Kevin DeYoung’s book, Grace Defined and Defended takes readers on a journey through the 400 year-old confession called the Canons of Dort. This simple, yet informative, book shows the history and circumstances that lead to the canons being written birthing the formula for what we now call TULIP.
The book does not get heavy into a theological treatise. DeYoung addresses this at the beginning stating:
My first goal is to explain the Canons of Dort. Think of this not as a mini systematic theology or as an exegetical exploration of key salvation texts, but as a brief, accessible commentary on the background and theology of Dort itself.
DeYoung definitely delivers. He brings the articles of the canons to succinct and clear statements with explanation in modern English that leave no doubt on the history and meaning of the articles.
The main text of the book does not give the full text of the canons. Rather, DeYoung takes key phrases that build the meat of each article and expounds upon it. This helps to keep the book short and focused sticking with the most important facts of the documents. Full texts of the positions of Dort and the Arminian position (Remonstrant) can be found in the appendixes at the back of the book. Scripture proofs are also provided for each of the points.
It is good to note that at the beginning of the book DeYoung takes a history of the TULIP acronym explaining that, while good, it does not give the full picture of Calvinism or even the canons of Dort. He does make sure to say that TULIP is good for a summary but it is not the complete story or position.
I have to give Grace Defined and Defended five out of five stars. It is easy to read and understand while giving a clear history on the Canons of Dort. I applaud Kevin DeYoung for another outstanding book to help educate the church on what it believes and why it believes it.
I was given a free copy of the book by the Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.