Pamphlet Reviews

1. A Defense of Calvinism As The Gospel – by Rev. David Engelsma.

Evangelism Committee of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, 24pp. Free. Reviewed by DH.

a) This valuable gem of writing makes five preface reasons for purposes of distribution: 1) It is a basic explanation of Calvinism for the non- reformed.

b) It is a call to nominal Calvinists to be, or become, what they profess to be.

c) It is a simple statement for the coming generation of our own Protestant Reformed young people….

d) To explain that Calvinism is not abstract theology, but GOSPEL.

e) And to win men to Calvinism by God’s grace. At the first reading, I would have agreed with all of the above, except for the first one. It seemed to me to be too difficult for the non-reformed to understand, unless they were already familiar with reformed terminology.

Questioning the claim to reason number one, I reread Rev. Engelsma’s Calvinism-Gospel pamphlet. To my pleasant surprise, a truly considerate structure of organization emerged. After bringing to light the historical truth that Calvinsim is the name for the faith of the Reformed and Presbyterian branch of the Protestant Reformation, Rev. Engelsma embarks on a careful voyage of explaining the five points of Calvinism from three perspectives:

1) Calvin and the Reformed Creeds.

2) Holy Scriptures – the Gospel.

3) And of those who reject Calvinism. I was convinced that Rev. Engelsma’s pen had produced a worthy presentation of the five points of Calvinism for the non-reformed and had also made it abundantly clear that Calvinism is the GOSPEL.

Since the various sections can be deduced from their topic sentences and because these sections are brief yet furnished with creedal and scriptural references, this pamphlet is highly recommended for learning to defend Calvinism as the Gospel.


2. God’s Sovereignty In Salvation – by Rev. Steven Houck.

The Evangelism Committee of South Holland Protestant Reformed Church, 32pp. Free. Reviewed by DH.

Rev. Houck is to be commended for this sincere and thoroughly Reformed explanation of the sovereignty of God in salvation. The reader will soon become aware of the fact that Rev. Houck is abundantly blessed of God with the gift of making our Reformed doctrine of salvation unmistakably clear to those who are Reformed and to those who are non-Reformed. He carefully defines dogmatical terms by using scripture and a gifted pen. In addition, the use of subject headings, bold face type for main point emphasis, and the scriptural index at the end are all evidences that this beautiful work was prepared with the reader in mind. Rev. Houck does a brief yet excellent presentation of what the title states.

The direction of this pamphlet starts out with the sovereignty of God and then rightfully proceeds with His will and love, and God’s work of salvation in man, which follows closely the Ordo Solutis set forth by Rev. H. Hoeksema in his book Reformed Dogmatics. Rev. Houck does justice to an explanation of the Reformed truths that we hold dear to our hearts and of the work of God that He performs in our lives with regard to our salvation. Certainly this is a God glorifying work and highly recommended for use in witnessing to others of God’s sovereignty in salvation.