Products>The Wonderful Decree: Reconciling Sovereign Election and Universal Benevolence

The Wonderful Decree: Reconciling Sovereign Election and Universal Benevolence


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Sovereign Over All

How can God be sovereign over all things and loving towards all people while His creatures possess real freedom and responsibility for their choices? Theologians have wrestled with this question for centuries. But have our attempted solutions made the problem worse?

In Wonderful Decree, Travis James Campbell suggests we cannot solve the problem by sacrificing either divine sovereignty and goodness on one hand or human responsibility on the other. While considering Arminian and Molinist alternatives, he concludes that the traditional Augustinian and Calvinist approach best allows these truths to remain in a healthy and biblically-faithful tension. Inspired by the example of Spurgeon, who preferred biblical mystery over human solutions, Campbell encourages readers to trust—even delight—in the harmony of God’s love for all and sovereignty over all.

Praise for The Wonderful Decree

The Wonderful Decree is an instructive study that marshals logic, Scripture, and theological history, even as it recounts personal pain and grace. It investigates the classic debate concerning the relationship of unconditional election and the Gospel’s expression of divine saving love. Whether or not you are convinced by Travis Campbell‘s analysis, you will benefit from his readable scholarship and encouraged by his compelling testimony.

–Dr. Peter A. Lillback, president, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

I highly recommend this book to anyone who may question how a Thomistic metaphysics and a Reformed theology can (and should) go hand in hand in addressing pertinent issues of life. For others, who are not as concerned with conceptual issues per se, this book will open their eyes to the love of God in the face of life’s hardships.

–Winfried Corduan, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion, Taylor University

The Wonderful Decree is in my estimation one of the most significant contributions to Christian thought from the last century. Here the reader will find a sophisticated discussion of a whole range of issues relating to divine providence, predestination, and the nature of human freedom.

–Paul L. Owen, Professor of Bible and ministry, Montreat College

This book is a tightly reasoned, densely researched, scholastic argument—but it comes from a place of personal passion and pain, and its inexorable logic is forwarded with pastoral purpose.

–R. Todd Mangum, Lester and Kay Clemens Professor of Missional Theology, Missio Seminary

This work makes a helpful contribution and should be read by all who are interested in issues related to our wonderful salvation.

–Ken D. Keathley, Senior Professor of Theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary


  • Introduction: Coming to Terms with Terms
  • A Prologue
  • A Biblical Case for Unconditional Election
  • The Argument from Minimal Theism to Unconditional Election
  • Arminianism, Conditional Election and Scientia Media
  • The Ultimate Arminian Remonstrance
  • A Raprochement between Unconditional Election and Universal Redemptive Love
  • An Epilogue

Product Details

  • Title: The Wonderful Decree: Reconciling Sovereign Election and Universal Benevolence
  • Author: Travis James Campbell
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Page Count: 296
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781683593324

About Travis James Campbell

Travis James Campbell (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary; ThM Dallas Theological Seminary; BA Wittenberg University) is a history teacher at Deerfield-Windsor School in Albany, GA, where he lives with his wife. They have one son who is now in college. Dr. Campbell also serves as a Ruling Elder at Northgate Presbyterian Church.

Sample Pages from The Wonderful Decree


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  1. Kenson Gonzalez
    "The Wonderful Decree" is one of those theological works that formidably condenses many subjects. When I started reading this book, I was impressed by the first chapter entitled "Musing over a Dark Providence", in which Dr. Travis James Campbell opens his heart to each reader, placing us in a story that is not foreign to our reality, in which we feel identified in many doubts, questions and resolutions. If you omit this chapter in your reading of this work, you lose something very valuable. What is the book about? Well, it could be said that it is a masterful and well argued exposition on issues such as the sovereignty of God, the love of God and human freedom from the Augustinian and Calvinist perspective. But, wait, this is not the typical book that makes an incomplete presentation of other theological positions (such as Arminianism), but rather with reliable sources, the author presents important aspects of each position. The book is divided into two parts: The first part is titled "Prolegomena", which is made up of two important chapters that function as the basis of the book. The second part entitled "The Wonderful Decree", consists of five chapters, in which the presentation of the matter, the conditional-sovereign choice and the benevolence of God are developed. At the end of the book, the reader will find interesting appendices, of which the entitled "Isaiah 45: 7 and the Origin of Evil" was very useful for me. The book also has index names and subjects, allowing us to do specific searches in the text, as well as scripture references. And yes, the footnotes are not at the end of the books (I know that many prefer that) It is important to mention that, although the book addresses deep theological issues, it is very accessible to read. The author does an exceptional job of accurately segmenting and explaining each issue. In short, this book is a useful tool for both Calvinists and not. To the former, it helps a better understanding of Reformed soteriology, for the latter, it is a book that helps to better understand the Reformed perspective in a well-argued way. I received this book for free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review for the book.

  2. Matt Quintana
    In this work, author Travis James Campbell sets forth an extensive and well-argued case for the "traditional Augustinian and Calvinist approach" to the questions of God's sovereignty, unconditional love, and human freedom. Lexham Press, as always, has done a great job on the design, and the book looks great and is a delight to read. Totaling just over 350 pages, it is thorough and extensive, though readable for non-scholars. Part of its size is due to 50 pages of appendices and a 20 page bibliography. Both of these features, especially the appendices related to sub-topics of the doctrine of sovereignty and election, are quite helpful. This work sets forth a biblical, theological, historical, and logical argument; it is tightly reasoned and carefully researched. Campbell interacts with an impressive array of sources, both contemporary and historic. Commendable is the fact that he is dedicated to providing his opponents with fair consideration: the author labors to lay out solid representations of competing views (i.e., Arminian and Molinist), referencing up-to-date sources and arguments. Additional interaction and argumentation is provided in the vast number of footnotes throughout the work; many readers, including myself, will appreciate this dense trove of notes, though others may skip over them and still absorb the chief ideas and arguments. Also noteworthy is the fact that the author draws in not only Protestant sources, but also Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Jewish works. Campbell's book touches on a wide array of topics, though the central question remains present throughout the entire work. While not agreeing with every single point, I found myself convinced by the primary thrusts of the author's argument. This is the best, most well thought defense of the traditional Augustinian position on this topic that I have read. Campbell articulates his assertions clearly, and presents a case that is not merely theological and logical, but exegetical, as he deals directly with numerous biblical texts, even interacting with the original languages. He has a rare ability for bridging exegesis and biblical theology with philosophic and theological reflection. One of the most enjoyable aspects of reading this book, though, was Campbell's pastoral passion and purpose. He writes as a pastor, and his personal testimony of pain, suffering, and doubt proves that this is not an abstract question for him, but one with which he has wrestled deeply. While theologically convincing and very informative, I also found the book spiritually edifying, walking away even more assured of the magnificent, beautiful, sovereign love of the Triune God. I will definitely return to "The Wonderful Decree" in the future, and eagerly recommend it to anyone who is motivated and interested in the topic, whether in the church or in the academy. *Note: I received this book for free, courtesy of Lexham Press, but was not required to give a positive review.*


Print list price: $23.99
Save $2.00 (8%)