Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition
Who would have guessed that something as austere as Calvinism would become a hot topic in today's postmodern culture? At the 500th anniversary of John Calvin's birth, new generations have discovered and embraced a New Calvinism, finding in the Reformed tradition a rich theological vision. In fact, Time cited New Calvinism as one of 10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now. This book provides pastoral and theological counsel, inviting converts to this tradition to find in Calvin a vision that's even bigger than the New Calvinism might suggest. Offering wisdom at the intersection of theology and culture, noted Reformed philosopher James K. A. Smith also provides pastoral caution about pride and maturity. The creative letter format invites young Calvinists into a faithful conversation that reaches back to Paul and Augustine, through Calvin and Edwards, extending to Kuyper and Wolterstorff. Together they sketch a comprehensive vision of Calvinism that is generous, winsome, and imaginative.
From the Back Cover Exploring the Riches of the Reformed Tradition I wish there had been a Jamie Smith to write letters like these to me when I was a young Calvinist. This is a wise and delightfully written portrayal of a robust Calvinism for the twenty-first century.-- Richard J. Mouw , Fuller Theological Seminary James K. A. Smith winsomely steps into one of the most fascinating conversations in contemporary evangelicalism--the surprising resurgence of Calvinism among younger Christians. Letters to a Young Calvinist is thoughtful, nuanced, provocative, relational, and informed. No one will agree with everything here, but what I appreciated most was Smith's careful insistence that there's much more to being theologically Reformed than believing in the famous (and fabulous!) five points of Calvinism. A thoroughly engaging read!-- Tullian Tchividjian , author, Surprised by Grace: God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels Jamie Smith has done a fabulous job articulating a winsome and engaging account of the depth, splendor, and joy of the Reformed tradition. I found much of what I hold dear about Calvinism reaffirmed in these interesting letters and at the same time was delighted to learn new insights that got me excited about the tradition all over again. I hope this book introduces a whole new generation to the richness of the Reformed understanding of the faith.-- Jim Belcher , author, Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional Most of the time I cheered 'Amen!' as I read these letters, but even when I disagreed, I appreciated Jamie's model of charity and humility as well as conviction. In the midst of all the encouraging energy of the 'New Calvinism' movement, it is also important to say that being Reformed is more than TULIP. These are rewarding and creatively written letters for all of us.-- Michael Horton , Westminster Seminary California A splendid book that speaks to both head and heart, counseling the 'young, restless, and Reformed' toward growth into a wider and deeper Reformed tradition. . . . This wise and witty book is a delight to read!-- J. Todd Billings , Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Michigan