Reviewed by: Iain Wright
Date posted: 04/02/2017
What about Free Will? Reconciling Our Choices with God’s Sovereignty, by Scott Christensen. P&R, 2016. Paperback, 284 pages, list price $17.00. Reviewed by OP pastor Iain Wright.
Pastor Christensen has provided the church with a quite outstanding work, firmly maintaining that God is sovereign in the affairs of men, while holding to man’s responsibility for his actions. He presents the Reformed position of “compatibilism” and treats “libertarianism” fairly.
Always with an eye to making the subject as accessible as possible to anyone desiring to undertake a serious and comprehensive study, Christensen provides each of the twelve chapters with a summary of what has been discussed in the chapter, followed by ten or so questions for further reflection. These questions would provide an excellent basis for a Sunday school class discussion. Leaving no stone unturned to assist any class leader or student, Christensen provides a glossary of terms at the end of each chapter and a compendium of all such terms at the back of the book. Since not a few of the terms have specific technical definitions, it is a particular benefit for those without a seminary background to be able to reference their meaning quickly.
What is striking is the frequent use of Scripture. With an estimated one thousand Bible quotations, the reader is never far from being brought back to the Word of God. The author’s desire is not to engage in abstract philosophical speculation, but to engage with the Word of God and understand what it teaches.
This book would make a valuable tool to give instruction either in private study or in an adult Sunday school class. A further benefit is that Christensen seeks to deal with competing views, and though their adherents may not be convinced by Christensen’s arguments, it will not be due to any lack of coherence on the author’s part or failure to treat differing opinions respectfully and fairly.
Scott Christensen is to be commended for the thoroughness with which he has approached his task and for the tool he has placed in our hands to handle what is indeed a difficult subject.