Calvinists are well known for their fighting, and on the rare occasions when the Synod of Dort is remembered, it is often highlighted as an example of Calvinist squabbling and dogmatism. But few know the real story, or why the battles at Dort were worth fighting. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Canons of Dort, pastor and scholar Daniel Hyde reminds us what Dort was all about: protecting and proclaiming the glorious gospel of grace!
Dispelling harsh caricatures and whitewashed hagiographies alike, Hyde leads us on a patient journey through the history and text of the Canons, illuminating the fine-grained theological distinctions and simple Scriptural truths encapsulated in their ninety-three articles. Along the way, the reader will discover the startling catholicity and breadth of this foundational statement of Calvinism, and its remarkable pastoral value for nourishing Christian faith, hope, and love today.
Daniel R. Hyde serves as Pastor of Oceanside United Reformed Church (Carlsbad/Oceanside, California). He is the author of numerous books on Reformed theology and Christian piety. He is also Adjunct Instructor of Ministerial Studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary (Dyer, Indiana) and Adjunct Instructor of Systematic Theology and Missions at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (Grand Rapids, Michigan). He has earned degrees from Westminster Seminary California (MDiv) and Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (ThM) and is currently writing his PhD on John Owen’s liturgical theology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
“According to Time, ‘New Calvinism’ is one of the top ten religious trends in the world today. But where did original ‘Calvinism’ come from? Danny Hyde provides an expert but accessible tour of the actual conference where these ‘doctrines of grace’ were defined. Hardly a marginal movement, the Synod of Dort was one of the most ecumenical events of the early modern period. Representing not only the Dutch Reformed churches and others in England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland and France, the conclusions of Dort were even embraced for a brief time by the Greek Orthodox Church. Displaying the continuity of Dort’s teaching with the historic Christian church, Hyde also provides us with a winsome account of its relevance for today.”
—MICHAEL HORTON, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology & Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
"Danny Hyde is an expert guide to the theology of the Synod of Dort. In this fascinating and edifying volume he explores the history and theology of that seventeenth century world so full of genius and grace with his characteristic gusto."
—LEE GATISS, Director of Church Society, and author of For Us and For Our Salvation: ‘Limited Atonement’ in the Bible, Doctrine, History, and Ministry
"Danny Hyde’s Grace Worth Fighting For may be the most thorough exposition of the Canons of Dort to date. Through careful exegesis and attention to the historical context, he not only explains what these canons mean but why they are biblically grounded and theologically essential. One of the best features of Hyde’s scholarship is his refusal to detach the doctrines of grace from pastoral ministry and Christian piety. A careful reading of the Canons knows that this marriage between theology and doxology is original to Dort, contrary to common caricatures. Hyde also busts every myth—and there are a lot!—surrounding Dort, removing the centuries of stereotypes to present readers with Calvinism in pure form. This book is indispensable for students of Reformed theology and irresistible to its skeptics."
-MATTHEW BARRETT, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; executive editor of Credo Magazine; author of The Grace of Godliness: An Introduction to Doctrine and Piety in the Canons of Dort
"The 400th anniversary of the Synod of Dort (1618-1619) has occasioned a number of articles and books celebrating and detailing how this Synod preserved the Reformation in the Netherlands and produced a remarkable confession on salvation by grace alone. Among these studies of the Synod, Hyde’s is among the best. He provides a lively account of the historical occasion for the convening of the Synod as well as a comprehensive commentary on the points of doctrine that were set forth in its Canons. Contrary to the popular myth that these points represent a peculiar set of Reformed distinctives, Hyde persuasively argues that they represent a catholic consensus set forth by most of the churches of the Reformation. As his title intimates, these doctrines of grace remain a testimony to the gospel of Jesus Christ that is worth recapturing today."
—CORNELIS VENEMA, President & Professor of Doctrinal Studies, Mid-America Reformed Seminary, and author of But for the Grace of God: An Exposition of the Canons of Dort