As the title indicates, this book is a fresh, lively, hard-hitting defense of the doctrines of grace, popularly known as the "Five Points of Calvinism." It establishes the doctrines of grace as solidly biblical--the gospel of grace taught in Scripture. The defense consists of appeal to an abundance of biblical passages with their explanation. One may assail Hernandez with emotion, even outrage. He will not defeat him in the battle of the texts.
The defense includes as well the refutation of the erroneous explanation of all the main passages of the Bible that are employed to attack the doctrines of grace and to promote the false gospel of salvation by the will and works of the sinner. Concerning II Peter 3:9, for example, a favorite text of all those who teach a will of God for the salvation of all humans without exception, Hernandez shows that the context and the text itself clearly reveal that the "all" of the text is all of "us," namely, the elect believers.
In the nature of the case, the book is polemical. Not only does it war against the classic Arminian heresy exposed and condemned by the Reformed Synod of Dordt in the early 17th century and the false doctrine known as Amyraldianism, but it also contends with more recent compromises of grace, particularly compromises within the sphere of Reformed and Presbyterian churches. These include theologies that the author describes as "moderate Calvinism"; the theology of the "federal vision"; the doctrine of a "well-meant offer" of salvation to all hearers in a "common grace" of God to all humans. These and all related teachings have in common the extension of a saving grace of God to many humans that fails to save, implying that the cause of the salvation of those who are saved by the gospel is not the sovereign grace of God, but the will of the sinner.
In the course of his polemic with the advocates of universal, ineffectual grace, Hernandez wards off the charge that his doctrine is "hyper-Calvinism." He defines the (real) threat of hyper-Calvinism accurately. He demonstrates that the sound, uncompromising confession of salvation by sovereign grace does not at all threaten, much less rule out, the promiscuous proclamation of the gospel and the urgent call to all hearers to repent and believe, with the promise that all who believe shall be saved.
David J. Engelsma
Protestant Reformed Seminary