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Saved by Grace - Preface

This is a book about Calvinism. Specifically it is a book about what are known as the Five Points of Calvinism, commonly referred to as the doctrines of grace.

The reader must not make the mistake of identifying Calvinism with the "Five Points." Calvinism is more than merely five points of doctrine. Calvinism is a whole system, an orderly arrangement of all the cardinal truths of the Word of God. More than that, it is a world-and-life view that concerns every area of earthly life: marriage and family, education and labor, church and society, entertainment and leisure, and much more. Nevertheless, the "Five Points" get at the heart of what Calvinism is.

Calvinism gets its name from the sixteenth century Protestant reformer John Calvin. More than any before him, Calvin developed and systematized these truths, especially in his well-known work Institutes of the Christian Religion. For this reason, although Calvinism by no means originated with Calvin, the system bears his name.

Historically the most eminent defense of Calvinism was carried on by the famed Synod of Dordrecht, 1618-1619. This synod, with representatives from Reformed churches all over the world, condemned the teaching of the Arminians, or Remonstrants, and reaffirmed the precious truths of Calvinism. Since the Arminians had expressed their doctrinal position in five key statements, the decisions of the synod were organized in a fivefold way. Thus the "Five Points" of Calvinism.

There remains today much antagonism toward Calvinism. Many even in Reformed and Presbyterian churches are ignorant of the Five Points of Calvinism, their own ecclesiastical heritage. In our spiritually illiterate age, misunderstanding and misconceptions also abound.

This book is an effort to correct this sad situation. We have attempted to set forth the Five Points of Calvinism in a straight-forward, easy-to-understand way. The book is written with the "ordinary" Christian in mind. With a view to convincing the unconvinced, the book is saturated with proof texts. We have made every effort to let the Scriptures (and God through them) speak. We also trust that the book will foster a deeper appreciation for the truths of Calvinism among those who do already consider themselves Calvinists.

This is our first attempt at book writing. We beg the indulgence of our readers. Our prayer is that the Lord will bless our feeble efforts for the cause of the advancement of His truth, for "except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it" (Psalm 127:1).