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“Evangelical Calvinism”

There have been some loud squealings going around lately about something called “evangelical Calvinism.” I haven’t the first idea what this term means. Did someone invent it in order to look cool? To throw a big red “S” on their chest? To further separate themselves from those who are merely “evangelical?”

If so, I have a big wooden fraternity paddle that needs to smack some behinds.

But to get to the point, the “loud squealings” I referred to in the first paragraph are coming from those who are non-Calvinists. What a curious thing, said the Deaf Jedi sarcastically. Upon the reading of several articles by some rather obscure Southern Baptists that seem to have found their way into the general Southern Baptist grapevines, I only had to put my head in my hands and say, “Here we go again.” When are we going to start disagreeing with a theological position on the basis of what that position actually teaches? I wanted to smack these people upside the head a few times.

In the interest of heading off any questions and commentary that may reach me in the next few days, I’m going to briefly list several implications that Calvinism has in evangelism. These can be found in my various posts on each point (see The Doctrines of Grace in the sidebar), and I will be adding a couple of implications in this list.

But please remember, these are coming from a guy who is not a Calvinist. In the footsteps of Apostle Paul, I implore my non-Calvinist brethren: in disagreeing with Reformed perspectives, imitate me. Actually learn the stuff first. And now, with no further ado….

Total Depravity.
Total depravity gives us the sure conviction that all of us are going to perish in hell without Christ. This alone ought to convince us that evangelism, hey, might be a really good idea. But it goes a step further by thoroughly grounding us in Christ’s words that no one can come to the Father unless it is through Him. Note that, through Him, not by works. I’m reminded of another verse that says something like, “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord.” So I can’t just up and decide some day that I’m gonna follow Jesus. I need the Gospel preached to me before I would ever get the inkling to do so.

Unconditional Election.
Election gives us an incentive to witness. Think about it: only a certain number are going to be saved. This is a surety even if we believe in conditional election. There is no way around this. Not everyone is going to heaven. First of all, this should spur us to get off our lazy behinds and evangelize. Second of all, this should give us an incredible sense of purpose to understand that God is going to use us to bring in those who will be saved. What this adds up to is this: Git-R-Done!

Limited Atonement.
This point, more than any other, is the clincher for me where evangelism is concerned. And I don’t even subscribe to this point! Limited atonement gives us a heart for lost people. If people are going to hell, we ought to be broken and weeping over them! If limited atonement is true, then we know without a shadow of a doubt that there are people DOOMED to hell. We should be brokenhearted over this. And brokenhearted, we witness passionately, hoping to heaven that this person is not doomed.

Irresistible Grace.
Irresistible grace gives us confidence that our efforts will be successful. Why? Because we’re not the ones getting people saved. God is. His Spirit is working to bring those who will believe to Him, and He is working through us. Thus we can witness with full confidence in the ability of the God who has commanded us to the Great Commission.

Perseverance of the Saints.
I know, I’ve not yet finished this one. But this further strengthens our confidence in evangelism. We will not worry about the possibility of those who come to Christ through our efforts falling away. God will preserve them. He may even use us to effect this perseverance and preservation. We can witness in the full assurance that those who believe will truly be transformed into the image of Christ. Our efforts will not be in vain. I think there are more implications to come here, but I will save them for the post.

Now, that is all I have to say about that.

*Waves a hand in front of your face and calls on the Force*
You want to print this out or copy/paste it into an email. You will send this to those of “loud squealings” or those with potential to squeal. You don’t want to sell me death sticks. You want to go home and reevaluate your life.

Oops, that last one was for the creepy guy with bug antennae over my shoulder.

  1. james
    November 29, 2006 at 2:47 pm

    I never knew what Calvinism was until after having read my entire Bible 7 times. For years I was studying doctrine. Then one day I stumbled across Calvinism. I was somewhat irritated that so many had a problem with T-U-L-I-P. I mean these people take sound doctrine and dismiss the Bible entirely because they say “it’s Calvinism and Calvinism isn’t Biblical”. Where do they get that from? I know they diden’t get that Idea from actually reading the entire Bible. There hasen’t been one person in the Bible who God has given a “choice” of justification. God diden’t give Abraham a choice to be justified. God diden’t give Moses a choice to be justified. God diden’t give Saul a choice to be justified. God diden’t give David a choice to be justified. God diden’t give solomon a choice to be justified. God diden’t give any of his prophets a choice to be justified. God diden’t give the 12 apostles a choice to be justified. God diden’t give Paul a choice to be justified. The only choice God ever gave to people God justified is a choice of sanctification. Moses and Joshua said to the Israelites to choose to be obedient. They diden’t tell the Israelites to choose to become God’s chosen people. God already chose them through Abraham. The Israelites were given a choice to be obedient. They weren’t given a choice to be justified.

    Another matter is free will. Man’s free will is limited. When people claim “If I don’t have free will then God’s a tyrant and I’m a robot” they’er making a relativist claim that lacks any context. That claim implys the person could possibly think they have unlimited free will. For free will to be unlimited it has to be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. That means people make the ideology of free will into a deity, and that’s idolotry. That makse sense since those people claiming that are being greedy for soverignty, and greed is idolotry. Not to mention the pride and jealousy of the person who makes such an absurd claim.

    Another point is that Calvinism is a driving factor in the reformation. To be anti-Calvinist is to be counter-reformation. You might as well be a catholic if you’re anti-Calvinist. Also, to deny calvinism is only a demonstration of your inability to reason. If a person was truly interested in finding the truth they woulden’t reject Calvinism. They woulden’t lie and decieve every time they’er confronted with strong Biblical doctrine against their heresy. They woulden’t twist and turn to dodge the truth(the light). They woulden’t take pleasure in trying to qurrel based on such a shakey foundation they place themself on. They woulden’t be showing such bad fruit. Anti-Calvinist, counter-reformation claims only lead people into the pit of despair.

    I have seen many false teachers claiming T-U-L-I-P points. Such as this guy in florida claiming to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. This guy claims God is soverign and predestined people, etc… This is where temperance and discernment comes into play. Instead of following the words of some pastor blindly people need to open their Bible, read it, meditate on it, read it again, meditate on it some more, pray for wisdom, pray for temperance, pray for patience, discuss the issue with a sincere desire for truth, meditate more. Then if in error God will grant repentance to those who humble themself and hunger for righteousness, are poor in spirit, gentle.

  2. November 29, 2006 at 7:49 pm

    Your a Calvinist in denial.

  3. November 29, 2006 at 10:37 pm

    James must definitely be from the South. Just sound out how he says his negative contractions and you’ll hear a guy from Dixie.

    Incidentally, I feel just as sick as you, James. I want to know what something actually is before I write it off. It’s really sad our Southern Baptist “elders” can’t seem to do that.

    Scott, I’ve been told that before, brother. Convince me fully of the L and I’ll come out of the closet.

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