Apologies to Calvinists

A few weeks back I wrote a post on reasons why I thought Calvinism was coming back. For some reason that post was picked up by several web sites and soon became my top visited post of all time.

People reading my post thought either 1) I was a supportive Calvinist or 2) I was a raving Arminian. In the following week I decided to do a couple posts on Calvinism to try and clarify. This lead people to believe that I was 1) a supportive Calvinist or 2) I was a raving Arminian.

Here’s the deal. I basically dismiss Arminian thought as a trite way to view salvation. It takes salvation out of the hands of God and that makes no sense to me. At the same time, Calvinists talk too much, they answer questions the Bible doesn’t answer.

I heard a Calvinist message the other day on limited atonement where he defined the “world” as being believers. Christ died for the sins of the world. You can’t limit the Savior so you must limit the world.

Now, that’s a fine Calvinist answer given to back up Calvinism, but it does not back up Scripture. Scripture never refers to believers as “the world.” I believe Christ died for the sins of the world and only believers get the benefit of that.

Since I believe that, I am not a five pointer, I’m a TUIP. However, I can poke a hole in the other four points as well.

It’s not that I disagree with predestination, election, foreknowledge and calling. I agree, because the Bible teaches all of them. But I’ve also now read Calvin’s Institutes and heard many a Calvinist and I know the Bible doesn’t say what they say. Whosoever will may come. Christ willed to gather Jerusalem as a hen gathers her chicks but they resisted His will.

To me both sides are there. Both sides must be dealt with. Arminius was nuts. Calvin was more or less nuts but not nearly as much. If I had to pick one I’d go with Calvin. But thanks be to God, partisan people worship is not a means of salvation.

So, in the end, I apologize to any Calvinists for besmirching you or your beliefs. I disagree with total Calvinism, but not to the point I throw it all out. Arminius could have been one of Job’s friends too. In fact, Arminius was probably Job’s wife. Bummer, now I’m gonna have to write another apology. . .

4 thoughts on “Apologies to Calvinists”

  1. Great blog. I thought this was the most apropos part, “Arminius was nuts. Calvin was more or less nuts but not nearly as much.”

    Pray that we are still less nuts right!

  2. Jeff, what a fabulous post! I haven’t laughed so hard in ages. No wonder we all love reading you each day.

  3. Oh, and in saying that I’m not being sarcastic … it was just so nicely handled!

    That’s a great summation of the difficulties with both camps and a really disarming personal application. Nice.

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