I want to thank Christian Focus Publications for providing me with a copy of Rebels Rescued in return for my honest opinion.
Often, the word “Calvinist” calls to mind stodgy medieval people inventing rules about God’s grace. Yet, Reformed theology did not originate with John Calvin (1509-1564).
In his new book Rebels Rescued: A Student’s Guide to Reformed Theology (Christian Focus Publications, 2012), Brian Cosby explains Reformed theology in an understandable way, written especially for teens.
Brian Cosby is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church. I happen to be familiar with his work. He’s written several books, and two of his children’s biographies are fantastic: John Bunyan: The Journey of a Pilgrim and David Brainerd: A Love for the Lost – both are in the Christian Focus Trailblazers series. Mr. Cosby is also a contributor to several blogs, including one I frequent, The Gospel Coalition. One of the articles he’s written is MTD: Not Just a Problem with Youth Ministry. It explains the infectious Moralistic Therapeutic Deism–a religion that has wormed its way through youth ministries and into sanctuaries. It’s worth reading–right after you read about his new book, Rebels Rescued.
Mr. Cosby intertwines stories and metaphors, history, and Scripture to explain each point. Each chapter is followed by four or five “Reflection Questions” meant to spur teen to apply what they’ve learned.
The 103-page book begins with a brief overview of the Reformation, and an explanation of the five Solas and TULIP–the five central expressions of Reformed theology. By the end of the nine short chapters, students should have a basic understanding of Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria, Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints.
Rebels Rescued does a good job of addressing some of the most common concerns regarding TULIP. For instance, the third chapter–Elected by Love–covers the predestination passages in the Bible, the Scriptural testimony of Hell, God’s sovereignty, John Calvin, why predestination is offensive to many, the notion of “fairness” and God’s love, mercy and grace. Mr. Cosby manages to walk students through that information in just 11 pages–and he does a good job.
Rebels Rescued: A Student’s Guide to Reformed Theology is an excellent resource for students and parents. A clear understanding of theology is vitally important, yet it is conspicuously missing in our Christian culture. May this be a step toward changing that, one family at a time.
You can find Rebels Rescued at:
Amazon: Rebels Rescued: A Student’s Guide to Reformed Theology
ChristianBook: Rebels Rescued: A Student’s Guide to Reformed Theology
More books for older students reviewed on Thinking Kids:
- Backchat: Answering Christianity’s Critics by Chris Sinkinson
- Festo Kivengere by Frank Retief
- Zachary Macaulay by Faith Cook
- Questions God Asks by Israel Wayne
- Bitesize Theology: An ABC of the Christian Faith by Peter Jeffrey
- Titanic, the Ship of Dreams: John Harper by Robert Plant
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- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
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