Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Do You Have an Opinion on Calvinism?

It was about nine years ago that I did a search for "anti-Calvinist" information on line. There were quite a few sites that identified themselves as expressing an anti-Calvinist position, the web site for the Fundamentalist Bible Church having one of the most extensive collection of articles refuting those who "make the Word of God of none effect through [their] tradition which [they] have delivered..." (Mark 7:13)

There was another site which, as I recall, had a particularly scathing essay denouncing Calvinism's "Doctrines of Grace" (TULIP), and claiming to have easily dismantled the Calvinistic teachings by the arguments that it presented. I availed myself of the "contact us" button, and sent an email to Philip, the sites owner.

"Philip, do you agree with the points that the Remonstrants' raised in opposition to the doctrine of salvation as stated in the Reformed church's Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism? If so, how do you think the Protestant beliefs might better have been formulated and explained over against those of Roman Catholicism?"

Philip answered: "Craig, my church holds to the Nicene Creed as it's confession, so we don't have a stake in the Calvinist vs. Arminian debate. Not being a part of that controversy, I have no opinion about the Remonstrants' arguments."

Well, Philip obviously assumed that he had a "voice" in the matter as evidenced in his essay.

Keep that in mind as you read Frank Turk's post on Pyromaniacs:

Filthy Calvinists and the people who love to hate them
http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/07/filthy-calvinists-and-people-who-love.html

Frank is specifically asking for comments from those who disagree with Calvinism and/or Calvinists. Add your "voice" by way of a comment on his post.

(Feel free to give Stranger a piece of your mind, as well. I sure could use one : )

12 comments:

BeamStalk said...

My honest opinion? Calvinists worship a monster. They only like him because they are "elect" and special. Under Calvinism, God made 90+% of the world just to throw in Hell and saved the ones he wanted. That is a monster. That is like saying well John Wayne Gacy is a good guy because he didn't kill my child.

BeamStalk said...

To quote John Calvin:

"God preordained, for his own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation."

stranger.strange.land said...

Thanks BeamStalk.

But according to the situation presented to us there, everyone is equally immersed in sin and all deserve justice. God is under no obligation to grant mercy to anyone. That He chooses to save some out of the common mass of humanity does not require Him to save all. Some get mercy - some get justice. Nobody gets injustice.
___________________________

Could you give me the reference for the Calvin quote? My Vol. 1 of the Institutes is loaned out, and I don't have a complete set of Calvin's commentaries. Thanks.

Did you check out Frank's post?

Best.

Craig

BeamStalk said...

You are just trying to ad hoc justify the monster.

That is comparative to a person saying well Hitler thought all Jews deserved to die, but he still let some live. So that shows just how nice he really was. Do you see the problem?

God can save everyone, omnipotent, but he is only choosing to save a select few. That makes him a monster.

Another example (this is not perfect but will work for now), I in a rescue ship try to warn people not to sail into a rocky harbor. The people still sail into the rocky harbor. They wreck and start to drown. I then decide to save only a very small amount of people from drowning, although I am capable of saving all of them. I decide to let the others drown because they did to themselves and get what they deserve. That makes me a monster.

The quote is from Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin published in 1536.

BeamStalk said...

I read his article, but there were too many comments for me to read through.

BeamStalk said...

post hoc not ad hoc.

I should reread before I post.

photosynthesis said...

Hey Beam,

Not just a post-hoc justification. Craig keeps forgetting that his god would have planned the whole thing, fall, and all, from the beginning. Thus, we would not be given justice but by a very twisted system. With no say in the matter because "perfect justice" is defined by the very same monster.

It is a very twisted trap from which there is no escape. Yet, Calvinists can't see it because they have made these impossible circles. We deserve the justice, there is no free will, we can't decide what "justice" means, so, their whole thing is meaningless. If justice is defined by the monster, then whatever the monster does is "perfect" justice. Not only that, the monster defines love, thus this is also "perfect love." But try to have them understand this little bit. Not possible.

Calvinists love this monster because they are among the elect. That is for sure. But the doctrine, and the way they absorb it, makes sure they can't escape this vicious circle. Let us repeat: monster gives perfect justice--how is that perfect justice?--justice is defined by monster.

To tell you the truth, this makes me very sick.

G.E.

彥安 said...

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stranger.strange.land said...

Well, I did say, "Feel free to give Stranger a piece of your mind" didn't I? Thing is__you never know which piece they're going to give you; )

Craig: But according to the situation presented to us there, everyone is equally immersed in sin and all deserve justice. God is under no obligation to grant mercy to anyone. That He chooses to save some out of the common mass of humanity does not require Him to save all. Some get mercy - some get justice. Nobody gets injustice.

BeamStalk: You are just trying to post hoc justify the monster.

No. I was merely summarizing Paul's Epistle to the Romans in one paragraph.

BeamStalk said...

No. I was merely summarizing Paul's Epistle to the Romans in one paragraph.

And yet it still does not make God any less of a monster. You and Paul were just trying to rationalize the cognitive dissonance in your mind. You see God is a monster for torturing some and saving others just by his own whim, when he has the power to save them all, so you have to come up with a reason for God letting some people go to Hell. This is the post hoc rationalization you give, it is a means to ease cognitive dissonance.

Like GE said, it gets even more twisted the more of God's powers you throw in to the mix. The God of Calvinism is a monster.

photosynthesis said...

Like GE said, it gets even more twisted the more of God's powers you throw in to the mix. The God of Calvinism is a monster.

Actually the god of Christianity. Only that Calvinists are closer to describing it as such.

G.E.

BeamStalk said...

GE, it depends on how that God is described by its followers. Of course some of the "Christian" God descriptions are closer to the ideas of deism than classical Christianity too. So I will look at them as they are described to me.