Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Great Little Book on a Great Big Issue

P & R has fast become one of my favorite publishers.  I am always challenged by work they out out and have appreciated especially some of their booklet-type publications that are aimed at succinctly presenting a particular topic or doctrine and equipping and preparing the reader to deal with it at a basic level and move on to further, more in-depth, study.  The series includes books on: What Is Spiritual Warfare?, What Is the Atonement?, What Is the Bible?, What Is the ChristianWorldview?, What Is the Doctrine of Adoption?, What Is the Incarnation?, What Is the Lord’s Supper?, What Is the Trinity?, What Is True Conversion?, and many more.  As someone who has spent the vast majority of their Christian life immersed in Southern Baptist thought but feeling more and more drawn towards Reformed doctrine, I am especially interested in a few of the titles like: What is Church Government?, What is the Lord’s Supper?, and Why do we Bapitzed Infants?  This series, “Basics of the Faith”, seems set to be great little books on great big issues and that is what Matthew Barrett’s treatment on regeneration most definitely is.

Barrett starts his book where we all start our life, human bondage to sin.  Barrett shows, briefly of course as all topics have to be addressed in a 35 page booklet, that man’s will is not autonomously free but rather is enslaved to the sinful passions, desires, and inability of man.

Barrett then makes a helpful and clear distinction between the “Gospel Call” given to all and the “effectual call” given to the elect.  This leads Barrett into a discussion of regeneration proper.  Barrett covers passages from Deuteronomy to Ezekiel to John to Paul to James and John in order to show the reader that regeneration is a monergistic work of God done to the elect sinner in order to bring about spiritual life. 
He also deals with “problem texts”, or better yet-“problematic interpretations”, that are often levied against the reformed teaching on regeneration.  

This is an  important topic for many reasons and Barrett’s work is beneficial because it is simple and clear.  More than that, it is biblically accurate and quite accessible.  Barrett leaves the reader with a greater confidence in monergistic regeneration and a greater desire to understand this topic more.  Important topic, helpful little book.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.