17 October, 2007

Why I Am Not A Calvinist

Through the veil has an excellent post titled: Why I Am Not A Calvinist. This post written by my friend Scott, who also believes in the Doctrines of Grace, articulates exactly why I cannot call myself a Calvinist as well.


Junkster said...

Interesting article. Thanks for the link to it.

People like to label others. At times they intend those labels as an insult, but the ones being labeled will take on the name and wear it proudly. There is some evidence that the first use of the term Christian (in Antioch) was intended by unbelievers to mock believers for trying to be "little Christs". But believers have accepted it as a compliment to be associated with Christ, such that it is the preferred term to indicate our faith in Jesus. And the earliest Baptists preferred to call themselves simply Christians, but were labeled Baptists by their detractors to indicate their focus on believers’ baptism. They accepted the label so completely that nowadays many Baptists seem to believe being Baptist is at least as important as being Christian!

Since I believe in the Doctrines of Grace, many would label me a Calvinist (and they do not necessarily intend it as a compliment). It's not a term I'd chose to apply to myself, for several reasons, including those given in the article. But if by calling me a Calvinist people are intending to indicate that I believe that the "TULIP" is correct doctrine, I will accept the label to joyously affirm that I do indeed consider those doctrines to be what God's Word teaches about the nature of salvation.

Lindon said...

Tom, I have a few words to describe you: Diplomatic, peace-loving, truth-loving and very humorous!

Blessings, Lin

Jen said...

Hi Lin! Thanks for the link to an interesting article. I left a comment there that I thought I would copy over here for you as well:

Ima and Scott, I have thought of these five points as being on a continuum, rather than being a false either/or dilemma. Those who believe in all five points of TULIP are generally considered Calvinists, Scott’s excellent points in this article notwithstanding. Those who believe in none of the five points are full Arminians.

But there are many Christians who believe in one, two, three, or four of the five points along this continuum. Do we have to label them? I realize that some Calvinists will label everyone other than a full 5-pointer an Arminian, but is that really a fair assumption? I think not.

I have wavered on the “L” for a long time now, going back and forth, but I would still consider myself a Calvinist (this author’s excellent points notwithstanding again) FAR more than I would an Arminian. In fact, I have very little in common with typical Arminian understanding of doctrine. So, I guess there are labels for the various points, such as Amyraldian for a 4-pointer who rejects Limited Atonement, but I’m not sure the label is always necessary.

I used to be strongly opposed to labels, but now I find them quite useful in helping me to understand the other person’s point of view. If we use them for purposes of understanding one another, then I am currently in favor of them.

Good post!