1/07/2008

I like Calvinists!

I like Calvinists--don't you?

22 comments:

Ken Schenck said...

Hate the sin; love the sinner :-)

Just kidding. I think I might really like John Piper a good deal of the time...

left coast drury said...

I like Calvinists a lot more after Keith helped me see the true balance of agreement to disagreement.

For many philosophical and practical reasons, I like an adversarial approach to doctrinal debates, but some times this makes 5% of disagreement seem more like 95%.

a fellow sojourner said...

One thing that I've come to realize and appreciate about our Calvinist brothers and sisters is that a great many of them take time to memorize Scripture. Whether such memorization takes place so that they can proof-text their argument or whether they do it simply because they love and revere God, it doesn't matter to me. What matters is that they have taken God's Word and have hidden it in their heart!

tricia said...

Like the post - thank you!

Though I am not a Calvinist,
I do like the consistency within reformed thought. In many circles, they seem willing to be consistent with their starting point, and the logical consequences of their starting point.
I also agree with Coach and I do like their attempt to let it be about something bigger than us.

Eric Wieringa said...

Hello Keith, This is my first comment. While I rarely post, as an alumni of IWU I like to read your thoughts regularly.

This article lands close to my heart, because I too love Calvinists and have struggled for years with choosing a side between Armenian and Calvin. Five point Calvinism has always made more sense to me and yet my heart remains unconvinced. I love my Wesleyan church and will probably always belong to a freewill body of believers because their theology seems so much more practical. However, after many debates and flip-flops I have come to the conclusion that its o.k. To be in the middle of these two poles and while I would love to say I am more concrete in my thoughts on Theology and who God is. I have found myself in love with all of my Wesleyan and Calvinist brothers and sisters.

Thanks for the post
Eric

David Drury said...

After reading this great commentary, I'm not sure I like them as much as you do, since I come out about 50/50 on them, rather than 95%. But I can see all your points in my experience.

If any are interested here's my take on both "sides" of the Calvinists:

what I LEARNED from them:

http://www.drurywriting.com/david/06.Flipside.Calvinist.Learnings.htm

what I THREW out:

http://www.drurywriting.com/david/06.Flipside.Calvinist.Throw.Out.htm

-David

Marcia said...

What I find especially endearing about Calvinists are Points 2 & 8. [Your description of "dour" Calvinists begs the question--Are there grammatical rules against using "endearing" and "Calvinist" in the same sentence? ;)]

Point 2 - The Bigness of God
It took a visit to a Russian Orthodox cathedral to help me get the point, and I have some concern that too many evangelicals stroll into church on Sunday, figuratively slap God on the back, and say, "Hey, God, ol' buddy, ol' pal! How's it goin'?" When we only see God as our buddy, it's much easier to downplay His response to sin. And it's really easy, if we don't see Him as our Sovereign, to forget about His--well, His sovereignty!

Point 8 - Their Sense of Security
I know what you mean, Keith, about growing up with the "doctrine of eternal insecurity"! It seemed as if many of the people I knew were constantly taking their own spiritual temperature, or mine, and feeling a need for re-re-re-commitment. What I finally arrived at could be considered a "middle of the road" belief.--It is possible for me to leave God's family, but it would take a conscious, rebellious effort on my part, a la Prodigal Son.

Thanks for another "brain prodding" post!

ministerjasonpage said...

Don't we both believe the only way to heaven is to accept Jesus Christ as ones personal savior?
I think the issues of how does a person get to the point of making that decision is a little silly to argue!
http://ministerjasonpage.blogspot.com/

Michael R. Cline said...

I can appreciate calvinism, particularly the "bigness of God" aspect, while at the same time still agree with your friend's quote.

I won't say that if God is like Calvinism says He is, I wouldn't serve him...but...I will say that if God is like the hyper-calvinists say he is, I would rather go to Hell and be with my friends and loved ones who didn't have a chance to begin with. I've said this before and had many people get upset about it. But let me say this, if that system of thought is accurate, then I am actually not doing anything all that terrible. I'm just willingly playing my part in God's glory fest.

Kris said...

I enjoy the qualities they have you mentioned, but sometimes I feel they can be very narrow minded :/

Jon Dodrill said...

Maybe in 40 years after leaving a Reformed seminary I'll like them...cause I'm not a fan, not a fan at all. I suppose it's the attitude many of them have about their "right" theology and their intolerance to hear other points. And did I just see that Dr. Schenck said something positive about John Piper? He'd better watch out for Dr. Bounds!

JustinJNierer said...

Sat across a dinner table with a five point Calvinist once. He tried to convince me about how wonderful it is that God chose us for heaven and not Joe Schmoe next door.

I found some Calvinists to be incredible men and women of God. Many of whom would put Wesleyan pastors to shame.

I also found some Calvinists to be so far out in left field, Im sure they are from New Hampshire.

Steve Elliott said...

Hi Keith.

I love Calvinists because everything they say and write, was predestined by God ... thus it must be correct.

I love Calvinists because God enables me to persevere in my love and relationship with them, even when I would normally choose to walk away from them.

I love my Calvinists brothers and sisters, because if I didn't, then I would be part of those outside of God's limited atonement.

I love Calvinists because God in His foreknowledge knew which ones I would like, and only brought me into contact with the ones I could get along with.

I love Calvinists because to not love them, would be an indication that I am totally depraved.

Sent: tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Steve

Lawrence W. Wilson said...

I love them so much I married one. We have a mixed marriage--one Wesleyan and one Christian Reformed.

Oddly, we perfectly agree on just about everything.

Either she's not a good Calvinist or I'm not a good Wesleyan ... or perhaps, in practice, there's not that much difference between people who are truly devoted to Jesus Christ.

Craig Moore said...

I like Calvinists so much I joined them. I love the high regard they have for scripture and the commitment to preach it faithfully. They do not seem as willing to water down the Gospel in order to attract a crowd on Sunday mornings as others. I also have trouble with a spiritually dead person being handed the responsibility of choosing to accept or reject Christ. I thought I would throw that in for the sake of argument and keeping with Calvinistic tradition.

Keith Drury said...

Craig...YOU are one of those kind of Calvinists that makes me like them!

Stuart said...

You do not need to list reasons why you don't like Calvinists. You could use the same list. I'm not sure the 5% statistic thrown around is particularly helpful or honest. What percentage to Jews and Christians differ?

It is not so much about on how many ideas groups differ, but do the differences make a difference (in Christian living, human affects, nature of man, sin, God etc...)

Thanks for the interesting posts
Stuart

Heath Countryman said...

Your title is correct - I like calvinists. But I despise Calvinism for many of the same reasons you embrace it.

But mostly, I dislike calvinism because it paints a very diffrent picture of God than my understanding of scripture. Add to that the intollerance for theological exploration that is ingrained in calvinism and reformed thought, and I would just assume have a discussion about God with a rock.

Redness said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wid said...

As a Reformed person attending a Methodist church here downunder, I feel that many Armenians are very agressive with saying that Calvin is rubbish.

What I have difficulty with is that the contemporare methodist church are more Pelagian than Wesleyan. They put human involvement soo much at the foreground, that there is hardly any room left for God's Sovereignty.

In contrast, Wesley's views on Grace in Salvation is almost Calvinistic, the work of the Holy Spirit is so overwhelming, that subjects of His Grace is put at the point where responding with YES to Grace is made effortless.

To keep me sane, I attend "my" methodist church (where I am one of the elders) in the mornings and visit a Dutch Christian Reformed church for some beating to keep the right perspective of my importance in my own salvation.

Almost Left Coast Drury said...

For our down-under Reformed Methodist who loves hanging with his Dutch Reformed friends:

Please don't blame those of us Arminians for seeming Pelagian. If we are Pelagian (something we don't concede) we are because of God's Divine Decree--we can hardly help it. We might even say that by acting in accordance with God's will for our lives, we are bringing him glory. Although I personally think it would be something of a bummer to be elected to heresy, what can a totally depraved, reprobate sinner like me do without a little prevenient grace?
:-)

john m said...

I like Armenians, they don't clutter their blog with scripture references. But seriously, are there sermons from the Armenian perspective on Eph 1 or Rom 9. I would like to hear their take.