Friday, December 14, 2007

This Week in Calvinism - December 14, 2007

  • Charles Spurgeon noted rightly that Calvinism is simply a nickname for our belief in the biblical doctrines of grace. Mark Kelly, however, has a problem with people adopting the Calvinist label. He doesn't like the fact that a 16th century Reformer is able to disrupt Southern Baptist unity: "There is something decidedly un-Baptistic -- and, I would argue, un-Christian -- about exalting any mere mortal to such a status." So, remember: it's perfectly fine for you to identify yourself as a Baptist and set yourself apart from your Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian brothers and sisters. Just don't call yourself a Calvinist. That's divisive.

  • After all the bridge-building in the SBC regarding Calvinism, Norman Jameson remains "just as befuddled by it, not a whit more attracted to it, and just as certain it has severe potential to divide."

  • Calvinism in three verses.

  • America's Calvinist roots.

  • Understanding Calvinism can be a rather daunting task, so Mark breaks it down a bit.

  • Looking for something to read? Tim Challies lists his seven favorite books of 2007.

  • Phil Johnson reminds us: "The gospel is the greatest sign of all, and it is the greatest wisdom of all unto them which are called. The elect see it, even if no one else does. It is 'the power of God' -- more potent than any cosmic sign."

    Mark said...

    Gee, Lee. That post was about exalting a man's systematic theology above Jesus Christ and God's own Word and submerging our own identity in Christ in deference to another mortal. If that's what you mean by adopting a Calvinist label, you ought to be concerned about it yourself.

    Lee Shelton said...

    I just don't see how you can call defending the biblical doctrines of grace "exalting a man's systematic theology above Jesus Christ and God's own Word." Now, granted, there are some who claim to be Calvinists who would put their "theology" (which is actually more of a crutch for their over-inflated egos) above scripture. But as Spurgeon noted, Calvinism is merely a nickname. If that is somehow divisive, you can thank the Remonstrants for that.

    Mark said...

    maybe they're the ones I'm talking about, ya think?

    Lee Shelton said...

    You said you were "puzzled why anyone would prefer to identify themselves by another man's name" and that the problem "won't be completely resolved until people get over their need to divide themselves into camps and fly flags emblazoned with their hero's name." Those sounded like all-inclusive remarks. I apologize if I was wrong.

    Mark said...

    I simply place ultimate value in the Scripture. If a teaching is true, it isn't because Calvin taught it but because it is biblical. Much of what Calvin taught was biblical; it's value lies in that fact. Some of what he taught and practiced was not - infant baptism, the persecution of other Christians.

    My concern is that some - Calvinist and non - have lapsed into a factious, contentious spirit that is itself evidence of a spiritual problem. What a shame to proclaim the doctrines of grace but not demonstrate grace toward other Christians.

    Lee Shelton said...

    No disagreement here!

    Mark said...

    See? I knew we had to be on the same page. We're both Watterson Calvinists!

    Mark Farnon (Tartanarmy) said...

    Thanks Lee for the heads up at my blog, that no one ever reads!
    Check out my latest posts on "soul sleep", tis not what you may think.


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