Does God control our every thought and decision or can we make them on our own? Are we simply puppets that believe we are choosing things but instead are just being manipulated? Do we choose to believe in Christ or is the choice already made for us? These are some of the questions that people have sought to answer for years and hand in Hand by Randy Alcorn is one of the newest books on the topic.
If you hang around some theology circles long enough, you are quick to hear about the division between the Calvinist and the Arminian camps. It is very easy to find people that want to force you into one camp or the other. Maybe you find yourself with one foot in one camp and one foot in the other. I am sure I have not done as much research as some people, but I am confident that this will forever be a topic people love to debate. Often, I find myself with a foot in both camps and as a result often feel left out by both some members of both groups.
If you have ever had an interest in the debate and have been overwhelmed at the resources and have been looking for something that describes both sides without trying to influence your decision too much, this is a great resource. Alcorn presents both Calvinism and Arminianism in hand in Hand very clearly and in simple enough terms that most people will be able to grasp a better understanding of the major points of each side. While Alcorn admits that he is a four-point Calvinist, I did not find his views overly reflected in his writing. Instead, I admire his consistency in presenting just the facts of each side.
I was glad that Alcorn even talked briefly about a couple of views outside of Orthodoxy. I found this favorable as there are people who believe this and it was helpful to understand how some people may come to the conclusions that they do even if I do not agree with their view.
This book would be a wonderful resource for anyone interested in the Calvinism and Arminianism debate or one simply interested in how much God influences our lives. Randy Alcorn does a wonderful job of explaining the terminology he and others use. If you want to be a little more educated on the subject, pick this book up and read it.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.