Divine Sovereignty & Human Freedom. By Samuel Fisk. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1973. 175 pp. Paper, $5.99.
“Brethren, be willing to see both sides of the shield of truth. Rise above the babyhood which cannot believe two doctrines until it sees the connecting link. Have you not two eyes, man? Must you needs put one of them out in order to see clearly?”
These words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon printed on the back of this volume stress the attempt to reconcile the two apparent opposites in the book’s title.
Samuel Fisk says that he generally tried to avoid quoting “works of an Arminian nature, or those which might naturally be regarded as anti-Calvinistic.” The book is largely made up of quotations from well-known evangelical leaders of the past and present (especially Baptists), many of whom reject both usual Arminian and Calvinistic views. These include such names as Alford, Broadus, Gaebelein, Godet, Hobbs, Ironside, Lightner, Meyer, Moody, Orr, A. T. Robertson, Scofield, Spurgeon, Truett, Griffith Thomas, Vine, and many more.
Neither Arminians nor Calvinists will be thrilled with the contents of this book (mostly quotations), and the explanation of “election” certainly seems closer to the former than to the latter. Ironside is quoted: “D. L. Moody used to put it very simply: ‘The elect are the “whosoever wills”; the non-elect are the “whosoever won’ts.” “This is exactly what Scripture teaches … Remember, we are never told that Christ died for the elect” (pp. 46–47).
No matter what your view, this inexpensive little volume is worth having, if only for its wide palette of colorful quotations, bibliography, acknowledgments, and two indices.
Arthur L. Farstad
Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society