I have discovered over the past year or two that Calvinists aren’t who I used to think they were.
It isn’t that I have recently “become a Calvinist” so much as I have recently realized the word “Calvinism” is much closer to what I used to refer to as “Biblicism” (term taken from Mom and Dad to simply mean taking the Bible at its word). I used to equate Calvinism with Pre-Determinism and Fatalism, thinking that Calvinists believed man had NO free will and we were all like robots acting out a pre-made script. I haven’t found this to be true with your average man’s Calvinism. In fact, all the mainstream Calvinists that I have read and/or come into contact with believe in both God’s sovereignty AND man’s free will. While considering the Biblical tension between the two…Calvinists acknowedge God’s sovereignty always trumps, and that man’s free will begins from a sinful place.
What kind of God would we have if His sovereignty didn’t trump? A God we were bigger than, a God we could control. That’s silly, isn’t it? The idea of a God with His hands tied — or of humans not inherently sinful — certainly doesn’t square with historic Christian faith nor with the Word of God.
In this way, I think a HUGE percentage of The Church is more “Calvinist” than they realize, although many would be horrified to use this term. Whether you use the word Calvinist, or Biblicist, I don’t care! As long as we keep God on His Throne, that’s what matters.
I really appreciate the way Al Mohler answered TIME magazine in regard to recent questions about a recent brush with death and his Calvinist theology. Please take a look at his interview and see if you don’t agree that Calvinism is pretty well in the center of Biblical theology.
(HT: Irish Calvinist)