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Saving the Reformation: The Pastoral Theology of the Canons of Dort (Godfrey)

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Reformation Trust

There has been renewed interest in the five points of Calvinism among many Christians today. But these doctrines are not a product of the twenty-first century. So where did they come from, and why are they so important? Dr. W. Robert Godfrey takes us back to 1618-19 when the Canons of Dort were written in response to a mounting theological assault on Reformed Christianity. Now, for its four-hundredth anniversary, he offers a new translation and pastoral commentary on the canons, equipping the next generation with these God-glorifying truths.


Dr. W. Robert Godfrey is chairman of Ligonier Ministries, a Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow, and president emeritus and professor emeritus of church history at Westminster Seminary California. He is the featured teacher for the Ligonier six-part teaching series A Survey of Church History and author of several books, including An Unexpected Journey and Learning to Love the Psalms.


"Saving the Reformation confirms Dr. Godfrey's reputation as a premier student of the synod of Dort and the Dutch Reformation. In a clear, accessible, and compelling way, Godfrey provides his readers with an account of the historical context and occasion for the convening of the synod of Dort in 1618, as well as a helpful exposition of the teaching of the canons. He also provides a fresh translation of the Latin version of the Canons of Dort, and several useful appendices on their order and arrangement. These features combine to make this book an excellent resource for church members and scholars alike.

-Dr. Cornelis P. Venema, President and Professor of Doctrinal Studies, Mid-America Reformed Seminary, Dyer, Indiana.

"Saving the Reformation is characteristic of Dr. Godfrey's engaging, clear, pastoral teaching that has benefited so many over the years. Guiding us through the history and biblical truth confessed in the Canons of Dort, he brings us to the reality of the sovereign goodness and all-sufficient grace of God in Christ for us: we are hell deserving sinners, saved, sanctified, and surrounded by God's all-powerful love. This is worth reading about"  

-Dr. William VanDoodeward, Professor of Church History, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

"W. Robert Godfrey is a gifted teacher. As a recognized historian, he helpfully sets the historical and ecclesiastical context for the writing of the Canons of Dort. As a trusted theologian, he clearly explains the exegetical and theological basis for each of the canons. As an experienced pastor, he carefully shows the practical nature of the doctrines of grace preserved in the Canons. In an age of constant change and theological amnesia, Saving the Reformation is an important contribution, an accessible treatment of one of the great documents of the Reformation."

-Rev. Joel E. Kim, President and Assistant Professor of New Testament, Westminster Seminary California, Escondido, California