such a thing was true, simple reason says that something of the sort must have happened. Why else would it be that all humans are undeniably evil at least to some extent? There comes a point where we have to assume either that God is just and there is something that we are missing, or that there just is no such thing as good and evil (and thus, nothing made men evil since there is no evil). While his explanation (including much which I have left out) is not perfect, he does successfully emphasize that we can trust that God would not do what was unjust, and that is the most important thing. The biblical case for Calvinism he gives is very good, though not airtight. Compared to most, it is very coherent and clear. His reasoning is well thought out, and is not simply a list of prooftexts. That said, a committed Arminian could legitimately still hold to their view; as I said, it is not airtight. However, it is a very good case, and I might daresay he justifies a view which I previously thought could not be. It's not without its flaws of course: at times, he makes arguments that I don't think are as successful as others. One important passages that he more or less just passes over is John 3:16. Pretty much, he says that even if it implied that God offered salvation to everyone, the clearer passages would override that. He also doesn't always have the clearest grasp on what others believe (as was clear when he argued against the view that God elects people for salvation based on how they would have replied to the gospel). Overall, he paints Calvinism in a very positive light and explains a lot of misconceptions in clear and gentle manner. The book is worth reading, whatever your view on predestination.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matt Carpenter

    This book was a life-changer. It was the book that slammed the door on my pretentions that men chose God, rather than Him choosing us. It explains the sovereignty of God in salvation better than any book I know of. I'm sure there are longer and more thorough books on the subject, but this is the best I know of to get into your soul and shake things up.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Fendrich

    A staple of reformed theology. A quick and easy survey not only of predestination but of the doctrines of grace. R.C. Sproul is a man of great intelligence who can articulate deep theological truths in simple, easy-to-understand terms. By the end, I think I had more highlighted passages than not. :) A must-read if you want to deepen your faith and your appreciation for God's work in your life.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    "The sin of fallen man is this: man seeks the benefits of God while at the same time fleeing from God Himself."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Craig Turnbull

    At 25 years old, this book still delivers a clear and helpful presentation of the Reformed position on predestination. Tackling what many critics describe as an abominable view of God, Sproul counters with a very precise and beautiful portrait mixing both the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. Noting that "the freedom of a sovereign is always greater than the freedom of his subjects", Sproul argues for the total control of God over all areas of creation. But if God is totally in control At 25 years old, this book still delivers a clear and helpful presentation of the Reformed position on predestination. Tackling what many critics describe as an abominable view of God, Sproul counters with a very precise and beautiful portrait mixing both the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. Noting that "the freedom of a sovereign is always greater than the freedom of his subjects", Sproul argues for the total control of God over all areas of creation. But if God is totally in control of all things including the process of salvation, and if in fact he intervenes in the lives of the elect to make sure that they are saved, doesn't that mean that free will is destroyed? No, says Sproul. We need to first understand what it is we're describing when we say "freedom." What we cannot say, under the reign of a sovereign God, is that we are autonomous self-governing sovereigns. We have freedom, yes, but when our freedom runs up against an omnipotent God's freedom, it cannot be true that both of us can do whatever we want. At the crux of the argument of predestination is this nature of choice and sovereignty. To answer this paradox, he takes us to the writings of Jonathan Edwards, who notes that for a choice to take place, there must first be a desire to choose. In fact, desires actually drive choices. To be sure, there can be no choices made disassociated from desires. Reformed theology teaches that predestination occurs in the workings of the regeneration of heart, giving it a new set of desires, which then drives new and freely acted upon choices - chief of these, being the desire to freely choose Christ. Sproul summarizes: "What I call Edwards’s Law of Choice is this: “The will always chooses according to its strongest inclination at the moment.” This means that every choice is free and every choice is determined." "Our choices are determined by our desires. They remain our choices because they are motivated by our own desires. This is what we call self-determination, which is the essence of freedom." So, does fallen, dead, depraved man have a natural desire in and of himself to choose Christ? Sproul arugues that Scripture answers that question with a resounding "NO." Man, in his sin, is free to choose whatever his broken sinful heart wants; he's perfectly free to do that. He just will never choose Christ. What is needed is regeneration, and the new heart with new desires. That line of lucid thinking alone is worth the price of the book. But Sproul's great work continues to address other sticking points in the Calvinist/Arminian debate: Is predestination fatalism? Doesn't the Bible say that God is not willing that any should perish? If I can only choose what God has already decreed, then how can my choice be a real choice? and even, What is the unpardonable sin? All in all an exceptionally helpful and accessible book to drop into the hands of anyone questioning this doctrine.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Predestination. Foreknowledge. Election. Free Will. Reprobation. These are among some of the most controversial and misunderstood terms that come up in theological discussions amongst evangelical Christians, and they are the concepts that Dr. Sproul addresses in his most influential little book, Chosen by God. All of these concepts are linked very tightly to one truth that most if not all orthodox Christians claim to accept: the Sovereignty of God. This topic, though, can lead to another whole d Predestination. Foreknowledge. Election. Free Will. Reprobation. These are among some of the most controversial and misunderstood terms that come up in theological discussions amongst evangelical Christians, and they are the concepts that Dr. Sproul addresses in his most influential little book, Chosen by God. All of these concepts are linked very tightly to one truth that most if not all orthodox Christians claim to accept: the Sovereignty of God. This topic, though, can lead to another whole discussion, as the question is raised: Just how sovereign is God? This, in my opinion, is rather a pointless question, because if God is not completely sovereign in every area of life, both material and spiritual, then He’s not sovereign, period. And if He’s not sovereign, then He’s not God. But the next question becomes: Can or does God choose at times or in certain situations not to exercise His sovereign control? Many believers are willing to accept God as sovereign, until the subject of salvation is raised. To say that God is completely sovereign in the salvation of individuals seems to offend them, stepping on the toes of their precious free will. Sproul explains that he didn’t always hold to the view of predestination, election and God’s sovereignty in salvation. In seminary, one of Sproul’s professor, John Gerstner, challenged his students with this idea: “You are required to believe, to preach, and to teach what the Bibles says is true, not what you want the Bible to say is true.” As Sproul the student seriously studied the Scriptures, he gradually became convinced: "Once I began to see the cogency of the doctrine and its broader implications, my eyes were opened to the graciousness of grace and to the grand comfort of God’s sovereignty. I began to like the doctrine little by little, until it burst upon my soul that the doctrine revealed the depth and the riches of the mercy of God. I no longer feared the demons of fatalism or the ugly thought that I was being reduced to a puppet. Now I rejoiced in a gracious Savior who alone was immortal, invisible, the only wise God." Sproul jumps right in at the start of this book by identifying one problem that exists: the varying views and understandings of the doctrine of predestination held by different Christian groups. To sum up: "The Reformed view of predestination teaches that before a person can choose Christ his heart must be changed. Non-Reformed views have fallen people first choosing Christ and then being born again. Here we find unregenerate people seeing and entering the kingdom of God." Actually every Christian has a personal view of predestination, whether or not he is able to articulate it or to defend it biblically. Since the subject is addressed in the Scriptures. Sproul comments, "It is not enough to have just any view of predestination. It is our duty to seek the correct view of predestination, lest we be guilty of distorting or ignoring the Word of God. Here is where the real struggle begins, the struggle to sort out accurately all that the Bible teaches on this matter." Throughout his book, Sproul often makes a distinction between reformed (or Calvinist) teachings and non-reformed (or Arminian). If you don’t understand what these two camps hold to doctrinally, you will have a pretty good idea after reading the book. Perhaps you have negative perceptions of Calvinism as a system of theology, or you may be a person who has championed man’s free will and strongly opposed the ideas of election and predestination. I strongly recommend that you read Chosen by God with an open Bible and an open mind if your doctrinal stance is represented by any (or all) of the following statements: - God gave man a free will; it’s our choice whether or not to believe and accept Christ. - Foreknowledge means that God looked ahead, “through the corridors of time” to see who would choose Him, and those are the ones He elects to save. - If God is sovereignly in control of everything, then we are nothing but puppets. - Unless we freely choose to love God, it’s not authentic love. - It wouldn’t be fair if God chose only some people to be saved. - Jesus died on the cross to make salvation a possibility for everyone. - How can God hold anyone accountable for their sin, when they were born with it and have no choice or ability to do anything about it? In this short book, Dr. Sproul addresses each of these statements. He discusses such important issues as God’s mercy vs. God’s justice, the fall of Adam/Man, man’s sin nature/depravity, spiritual death & rebirth, double predestination/reprobation, the unpardonable sin, and assurance of salvation/eternal security. Dr. Sproul walks the reader through the process of analyzing these topics in a logical order and showing what the Word of God says. He anticipates the questions and objections that may be raised and masterfully answers them using the Scriptures as his foundation. The following excerpts provide a little sampling of some of the key ideas Sproul expands upon: “Our nature is so corrupt, the power of sin is so great, that unless God does a supernatural work in our souls we will never choose Christ. We do not believe in order to be born again; we are born again in order that we may believe.” “People do not seek God. They seek after the benefits that only God can give them. The sin of fallen man is this: Man seeks the benefits of God while at the same time fleeing from God himself. We are, by nature, fugitives.” “God gives mercy to the elect by working faith in their hearts. He gives justice to the reprobate by leaving them in their own sins. One group receives mercy. The other group received justice. No one is a victim of injustice. None can complain that there is unrighteousness in God.” “Do we love a God who is sovereign? Do we love a God who sends people to hell? Do we love a God who demands absolute obedience? Do we love a Christ who will say to some on the last day, ‘Depart from me, I never knew you’? I am not asking whether we love this God and this Christ perfectly; I am asking whether we love this God and this Christ at all.” Each chapter ends with a summary of key points and a list of scripture passages to help review the material just covered. In Chosen by God, R. C. Sproul examines some of the weightiest theological subjects, biblically and with clarity and conciseness. It’s important that, like the Bereans, we each, “search the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so,” that we may be able to recognize the false gospels that are all around us and become knowledgeable and firmly convinced of what we believe.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tanner Keen

    An excellent thorough-but-succinct look at the Reformed view of the doctrine of predestination. Sproul does a great job balancing heavy theological phrases and concepts with practical truth and logic. One particular strength of this book is the focus also given to breaking down and rebutting alternative views/opposing arguments, all of which are commonly heard and used. I feel better equipped to discuss this topic because of this book. Highly recommend.

  13. 4 out of 5

    M.L. Little

    It is so weird that I am giving this book three stars. But alas, I am nothing if not fair. For starters, let me state something. I have great difficulty reading C.S. Lewis. Half the time, I have absolutely no idea what he’s saying. I expected this author to be like C.S. Lewis but was pleasantly surprised. It was engaging, readable, easy to understand. My personal copy was a slim and fresh paperback with a modern cover. I genuinely enjoyed reading the first few chapters and even felt that Sproul It is so weird that I am giving this book three stars. But alas, I am nothing if not fair. For starters, let me state something. I have great difficulty reading C.S. Lewis. Half the time, I have absolutely no idea what he’s saying. I expected this author to be like C.S. Lewis but was pleasantly surprised. It was engaging, readable, easy to understand. My personal copy was a slim and fresh paperback with a modern cover. I genuinely enjoyed reading the first few chapters and even felt that Sproul was someone I wouldn’t mind spending a day with. I learned more than I expected to. For example, the portion about God hardening Pharaoh’s heart. That was fabulous insight about a difficult passage. Then about halfway through, the book become more judgmental and more angering. As the chapters went on, Sproul left no room for arguing. You are either a Calvinist or you are dreadfully wrong. There is no room for merely differences in interpretation (something I believe can coexist without one or the other being completely wrong), because there is one and only one correct interpretation. He also separated the whole of Protestants into two categories: Calvinists, and terribly misled Arminians. What about all the people who draw interpretations from both sides? What surprised me the most was how in many of his “The Arminian believes...” sections, I found it to be wrong. I was correcting it in my mind. It was like he was arguing against Arminianism, but didn’t completely understand it. He would say “This is what Arminians believe” and I was like, well no actually. Another thing that was really irritating and judgy was the frequent “This verse in no way supports Arminianism.” Well, yeah, it does. There are two ways to look at it. In conclusion, the second half of this book was a woeful disappointment following the friendly beginning. Before this book, I wrestled with Calvinism. Now I understand it, and I hate it. I HATE it. I don’t think it is wrong, the way Sproul deems Arminianism wrong, but I think aspects are missing. I think God is 100000% percent capable of doing everything in this book. I also believe God CHOOSES not to do those things. To illustrate, which picture is a more glorious God: Say there is a child dying in an orphanage having never heard the word of God. In life, they were unwanted and unloved. They die. God could save them if he chose to do so, but chooses instead to cast them into hell. Or is it more glorious that God would stoop so low to the level of this unwanted child and bring them to his love? Don’t tell me my argument is too emotional. Kids die in orphanages every day. I took this from a real-life story I read recently. And don’t tell me that flinging the child into hell would be nothing but justice. I don’t want to hear that. I’ve heard it so many times. How is flinging a child into eternal death more glorious than loving a child? If many of the babies who are aborted will go to hell, why are Christians supposed to protect their life as though it is sacred? How are we supposed to live with the knowledge that we have looked into many sets of eyes connected to souls unloved by God? If God does not love everyone, then why is love everything? Why can we not function under circumstances of reality without love, when so many people will never receive the ultimate love? If God IS love, but only loves one group, then the other half of God is hate. How can we reconcile with a God who hates the neighbor we are commanded to love? If this was the only Protestantism, I would convert to Catholicism. If this is the gospel, I reject it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    John Jeffcoat iii

    Dr. R.C. Sproul was my pastor for about ten years, and this is my favorite of the dozens of books he has published. My company (Greatsite.com - The Bible Museum) has displayed our rare Bibles at Dr. Sproul's Ligonier Ministries Conferences in Orlando and in Phoenix, and our facsimile reproductions of rare Bibles have been featured in Dr. Sproul's Ligonier Ministries Resource Catalogue as well. In his book, Chosen By God, Dr. Sproul puts forth the best argument for a Calvinistic interpretation of Dr. R.C. Sproul was my pastor for about ten years, and this is my favorite of the dozens of books he has published. My company (Greatsite.com - The Bible Museum) has displayed our rare Bibles at Dr. Sproul's Ligonier Ministries Conferences in Orlando and in Phoenix, and our facsimile reproductions of rare Bibles have been featured in Dr. Sproul's Ligonier Ministries Resource Catalogue as well. In his book, Chosen By God, Dr. Sproul puts forth the best argument for a Calvinistic interpretation of scripture that I have ever read. So many Reformed theologians, when arguing for Calvinism, put up a "straw man" for the Armenian arguments against Calvinism, making it easy on them to "prove" their points. Dr. Sproul does not take this easy way out. Indeed, he is brave enough and confident enough to put up the very best and most convincing arguments against Calvinism (supporting the Armenian position)... and then he proceeds to systematically, with compassion but without compromise, destroy those arguments using not his opinion... but using scripture in its full context. This argument of Calvinist theology versus Armenian theology has separated Protestant denominations for centuries. The argument is, at its core, "Did God choose you, or did you choose God?" Or, put another way, "Does faith precede regeneration, or does regeneration precede faith?" People who dismiss this argument as "splitting hairs" or as being "six of one and half a dozen of the other" are people who simply do not understand the importance of the argument. A God that allows one's eternal destiny and salvation to be left up to a combination of sinful human "free will" of choice, and an apparent randomness or luck (when and where were you born? to Christian parents? in a Western nation? etc.) is a God that is not truly sovereign... not really in control, but merely "supervising" or "watching us from a distance" as the heretical songwriter Bette Midler sang in her infamous song. Rather, as Ephesian One (and other scripture) clearly teaches... God has chosen you, from the foundation of the world... before human time began. Your feeling of "free will" in choosing God is merely an illusion... it is God who opens your eyes, and draws you unto Him. This idea is revolting to the typical American / Western mind... a mind steeped in independence and personal freedom of choice. But this is not a government of Man we are talking about... it is a sovereign Lord of all creation... the author and sustainer of space and time and reality and human souls. His ways are not our ways... His thoughts are not our thoughts. If you do not grasp the idea behind what is popularly called "Calvinism" (the theology of a totally sovereign God), then you fall grievously short of understanding the nature of the God of the Bible. Countless people over the past few decades have approached this book as skeptics, refusing to accept such a view of God... and after reading this book with an open mind, they have come away humbly realizing that scripture does plainly teach this, and that the "choice" to be made is: do I believe what I want to believe is true... or do I believe what the Bible teaches me is true? One choice leads to a life of shortsighted denial and pride... the other leads to the life that the Bible calls us unto... a life of truth-seeking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bryant Rudisill

    Dr. R.C. Sproul's Chosen By God is an incredible presentation of the Reformed view of sovereign predestination. Reformed theology is built on the biblical understanding of man's depravity; a depravity that extends to the totality of his being. Those skeptical of Calvinism's understanding of predestination; those who believe it presents God as unloving need to take the time to mull over Dr. Sproul's words. An understanding of God's utter holiness, man's total depravity, and God's grace, justice, Dr. R.C. Sproul's Chosen By God is an incredible presentation of the Reformed view of sovereign predestination. Reformed theology is built on the biblical understanding of man's depravity; a depravity that extends to the totality of his being. Those skeptical of Calvinism's understanding of predestination; those who believe it presents God as unloving need to take the time to mull over Dr. Sproul's words. An understanding of God's utter holiness, man's total depravity, and God's grace, justice, and mercy are pivotal in apprehending what God has done through Christ for His beloved Church. Chosen By God is written in Sproul's easy-to-comprehend format; he deals with skeptics and defends the Reformed understanding with ease and clarity. The difficult questions are answered in a loving, pastoral care and fallible human honesty. There's no getting around Dr. Sproul's passion for Reformed theology and, particularly, the doctrine of predestination. God is holy, holy, holy. God is just. God is love. And in the famed words of Dr. R.C. Sproul: Soli Deo gloria.

  16. 5 out of 5

    John Boyne

    R.C. Sproul was a voice of my childhood. I grew up listening to his lectures on old cassette tapes when my dad was getting ready in the morning. I feel a little ashamed that while I've listen to him so much I have only read a couple of his books. Chosen by God is a little book that clearly and succinctly explains the biblical doctrine of predestination and defends it against the Arminian view of human free will. To everyone who is curious of this doctrine, hasn't heard about it before, or hold s R.C. Sproul was a voice of my childhood. I grew up listening to his lectures on old cassette tapes when my dad was getting ready in the morning. I feel a little ashamed that while I've listen to him so much I have only read a couple of his books. Chosen by God is a little book that clearly and succinctly explains the biblical doctrine of predestination and defends it against the Arminian view of human free will. To everyone who is curious of this doctrine, hasn't heard about it before, or hold strong views about it in either direction should read this book and either attempt to refute it or defend it for it is clearly one of the definitive titles on this subject in our modern times. I can't recommend it enough, it is a short read, providing a general introduction, but is still oh so rich in dept that it should be reread regularly.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    For a topic as complex as predestination, Sproul does a great job making it both understandable and easy to follow. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in challenging/strengthening their views on the subject matter.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    A very wonderful, and insightful book. It really does a great job of putting our faith into perspective. 'Chosen by God' by RC Sproul is a very good explanation of what we believe and why we believe it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Toom

    Life changing iconic book on Reformed Theology.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Moses Operandi

    Oh, hang it all. I admit it, this book convinced me. But I don't have to like it!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Great for beginners. Systematic and clear.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    The book that the Lord used, apart from scripture, to show me His marvelous grace.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kells Next Read

    Actual Ratings: 4.5

  24. 4 out of 5

    Josh Wilson

    This is one time it would be nice to have the author here to talk with about some of his points. For instance, Sproul explains on page 55 that grace is given in order for someone to accept Christ, and that without this, no one would choose Christ. This means that there is at least some amount of time during which person has received the grace of God, but is not yet a believer. Though this seems to follow from his arguments, it also seems to draw an unbiblically-warranted conclusion. There are a This is one time it would be nice to have the author here to talk with about some of his points. For instance, Sproul explains on page 55 that grace is given in order for someone to accept Christ, and that without this, no one would choose Christ. This means that there is at least some amount of time during which person has received the grace of God, but is not yet a believer. Though this seems to follow from his arguments, it also seems to draw an unbiblically-warranted conclusion. There are a few times when Sproul raises a question and then says simply, "I don't know..." I commend him for not stringing together nice-sounding arguments that he doesn't really believe will hold water. Still, the question on page 25, "Why does God only save some," has a more satisfying answer in, say, the approach of C.S. Lewis in "The Great Divorce." This option isn't available to him, though, since Lewis is what Sproul would call "Arminian." I think several of these questions find answers in the Arminian viewpoint, which leads me to believe an Arminian book on this topic would capitalize on these questions and play the "I don't know" card for the difficulties answered by 5-point Calvinism. That said, Sproul really does well in taking into account all the counter-arguments and passages that would speak against his position.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    I stumbled into reading this book after naively thinking I could Google predestination and arrive at the single answer explaining it. I soon discovered that there are many, many differing explanations on the topic of predestination and free will. Clearly, I needed a more in depth explanation - preferably one that helped explains things from my Church's point of view (EPC). R.C Sproul does an excellent job explaining this complex topic. Along the way touches on Calvin (a lot), Luther, Jonathan Edw I stumbled into reading this book after naively thinking I could Google predestination and arrive at the single answer explaining it. I soon discovered that there are many, many differing explanations on the topic of predestination and free will. Clearly, I needed a more in depth explanation - preferably one that helped explains things from my Church's point of view (EPC). R.C Sproul does an excellent job explaining this complex topic. Along the way touches on Calvin (a lot), Luther, Jonathan Edwards, Universalism and Arminianism. He also explains his (and most people's) personal struggle coming to terms the seemingly contradictory duality of God's sovereignty via predestination and man's free will - making the argument that the two are not polar opposites and, in fact, fit neatly with each other. As others have said, I especially liked that the author wasn't afraid to write "I don't know" as his answer to questions like why God ordained/permitted the Fall (more specifically, he said that he didn't know why but that it must serve a good that we can't know). In short, this book provides a good overview of a deeply complex subject area. The information provided gives the motivated reader enough so that he can research on his own long after the book is finished.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    This is a great resource along side the word of God. We are chosen by God (Predestination) which is such important doctrine of the Christian life. RC Sproul is a great teacher and writer. I always get a great meal of meat and potatoes with chocolate cake and ice cream. He is very thorough with his teaching. He himself had trouble with this doctrine and explains why. Myself I always had trouble understanding this truth. Does it mean that God is not a God of love?! It is because of his mercy and j This is a great resource along side the word of God. We are chosen by God (Predestination) which is such important doctrine of the Christian life. RC Sproul is a great teacher and writer. I always get a great meal of meat and potatoes with chocolate cake and ice cream. He is very thorough with his teaching. He himself had trouble with this doctrine and explains why. Myself I always had trouble understanding this truth. Does it mean that God is not a God of love?! It is because of his mercy and justice. He would not be sovereign if it was any other way. Man also has a free will with desires and with those desires, choices are made. However, with God, we cannot have Godly desires because of our sinful nature. There is so much to this, so in closing, I would like to add that this is important because it determines what "God" we embrace. God's word says that he will give Mercy to whom he will give mercy. It is because of his mercy, we can have salvation. Salvation is all from God thru Jesus Christ.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Enzo Luigi

    Once, I had a dinner with some of my good friends. We were having a wonderful chat. Eventually, the topic centered on predestination. What a topic after a good meal! I don’t exactly remember how we got to that topic. But you know what’s next, right? Passionate discussion, if not debate. My friends and I had different views of predestination, and each one kept pushing for his own view. But the problem is: None of us really know what we’re talking about! Finally, I read a copy of R.C. Sproul’s Chose Once, I had a dinner with some of my good friends. We were having a wonderful chat. Eventually, the topic centered on predestination. What a topic after a good meal! I don’t exactly remember how we got to that topic. But you know what’s next, right? Passionate discussion, if not debate. My friends and I had different views of predestination, and each one kept pushing for his own view. But the problem is: None of us really know what we’re talking about! Finally, I read a copy of R.C. Sproul’s Chosen by God (Tyndale, 1986). The book introduced me to the topic of predestination (the Reformed view of it, at least). When I began reading the book, I immediately knew that I am diving into a difficult topic. So help me, God! Read the rest of the review at Zoy Sauce Etc.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dave Peterson

    Enjoyed the lively argument but took issue with several key points. True freedom must include the freedom/capacity to obey. It is not clear to me how we should expect that the infinite Father God has given us commands that exceed our capacity to obey. In Calvinism, it seems you are free to choose A or B, but A is not possible. If this is the meaning of free will, I think that I am not a Calvinist. Is God big enough to offer Himself to those He knows will reject Him? God is not obliged to love all h Enjoyed the lively argument but took issue with several key points. True freedom must include the freedom/capacity to obey. It is not clear to me how we should expect that the infinite Father God has given us commands that exceed our capacity to obey. In Calvinism, it seems you are free to choose A or B, but A is not possible. If this is the meaning of free will, I think that I am not a Calvinist. Is God big enough to offer Himself to those He knows will reject Him? God is not obliged to love all humankind... but that is what is written about Him in the Gospel.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joe Cassada

    In Chosen By God, Sproul deals with the major points of Calvinistic soteriology in a clear and concise way. Written for the layperson, this book does a great job of answering objections and exegeting some difficult passages in a style that is both understandable and engaging. It's lengthy enough to give this issue a serious discussion and brief enough not to scare away the average student of the Bible. I heartily recommend this book for all: Arminians, Calvinists, and those who want to think they In Chosen By God, Sproul deals with the major points of Calvinistic soteriology in a clear and concise way. Written for the layperson, this book does a great job of answering objections and exegeting some difficult passages in a style that is both understandable and engaging. It's lengthy enough to give this issue a serious discussion and brief enough not to scare away the average student of the Bible. I heartily recommend this book for all: Arminians, Calvinists, and those who want to think they are neither.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    "They say there is nothing more obnoxious than a converted drunk. Try a converted Arminian. Converted Arminians tend to become flaming Calvinists, zealous for the cause of predestination. You are reading the work of such a convert"-R. C. Sproul. This book logically lays out reformed theology in beautiful simplicity while addressing the popular oppositions and resolving them with the truth of God's word.

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