Although "God loves you" is a common paraphrase of Christian teaching and preaching, a close reading of the Bible and attention to the Christian tradition will reveal passages of Scripture and Christian doctrines-- particularly John Calvin's doctrine of predestination--that seem to undermine confidence in God's love for all people. For many theologians, not only in the Reformed tradition, the secret decree of Calvin's God to save some and condemn others seems completely to undercut any assurance of salvation and the ability to trust in and worship God. However, pastor and scholar John Calvin confidently spoke of God as a loving Father throughout his teaching and preaching.
In Uncovering Calvin's God, Forrest H. Buckner unearths Calvin's teaching about the God of love who reigns sovereign over predestination. Drawing upon sources from across Calvin's corpus, Buckner examines Calvin's teaching on the knowledge of God and the doctrine of predestination to provide a more robust and cohesive understanding of Calvin's theology, which Buckner then confirms through an extensive examination of Calvin's preaching in Geneva. He then offers a critical comparison of Calvin's approach with the teaching of Luther, Zwingli, Bullinger, Arminius, and Barth. Using Calvin's system as a starting point, this book helps readers perceive the essentials and trade-offs of any doctrine of predestination that takes seriously both the Bible and the loving God revealed in Jesus Christ.