My problem with Calvinism and Reformed Theology:

Calvinism as I see it is an indictment against the character of God; it portrays God as the One who decides who does and does not receive the “get out of hell” card that all deserve (hell) but only a few get. It is an illogical theological position that is based on a philosophical position related to the atonement and its efficacy. If Jesus’ death itself paid the penalty for the sins of the world, then there would be no need for eternal punishment in hell; since that is obviously not the case THEN Jesus could not have died for the sins of ALL MEN and walla we have the philosophical underpinning of the calvinist response.

The problem is simple; the atonement makes provision for forgiveness; it did not effectuate forgiveness not even for the extreme calvinist, whatever that is. For even in that system, the benefits of the atonement are bestowed on the elect; and until they are “bestowed” the elect is in an unregenerate state. If the atonement were in fact effectual, there would be no sins to atone for nor repent of IF they were atoned for on the cross. There is an ambiguity in the efficacy argument where the atonement is concerned in the theological system itself.

The position of total depravity and inability cannot be effectively defended Scripturally; especially in the OT… there is unquestionably no concept of TD in Jewish writing nor in OT Scripture. The whole notion that an individual is incapable of responding to God’s initiatives in redemption, revelation and reconciliation is ridiculous in and of itself and is not found in ANY other philosophical argument that I am aware of. Men are constantly making decisions in every aspect of their lives even down to the choice to read this statement; to argue one’s inability to respond to God of ALL entities seems so outrageously incredible to me and that anyone would even accept that premise today blows my mind. To me it smacks of God’s sovereignty… how powerful can He be if He cannot speak to the unregenerate? The statement, one cannot be responsible if he is not response-able deserves thought.

Finally… the Word says the “gospel is the power of God unto salvation; calvinism says regeneration is the power of God unto salvation for in that system… the gospel is POWERLESS to save the unregenerate. In the calvinist system… repentance and believing faith are first acts of sanctification NOT new life for new life is necessary FOR repentance and not the other way around. So the gospel is a manual for Sanctification in the calvinist system, not conversion since conversion is at the sole discretion of God’s efficacious will with no input from sinful man; God simply rebirths who He chooses to re-birth and they THEN take hold of the gospel and begin to grow from there.

God saves those who repent; He is not the One who decides who gets to repent. That is the problem I have with calvinism. PERIOD.


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About sbcissues

Interested in bringing the issues facing The Southern Baptist Convention to light.
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7 Responses to My problem with Calvinism and Reformed Theology:

  1. Bob says:

    Very well put – and elegantly stated, as usual. You sum it up nicely, “God saves those who repent; He is not the One who decides who gets to repent. That is the problem I have with Calvinism. PERIOD.” I rather like how Bob George (author of Classic Christianity) talks about the same sun that melts wax also hardens clay. God’s grace either brings about humility of spirit or hardening of the heart as a manifestation of one’s pride. Clearly, we have free choice in accepting or rejecting God’s grace. Congrats on the new book and will look forward to reading it and having it on my shelf as a reference.

  2. Pingback: Germinating small seeds, pebble-stones, small and mega churches and faith – Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven

  3. Regarding your second paragraph, its not like Calvinists don’t know this, its just that they hope their would be victims don’t know this. They know that killing the Passover lamb was only a preparatory step to applying the blood to the door post, but they are a roaring lion roaming about seeking that sucker who is born every minute who doesn’t know that so that they can devour him.

  4. thesword7 says:

    I don’t see Reformed Theology (Calvinism) in the Scriptures. I could if I wanted to, but then I would need to do violence to it.


    I am in no way a “schooled theologian”. My Teacher (Jesus, Our Holy God in the form of man) rose from the dead and provided a path of salvation for each of us. Jesus most certainly did not teach denomination or theology. He taught love. I am a member of a Wesleyan church, although my first church family…the church that took me in and showed me God’s love was a Calvinist church, and I attended there for 20 years until my husband and I moved away to another city where my mother lives. We began attending the church she goes to, and have been there for almost 15 years. We still participate in events and programs with both denominations in our small town. We have had in depth conversations with multiple pastors about this very topic….and my conclusion is that the Wesleyan church members have a terribly distorted idea of what the Calvinist church believes. Too many times what we read is taken out of context, and completely lost in our minds. I encourage you to reach out to fellow Christians from the reformed church in your area and have a loving conversation with them about their beliefs. You will find that it is very much the same as what the holiness church believes. Yes, confront what is wrong, but do not bear false witness against your brother. Lastly, neither Wesley or Calvin saved me from my evil ways…..I claim neither as my leader because I never knew them. Jesus is the ONLY WAY, Truth and Life.

    • sbcissues says:

      Thank you for your visit and comment. Please understand my issue is with the theological position and not those who hold it. Your experience is a great testimony to individuals who love the Lord and are Loved by the Lord. I am convictionally non-calvinist from a very studied position.

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