If God is sovereign, how can I be free to choose?
But if God is not sovereign, how can he be God?
Is it possible to reconcile God’s sovereignty with human choice? This is one of the most perplexing theological questions. It’s also one of the most personal.
In hand in Hand, Randy Alcorn says that the traditional approach to this debate has often diminished our trust in God and his purposes. Instead of making a one-sided argument from select verses, Alcorn examines the question in light of all Scripture. By exploring what the whole Bible says about divine sovereignty and human choice, hand in Hand helps us…
· Carefully and honestly examine the different views on this issue
· Gain a deeper understanding of God
· Appreciate God’s design in providing us the freedom of meaningful choice
· See the value in better understanding what we cannot fully understand
· Learn how to communicate about the issue in clear and compassionate ways
· More fully experience the unity Christ intends for his Church
A careful guide through Scripture, hand in Hand shows us why God’s sovereignty and meaningful human choice work together in a beautiful way.
Includes small-group discussion questions.
- Calvinism and Arminianism
hand in Hand by Randy Alcorn is a quite detailed examination of the seemingly opposing views of God's sovereignty and human free will. He presents that they are not opposing views but can actually go hand and hand based on the Bible.
This has been much debated for hundreds of years with strong Biblically based arguments from both sides and this book doesn't pretend to have the answers but it does present a very balanced view on the arguments. The author has had experience on both sides of the argument, so he knew exactly how to present each case.
I found this book quite interesting because I know what I believe but it was fascinating hearing how other Christians beliefs differ but in the end are quite similar. It also gave me an appreciation of how other Christians think and understand certain Bible verses.
The narration was very good from the author as he knew exactly how to read this very detailed book without making it boring or monotonous.
This book would be fabulous for any Christian wanting to deeper understand God's sovereignty and human free will as well as helping them to understand exactly what they believe on the matter.
This audio book was gifted as a part of the christianaudio Reviewers Program in exchange for my unbiased review of this work. More information can be found about this and other Christian audio books at christianaudio.com.
- Deep Theology in audiobook form!
This book is a rare jewel.
Most audiobooks, by nature, are simple. It is very difficult to listen to complex theological doctrine in audiobook form. Think of how hard it would be to follow John Owens, "Death of Death" with someone reading it to you. But In this case it works.
First things first. Alcorn takes a very difficult subject and makes it accessible to the normal person. This is a monumental feat in and of itself. Add the ability to follow it easily in audible form, and we have ourselves a great audiobook.
The subject has been debated for 2000 years and Alcorn does not break new ground here, but neither does anyone else who writes on the subject. What he does bring is a logical and balanced voice to the freewill debate.
What sets this book apart from many others is the attention to fairness in debate. Most people, when debating, set up straw men and knock them down. They take another’s position, stretch it our past what the person actually believes, knock it down, then say they have destroyed their argument. In reality, they have only destroyed a caricature of the true argument. In the end, that leaves no one convinced and only preaches to the choir.
Randy Alcorn, takes a different approach here. He lets both sides speak for themselves. He is fair and does not use logical fallacies to win his argument.
I believe a book like this can bring both sides together for a calm discussion without raising one’s blood pressure.
The narration was spot on. Randy does his own narration and does a fine job at that. Sometimes you forget you are even listening to an audiobook and feel you are listening to a lecture. The narration was clear and read at a speed that makes it easy to understand.
I loved this book!
I highly recommend this audiobook and give it a 5 out of 5 star.
I enjoyed this book courtesy of the Christian Audio review program at http://christianaudio.com and received the audio book, free of charge, from ChristianAudio.com in exchange for an honest review.
- Solid Overview of an Ancient Issue
Randy Alcorn tackles the ancient issue of God’s sovereignty and human responsibility in a practical way without watering down the theological views. His disclaimer at the beginning of the book is that he used to believe more on the Arminian side but is now more on the Calvinistic side. With this in view, he attempts to build the case that God’s sovereignty and human free will can go hand in Hand. Alcorn is thorough in his research and clear in his communication. This is a great resource for anyone wanting to know more about how to reconcile the two doctrines while being faithful to Scripture.
On a personal note, my perspective is much like Alcorn’s profession of being a four point Calvinist and one point Arminian. I would say that I “err” in the side of Calvinism, mainly out of Holy Spirit conviction, but I cannot deny free will choice as taught in the Bible. Ultimately, Alcorn does well in stating each side as well as he is able with his bias toward Calvinism, but qualifies his statement by challenging the reader to not let a system of theological thought guide our interpretation of Scripture. Instead, we should seek to understand as much as we can and humbly accept that we may not have the whole picture. The important point that can easily be missed is that, whichever view is upheld, may it be a springboard for you to pursue God and His will without letting such an issue prevent you from carrying out His commands.
In a note on the narration, the narrator presents the material in a very straightforward way, without distraction or annoyance. I received this audiobook free of charge from chrisitianaudio.com in exchange for an honest review. For more information, visit www.christianaudio.com.
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- Would be more accurately be titled "Calvinism vs. Arminianism".
Hand in Hand: The Beauty of God’s Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice by author Randy Alcorn would more accurately be titled Calvinism vs. Arminianism: How to Relate to the Other Side. I felt that the title was misleading and therefore I may not have enjoyed the title as much as someone who was looking to brush up on the explanations and comparisons between these two doctrines. Prior to listening to this audiobook I knew what I believed, but lacked the proper labels to assign to my theology. Mr. Alcorn cured me of this ignorance by explaining the views of each through illustrations, allegories, and quotations of influential Christians on both sides of the debate.
I commend the approach that Mr. Alcorn took in writing this book. Both sides of the debate are presented in a fair and balanced way. This was due in part to Alcorn's Arminian church roots, and his later adoption of more Calvinistic views. He encourages his audience to begin conversations with people of opposing views by first defining terms. Terms that he devotes a great deal of ink to explain - compatibilism, determinism, libertarianism, free will, meaningful choice, and the like. I believe his gentle approach endorses open communication and unity within the body of believers.
The information was relayed in a well organized fashion. However, As a visual learner I would have benefited from a chart or diagram (which may be present in the text format of this title). Listening to Randy Alcorn’s narration tended to be information overload at times - like trying to get a sip of water from a fire hose. To his credit- his voice, inflection, and reading tempo were pleasing. The material covered in this work would make for lively discussions, either one on one, or in a group setting.
I give Hand in Hand by Randy Alcorn a rating of 3 1/2 stars.
**I received this book for free as a member of the Christianaudio Reviewers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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