Calvinists, Let’s Calm Down

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by JM, May 18, 2009.

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  1. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

    Parchment and Pen Calvinists, Let’s Calm Down

    Calvinists bad:
    Arminians (characteristically) good:
    :candle:

    I just finished downloading the lectures from "The Theology Program" and found the above on Mr. Patton's blog.
     
  2. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    I would have to say that I agree with him about the vitriolic nature of many Calvinists, especially those who are 'new' to the theology. Debate doesn't change a heart, and anger doesn't help communication.
     
  3. Whitefield

    Whitefield Puritan Board Junior

    Yes, does it seem to you that many "new" Calvinists go through an angry period?
     
  4. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I believe (and have experienced in my own walk) that most new Calvinists go through a "cage phase" (a time when they'd do the kingdom a favor if they'd just lock themselves away in a cage somewhere). One's zeal for truth overides one's tact and common courtesy to the point where ascerbic exchange replaces edifying dialogue. It happened in me, and I've seen it firsthand in others.
     
  5. TheFleshProfitethNothing

    TheFleshProfitethNothing Puritan Board Freshman

    People are who they are, and change will come by the Spirit of God, in the believer...unfortunately, many believe anger isn't characteristic of Christ and the Apostles...well, maybe you all need to read a bit more.

    But, with that said, it should only be when needed to drive away wolves in sheeps clothing; those that are deceiving (trying to, anyway) young believers...

    I must admit though, when preaching, one MUST consider to whom they are preaching, and that those that are lost sinners, should be approached respectfully, and we not be suprised at they antagonism.

    Those professing a false Christ...well at times even I get nasty!
     
  6. Idelette

    Idelette Puritan Board Graduate

    Its seems as though many "new" Calvinists go through a prideful period if anything....its so easy to become puffed up, and when we finally come to this "new understanding" we feel that we are obligated to TEACH others and point out their errors! I think its pride which often leads to anger and arguing with others unfortunately! But, thank God....He humbles His people over time!
     
  7. CredoFidoSpero

    CredoFidoSpero Puritan Board Freshman

    Actually, it was an angry, "new" Arminian/Pelagian who set me on the road to Calvinism. Not his intent, I'm sure :).
     
  8. Pilgrim72

    Pilgrim72 Puritan Board Junior

    Not sure if this applies, but about 12 years ago, while I was debating whether to leave the church I was at (Calvary Chapel), I met a bunch of guys from Bahnsen's old church. And I was so turned off by Presbyterianism, that I told myself I would never join a church that produced such horrible people. They were all dripping with arrogance and self-superiority, it made me sick to be in their presence.
    I'm not saying the whole church was this way, just everyone I met from that church was.
    Oh wait, I did meet Gentry, and he was a very nice guy.

    Anyway, by God's grace, He led me to a wonderful OPC, where the people were quite hospitable and humble. I thank the Lord that not all Calvinists are self-righteous, arrogant elitests. :pilgrim:
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2009
  9. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    I can identify with what he writes about "internet Calvinists." Some of the most vitriolic and ugly fights on the net take place with, between, or at the hands of Calvinists. This is to our shame. Some of the most "Christian" men of God I know are either Arminian or Pentecostal. Do I believe that they are wrong? Duh! But, it embarrasses me when they evidence the fruit of the Spirit so much more evidently than some of us more theologically correct types. And, no, I'm not talking about the "nice" Mormon, Buddhist, Muslim, or Jew. I'm speaking of people in Christian churches who read the same book, pray to the same God, depend upon the same Jesus for their standing with God, and look forward to his return. It shames us that our more correct theology is not matched at times by verbal maturity in what we say to other folks (and to each other!) on the internet. I wouldn't phrase it exactly like Patton does, but find much to nod my head to in his description . . . sadly.
     
  10. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Note the exchange of comments at the end of the blog article. in my opinion it illustrates very well just what the author was refering to in his blog.
     
  11. ReformedChapin

    ReformedChapin Puritan Board Freshman

    I came from Calvary Chapel as well, I never experienced the cage period although I have always had a reputation for being blunt. I know when I become reformed I shared the DoG with several of my CC friends and many open their eyes to it.
     
  12. steven-nemes

    steven-nemes Puritan Board Sophomore

    Perhaps sometimes its simply the utter blindness of the Arminians to such plain and simple texts as Romans 8, Ephesians 1, etc., that leads a young Calvinist to be so hostile and angry during debate. Surely anyone here can admit that it is a bit frustrating to discuss theology with people who endlessly qualify text after text that are so clearly teaching the opposite...
     
  13. Whitefield

    Whitefield Puritan Board Junior

    Maturity with teach the young Calvinist to back up and try a different avenue of approach (attack).
     
  14. ReformedChapin

    ReformedChapin Puritan Board Freshman

    Most arminians I meet only pose rhetorical attacks against Calvin and Calvinists. I rarely see serious exegesis posed against Calvinism, I suppose because many contemporary Christians are ignorant about the issues and are arminian by default.
     
  15. awretchsavedbygrace

    awretchsavedbygrace Puritan Board Sophomore



    Very true. :ditto:
     
  16. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    :agree:

    I think Calvinists often forget we're ultimately on the same team with Arminians, Pentecostals, etc. They may be wrong in their theology on some points and this leads to broader problems that should be addressed, but in the final analysis they are indeed brothers and sisters. I would never speak to my familial brother in the vitriolic way some Calvinists speak to non-Calvinists...
     
  17. Calvinist Cowboy

    Calvinist Cowboy Puritan Board Junior

    I went through the phase. I was going to a local mega-church and saw (and still see) error everywhere. I was aflame to teach as many as I could the DoG. After about six months, I realized how arrogant I was being.

    I still desire to teach others, not just the DoG, but the whole counsel of God. I no longer want to see mere "converts" to Calvinism, but men and women growing in love with Christ. I hope I've learned some humility since those fiery first days. ;)
     
  18. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    One observation I might make (if this doesn't make me sound too rascally!) is that I think it has little to do with Calvinism per se. From observing myself and those around me, I think one of our inherited sinful tendencies is an intellectual "I'm right, you're wrong!" pride which comes from embracing any concrete ideology, especially when either we are young, or it is young to us. It just so happens that, within the current evangelical climate, Reformed theology is one of the few intellectually rigorous "philosophies" held by the common man; and, being the most common and visible rigorous system of doctrine (as opposed to perhaps less intellectually demanding systems -- I mean, really, who is going to be confrontational about truths in a fundamentally egalitarian or relativistic belief system?!), we get singled out. But I would contend that any intellectual, philosophical, academic or religious system which has a robust, detailed and nuanced dogma will produce the same results. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing; and, though I am still far from this state, my observations suggest those with more knowledge are much more temperate. As Reformed Christians, we have the added benefit that the Spirit himself will also make us more temperate.
     
  19. steven-nemes

    steven-nemes Puritan Board Sophomore

    This is true, that over time a Calvinist learns how to discuss things with other persons in a less angry way.

    But what I'm proposing is that perhaps it is not always pride or whatever on the part of the Calvinist. I think it very possible that a person be frustrated at another for missing the point of a very clear text or stubbornly clinging to a bad interpretation of a verse or two. Now, it is clearly improper to explode in anger, or to call another names, just because his eyes are closed and yours are opened, but I am doubtful to the claim that it is always pride on the part of the Calvinist that causes the hateful behavior.
     
  20. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm tired of Calvinist being accused of being arrogant and nasty. I think a better thing to say is that some people who hold to the doctrines of grace have a lot more grace in which to partake....in other words they were arrogant and nasty before accepting the doctrine of grace which Calvin put forth. Calvinism didn't make them that way they were that way to begin with.
     
  21. jandrusk

    jandrusk Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think it is important to note that just because someone claims to be a calvinist or an arminian for that matter, it does not mean that they are actually a christian. I'm currently reading a book by Jonathan Edwards amply called, "Religious Affections". One of the main tenets is that the devil can produce in those who are not saved, essentially an external replica that is found in devout saints. I became a calvinist about a year ago, but it was not until I was what I believe to be a fairly well grounded Christian.

    Just remember Calvinist is not necessarily synonymous with a redeemed, elect, sanctified saint of Jesus Christ.
     
  22. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    in my opinion the person that most new Calvinists are mad at are THEMSELVES for being duped for a while. That can be unfortunately transfered to the next cluster of people they discuss doctrine with.
     
  23. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

    I don't see the blog making a distinction between new and mature Calvinists.
     
  24. Calvinist Cowboy

    Calvinist Cowboy Puritan Board Junior

    "Old" Calvinists (that is, they've been Calvinist a long time; folks like R.C. Sproul, Al Mohler, J.I. Packer, etc.) are some of the most gracious people out there.
     
  25. MrMerlin777

    MrMerlin777 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The blog seems to be refering to "internet Calvinists" I think alot of these folks probably would fit into the new Calvinist category as many are most likely young and not too many Christians are "raised Calvinist" these days.
     
  26. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Some of us are sharing experience. Youthful zeal without wisdom often gets people over the top and beat to the bottom.
     
  27. kvanlaan

    kvanlaan Puritan Board Doctor

    Nor does an overzealous Calvinist's bad behaviour change the orthodoxy of their interpretation of the gospel. (Am I fitting a stereotype here???)

    So where do we draw the line? Is saying, "Dear brother, you are in error" with a smile enough of a warm fuzzy to get me off the 'evil Calvinist' hook?
     
  28. Berean

    Berean Puritan Board Doctor

    They do? :eek:
     
  29. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

  30. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    Liberty's prez, Ergun Caner, is what Josh is referencing:

    OK, that ticks even me off!!! As much as I want to opine for tolerance and maturity, there is something about Ergun Caner that can reduce me to a snarling cage-stage Calvinist in about 3 seconds.:soapbox:
     
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