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Book Review: Total Depravity: Man's Heart Held Captive

Rev. John Otis' series, Defending Calvinism, Total Depravity: Man's Heart Held Captive.

In the second book of his Defending Calvinism series, Rev. Otis takes up the subject of man's total depravity. As with the first book, Rev. Otis' chief concern is aiding the Calvinist to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ against the perversions and errors of the Arminian system. An evangelistic, missionary spirit pervades the whole, and the book concludes with a good discussion of how man's total depravity impacts our gospel presentation to the unbeliever. At this point, Rev. Otis rightly maintains that total depravity would lead us to reject an evidential and embrace a presuppositional apologetic. An attractive aspect of this series is the tone of the whole. Rev. Otis is forceful in his refutation of the Arminian system. Yet, he is humble in his presentation of the truth and frequently calls upon Calvinists to follow Paul's advice to young Timothy: "And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know tl1e truth" (2 Tim. 2:24-26; NKJV).