An excellent and easy to read summary of the essentials of the reformed faith which is not a variant of Christianity but rather is true and orthodox Christianity I would highly recommend this book to both pastors and their congregations to better understand this vital confession. Mostly a history promo for Calvinism which actually would be interesting for me except when I took a good look at the TULIP model T being Total depravity that was a startling thing to read outside of an episode of 48 hours It was so ominous I looked it up and found Total depravity is a Christian theological doctrine derived from the concept of original sin It is the teaching that, as a consequence of the Fall of Man, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin as a result of their fallen nature and, apart from the efficacious or prevenient grace of God, is utterly unable to choose to follow God, refrain from evil, or accept the gift of salvation as it is offered Now I was raised a Christian and I am well aware of original sin, etc but I have difficulty on believing the we re all born evil bit which is essentially what total depravity and that whole predestination thing Then why bother Calvinism seems like a great argument to abort everybody.No thank you I am going to continue on with my faith and journey on the road to hope and constant redemption. As one who holds to the Reformed Calvinist position of faith, I really appreciate this book DeYoung takes the reader back to the basics the Canons of Dort, where the issues of sin, salvation and the sovereignty of God were discussed and debated and sides were drawn on various conclusions DeYoung does a great job of taking the reader through the Five Points of Calvinism and helping the reader appreciate the context of these ideas, the reason behind their discussion and the ramifications of their conclusions I found DeYoung s explanation in Chapter 2 especially helpful as he broadened my understanding further on the doctrine of limited atonement a typical sticky point for many who don t fully grasp the connection of the entire theological construct DeYoung s definite atonement was helpful in explaining a better understanding of the concept and one that I ll use when explaining it to others.The book is a great read for those who hold to his position and, I would argue, a must read for those who find themselves disagreeing with or saying things like I m a three or four point Calvinist this book will be very helpful to anyone who reads it. As Christ followers we talk, sing, worship, and pray about grace But how many of us really understand fully what grace is and the extent of its importance in our lives Kevin DeYoung has researched and examined the subject through the Canons of Dort, a document that resulted from a six month synod in 1618 1619 I had never even heard of this work, never mind knowing what it says This is the value of reading this book DeYoung lays out the points of the Canons, then carefully explains them This is not just the revelations of some old theologians of the long ago past the subject of God s grace, our sin and salvation is very relevant today.The book is well organized into sections and includes appendices for clarification and scriptural support I found this book detailed to where I felt it is deep, but it is also a little confusing when it gets into the debates of the various theological teams. While Kevin DeYoung explains early on that he does not intend this book to be a biblical defense of the five points of Calvinism, nor is it a theological exposition of Reformed soteriology, Grace Defined and Defended quickly settles into the latter As early as page 37, he begins comparing supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism Then, ten pages later, he says the literal crux of the matter of redemption comes down to the question, Did the Son of God die to make salvation merely possible or to make people saved While these may well be important points for theologians deeply engaged in the minutiae of various doctrinal positions, they are examples of the lack of value this little book will provide for even Christians pretty involved in study of the Bible.Overall, this does not seem to be a book that finds an audience It seems entirely too slight for those who are seeking a theological treatise on this confession, but it is also far too much into the weeds for those of us who would like a bit of a layperson s introduction to Dort In his final summary,DeYoung notes On the other side of Dort s fine tuned polemics is meant to be this conclusion God is bigger than we thought, and grace is better than we imagined I only wish that he would have been able to clearly enlarge on this thought throughout the book. I picked this book because I saw that it was a book about grace and described as warmly pastoral and broadly accessible Rather than being warm and broadly accessible, this is a dry, academic dissertation with so much historical background and such esoteric academic jargon that I had to stop to look up words now and then, despite the fact that I took several Bible courses in college I admit that I am not a Calvinist, and didn t realize this was actually a targeted book on a narrow topic differing views of grace specific to Calvinism, but importantly the tenets set forth in the Canons of Dort Therefore, this book is for hardcore Calvinists who want minutiae in a deeply data driven philosophical tome about the Canons of Dort and nothing else.This is not a book for the faint of heart or for anyone truly wanting a warm, pastoral look at grace For that, I recommend Philip Yancey s What s So Amazing About Grace , Clark Whitten s Pure Grace The Life Changing Power of Uncontaiminated Grace , so many inspiring authors, including Max Lucado, and others Well, there are many accessible, inspiring books about God s grace by so many great teachers Unfortunately, this is not one of them. Let me star by saying that I ve been a card carrying Christian, reformed Calviminian yup, I m a hybrid , for over 50 years The concepts in this book are not foreign to me and from time to time, I ve done a deep dive into them When I saw this book on my VV cue, I was excited Then I read it and the author proceeded to do exactly what he claimed he wasn t going to do on pg 28 this book is not a biblical defense of the 5 points of Calvinism nor is it a theological exposition of Reformed soteriology Author, Kevin DeYoung spent the remainder of the 95 pages of the book and 35 pages of appendices carefully defending Calvinism over Arminism and this after a thorough historical introduction of the two and I do mean thorough The book starts off in a friendly manner with a story about Kevin and his girlfriend wife, a temperamental junker and the value of experts and precision for repairs by way of his introduction to the study of the Canons of Dort The 4 chapters following the extensive introduction were meant to define and defend the concept of grace, according to the title The chapter headings note the 5 main points of the Dort Canon broken down by every single article EVERY ONE OF THEM Rather than just expositing the details of each article, DeYoung contrasts the Calvinism Arminism POV s over and over again It s exhausting, erudite and off task.The book I had to review was an ARC and was missing the various indicies, including the one for scripture references IMHO, those should have been included with the text, not as a separate entity Working thru the information and concepts in this tiny volume is already a project that could last months, years, longer having the scripture in line would improve the process immensely.All things considered, it feels like Pastor DeYoung had a good idea but he gave way to denominational pressure or just didn t have the time needed to flush out the book as intended Whatever the case, after finishing the book, I was left wanting from this author I wouldn t quite call this book Calvinistic , but that is its leaning I would call it largely Reformed Evangelical balanced along the lines of Friel, MacArthur, Ryan Kelly, and Skip Heitzig DeYoung does a great job using scripture to illustrate and demonstrate his points Hard to argue with many of his views because of this The book is well written, deep, and well thought out DeYoung brings an event from four hundred years ago right back into the present needs of the church and of theology Herman Selderhuis, Professor of Church History, Theological University Apeldoorn Director, Refo Grace Is Too Precious a Doctrine to Settle for Vague Generalities Grace a doctrine central to the gospel ought to be clearly defined so it can be celebrated, relished, and consistently defended In this book, Kevin DeYoung leads us back to the Canons of Dort, a seventeenth century document originally written to precisely and faithfully define this precious doctrine The Canons of Dort stand as a faithful witness to the precise nature of God s supernatural, sovereign, redeeming, resurrecting grace when so many people settle for vague generalities that water down the truth In three concise sections covering history, theology, and practical application DeYoung explores what led to the Canons and why they were needed, the five important doctrines that they explain, and Dort s place in the Christian faith today Really good book explaining TULIP, as well as other important points It s well thought out explained well It was very helpful.