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Why I Am a Calvinist: Introduction

This is part 1 of a series.

I think this might be the first time on this blog that I have ever stated, I am a Calvinist. I know its something I seldom say directly in conversation. It isnt that Im embarrassed about my convictions, its 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 dont believe it. I dont 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. Gods justice must be made to conform to the Arminians idea of justice. There are Arminians who have worked out a sort of Scriptural apology for their views. However, the average Arminians objection begins with, . . . but thats not fair! God wouldnt do that!

This will not be a restatement or exposition of the Canons of Dort. My views may not exactly follow orthodox Calvinist reasoning. I didnt 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 dont think Scripture answers those questions as completely as we would like. In any case, I dont have it figured out, so dont 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 . . .

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

Posted 2008·02·13 by David Kjos
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#1 || 08·02·13··12:00 || donsands

I too never refer to myself as a calvinist. Though if someone wants to know where I'm coming from, I don't mind using this title to help.

This was a nice post. Well spoken conclusions. Look forward to seeing how you came to adopt them.

#2 || 08·02·13··12:03 || Joe

Looking forward to the series.

#3 || 08·02·13··13:39 || David

Thank you, gentlemen. Just don't set your expectations too high.

#4 || 08·02·13··13:46 || Kristina

I'm looking forward to this as well.

#5 || 08·02·13··17:38 || Michael Yates

I am quite excited about this series myself. I look forward to hearing your explanations. I have considered myself an Arminian, though I do have great respect for the fundamental beliefs of Calvinism (just not its conclusions). No pressure :)

#6 || 08·02·13··19:48 || David

I have considered myself an Arminian . . .

Well, then, you're on the road straight to Hell, of course.

I'm glad there's no pressure. I don't work well under pressure. I hope this will be helpful to you.

#7 || 08·02·15··09:26 || Tom

I have recently come to the realization that the Doctrines of Grace (Reformed Theology)is the correct understanding of what the Scriptures teach. I was someone who did not like theology. I began my study of reformed theology (in the summer of 2006) with the intent of refuting it....and a year and a half later I had to admit that I could not refute it. What is more, I had to embrace it. I am now a full 5 pointer.

Your series should be interesting since my change in understanding is still so fresh in my mind.

#8 || 08·02·23··04:02 || jen elslager

I really appreciate what you're doing here. I'm keeping both posts new in my Bloglines to study at length. I hope to finally begin to understand this thing called Calvinism.

#9 || 08·02·27··23:18 || Bob Hayton

Thirsty Dave,

Great stuff. I finally got around to reading it :) (but as you know I get tangled in arguments at my blog too often).

I love your summarizing of the five points at the end of this post. Is that original to you? Or one of those things you read somewhere....

Blessings in Christ,


#10 || 09·08·14··02:05 || Antonio Hermano

Brother David,

I appreciate your short articles on your journey towards Calvinism.

Can you please include me in your regular mailing list so I could follow on with your series?

Thank you.

Your brother in Christ,

Comments on this post are closed. If you have a question or comment concerning this post, feel free to email me.