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Why I Am a Calvinist: Intro….by guest blogger David “The Thirsty Theologian”

Posted by Scott on February 16, 2008

I think this might be the first time on this blog that I have ever stated, “I am a Calvinist.” I know it’s something I seldom say directly in conversation. It isn’t that I’m embarrassed about my convictions, it’s 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’t believe it. I don’t 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’s justice must be made to conform to the Arminian’s idea of justice. There are Arminians who have worked out a sort of Scriptural apology for their views. However, the average Arminian’s objection begins with, “. . . but that’s not fair! God wouldn’t 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 didn’t 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’t think Scripture answers those questions as completely as we would like. In any case, I don’t have it figured out, so don’t 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 “according to the good pleasure of his will.”
  • . . . that Christ’s 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.

Direct Link to this site
David “The Thirsty Theologian”
-Scott Bailey 2008

5 Responses to “Why I Am a Calvinist: Intro….by guest blogger David “The Thirsty Theologian””

  1. debese said

    Looking forward to the next few posts!

  2. Pedro said

    It is sad to hear you defend a doctrine made by man as opposed to the truth of Jesus Christ!

    Who was this Calvin? He is dead and rotting in his grave! Don’t seek to defend some powerless theology but seek to know the truth of Jesus Christ! He said: “Those who know me will hear my voice!”

  3. SB said

    Hello Pedro,

    What a wonderful opportunity to expound on this subject further. One item up front here is that I did not write the article you so oppose, however, it is closer to my belief as the scriptures support. Calvin was a man who lived long long ago, was not perfect by any means as none of us are including you and I, but was ordained by God to put together the first bible in English by chapter and verse from Genesis to Revelation called the Geneva bible originally written in 1560, but clarified for easier reading in the 1599 version…this is the version of the bible our forefathers came to America with and was most likely well used by the Pilgrims, the Puritans…written long before the King James version came out (I challenge you to do some research yourself to see how godly King James was by the way and the reasons why he wanted to produce his own version of the bible which much of it derived from the Geneva Bible). If you will closely follow the five points made by Calvin you will see scripture to uphold most of them…one mistake many make is they think we worship this man….John Calvin was not the first to bring this about…Martin Luther was before him with a similiar theology and doctrine and Saint Augustine before him….John Calvin just happened to clarify it and preach it to a more modern world. It was not until after John Calvin’s death that the 5 points of Calvinism came about as a refusion of the 5 points of Armanianism at the Synod of Dort. The one point I have had any trouble with or that I am not fully in agreement with is that Christ died for only the elect…I believe He died for all people inorder to secure a justification for all people(2 Peter 2:1), but as scripture so obviously supports that only His elect will believe. This had to be in order for people not to die and perish with no justification…God is a “just” God and everyone that blows a hole in the firy relm of hell cannot say the were not justified, because they were by Christ work on the cross.

    Read the scriptures….all of them…not just the new testament or select places that support the wide road philosophy of salvation as many today try to do. I prescribe to believing and understanding our triune God which is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit…all as one God. I hear from so many that only want to worship and believe in one third of the God head or maybe two thirds….you cannot do that and understand this dctrine.

    I challenge you to study this doctrine in its entirety through the scriptures not just through what others might say or as your man-made theology might have you believe. John Calvin is dead, but the theology he brought forth from God’s holy word by the work of the Holy Spirit is still alive today…over 500 years of survival.

    A point I need to bring out here is that I do not go around saying “I am a Calvinist” anymore than I would go around saying “I am a Baptist or Methodist” which I am not….I believe and trust in God’s word from beginning to end. All of His wisdom, truth, and knowledge is already in print…we have no need for further revelation outside of God’s word. I believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, He died for me, came back to life in 3 days and I accepted Him years ago…now I understand that He chose me, not me choosing Him…”He first loved me”. I cannot boast in myself for any portion of my salvation. The mere fact that He chose me before the foundations of world brings tears to my eyes everytime…to think that an awesome God would love me enough to be one of His chosen people leaves me speechless…that He would sacrifice His only Son for my aweful sinful state. If you or anyone else thinks you had any part of your own salvation you are selfish and mislead.

    I am not defending Calvinism…I am defending the word of God…the living God and His holy word. My God is sovereign to the core. My God is far larger than mans thoughts of having a part of their own salvation. Thankfully He is bigger than all the trouble this world has combined. He did NOT spin the world into existance and then reacts to what happens here….He is fully the creator of all things…He is always in full control of all events on this earth…He puts people into their positions. My God, the God of the bible also is large enough to chose anyone He pleases to come to know Him…He can elect whomever He choses. Mans messed up thinking of how man thinks God saves people has always perplexed me. I beg of you to know the truth of Jesus Christ! Go to His word and find it out without any bent towards any doctrine, but seek out the truth and study His word based on the true text not just what YOU think a verse says. As you have so stated from Christ words “Those who know me will hear my voice”…this is great support for the Calvinistic doctrine….only that those chosen will know Him by the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and only those chosen (elect) will hear His voice….Amen and great work Pedro. Just more time in God’s word and you will see this as well.

    By the way…I am sure John Calvin’s body is beyond decay…it is most likely gone back to the dust by now. I appreciate the opportunity to expound on God’s word every chance I get. God’s grace is amazing isn’t it? Christ work on the cross is so precious and unique….do not tarnish it with a society made world view of the doctrine of Christ based on a false doctrine that man has any part to do with his salvation…this is cheap salvation and cheap grace which my God has not part of.

    Pressing on Christ my Savior,

  4. Rev said

    It is wonderful to hear you speak about a doctrine made by God as opposed to the philosophy of man! Who was this Calvin? He is in the presence of our Lord right now, worshiping Him! 😉

    Glad I came across your blog. May the Lord bless you.

    Not a follower of John Calvin,

  5. Scott said

    Hey James,

    Good to hear from you. Glad you came across this blog site. It has been most amazing as I have dug into the scriptures to reconcile the Calvinistic doctrine. I am like you and do not worship or follow John Calvin as this doctrine is scriptural which came long before John Calvin.

    Keep reading and commenting as you wish.

    In Christ,

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