Hot Best Seller

The Doctrines That Divide: A Fresh Look at the Historic Doctrines That Separate Christians

Availability: Ready to download

Christian doctrine is a vital part of the gospel message, but certain doctrinal beliefs have divided the church for centuries. Lutzer examines various controversies that exist within the broad spectrum of Christianity, presenting the historical background of the issue and the biblical understanding of the doctrine. Chapters include "Predestination or Free Will?" "Justifica Christian doctrine is a vital part of the gospel message, but certain doctrinal beliefs have divided the church for centuries. Lutzer examines various controversies that exist within the broad spectrum of Christianity, presenting the historical background of the issue and the biblical understanding of the doctrine. Chapters include "Predestination or Free Will?" "Justification by Faith."


Compare

Christian doctrine is a vital part of the gospel message, but certain doctrinal beliefs have divided the church for centuries. Lutzer examines various controversies that exist within the broad spectrum of Christianity, presenting the historical background of the issue and the biblical understanding of the doctrine. Chapters include "Predestination or Free Will?" "Justifica Christian doctrine is a vital part of the gospel message, but certain doctrinal beliefs have divided the church for centuries. Lutzer examines various controversies that exist within the broad spectrum of Christianity, presenting the historical background of the issue and the biblical understanding of the doctrine. Chapters include "Predestination or Free Will?" "Justification by Faith."

30 review for The Doctrines That Divide: A Fresh Look at the Historic Doctrines That Separate Christians

  1. 4 out of 5

    C.H. Cobb

    Lutzer focuses on some of the lightning rod doctrines that have caused division in the church. The first two issues deal with the nature of Christ (was He really God? Was He really man?). Most of the remainder of the book is concentrated around the differences between Catholics and Protestants (Mary, the Pope, sacraments, baptism, the Apocrypha), and the differences between Calvinists and Arminians (free will, election, limited atonement, eternal security, etc). One of the valuable contributions Lutzer focuses on some of the lightning rod doctrines that have caused division in the church. The first two issues deal with the nature of Christ (was He really God? Was He really man?). Most of the remainder of the book is concentrated around the differences between Catholics and Protestants (Mary, the Pope, sacraments, baptism, the Apocrypha), and the differences between Calvinists and Arminians (free will, election, limited atonement, eternal security, etc). One of the valuable contributions of the book is Lutzer's examination of the historical process behind the development of those doctrines. Viewing the differences through the perspective of history is helpful. The book is very accessible to the layman, and not laden with off-putting jargon. Overall, it is an excellent read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ned

    Concise, yet clear and detailed This is the best, most concise, explanation that I have read about reformed theology vs. Arminianism and why reformed theologians believe as they do. On the continuum, I would be an Arminian with strong leanings towards the reformed camp. I reject many of the beliefs   Arminians are said to hold as a group, while also rejecting the Calvinist's resolution of the tension between man's free will and God's sovereignty. The more I examine the question, the more I come Concise, yet clear and detailed This is the best, most concise, explanation that I have read about reformed theology vs. Arminianism and why reformed theologians believe as they do. On the continuum, I would be an Arminian with strong leanings towards the reformed camp. I reject many of the beliefs   Arminians are said to hold as a group, while also rejecting the Calvinist's resolution of the tension between man's free will and God's sovereignty. The more I examine the question, the more I come away shaking my head. I just think it is inexplicable and we do more damage trying to understand the mechanics of it than good. I trust in God's character, sovereignty, justice, mercy, and love, and submit the issue to Him. I am not willing to definitely say that my Calvinist brothers are wrong and I am right, since I have a hard time even formulating a coherent, satisfactory position. I am untroubled. I definitely hold to the eternal security of the believer, the total depravity of man, man's inability to contribute towards his own salvation, and man's inability to even believe apart from the Holy Spirit's conviction. Neither do I agree that the mere acceptance of a gift constitutes a "work." Jesus tells a parable about inviting all who would come to a wedding feast and providing the guests with proper clothes. Nowhere does it say anyone is compelled to come, or that the acceptance of the invitation constitutes deserving it. I understand that there is some difficulty when one tries to understand the details, but maybe we should leave the details up to God and just do what He says. I do have a fair amount of intellectual curiosity, but not so much that I can't live without a complete answer. One of the chief difficulties for me lies in how I should consider prayers for my lost friends and family to be effectual. If God is sovereign over salvation already, why should I pray "To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." Acts 26:18? Lutzer claims, "I must point out that Arminians who stress the freedom of the will nevertheless pray that the unconverted might come to Christ. Is not this a tacit admission that God has the ability to work in the human will to bring about salvation?" This made me laugh, for I must point out that, according to the Calvinist, the number of the elect is predetermined and therefore my prayers are incapable of effect one way or another. Nevertheless, I pray because the scripture says to do it. I leave the details about how this can be up to God. I am not willing to get into an argument about the mechanics and only pray that God, through Christ and His Spirit, will help me in my ignorance. Lastly, don't let me leave you will the impression that predestination and free will is the only subject in the book. It's just the most difficult. There are many other critiques of doctrine, especially that of Catholicism that are vital to consider. I highly recommend the book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Toby

    Well, I think this book finally brought me around to becoming a five point Calvinist. The four chapter's on predestination vs. free will were simple to read while covering weighty subject matter. I felt the counter aurguement was given a fair discussion without being belittleing. In the early chapter's it also delinated some early heresy's (nature of Christ) and then discussed some protestant vs. catholic issues. Lutzer does not try to hide his position (protestant and reformed) but I think does Well, I think this book finally brought me around to becoming a five point Calvinist. The four chapter's on predestination vs. free will were simple to read while covering weighty subject matter. I felt the counter aurguement was given a fair discussion without being belittleing. In the early chapter's it also delinated some early heresy's (nature of Christ) and then discussed some protestant vs. catholic issues. Lutzer does not try to hide his position (protestant and reformed) but I think does try to give a fair explantion of the other views. In the conclusion he does hope to convice of his views but also if you are not convinced you will at least understand where he is coming from.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    My granddaughter and I had some very interesting discussions while reading this book together. Ultimately, we concluded that Man cannot understand the mind of God, and some things will not be known with certainty until Eternity. ** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ** (But keep a bottle of aspirin handy.) Editing oversights found in Kindle text: Location 59, this prophesy was fulfilled / this PROPHECY was fulfilled ; 63, As this prophesy stated / As this PROPHECY stated ("propheSY" is the verb, "propheCY" is the My granddaughter and I had some very interesting discussions while reading this book together. Ultimately, we concluded that Man cannot understand the mind of God, and some things will not be known with certainty until Eternity. ** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ** (But keep a bottle of aspirin handy.) Editing oversights found in Kindle text: Location 59, this prophesy was fulfilled / this PROPHECY was fulfilled ; 63, As this prophesy stated / As this PROPHECY stated ("propheSY" is the verb, "propheCY" is the noun) ; 153, The Father spoke to Christ as his baptism / The Father spoke to Christ AT his baptism ; 239, arguing over minutae that have little / arguing over MINUTIAE that have little ; 501, Cardinal Alphonse de Litouri / Cardinal Alphonse de LIGOURI ; Location 541, there was a 'union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation." / there was a "UNION of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation." (double quote needed before "union") ; 936, as well as poilitical unity / as well as POLITICAL unity ; 1173, but who where rebaptized / but who WERE rebaptized ; 1192, against their parent's wishes / against their PARENTS' wishes (both parents) ; Location 1387, hovered around the canon for sometime / hovered around the canon for SOME TIME ; 1619, free to obey the command- ments of God / free to obey the COMMANDMENTS of God ; 1941, many more of that were his only priority / many more IF that were his only priority ; 1958, revivals sprung up in and around London / revivals SPRANG up in and around London ; Location 2026, Calvinists, in turn wonder how anyone / Calvinists, in TURN, wonder how anyone ; 2088, possible that no one would have even been saved / possible that no one would have EVER been saved ; 2148, such a way as to insure that a particular decision will be made / such a way as to ENSURE that a particular decision will be made .

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Weatherby

    Good doctrinal study This book gives a very good study into the var out sides of many divisive doctrines in Christianity (Jesus as God and man, Mariology, Peter as pope, justices fixation by faith, sacraments, or both, cannon, predestination versus freewill, and eternal sanctification. Most of these arguments are well balanced and bring scriptural truth to light. The one area of the book where I would see him as having a strong personal bias would be n regards to the teachings on baptism. In this r Good doctrinal study This book gives a very good study into the var out sides of many divisive doctrines in Christianity (Jesus as God and man, Mariology, Peter as pope, justices fixation by faith, sacraments, or both, cannon, predestination versus freewill, and eternal sanctification. Most of these arguments are well balanced and bring scriptural truth to light. The one area of the book where I would see him as having a strong personal bias would be n regards to the teachings on baptism. In this regard he would show a very strong view of faith only, thus ignoring much of the teachings of Scripture that baptism is the point of faith when we come into salvation. Other than this one topic most of the rest of the book is well done, and an excellent study book n the doctrines from Scripture. Over all this s an excellent resource on these divisive doctrines in the church.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nat Kidder

    A look at about a dozen different philosophical disputes that arose in early Christian church and that are still (sometimes fiercely) debated today. Generally from a historic perspective, its a bit heavier reading than what Dr. Lutzer usually publishes; it's certainly not beach reading. Lutzer does a good job of covering all the main points in the debate, with the exception of predestination vs. free will. He tries to be fair, but his preference for predestination is fairly obvious. Moreover, he A look at about a dozen different philosophical disputes that arose in early Christian church and that are still (sometimes fiercely) debated today. Generally from a historic perspective, its a bit heavier reading than what Dr. Lutzer usually publishes; it's certainly not beach reading. Lutzer does a good job of covering all the main points in the debate, with the exception of predestination vs. free will. He tries to be fair, but his preference for predestination is fairly obvious. Moreover, he excludes totally the topic of agape love between God and Man. Free will advocates often invoke that for good reason: how can you love anyone without choosing to? A glaring omission in an otherwise thorough tract.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Makes my head spin I am one of many that will both find this book useful and difficult....captivating at times and arduous at others... I probably show myself to be one of the mile wide and inch deep Christians he references...but in the process of digging in and contemplating these divides and the many that have gone before and worked to understand these...to flesh out the ramifications of these conclusions, hopefully I am understanding faith a bit better and will not remain only an inch deep...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dan Olson

    Lutzer does a nice job of presenting differing viewpoints on several areas of doctrinal differences. While Lutzer doesn't try to hide where he stands on most of these issues, he nonetheless presents a very balanced overview of opposing viewpoints. This was a fairly quick read and I would highly recommend it for those that wish to have a better understanding viewpoints that may differ from some of their own. Lutzer does a nice job of presenting differing viewpoints on several areas of doctrinal differences. While Lutzer doesn't try to hide where he stands on most of these issues, he nonetheless presents a very balanced overview of opposing viewpoints. This was a fairly quick read and I would highly recommend it for those that wish to have a better understanding viewpoints that may differ from some of their own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Timothy A.

    Intelligent discussion of major doctrinal differences. Lutzer does a nice job of discussing things that are often confrontational in a non-confrontational way. Moreover, he does not use arcane language making his meaning accessible to most any reader.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cesar Ponce De Leon

    Great book to understand the formation and differentiation of key doctrines within Christianity.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelvin Morales

    As Iron sharpens Iron if what I have written will in some small way contribute to theological discussion, my efforts will have been well rewarded.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ralph

    Evangelical and clearly written as we have come to expect from Lutzer. He approaches all his studies from a pastor's heart and perspective. It is accessible and enjoyable reading. Evangelical and clearly written as we have come to expect from Lutzer. He approaches all his studies from a pastor's heart and perspective. It is accessible and enjoyable reading.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Siska Sands

    Lutzer succinctly & graciously deals with a multitude of viewpoints on weighty theological questions and concepts. This book has been so extremely helpful!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Owens

    Each chapter discusses doctrines that have divided professing Christians throughout history. What I found helpful is that Lutzer discusses the history of each each doctrine and what the basic believes were on each side of the divide. He deals kindly with each side and does not resort to ridicule as some others tend to do. He does however make it clear which side of the divide he is on, which is the orthodox side. In the chapters that deal with the divide between Catholicism and Protestantism he Each chapter discusses doctrines that have divided professing Christians throughout history. What I found helpful is that Lutzer discusses the history of each each doctrine and what the basic believes were on each side of the divide. He deals kindly with each side and does not resort to ridicule as some others tend to do. He does however make it clear which side of the divide he is on, which is the orthodox side. In the chapters that deal with the divide between Catholicism and Protestantism he is clearly on the Protestant side. In those chapters that deal with Calvinism and Arminianism he is on the Calvinist side. However in all of this he does not try take up a lot of space trying to prove his view to the reader. I found the chapters on Predestination vs Free Will particularly interesting because I was not familiar with all of the history behind the debate. I was not familiar with the conflict between Wesley and Whitefield so I found that chapter to be very interesting.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Charles Carter

    This book is intentionally controversial, but tackles its topics pretty tactfully. In other words, as it takes its stand, it chooses hills that are worth dying on, but does so without unnecessarily taking others down with him. Diplomacy may be what I mean to say. Of course, the book is controversial, but it does a good job of presenting its case fairly, and by and large I am amenable to its arguments, even if with some nuance on certain issues.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nat

    Lutzer does a good job of explaining all the various divisions of doctrine that have been hot topics since the early centuries of Christianity: the incarnation of Christ, His deity, the role of Mary, baptism, communion, justification, and the idea of Peter as the first papal ruler. However, where Lutzer's passion really seems to lie is in reformed theology and this book is full of it. Four of the thirteen chapters towards the end of the book are on "Predestination vs. Free Will" Lutzer doesn't rea Lutzer does a good job of explaining all the various divisions of doctrine that have been hot topics since the early centuries of Christianity: the incarnation of Christ, His deity, the role of Mary, baptism, communion, justification, and the idea of Peter as the first papal ruler. However, where Lutzer's passion really seems to lie is in reformed theology and this book is full of it. Four of the thirteen chapters towards the end of the book are on "Predestination vs. Free Will" Lutzer doesn't really bring anything new to the table as far as the arguments for or against go, but he does an excellent job showing the history behind the origins of the divisions and the lack of certain denominations to look at the Bible as the final authority. Personally, I think the reformed debate is been getting a little long in the tooth--and this book was written ten years ago. It's been going on for 400+ years with no real concrete answers (which is not what a person on either side of the argument would say). As a consequence I believe the simplicity of the Gospel is becoming convoluted. If God wanted us to know more about it, wouldn't He have been more specific? Go "make disciples" not debate.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris Bloom

    I have mixed reactions to this book, and I acknowledge that this is based largely on my own presuppositions coming into it. Lutzer is undeniably an engaging writer, and leaves the reader in no doubt as to where he stands on the various issues discussed in the book. The first half, which deals largely with issues related to the Roman Catholic Church, was a quick and easy read for me, as it merely reinforced what I already believed on these subjects. The second half was a little more difficult for I have mixed reactions to this book, and I acknowledge that this is based largely on my own presuppositions coming into it. Lutzer is undeniably an engaging writer, and leaves the reader in no doubt as to where he stands on the various issues discussed in the book. The first half, which deals largely with issues related to the Roman Catholic Church, was a quick and easy read for me, as it merely reinforced what I already believed on these subjects. The second half was a little more difficult for me to enjoy, especially the four chapters dealing at great length with the doctrines of election and predestination. I do not share Lutzer's Reformed beliefs, and thought he presumed rather than proved his reasoning in this area. In particular, his treatment of John Wesley seemed mean-spirited and extremely one-sided, essentially presenting George Whitefield as the innocent sufferer of Wesley's attacks and parasitism. Again, I admit that my own assessment of Lutzer's work is most likely biased by my own beliefs, so take this review for whatever it's worth. I will say that this is one of the few class-assigned books that I've genuinely enjoyed, and I look forward to reading more by Lutzer.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matias

    Tremendously helpful. Not lengthy but very informative, this book goes to the important issues and asks the relevant questions, inside the conservative wing of christianity. Lutzer's historical treatment of the Predestination VS Free Will controversy is a really well informed, even though still short, summary of one of the biggest theological conflicts of christianity. On the Lord's Supper part gives a good emphasis on the development of the doctrine of transubstantiation, but remained silent ab Tremendously helpful. Not lengthy but very informative, this book goes to the important issues and asks the relevant questions, inside the conservative wing of christianity. Lutzer's historical treatment of the Predestination VS Free Will controversy is a really well informed, even though still short, summary of one of the biggest theological conflicts of christianity. On the Lord's Supper part gives a good emphasis on the development of the doctrine of transubstantiation, but remained silent about the issue of the frequency of the practice. If you're looking for a good book to understand the major issues in christianity, but you're not really prepared to dig deep on them, this book is a good place to start. You will need some basic background in history of the church to fully grasp it, though.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ETMoore

    A summary of several doctrinal disputes within Christianity. The first couple of chapters deal with some Christological controversies from early in Church history (which I suppose could be useful for dealing with the arguments of modern cults); the next three deal with doctrines that divide Protestants and Roman Catholics; another two deal with topics that don't have neat denominational dividing lines; the remaining (and largest part of the book) deals with the dispute between Arminianism and Ca A summary of several doctrinal disputes within Christianity. The first couple of chapters deal with some Christological controversies from early in Church history (which I suppose could be useful for dealing with the arguments of modern cults); the next three deal with doctrines that divide Protestants and Roman Catholics; another two deal with topics that don't have neat denominational dividing lines; the remaining (and largest part of the book) deals with the dispute between Arminianism and Calvinism. The author is obviously on the Calvinistic/Reformed side of the spectrum, and puts his thumb on the scales in every discussion. However, the author does provide arguments for both sides, and provides a good summary of the issues in dispute.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Clark Goble

    In this book, Lutzer offers an examination of doctrinal issues that have traditionally separated believers into different camps or denominations. Included are chapters concerning Christology, the sacraments/ordinances, Mary, Peter, and four wonderful chapters that explore Free Will verses Predestination. I appreciate Lutzer's approach to these subjects as he first brings in historical arguments and then examines Scripture as it pertains to the discussion. I highly recommend this book to anyone i In this book, Lutzer offers an examination of doctrinal issues that have traditionally separated believers into different camps or denominations. Included are chapters concerning Christology, the sacraments/ordinances, Mary, Peter, and four wonderful chapters that explore Free Will verses Predestination. I appreciate Lutzer's approach to these subjects as he first brings in historical arguments and then examines Scripture as it pertains to the discussion. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in doctrinal issues.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Bradley

    I read this book and enjoyed its objectivity (or as much as a person can have in dealing with such sensitive subjects). I found myself often wondering what the author believed himself because of the good job he did in explaining both sides of every major argument. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know where others are coming from and to someone who is trying to figure out how they should be worshiping God. Enjoy

  22. 4 out of 5

    A.J. Holmes

    Baptism, complimentarianism, free will, Lutzer covers it all in this helpful book. Each chapter is based on one of the issues that divide modern Christendom, and what I appreciated most was that Lutzer went beyond introducing the topic and arguments. His in depth analysis of the arguments for both sides to date is fair in its approach, and should be among the first titles we turn to in search of answers to the doctrines that divide.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ken Smith

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Lutzer does a great job presenting various beliefs and thoughts. He does present his opinions (election)and not everyone may agree but I definitely think it is worth reading.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Foote

    Very good I bought because it was cheap on Bookgorilla.com skipped a couple chapters on Mary bible books and the pope because I have read plenty on those subjects but the chapters on predestination and freewill were very good

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Mayfield

    Excellent book, it really opens your eyes about how very different our beliefs are when you examine them more closely.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chris McGrath

    Very interesting book on the reasons behind the different denominational traditions, by the pastor of Moody Church.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sean McGowan

    This book was great.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Veda Sorrells

    It was very fascnating to read all about the different doctrines that cause controversy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lynette Karg

    A good introduction to some of the major theological distinctions among reformation Christians. Understandable and concise.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Great resource considering Christian doctrines. Easy to read and reliable.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...