Thursday, 25 December 2014

A Certain Kind of Calvinism

I am a Calvinist. I am a Calvinist because this theology teaches that the bible is the infallible and sole rule of faith and living for the Christian life. The bible exalts the glory of God over the glory of man. Declares that God is sovereign over all things including man's salvation. And teaches that God's grace is not only necessary but is sufficient to save. This is the heart of biblical teaching and because of this it is the heart of Calvinism. 

And yet there is a kind of Calvinism that I have little time for. There is a kind of Calvinism that believes in the right doctrines but those doctrines have not impacted on the heart such that they cause a person to be more loving towards God and people. There is a kind of Calvinism that says all the right things and yet is cold in worship, and is ungracious and condemning of those who are fellow Christians but who do not yet embrace all that the bible teaches. There is a kind of Calvinism that will trample on people's feelings just to prove a point, will speak truth with little accompanying love, and will be argumentative and combative towards any who are unsure. 

There is a kind of Calvinism that can hold to all that Calvinism has historically taught and yet be as dangerous as a caged tiger ready to be set free upon an unsuspecting fellow Christian. This kind of Calvinist does not yet know that he is no better than anyone else for he is the recipient of God's undeserving grace without which he would perish. He does not yet know what it is to totally rely on the sovereignty of a loving God during the most debilitating and agonizing times of suffering. He does not yet know what it is to have all his legs of self-righteousness taken out from under him and to find his peace and rest not in the rightness of his theology merely but in Christ which the rightness of his theology points him to. And this kind of Calvinism views emotions as being inferior to knowledge rather than allowing the emotions to be swelled up in adoration and affection to God because of what is known about God especially in Jesus Christ. 

This kind of Calvinism I have little time for. For if you believe in Calvinism and the doctrines of grace, how much for should your love burn for God and for all people. How much more should you be gracious towards those who would disagree with you, and how much more should your words be spoken and expressed with the adornments of love. How much more should your worship burn with emotions of adoration because of what is known about God and his saving grace in Christ. I love this Calvinism, I embrace this Calvinism. This is the Calvinism of the bible.

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