Are There Any Bible-Based Exhaustive Theology Texts Comparable to Calvinist Works in Scholarship and Readability?

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On his website, Arminian Perspectives, Ben Henshaw has a questions page at which he answers questions about Arminianism and Calvinism that visitors to his site pose in the comment section of the page. Here is a question adapted from someone with the screen name Undecided Berean followed by an editorial revision and expansion of Ben’s answer:

Question: I am currently searching the Scriptures on the doctrines of grace, and while I have been raised in what may be described as an Arminian background, a lot of the strong Christian influences God has brought into my life have Calvinist beliefs. This has caused me to re-examine my own beliefs, and I realize that I’ve never done a good job of deciding why I believe what I believe on many doctrinal issues. What I have tried to do is find decent books on theology as a whole (since soteriology is not the only doctrine I want to study) from both major camps. I currently have Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem and Grace, Faith, and Holiness by H. Ray Dunning. While Dunning’s work has been very helpful in understanding some aspects of theology and in building up my faith, I am tired of a theology text that quotes John Wesley more than the Bible, and it has been insufficient to answer some of the greatest objections Calvinists have.

So my question is this: Are there any Bible-based (by which I mean it derives doctrine from direct scriptural support) exhaustive theology texts comparable to Grudem’s work in scholarship and readability?

Answer: The short answer is yes. First, see “A Short, Partially Annotated List of Arminian Systematic Theologies” on SEA’s website. Second, you may enjoy reading some works from Free Will Baptists like F. Leroy Forlines and Robert Picirilli. Picirilli wrote, Grace, Faith, Free Will: Contrasting Views of Salvation: Calvinism and Arminianism and Forlines wrote a systematic called The Quest For Truth: Theology for a Postmodern World. That last book has been reprinted and edited to focus only on the material addressing the Arminian/Calvinism debate (which is extensive). The new edited version is called Classical Arminianism. I. Howard Marshall has written and published a New Testament theology as well ( He was a major evangelical scholar who was also Arminian. I also highly recommend reading Brian Abasciano’s many articles and publications dealing with corporate election and especially Romans 9 (he has 3 books that systematically cover Romans 9:1-24). You will find many of his available works here at the Society of Evangelical Arminians. His doctoral dissertation, which was edited into his first book on Romans 9, is available to read online for free on SEA’s website: Brian Abasciano, “Paul’s Use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:1-9: An Intertextual and Theological Exegesis.” There are so many resources I could point you to; I am just mentioning a few. Third, SEA’s website has an immense amount of material on it. And it often offers material at a deeper level than one will find in books. You should be aware of the category index on the right side of most of our website’s pages below the list of recent posts. There is a drop-down menu of categories that can be used. But the categories are also listed out down the right side of the home page. One can also use control-F to search on the home page, and that will include the topical index in the search. Of course, we have a regular search box for the whole site as well, and that is also located on the right side of most of the pages on the site. If you have any question on any aspect of soteriology or the Arminian/Calvinism debate, it could serve you well to search on our website. Finally, if you cannot find something in a book or on SEA’s website, you can contact us by email ([email protected]) and ask, or better, you can join our Outreach Page on Facebook and ask questions there.