A Review Of Dave Hunt’s What Love is This? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God -- By: Laurence M. Vance

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 15:2 (Autumn 2002)
Article: A Review Of Dave Hunt’s What Love is This? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God
Author: Laurence M. Vance


A Review Of Dave Hunt’s
What Love is This? Calvinism’s
Misrepresentation of God

Laurence M. Vance

Vance Publications
Pensacola, Florida

Laurence M. Vance is the author of the 788 page work The Other Side of Calvinism (Pensacola, FL: Vance Publications, 1991, 1999).

I. An Overview

One would think that the debate over the doctrines of Calvinism, which has gone on for four hundred years, would have subsided by now. Yet, books on the subject continue to appear. Most of them, however, are from the Presbyterian/Reformed or “Sovereign Grace Baptist” points of view. It was a pleasant surprise, therefore, to see that the well-known author and director of The Berean Call Ministry, Dave Hunt, has penned a reply to the doctrines of Calvinism.

What Love is This? has twenty-three short chapters (10–24 pages) with numerous headings within each chapter to further organize the material. There is an extremely detailed table of contents that gives the name and page number of the sections in each chapter. The book is well-documented, with endnotes. Although Calvinism, with its maze of theological jargon, can at times be a difficult subject to understand, What Love is This? is not overly technical. Hunt does a good job of explaining in layman’s terms what Calvinism actually teaches and how it contradicts the Bible. There is a Scripture Index, but no index of persons or topics. All Scripture is quoted from the King James Version, and, except for two references to “erroneous renderings” (pp. 54, 210), a reference to God as “Jahweh” (p. 291), and some scattered references to some Greek and Hebrew words, the King James Version is followed throughout. Although Hunt does occasionally quote other non-Calvinists for their explanation of a particular facet of Calvinism, he relies on Scripture to answer the claims of Calvinists. There are an abundance of quotes from Calvinists, including an assortment of Calvinism’s modern proponents

like R. C. Sproul, John Piper, and James White. However, whether this means that Calvinists will not raise their perennial cry that they have been misrepresented is doubtful. When quoting Calvin himself, it is unfortunate, though, that Hunt uses the older English translation of Calvin’s Institutes by Henry Beveridge instead of the newer one by Ford Lewis Battles (Westminster Press, 1960). He does, however, reference Calvin’s Institutes by book, chapter, and paragraph, so at least Calvin’s quotes can be looked up in either edition.

After two introductory chapters, there are four chapters centered on John Calvin, Augustine, and Armin...

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