INTRODUCTION Having read John Calvin’s Institutes and having studied the writings of many Calvinists both ancient and contemporary, I am convinced that Calvin was guilty of straining at gnats and swallowing camels. To accept Calvinism (in any of its forms) is to deny the plain teaching of dozens of Scriptures.
The Calvinist will doubtless argue that I simply don’t understand Calvinism properly, and to this I reply that if Calvinism is that complicated it can’t be the truth.
Of course, Calvinism is not simple by any means and this is one reason why it produces an elitist mentality. To understand Calvinism one must deal with compatibalism, monergism versus synergism, electing grace vs. irresistible grace, effectual calling vs. general calling, effective atonement vs. hypothetical atonement, libertarian free will vs. the bondage of the will, objective grace and subjective grace, natural ability and moral ability, mediate vs. immediate imputation of Adam’s sin, supralapsarianism, sublapsarianism, infralapsarianism, desiderative vs. decretive will, and antecedent hypothetical will, to name a few!
The fact is that every time I have studied Calvinism I have come away convinced that it simply contradicts too many Scriptures, that it is built more upon human logic and philosophy than upon the plain teaching of God’s Word. Whatever divine election means, and it is certainly an important and oft-taught doctrine of the Word of God, it cannot mean what Calvinism concludes, because to accept that position requires one to strain at gnats and swallow camels. The gnats are Calvinist extra-scriptural arguments and reasoning and the camels are Scriptures understood plainly by their context.
Thus, according to the Calvinist, Jesus’ statement in Matt. 23:37 does not teach that God’s will was ever thwarted by man’s will but merely expresses the human side of Jesus’ compassionate nature. According to Calvin, God cannot be disappointed, because that would means He is not sovereign (according to Calvin’s own predetermined definition), but this flies in the face of the Scriptures in literally thousands of places.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Calvins Camels - article from Inplain Site
I just ran across a good article on Calvinism -- and it's rather long, so here are a few quotes from the beginning part of the article: