Of the writing of books on Calvinism and Arminianism there appears to be no end! So where shall we begin? Since we have started a series at Theology Unplugged entitled “An Invitation to Calvinism,” where might the interested reader begin his/her journey of exploration? Here are my recommendations.
(1) Perhaps the most comprehensive treatment of issues related to Calvinism, together with a fair and objective response to Arminianism, is the two-volume set entitled, The Grace of God and the Bondage of the Will. These books were edited by Thomas Schreiner and Bruce Ware and published by Baker Books. An abbreviated, one-volume version is also available, entitled, Still Sovereign, also published by Baker. The two volume set has contributions from Schreiner, Ware, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, yours truly, and a host of other Reformed theologians. Highly recommended!
(2) Although it is not specifically designed to address the Calvinism and Arminian debate, Bruce Ware’s book, God’s Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism, is excellent. This is the best response to what is known as Open Theism. Ware provides an excellent biblical treatment of the foreknowledge and sovereignty of God and how they relate to the life of prayer in particular. It is published by Crossway Books.
(3) There is nothing quite like the old standard, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, by J. I. Packer (InterVarsity Press). It’s been around seemingly forever (as has Packer!), but is still a very helpful explanation of how one can be a Calvinist and maintain a passion for lost souls.
(4) A more scholarly treatment of the relationship between God’s exhaustive sovereignty and the moral accountability of humans is D. A. Carson’s, Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility, originally published by John Knox Press and later republished by Baker. This is actually a slightly revised version of Carson’s Cambridge Ph.D. dissertation. It’s challenging but extremely rewarding.
(5) Finally, we need to include in this list of heavy hitters a more practical and pastoral approach to divine sovereignty. There is none better or more helpful than Jerry Bridges’ book, Trusting God(NavPress). Jerry wrote this during the time his wife was dying of cancer. It is the most insightful and practical guide for understanding how God relates to the sufferings and trials of life. The sovereignty of God will never again be merely an abstract doctrine to you after reading this book.