This is part 1 of a series.
I think this might be the first time on this blog that I have ever stated, ‚ÄúI am a Calvinist.‚Äù I know it‚Äôs something I seldom say directly in conversation. It isn‚Äôt that I‚Äôm embarrassed about my convictions, it‚Äôs that such a statement is too often taken as fighting words and has too often led conversations off the path and into that magical land of equivocation, straw men, and revised history. Rarely, if ever, has it produced a sensible discussion of monergistic regeneration and the doctrines of grace. (And, as you may know, I hate arguing
.) Perhaps here, where I can speak my piece without being interrupted and pummeled with red herrings, I can do better.
What I intend to do is write a series of short posts, each dealing with one of the five points. These posts will take you through my process as I connected the dots and came to conclusions that I think are not only logical, but obviously Biblical as well. I believe that if a person is able to leave his presuppositions behind (an exceedingly difficult thing to do) and approach Scripture unbiased, the analogia Scriptura
will lead inevitably to the Doctrines of Grace. I know that sounds insulting to Arminians who will claim that they have done exactly that. But I don‚Äôt believe it. I don‚Äôt believe they have laid aside their own notions of what is just, which is really the greatest stumbling block to the acceptance of unconditional election and monergistic regeneration. God‚Äôs justice must be made to conform to the Arminian‚Äôs idea of justice. There are
Arminians who have worked out a sort of Scriptural apology for their views. However, the average Arminian‚Äôs objection begins with, ‚Äú. . . but that‚Äôs not fair!
God wouldn‚Äôt do that!‚Äù
This will not be a restatement or exposition of the Canons of Dort. My views may not exactly follow orthodox Calvinist reasoning. I didn‚Äôt come to my conclusions by reading systematic theologies, but through a long and rather painful process of discovering that Scripture disagreed with me more often than not. However, I do believe my Calvinism is mostly in line with historic Calvinism. This will not be a sophisticated argument. I intend to demonstrate that Calvinism is not a complex system that only appeals to theology students and would never be drawn from a plain reading of Scripture, but that it is
the plain reading of Scripture. I also will not be going into such details as infra- vs. supralapsarianism, or the precise ordo salutis
. I may be wrong, but I don‚Äôt think Scripture answers those questions as completely as we would like. In any case, I
don‚Äôt have it figured out, so don‚Äôt expect to find any profound nuances of theology here.
As I have stated, I may not be Truly Reformed® in all of my reasoning, but I will affirm . . .
- . . . that man is thoroughly corrupted by sin and will not believe and repent without supernatural intervention.
- . . . that God has, before creation, chosen those whom he would call to faith in him, and has not done so on the basis of anything in us or anything we would do, but only ‚Äúaccording to the good pleasure of his will.‚Äù
- . . . that Christ‚Äôs death on the cross did not only make salvation possible, but actually secured salvation for all who will be saved.
- . . . that every person whom God calls, without exception, is inevitably saved.
- . . . that all who receive the gift of saving faith are also given the grace to unfailingly persevere to the end.
In the next installment (which will probably not come until next week), I will begin explaining how I came to those conclusions.
Next :: Why I Am a Calvinist: Depravity