As a member of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley (John MacArthur), I am blessed to be well taught when it comes to reformed theology. Still, I found R.C. Sproul's book to be a very clear and concise "refresher course" on both the history of Reformed Theology (part 1) and the 5 points of Calvanism (part 2).
R.C. Sproul's book, Grace Unknown, is like the lense of a laser, bringing all the concepts of Reformed Theology into a clear and powerful focus. This book will be a tremendous help for those who have always had questions about concepts such as "Total Depravity", "Unconditional Election", and "Limited Atonement". It will also be helpful to those who question how or if God's sovereign election and man's "free will" can coexist.
This is the best book on Theology I have read in a long time, and is well worth the short amount of time it will take to read.
In 'Grace Unknown', R.C.Sproul is concerned with answering the question, what is Reformed Theology? The first half of the book deals with 'The Foundations of Reformed Theology'. The five foundations are as follows: 1)Centered on God, 2)Based on God's Word Alone, 3)Commited to Faith Alone, 4)Devoted to the Prophet,Priest,and King and 5)Nicknamed Covenant Theology. The second half of the book gives a summary of 'The Doctrines of Grace' often referred to by the popular acrostic TULIP. Mr. Sproul never disappoints when it comes to analyzing terms that are used and how at times they can be misleading. For example, in the acrostic 'TULIP', the T stands for Total Depravity. Total Depravity is often thought to be utter depravity, which would mean that a person is as wicked as he could be. The author writes on p.118 ,"The term Total Depravity... refers to the effect of sin and corruption on the whole person." He then suggests that a better term to use might be radical corruption. Mr. Sproul's extensive knowledge of church history as it relates to Reformed Theology will give the reader much help in understanding how Reformed Theology and "The Church of Rome" differ. Historic Protestantism views the Bible as the only source of infallible revelation. Whereas the Roman Catholic Church has taught historically that there are two sources of infallible special revelation: scripture and church tradition. If you need or would like an answer to the question "What is Reformed Theology?",it would be difficult to find a more clear and concise answer to that important question than is found in the book "Grace Unknown".