Review of The Faith of God’s Elect (Part 1)

The Faith of God’s Elect (1999) is a brief book of little more than 100 pages. The author, John F. Parkinson, resides in Northern Ireland and belongs to a Christian fellowship sometimes labelled Gospel Hall Brethren.

The book’s subtitle is “a comparison between the election of Scripture and the election of Theology.” The juxtaposition of the Bible and theology with a capital T is a bit odd. Nevertheless, it draws attention to the question with which the author occupies himself: whether the Reformed doctrine of election differs from what is presented in the Bible (p. 11).

Four chapters and 116 pages later, Parkinson concludes that Reformed theology “seriously misrepresents the Scriptural themes of election and predestination.” (p. 115) The causes of this theological error boil down to a reliance on the church father, Augustine, and the use of deductive reasoning that “comes from Aristotle and is a totally inappropriate method for the formulation of Christian doctrine.” (p. 114)

In the introduction, the author hopes that some Reformed Christians will read his book (p. 12). That hope has been realized in me, a Reformed Christian. Sadly, I did not become persuaded of the error of my ways.

After having a read through, my take is that The Faith of God’s Elect contains many errors, enough to be packaged in bulk. And so in the coming days, I plan to offer a critique of Mr. Parkinson’s book along several lines. I hope Christians who have been influenced by this book will take the time to read my review in its several parts and even interact with it using my blog’s comment feature should they be inclined.

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