Thoughts on Calvin.

I’m often asked if I’m a Calvinist when I have theological conversations.

I joke that I’m so enamored with Reformed Christianity that I’d thought about getting the Five Solas tattooed on one hand, and TULIP tattooed on the other. But, I don’t like tattoos, so I have no real intention of doing it. Further, the “isms” and the “ists” make for muddy conversations around religion.

That being said, I don’t know if I’d consider myself a full-throated, TULIP-lovin’ Calvinist. I would say that I agree with TULIP; Limited Atonement sometimes throws me off, but when I hear a good teacher expound on it, I agree with it.

So, I guess if held down and forced to pick a side, I’d say I’m a Calvinist for two reasons.

First, it’s what the Bible says. Total Depravity is everywhere in the Bible. Case closed. Unconditional Election is made clear in both the Old and New Testament. Limited Atonement can be hard to understand, but I agree when a good teacher comments on it. Irresistible Grace is absolutely true, Christ will not lose any that have been given to him. Finally, Perseverance of the Saints is what sold me on the concept. I grew up with a heavy dose of “easy believism” that said “once saved, always saved.” “Once saved, always saved” is accurate, but it means you will never, ever fall away.

Second, it’s the opposite of Arminianism. My objection to Arminianism is that it is based on ego and fear. Ego in that the human wants to declare that he is master of his fate, when God is the ultimate master. Fear in that we want, again, to prove that we’re in control; we want to know that we’re good because we made a choice.

I don’t think that folks of Arminian thought are unsaved, but I do think they lose some of the joy, awe, wonder and humility that comes along with knowing that you’re saved and you had nothing to do with it.

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