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Grace, Faith, Free Will [Paperback]

By Robert E. Picirilli (Author)
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Item description for Grace, Faith, Free Will by Robert E. Picirilli...

"Grace, Faith, Free Will" addresses issues that have divided Calvinists and Arminians since the Reformation. Using historical, systematic, and Biblical theology, Picirilli contrasts both views of salvation. His "Reformation Arminianism" reclaims the original beliefs of Arminius and his defenders.

Publishers Description
Grace, Faith, Free Will addresses issues that have divided Calvinists and Arminians since the Reformation. Using historical, systematic, and Biblical theology, Robert Picirilli contrasts both views of salvation. His "Reformation Arminianism" reclaims the original beliefs of Arminius and his defenders.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Randall House Publications
Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.05" Width: 6.28" Height: 0.61"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2005
Publisher   RANDALL HOUSE #1256
ISBN  0892656484  
ISBN13  9780892656486  

Availability  55 units.
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More About Robert E. Picirilli

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! ROBERT E. PICIRILLI is the former Academic Dean of the Graduate School at Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville. He began teaching in 1955. He is a member of the Research Commission of the American Association of Bible Colleges and served twice as chairman of the southeastern section of the Evangelical Theological Society. Dr. Picirilli is the author of a number of books including Paul The Apostle, The Book of Romans, and Time and Order in the Circumstantial Participles of Mark and Luke. Dr. Picirilli and his wife, Clara, have five daughters, all married.

Robert E. Picirilli currently resides in Nashville, in the state of Tennessee. Robert E. Picirilli was born in 1932.

Robert E. Picirilli has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Randall House Bible Commentary

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > Substores > jp-unknown2
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Free Will & Determinism
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Soteriology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Grace, Faith, Free Will?

excellent presentation of arminian theology with strong biblical exegesis  Jun 1, 2006
Picirilli's work is long overdue as an accurate presentation of the Arminian position. The author does a very good job contrasting the views of James Arminius with Calvinism and the erroneous beliefs of many that would call themselves Arminians today (i.e. Pinnock's open theism).

I especially enjoyed the sections dealing with foreknowledge and predestination. Picirilli makes a very helpful distinction between what is "necessary" and "certian" as pertains to a proper understanding of God's foreknowledge. He argues that while future events are "certian" they are not "necessary", therefore preserving real contingencies as pertains to human freedom.

Piciriili is also careful to present modern Calvanism in all its different flavors in comparing it with James Arminius' understanding of scripture. Picirilli is not concerned with charicatures, and is careful to deal with relevant Calvinist objections rather than straw men.

I was pleased that the author demonstrated that the doctrine of "prevenient grace" (which he prefers to call "pre-regenerating grace") was taught by Arminius and was not a "Weslyan" departure as some believe. He failed, however, to cite or interact with some of the more relevant passages (John 1:9; 12:32; Titus 2:11; Philippians 2:12-13).

I was also dissapointed that he did not interact with passages outside of Heb. 6, and 10, and 2 Pet. 2:20-22 with regards to apostasy. While I agree that Heb. 6, and 10 constitutes an apostasy without remedy (which I would equate with blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, Mark 3:29) I was not persuaded that the same could be said concerning the 2 Pet. passage. I would like to have seen Picirilli interact with passages like James 5:19, 20; Rom. 11:23; Luke 15:11-32; and Gal. 4:19, which seem to indicate an apostasy that is not irrevocable.

All in all the book was very well written and should be read several times to gather its full import. Picirilli is not only an excellent Arminian theologian, but also a skilled exegete and former Greek professor. He writes with grace and tries to accurately present the views of his opponents. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand Arminian theology as Arminius himself taught, and avoid aligning oneself with so many who think they understand Arminianism based on the inaccurate and unfair critiques of staunch Calvinists.
Clearest presentation of Arminianism available  Mar 19, 2006
This book is the best introduction to Arminianism available. Picirilli is articulating what he calls "Reformation Arminianism," the actual views of Arminius himself. His arguments are fair and compelling, and any Calvinist will admit that Picirilli has presented their position correctly. The only thing I don't like about this book is the frequency of statements like "Due to lack of space in this volume, I have to restrict my explanation to this one point," and a few typographical errors (which can be expected with the first printing of anything).
Worthwhile read for Calvinists and Arminians alike  Jan 16, 2006
Having been studying this field for a couple years, I found there to be a huge range of variations in both camps. This book, I felt, clearly explained the key points of the common variations from each camp. And as a beginner I found this helpful.

I am an Arminian in a decidedly Calvinist fellowship (and they still love me.). I recommend this to my friends there because it gives a clear, logically consistent explanation of their view, yet is concise.

The average lay Calvinist only needs to read pages 21-33. The average lay Arminian should read 21-64. They should especially read and reread the section on certainty, contingency and necessity starting on page 37.

If you buy this book, I would also read all of the reviews as they offer useful insights into the topic.

I would put some kind of symbols in section 21-33 indicating where the Arminians disagree. This would make it easier to refer to when reading chapter 3.
Grace, Faith, Free Will  Aug 3, 2005
I found this book to be essentially everything I'd hoped it would be: a fair look at Calvinism and Arminianism (the author is a proponent of "Reformed Arminianism") which is focused on the Biblical and philosophical arguments for Arminianism and not on flinging vitriol at Calvinism and Calvinists. If you've never heard of Calvinism or Arminianism this book may a bit too much, but in general the intellectual level is such that if you read carefully and keep your Bible close by you will not have problems. (One exception to this is the occasional use of terminology which is not really explained and which is not necessarily common knowledge, ex. "Pellagianism"; this is not frequent enough to cause problems.) The author aims to present Arminius's theology ("Reformation Arminianism") and thus avoid some later developments whose roots many would trace to Arminian theology (such as "open theism", a kind of Yoda-like view of God ["Difficult to see. Always in motion the future is."], and compare/contrast this with modern Calvinism (hence the complaints I recall from other reviewers that the author does not cite Calvin himself). Interestingly, the one area where he departs from this aim is in the doctrine of perseverance. Picirilli quotes Arminius as saying he had never taught the possibility of apostasy [loss of salvation] but that some passages of Scripture seem to suggest it. Thus, at least based on what Picirilli cites, Arminius believed in perseverance but had questions, or even doubts, about it. The author departs from Arminius here and argues for the possibility of apostasy in believers who subsequently reject their faith.

The author makes a number of good points that I hadn't thought of before and includes a number of good word studies, particularly regarding a couple of passages which 5-point Calvinists and 4-point Calvinists/Arminians disagree on regarding the atonement of Christ's death for only the elect or for all mankind. As with all books on theology, though, read carefully and read critically. Theologies are manmade constructions which cannot ever hope to contain the greatness of God and His purposes. Whether you agree with Picirilli in part, in whole, or not at all, I think you will find that he is indeed attempting to draw his beliefs from Scripture. Regardless of where we line up in the Calvinism/Arminianism debate, may that be true of all believers.
Very Good Book - But could have been better  Apr 18, 2005
This is one of the better books I have read on the subject. Picirilli promotes a flavor of Arminianism what he calls as the reformation Arminianism. And Picirilli demonstrates that this is what originally Arminius himself believed.

This book has very good points for the Arminian side. For example - People have always wondered why after electing a few either by conditional or unconditional election Christ should die for all? And thus write off Arminianism as a self contradictory system. Picirilli answers by saying that unlimited atonement is consistent with conditional election. If God were to elect only hose had faith in him, then Christ should have died for all. If not the unbelievers wouldn't have anything to put his faith (or the lack of it) on.

However there are quite some weaknesses in this :

1. As already pointed out, Not much Interaction with the modern day Calvinists and their works.

2. The work could have been better edited for language, structure and content. In several places the author starts a subject then says 'since space doesn't allow to treat the subject we will not go into it'. He either shouldn't have started the subject or should have given a fuller treatment. He could have put a lot of that stuff in the footnotes. Some important verses are also not treated fully because of 'space' problems. Picirilli could have made better use of footnotes at the end of the page.. And the product could have been better designed to avoid blank pages and in smaller font as to buy some extra space. In one place he says "Since I have never heard this argument put to a Calvinist, I am unable to say how he would respond" Pge 120. Statements like these will affect the credibility of the work and will be made use if someone is writing a refutation of this work. There is a lot of repetition/overlap of the content

3. There is not much treatment of conditional election in the book. Other than Rom 9 he doesn't give much scriptural evidence for unconditional election. Double predestination is also not treated as one would expect a book of this nature. That could have been used to show the weakness of Calvinism

4. There is some good discussion about foreknowledge and freewill - contingency, necessity etc. But then again Picirilli doesn't develop it as a fully fledged system to answer some important questions. He could have done so at least as to relate the discussion to unconditional election.

5. What became of the irresistable grace in the reformation Arminianism? Again this is not treated sufficiently.

But this book is good value for money. I recommend the book to everyone.

M.Alroy Mascrenghe

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