Friday, September 19, 2014

This Week in Calvinism - September 19, 2014

  • Many people like to avoid the Calvinist or Arminian label by claiming to be Biblicist. However, according to Mark Snoeberger, "'None of the above' is not a valid answer." He believes the issue comes down to one question: "Do believers play any independent role in their own regeneration?"

  • Roger Olson poses a question to Calvinists.

  • Ken Chitwood writes that while religion once played a larger role in Scottish history, "it has faded into the background in an overtly secular Scotland and generally areligious United Kingdom."

  • Is the decline in membership among Baptists due to uncivil conduct over issues like Calvinism?

  • Michael Brown debates Brian Zahnd on the nature of the atonement.

  • Tim Challies on the app that revitalized his prayer life.


dave b said...

The reason religion died in all those stupid countries "across the pond" is that they had a moronic government imposing a CALVINIST state church, and Calvinism makes people hate God. So after so many years of being forced to attend a Calvinist sack of crap church, they all turned atheist.

Ken Abbott said...

Well, let's see.

England: Anglicanism, confessionally Calvinist but partially Roman Catholic in practice, so perhaps.

Scotland: Presbyterian, strongly Calvinist. You may have a point there.

Ireland: Roman Catholic. Nope.

France: Roman Catholic: Nope.

Belgium: Roman Catholic. Nope.

Netherlands. Reformed and Calvinist, no doubt.

Spain and Portugal: Ferociously Roman Catholic (especially Spain). Nope.

Italy: Roman Catholic. Nope.

Germany: Lutheran in the north, Roman Catholic in the south, a scattering of Reformed pockets. Nope.

Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland: Lutheran. Nope.

Austria: Roman Catholic. Nope.

Poland: Roman Catholic. Nope.

Greece: Orthodox. Nope.

Russia: Orthodox. Nope.

Switzerland: Some cantons were Reformed, others Roman Catholic. Hard to characterize the whole country, so I'll say probably not.

I don't believe your accusation has been sustained, Mr. Brainerd. Only a small number of European states had an established Calvinist church; the great majority were officially Roman Catholic. Calvinism itself cannot be held to account for a great atheistic tide in Europe. By the way, rather interesting choice of a handle given your expressed opinions here.

dave b said...

Even in the countries that are officially Catholic you've got Calvinist attacking everyone with Satan's message of determinism. And lets not forget the crisis over Jansenism (i.e. Catholic Calvinism) that took place in the Catholic church.

And Lutheran = Calvinist. Because Luther denied freewill too. Or have you never read the screed called The Bondage of the Will? I thought you Calvinist apologists fancied yourselves to be well-read educated intellectuals.

THEOparadox said...


You have made some excellent points; however, you will make no headway in trying to reason with a mind that issues such brilliant arguments as "Calvinism makes people hate God," "Satan's message of determinism," and the best one, "Lutheran = Calvinist." (don't dare tell my Lutheran friends!).

Only God can change such a mind. Thankfully, He is well capable of doing so.

On the other hand, I benefitted from your well-reasoned counter-argument.

Derek "THEOparadox" Ashton

Ken Abbott said...

Mr. Brainerd: Your description of Lutheranism as Calvinistic is not only anachronistic (Luther was a first generation Reformer; Calvin was of the second generation) but would be hotly contested by Lutherans, who take great pains to distinguish themselves from the Reformed. They worked very hard to ferret out the "crypto-Calvinists" from among their ranks.

It is true that Luther and Calvin shared the biblical and Augustinian perspective on total inability. Subsequent Lutheranism has taken a modified view that follows Melanchthon more.

You should take greater care with your descriptors. Calvinism does not teach hard determinism or fatalism; this is a common mistake. R. C. Sproul wrote a good book on the subject called "Willing to Believe." The classic work on the human will is by Jonathan Edwards, but it's not an easy read; I haven't yet tackled it myself.

Ken Abbott said...

One other thing, sir. You do realize that David Brainerd was an ordained Presbyterian minister and missionary, the proege of the aforementioned Jonathan Edwards and admirer of the Calvinistic evangelist George Whitefield?

dave b said...

"Calvinism does not teach hard determinism or fatalism"

In your totally depraved imaginations you imagine that it doesn't. But everyone who is not constantly drunk like you followers of Luther and Calvin, knows it does. Luther was always drunk on beer and Calvin on the blood of the saints, and you all on hard liquor and your arrogance.

Ken Abbott said...

Mr. Brainerd: You sound rather angry, bitter, and very misinformed. May I ask from where you have obtained the opinions you have expressed here and elsewhere?

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