Does God want everyone to be saved? Does man really have a choice regarding salvation? These significant questions are among the many John S. Connell, doctor of theology, educator, and Southern Baptist pastor, answers in his new book, The TULIP in the Garden: Pruning the Petals of Calvinism.
Dr. Connell presents his ideas and resolutions regarding the growing popularity of Calvinism in seminary classrooms and Southern Baptist congregations in an accessible, succinct, and flowing style, so everyone (not just Baptists) can understand the impact Calvinism can have on individuals, churches, and denominations.
Dr. Connell addresses the TULIP, an acronym for the five premises of Calvinism, and counters it by setting forth another acronym, ACCESS, a biblical theology demonstrating that God's love has been, and is, extended to all humankind, not merely a chosen few. Dr. Connell documents his arguments thoroughly with passages from Scripture, as well as other scholarly works. Moreover, his explorations of Calvinism's dangers are applicable to the lives and experiences of all, including pastors and scholars.
By offering alternative paths and a resolution to the current conflict in Southern Baptist congregations over Calvinism, Dr. Connell inspires readers to debate and investigate their beliefs. The TULIP in the Garden not only encourages theological discovery and affirmation, but also puts forth the concept that everyone can be a theologian merely by thinking about God.