On our honeymoon in July 2004, I brought along a small pile of books (which I didn’t finish until after we returned home!). I did, however, manage to work through a good chunk of this one:
- Curt D. Daniel. The History and Theology of Calvinism. Springfield, IL: Reformed Bible Church, 2003. 476 pages plus nine appendices.
- This excellent work is bound like a typewritten dissertation and is a compilation of handouts that Daniel used to accompany a series of messages delivered from 1987-1989.
- The 75 lectures are available for free downloading here. (My wife listened to all 75 of them on her MP3 player!)
- Daniel is an expert in Calvinism as evidenced by his Ph.D. dissertation on John Gill, which is some 900 pages long (University of Edinburgh, 1983).
- He divides his work on Calvinism into seventy-four chapters, which are handouts he used for lecturing on the topic.
- My first impression of the book was poor: (1) the format is unpleasant to the eye with tight line-spacing and a font resembling an old typewriter, and (2) Daniel does not formally cite his sources in footnotes.
- My impression changed, however, as I read the book from cover to cover. The first twenty-four chapters (pp. 1-172, 36% of the book) are the most enlightening. It covers the history of Calvinism in an irenic, informative way and includes chapters on Augustine; the Reformation; Calvin; Puritans; Westminster Assembly; Covenant Theology; High Calvinism; Amyraldism; Hyper-Calvinism; Jonathan Edwards’s Calvinism; Princeton Theology; Calvinistic Baptists; and Dutch Calvinism. Each chapter ends with a select bibliography.
- I recently learned from Phil Johnson that this is available for free as a Word doc! (I bought my hard copy for $30.) [Update: It is also available for free as a 574-page PDF!]