Boettner’s “Reformed Doctrine of Predestination” An Examination -- By: Lewis Grant Randal

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 092:366 (Apr 1935)
Article: Boettner’s “Reformed Doctrine of Predestination” An Examination
Author: Lewis Grant Randal


Boettner’s “Reformed Doctrine of Predestination”
An Examination

Lewis Grant Randal

[Note: Italics used in quotations are, in every case, those of the reviewer.-L.G.R.]

Although it cannot be said that the theme of this book by Professor L. Boettner has been treated exhaustively, yet it is evident that the author has a masterly grasp of his subject. He knows a commanding knowledge of the Scripture in this field, the history of the doctrine, and the arguments used against it. He proceeds upon the ground that the Calvinistic system must stand or fall as a unit, that its component parts are interdependent, and that an attack successfully made upon any one of the five points of Calvinism would overthrow the entire system. He thus makes opportunity to enter rather fully into each of the five tenets which compose the foundation of the system, taking care, however, to instruct the reader that the five points are not Calvinism but are the groundwork thereof. Hence the book is not a mere defense of the doctrine of predestination, but an admirable defense of the whole Reformed Faith, founded upon the testimony of the Word, the testimony of history, and the simple conclusions of logic.

In the chapter entitled “God has a plan” there is presented an illuminating glimpse into God’s eternal blueprints. A truly infinite God could have no other plan than an infinite or exhaustive one, providing, actively or permissively, for everything from momentous events to insignificant details. The illustration is given of a general who plans a battle. He has provided for as perfect organization as

possible, a set time for attack, barbed wire entanglements at a certain place, and everything within his power to control. The only difficulty with the general is that he is finite and everything is not within his power to control. If it were, he would direct the movements of each individual soldier, and his sovereignty would be complete within the sphere of his command. God is infinite, reasons the author, therefore at any given point in eternity past His purposing Mind at once embraced every detail of life, thought, and movement, on every square inch of this entire world and every other! Such a project is far too vast for the human mind to conceive or comprehend, but it is the unavoidable conclusion to a logical defense of the unlimited sovereignty of God. Amazing wisdom is displayed in this exhaustive plan, and its purpose is evident, viz., the glorification of God, in spite of the much evil permitted, for “surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee.” Boettner’s work is highly commendatory in that it subtly challenges the reader to think for himself and inspires in him a greater reverenc...

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