What Love Is This? A Blog Series
After the big storm last Thursday night, my apartment complex flooded yet again, much like the 2006 Deluge. This time, however, my car (and my wife’s) was safely out of harm’s way. Instead we had another casualty. As I got off work from UPS, I had to park a half mile away and walk to my apartment in the heavy rain due to the flooding of the street. I had my copy of The Godly Man’s Picture in a pocket of my raingear that I thought was sealed. Think again.
I got into my apartment and took the book out to find it was saturated with water. Soaked. Ruined. And I was almost finished. Being the book lover that I am, I could have wept. Yes, I’m just being a big baby.
The next day I made a special trip to The Christian Book Nook (see my Books page for the address) to replace it. After picking up the replacement copy, I browsed the store looking for a gift book for a friend who is getting serious in her study of the Bible. And sitting innocently there on the shelf, to my utter surprise, was a copy of the 2006 3rd edition of What Love Is This? by Dave Hunt!
My jaw immediately hit the floor. I yanked it off the shelf and tucked it under my arm. It was going home with me. Didn’t hurt that it was El Cheapo, either. You see, depending on who you read or listen to, What Love Is This? is either the definitive refutation of Calvinism or it is one of the most egregious caricatures of Calvinism that has to date been written. Weighing in at a robust 590 pages, it contains an introduction, 31 chapters, a conclusion, a bibliography, and two indices; this book has been expanded by more than 100 pages from its previous editions.
After reading the first couple of chapters, I am not quite sure how to articulate my thoughts on what I’ve read. So I’m going to do something I don’t think I’ve ever done here on The Silent Holocron: I’m going to blog through this book chapter by chapter. I have not seen anyone in the blogosphere review this book in like manner. This will be, hopefully, the definitive non-Calvinist review of What Love Is This?.
A few ground rules will guide this ongoing series. First, the reading and blogging of this book is of secondary importance to the Puritan Challenge (see sidebar for details). This challenge is my primary reading commitment for 2008. In addition, my primary area of study this year is pastoral ministry. As such, I will read and post on each chapter as I get to it. It may even become bathroom reading. I feel no compulsion to churn out posts on it. Second, each chapter will be reviewed fairly and with due consideration to the author’s point of view. I will attempt to give Dave Hunt a fair hearing, considering his statements as presented. Criticism or praise will be based entirely on what is read and not on any preconceived notions I or any others may hold. As I have read many books for and against the doctrines of grace over the past 3 years (and own several of them as well), I will be able to cross-check things if I feel it necessary. Third, this series will not become a debate in the posts or in the comments about Calvinism. Anyone attempting to start debate will be dealt with swiftly and with the Dark Side of the Force. This is a discussion about a book, not yet another unproductive blog debate. So if you participate, please confine your comments to the book and its contents. I reserve the right to delete any and all comments that violate this ground rule, unless I think they are germane to the discussion. Fourth, since this is a long book, I will regularly provide a compilation post linking all the reviews done to date. I’m thinking every four or five chapters I will update and republish said post with a current date so that everyone can follow along.
Tomorrow I will write the first post in this ongoing series, to cover the introduction and first chapter. Join us tomorrow!