How did you become a Calvinist?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Caroline, May 5, 2010.

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  1. Caroline

    Caroline Puritan Board Sophomore

    And please don't say, "God predestined it." Tell us the means that God used in his sovereign plan in which he predestined your Calvinism.

    Were you born into a Calvy family? Get disillusioned with Arminian theology? Calvin and Warfield appeared to you in a dream? (If so, you really should stop eating burritos and reading theology so late at night.)

    Follow-up question: For those of you that, like myself, became Reformed as adults, what's the dumbest thing you ever asked the people in a Reformed church?

    My story (very, very brief version): I became Calvinist without really knowing it because it seemed self-evident in Scripture, even though I did not know anyone else who held those views (which caused me to doubt my sanity from time to time). I had a brief brush with Calvinism at a church that I attended for a few weeks at one point, but not enough to really grasp it. I was relieved to find like-minded individuals when I joined a support group for former Charismatics and former Pentecostals who had become Presbyterian, and they were instrumental in introducing me to Reformed theology. They suggested that I try an Orthodox Presbyterian church, which I did, after nearly running down a large tree on the church lawn with my car because noticed the sign at the last moment as I was driving by and I was so excited that I actually found one of those churches that I swerved inexplicably toward the building. Fortunately, I avoided the tree and thus was able to introduce myself on the phone instead of via an accident on the front lawn.

    Dumbest thing I ever asked: "Who is Westminster? And why do we keep talking about what he confessed?"
     
  2. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I had been introduced to Calvinism 6 or 7 years prior and had fought it ever since. Gradually over the previous few months I had come to see predestination as a non-negotiable in Scripture, but I didn't really let that sink in; it just kind of hung there. One night I was in prayer (one of those extra special prayer times) and it just occurred to me...God is completely in control. Nothing has ever happened outside of his control. He is God. He is Sovereign. And then I realized the Bible had always said that...I had just ignored it. This prayer time was followed by a feeling of enormous peace and comfort in God. God brought me to Calvinism in prayer.

    I looked up all my dumbest questions on the Internet. :)
     
  3. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Funny thing happened on the way to the forum...

    But seriously.

    I was researching a 20-page paper for a church history class at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, my topic was "Reformed Worship in the United States 1789-1865" and so I started reading primary source documents which included R.L. Dabney's review of John Girardeau's book on the non-use of Instruments in worship (which everyone on this board should read, look here). Well being a supporter of the South and already being aware of Dabney through his book on the defense of Virginia and his relationship with T.J. Jackson began reading some more Dabney which led to his defense of Calvinism (find here) and the rest is history.
     
  4. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

    I heard about predestination at one point, particularly through Ergun Caner. He hates the Calvinist position vociferously and during that young stage of my walk with Christ I was ready to believe what Ergun taught, although it bothered me that he did not use Scripture to argue against James White in email exchanges regarding this doctrine. About this same time I cut ties with a local church for several disturbing reasons and I moved to another county where I joined a church that was solid - the first of my life. It was here that the doctrines of grace were preached faithfully, and I soaked it up. Likewise, I listened to many sermons by Art Azurdia, John Piper, and others, which helped me see the logic and Scriptural defense of the doctrines of grace. The Lord has blessed me indeed, for His glory.

    Edit - I forgot to mention that it was during all of this that the Puritan Board found me ;) and, since I am a baptist, I assumed I held to the LBCF. Now I actually do subscribe to it, but at first I had no idea what I was talking about and merely observed and read a lot of this board, which really was a major influence on my doctrine.
     
  5. SolaGratia

    SolaGratia Puritan Board Junior

    The only way to become a Calvinist is to read Calvin and to say Amen!

    I first read A Reformation Debate Calvin against Cardinal Sadoleto.
     
  6. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

    My theological education was pretty much broad evangelical (mildly anti-Calvinist, mainly snide jokes during college classes about simple-minded determinists and those odd ethnic denominations in the upper midwest). The one Calvinist I had (Moises Silva) was a newly minted PhD in his first teaching post and was pretty low key about his Calvinism back then. We appreciated his not assigning homework over the weekend but thought his sabbatarianism was a little quaint. Seminary exposed me to Calvin, Ames, et. al. (courtesy of Geoffrey Bromiley). That left me a 4 pt coward, but leaning Calvinist. Some years later a re-examination of the 5 pts (general reading and listening to R.C. Sproul lectures) left me wondering how I could have thought otherwise.

    Now the question is whether my study of covenant theology, the Westminster Assemby, Calvin, etc. will lead me fully into the Reformed camp.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  7. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Junior

    I was brought by divine grace to confess Christ as Lord through the ministry of a Southern Baptist Church. Their stalwart affirmation of Scripture's absolute inerrancy and authority laid the groundwork of Reformed thought in my life.

    I began preaching at sixteen, and like all good Baptists, I read and quoted C. H. Spurgeon. Which was fine until I realized he was a five-point Calvinist. It was then that I was faced with problem of reconciling Spurgeon's Calvinism with his obvious commitment to Scripture's authority. This led me to conclude that I should conduct an honest and objective study of the Doctrines of Grace.

    I studied many Arminianist and Calvinist pastors and theologians. However, none were as convincing as the Bible itself! One Calvinist website simply compiled a host of Scripture passages supporting the claims of Calvinism. It was as plain as the nose on my face! Only a woefully blind sinner (i.e. me) could miss it! I wept. I was a convinced Calvinist! For the first time in my life, God's grace was truly Amazing!

    I emailed Dr. C. Matthew McMahon and shared with him the change God had wrought in my heart. He in turn encouraged me to read Boettner's Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. I bought it, read it, and was confirmed in my convictions.

    But the five-points are only the beginning. They are the foundation, but only the beginning. I began to see every area of theology differently. My entire worldview had changed. and especially the doctrine of the Church and its application to the ministry.

    I came to love and appreciate John Calvin through his writings. This led me to conclude that I should conduct an honest and objective study of the doctrine of Baptism within the framework of Reformed Covenant Theology. It was truly rewarding. However, after reading everything I could get my hands on in defense of paedobaptism (including The Case for Covenantal Infant Baptism, which I believe to be the best book on the topic), I remained unconvinced.

    However, my love for my Reformed/Presbyterian brethren runs deep, may their tribe increase!
     
  8. ewenlin

    ewenlin Puritan Board Junior

    Heard some of Washer's sermons. Went out and bought Sproul's What is Reformed Theology , which consolidated it for me.
     
  9. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I grew up under the ministry of Wayne Van Gelderen, Sr. who was well-known in fundamentalist circles though his background was Dutch Reformed. Though he was obviously arminian/Dispensational in theology, he held to all of the Scriptures. He openly struggled with predestination, election and the foreknowledge of God. From the pulpit he would say, "I don't understand election and predestination, but it's in the Word of God. I'm sure that planted seeds in me.

    It was really during my first and only term as a foreign missionary in France that I began to understand the love and grace of God. This led me finally to the reformed faith. When I returned from France, I resigned from the mission and ended up at a reformed Baptist church. Before a year was up, I had become convinced (through personal Bible study) in paedo Baptism. I moved to a PCA church and embraced the reformed faith.
     
  10. buggy

    buggy Puritan Board Freshman

    I professed faith in Christ in my youth and attended a Methodist church when young. Then I discovered fundamentalism and crossed over to an Independent Fundamental Baptist church. The church is anti-Calvinist but appreciates some Calvinistic preachers like Paul Washer and various reformed fundamentalists.

    I got across Calvinism through various sources - from New Calvinists (e.g. John Piper), dispensational Calvinists (e.g. MacArthur) and reformed fundamentalists (Bible Presbyterian). That is why I respect all of them even though I do not agree with everything they hold on to.

    Once I found out my church is certainly not receptive to the Doctrines of Grace, I packed up and left for a Reformed Baptist church. My one year there with the RBs has made me turn from Calvinistic to Reformed. :) Membership there will come up very soon!
     
  11. Willem van Oranje

    Willem van Oranje Puritan Board Junior

    The doctrine of unconditional election struck me one day as I listened to the book of Romans on audio CD in one sitting. It threw a monkey wrench in my system of doctrine. Ineeded some help putting the pieces back together. I remembered learning in history class about this Reformer named John Calvin who I heard had taught this doctrine, so I went to my school library and checked out the Institutes of the Christian Religion by Calvin. I found his insights very helpful on many biblical doctrines, including soteriology but also eventually the law, baptism, the extraordinary offices, civil government, etc. Eventually I coudn't stand the charismatic megachurch I was attending, anymore, (our pastor was Ted Haggard.) I began attending a Reformed church, and remember the joy I felt when suddenly for the first time in my life I was in a church where it was cool that I like history. I had always been looked at kind of askance for my interest in church history when I had been an charismatic.
     
  12. TheDow

    TheDow Puritan Board Freshman

    I was saved at an Arminian church, where Calvinism was never put forth as something a sane person believed in. Never questioned it.

    Met a friend whose intellect I had a great deal of respect for. One day, he indicated at a Bible study that he'd been studying church history, and had discovered that historic reformers in church history actually believed in Calvinism. From that point, I began seeing Calvinism (and election specifically) all over the Word of God. Didn't take too long to decide I wanted to understand Calvinism.

    Came to the Modesto OPC not too long after it was made clear that our "new" views were not really welcome in the church. That friend of mine had started a Bible Study concerning the role of women in the church according to the Word of God. We were essentially disfellowshipped, though most of us weren't even members. :)
     
  13. dudley

    dudley Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Through Gods grace I was made one of the elect and by his saving grace alone I am now a Presbyterian and a Calvinist. A series of circumstances led me to become a Presbyterian. It was through study and contemplation and prayer I became a Calvinist Protestant. I was Roman Catholic. I left the rcc as my biography states in 2006 and through friends began to attend and soon join the Episcopal church.

    I knew by becoming an Episcopalian I had become a Protestant but I really did not understand Protestantism nor the different denominations in Protestantism and how and what were their beliefs and even differences.

    At first I became an Episcopalian because I felt at home with its sacramental structure, its governmental system and its liturgy, which is done at an altar and like the roman mass. However as I began to study Protestantism and the Protestant Reformation and the Reformers. I also began to read the KJV of the bible my Episcopalian friends gave me when I officially joined the Episcopal church. I began to discover in the process that I was in heart and soul a Protestant. What started as a study on the Protestant Reformation and the reading of scripture led to a conversion to Reformed Protestantism, Presbyterian and Calvinist.

    I began doing an extensive study of the Protestant Reformation from the perspective of Protestant writers and Theologians. I continued to study the Protestant Reformation with fervor and I became convinced and a believer in the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation. When I accepted the authority of the Bible alone in all matters of faith and realized that salvation is by grace alone could no longer say I was a Roman Catholic or an Episcopalian. I renounced also the ecclesiastical authorities of both churches. I renounced the authority of the Bishop of Rome as Christ’s head of his church on earth. I fully understood that only Christ heads his church. When I renounced the Ecclesiastical structure, I searched and found Calvin, Knox and the Presbyterian denomination. I knew I was a Protestant but not yet a Presbyterian. I wanted to find a Protestant denomination that I believed had the purest form of the Gospel.

    I centered a lot on the reformers Luther, Calvin and Knox. I studied Luther's Doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone and I began concentrating on the Reformed Theology of Calvin and Knox and Zwigli. I then read the Westminster Confession of Faith and the short and long catechisms of the Presbyterian Church. I started to attend services a 3 different Presbyterian churches and then joined an inquirers class shortly after.

    It was in that search I became a Presbyterian in faith and also a Calvinist Protestant.

    As a roman catholic I needed to belong to the Roman Church to be saved. I had to do good works and work with much effort and much guilt to save myself. I know now as a Protestant that none of this could save my soul. Salvation was bestowed because of God’s mercy. Salvation by Faith alone...the Protestant doctrine of Justification. I now understand the scripture when it says
    In Titus Ch. 2 v. 11, I read: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.”
    These words make it very clear that Salvation is by Grace. It is God reaching down to the helpless sinner, revealing to him that He loves him so much that He sent His Son to the cross. There, He took the sinner’s place by becoming his substitute. He paid the penalty for sin that the sinner should have paid.

    The following also attests to the Protestant doctrine of Justification. It also attests to me why the Church of Rome is wrong in condemning the Protestant doctrine and distorting the truth. It is why I am now a Presbyterian Calvinist Protestant and why I renounced the RC church.

    In Titus Ch. 3 v. 4 - 5, I read: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us...”.

    The words of Romans Ch. 3 v. 24, summed it all up. They read: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” I could now see that God gave Salvation FREELY to sinful man. The sinner was not required to work for it.

    I decided to become a Presbyterian because I asked myself "Either my former Roman Catholic faith was very right, OR if it’s not, it’s very wrong?" I knew it was wrong and a false teacher of the true Gospel of Christ and there can no in-between on this issue. I always knew that Transubstantiation denied the sovereignty of God. The reformed theology I discovered is the only Protestant theology that praises the sovereignty of God and the governmental structure is biblically sound. I believe the Presbyterian Fold is the pure and true Christian church. I believe that calvins 5 points of TULIP particulary the depravity of man is correct and only by Gods Amazing garce and placing our faith in Christ alone can one be saved. That is very important for all Presbyterians and all Protestants to understand. As a former Roman Catholic who searched hard for that truth I cherish it! I am so happy that I have found the truth of salvation. It is why I left the Roman Catholic Church and its distorted teaching of tradition along with the Bible. I renounced the Roman church and its view of the Bishop of Rome as the final authority and head of the church. As a Protestant I believe the Bible is the final Authority. As a Protestant and a Calvinist I believe Christ alone is head of his church. As a Presbyterian we are all members of the Priesthood of Christ. It is why I am now an evangelizing Protestant who looks forward every day to professing my faith publicly as a Presbyterian and a Calvinist and a Protestant.
     
  14. Christoffer

    Christoffer Puritan Board Sophomore

    I came into contact with calvinism through my interest in apologetics. I wondered what kind of christianity this was, why were they so mean to the unbelievers? :) I was mainly reading triablogue and listening to Gene Cooks "The Narrow Mind".

    At that time I was an arminian and was involved in pentecostalism. I wasn't really excited about it all, it seemed kind of silly and there weren't any real answers to the questions I had.

    Calvinism appealed to me instantly because it gave clear answers and for the first time I understood what it meant to be saved. I believe the first book I bought was "Redemption accomplished and applied". This was 3 years ago, and I have been calling myself a calvinist now for maybe two years.

    As for the other question, I have never set foot in a reformed church, so I haven't had opportunity to ask anything stupid yet! :)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  15. student ad x

    student ad x Puritan Board Freshman


    I really don't have an answer for how I am Calvinistic other than God gave me a burning desire to read and study Scripture along with the faith that HE would provide what was needed. (I posted the short version of my testimony to my blog.) We live in an unprecedented time where resources are available online for all those seeking God's truths. Over the past 18 months or so, I've been blessed with free materials from Keach & Spurgeon to Piper and even MacArthur; from Calvin, Newton, Henry, Owen to Hodge, Sproul & Packer. God has also blessed me with online folk like AMR, the Rushes, Presbyterian Deacon, the PB (and others not on the PB) to be a source to draw from ...... their experiences, fellowship & solid friendship (even though I'm a Particular Baptist [​IMG])

    I think my biggest deterrent to the doctrines of grace was purging the error of libertarian free will (along with a faulty view of the depravity of all men) that I'd presupposed. Once these fell ........ [​IMG]
    [​IMG].......... no, but I did have a dream where I saw Romans 8:28-35 on a page while it was being read to me. Does that count [​IMG]

    Although this wasn't a question but rather a more emphatic statement; I spoke in ignorance that I wasn't a Calvinist or an Arminian. I'm sure I have said or raised questions ignorantly as well, but that one I remember right off the bat.

    God bless!
     
  16. ChariotsofFire

    ChariotsofFire Puritan Board Sophomore

    I grew up a PCA church sitting under the preaching of Dr. Pipa. I guess I became a Calvinist then. :cheers:
     
  17. Caroline

    Caroline Puritan Board Sophomore

    Amen. As we used to say in Pentecostal churches, "Testify, Brothers and Sisters!"

    I probably should have added in my testifyin' that C.S. Lewis was quite helpful in getting me started on the right path, although I don't think he would have considered himself a Calvinist. It's interesting how God uses various things to start change hearts. (C.S. Lewis is still one of my favorite Christian authors, although now I prefer Calvin for deeper theology).

    I'm surprised that more people don't have 'dumb question' stories. Maybe it was just me. It seemed like the whole first two years were a long series of stupid questions. I'm sure it felt that way to my pastor also, who really should be canonized just for not shooting me over some of those questions. "Where do you keep the anointing oil? Is the baptistry outside? How close do I have to be standing for the benediction to work? If I'm in the nursery does it not work? Is it still a benediction if you hear a recorded sermon in which someone gives a benediction? Why does the catechism say that it's man's chief end to glorify God? Is it because women aren't made in the image of God? What's a 'bulwark'? You know ... 'a bulwark never failing'. Is that Latin? etc."
     
  18. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    I grew up Roman Catholic, but never really considered myself one. Basically my mom just made us go to church. When I was 18 I was saved in a Pentecostal church. When I went off to college in Florida I took a beginner class on hermeneutics. I learned there was a proper way to read/understand the bible and my old pentecostal understanding was incorrect. I learned about using scripture to interpret scripture understanding verses in light of their context. When I moved back home, I began reading some of John MacArthur and at some point I found John Piper. I fell in love with his preaching - the passion, the emphasis on God's glory, and Piper's love for the word. I would go for walks and listen to a sermon every night. Somewhere along the way I also came across the White Horse Inn and began listening too. It was the year they were doing their Romans Revolution theme, so I was pretty much ruined right there! I found the only reformed church in my city and I had no idea what Presbyterian, Reformed, or OPC meant. I began attending sporadically and the liturgy took a while to get used to, but I loved it. I would say Piper introduced me to Calvinism, WhiteHorse Inn brought me along quite a bit more, but it wasn't until I started lurking and reading at the PB that I really became interested in "Confessionally Reformed" thought. Then my pastor helped out a lot because he has a gi-normous library so he gave me bunches of books to read and study. I remember the first he gave me was "Chosen by God".

    I would say my dumbest question was I was really uncomfortable with this part of the Apostles Creed when we would confess it during worship:

    I wouldn't say the line of "the holy catholic church" because I thought it had to do with RC! It wasn't until my fiancee (now wife) googled it and told me it just meant "universal". :lol:

    ---------- Post added at 01:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:44 AM ----------

    :lol: :lol: Bwaahaha! this killed me!
     
  19. Theoretical

    Theoretical Puritan Board Professor

    I grew up a 4th generation member of a huge Methodist church in Dallas. We always attended church but religion was never much a conversation. It was more moralistic than anything. When I was thirteen, shortly after the death of my grandmother, God shook me out of a deism I'd held since I was 10, actively believing God was not really active in the world after creating it. Shortly after this time my homeschooling curricula switched from a mostly secular curriculum to a mostly Bob Jones University one. Ironically, it was in an American history textbook by BJU where I first learned of Machen, the OPC, and Christianity and Liberalism.

    By my mid-teens, I'd become rather fundamentalist in doctrine and attitudes of right conduct (often to my parents' chagrin and my sorrow now--as attitudes go at least). In an ironic and rather rare experience, I was the conservative and the teachers were liberal at my church. I first came across TULIPy thought by the Apologetics work of Matt Slick over at CARM. This theology seemed far more coherent and sound than I was used to, and not as wretched as parents and others had alleged. I then read the book of Romans in its entirely and didn't find much to disagree with, even a God predestining some to hell. Reading Christianity and Liberalism in my late teens played an absolutely vital role in establishing and grounding my orthodoxy on the essentials of the faith.

    By undergrad I was a conviced TULIP but still continued at my church in part due to dependence on my parents and my own fear of leaving the only church I'd known. It took some good friends finally telling me that I had to get out of that church simply because I shouldn't be getting fed both good and heresy in the same teaching to finally lead me to do it. I started going with my best friend to a Missouri Synod Lutheran congregation in 2005 but after study I found myself no longer agreeing with the Lutheran view on the Lord's supper, so I began declining Communion (since one has to agree with their view of communion to be a member or partake). At this point I knew I wanted to become a confessionalist but needed to determine where and what I should seek, so I printed copies of the westminster, three forms of unity, london baptist confession, and 39 articles, for me to read over several spare moments. While I had many more confessional exceptions at the time I decided I agreed with paedobaptism, presbyterian church government and the overall theology of Westminster. Eventually I found a PCA nearby and asked my friend to drive me there one Lord's Day and I found a few people I already knew who attended there. The assistant pastor at the time took me under his wing to an extraordinary degree and really helped explain the basics of Reformed Christianity and to develop my spiritual foundations from the amalgamation. I've since become strongly confessional and embracing of a lot more than TULIP.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  20. christiana

    christiana Puritan Board Senior

    For years I thought myself to be a christian and yet felt there was a piece missing of the puzzle that I'd not yet found! There was a small book on my bookshelf by A.W. Pink about reading scripture and I wondered what else he had written. I found and read reviews of The Sovereignty of God and ordered it and it was just the greatest 'wow' moment of my life! Eureka! The missing piece is 'sovereignty' and understanding it and its implications! I read Boettner's Reformed Doctrine of Predestination next as well as Machen's Christianity and Liberalism and began to pray for a 'real' church. I was in a 'moderate' SBC church at the time. A friend invited me to visit her church and said her pastor really preached scripture. My big question to him at our first interview was 'what is 'reformed', what does that mean'. That was in 2002 and I have studied with the greatest hunger since then and have loved my church and am so thankful for a pastor who is a godly expositor of the word, no compromise. How thankful I am for His providence in guiding me into the doctrines of grace! The day I retired I had determined the rest of life would be filled with coming to a greater knowledge of Him and His word! He is faithful! Soli deo gloria!!
    Some very helpful authors along the way to the doctrines of grace were Spurgeon, Pink, Chantry,Boice,Puritan Paperbacks, J.C. Ryle, Lloyd-Jones,MacArthur and so many others, mostly the long ago theologians.
     
  21. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    I was raised in a Southern Baptist home and in a church that was fundamental and dispensational. Say what you will about such folks, but they will fight to the death in the defense of the doctrines of Scripture. Their hermeneutic may be faulty but their commitment is absolute. So as I grew up and confessed faith in Christ, it was in the context of a firm belief in the Word of God. Later, in my early 20s, I embarked on an ambitious path to read the Bible - cover to cover - during a one month "sabbatical." The God that emerged from the pages was so much bigger than the God I had known! He was all that I had believed He was, but so much more glorious in every respect. Above all, His sovereignty was unquestionably apparent. This caused me to slow down, really meditate on what I was reading, and reevaluate what I had been taught concerning such things as election and the efficacy of the atonement.
    My "dumbest question" was one I guess i asked myself at this point. Though I had heard of "Calvinism," I really didn't know what that meant. Consequently, I began to wonder if I was seeing something radically new and different! I was more than a bit concerned that my mind had snapped and that I was formulating a whole system of theology that would somehow prove to be heretical and lead to a public lynching (or a recurring appearance on TBN).What a satisfying relief to finally learn that I was merely walking down the "ancient paths." I began to devour standard texts by the Reformers, the Princeton theologians, the Puritans, and some Dutch luminaries as well. It didn't take long for the rest of the journey - the framework of the covenants, paedobaptism, and confessional subscription.
    That's the long answer. The short answer (though you forbade it): God predestined it!
     
  22. Whitefield

    Whitefield Puritan Board Junior

    It began when I started reading Foundations of the Christian Faith by James Montgomery Boice.
     
  23. SemperEruditio

    SemperEruditio Puritan Board Junior

    Became a Calvinist when I stumbled upon monergism.com. Read just about every article back then. Didn't speak to another Calvinist for ~2 years. Actually the internet has been the medium God has used for me. I met my first Presbyterians after earning a scholarship to attend the Miami Pastor's Conference which was initially called the African-American Pastors Conference. While I'm not AA my then pastor recommended I go. I went and met and heard some of the most wonderful things. It was amazing how the Bible was presented because I realized this was the first time I had ever heard the Gospel preached. My wife and I were both in awe. The other amazing thing was that the majority of people were actually from the MD-DC-VA area. I met a brother there who lives in Maryland, we kept in contact, and he would invite me to the monthly meetings of fellow Reformed men in the area. Less than a year after meeting this man he became my pastor and my wife and I became Reformed.
     
  24. jayce475

    jayce475 Puritan Board Freshman

    One fine day a brother from my charismatic church started chatting with me on MSN and told me about Calvinism. Unable to understand anything he was saying, my pride got the better of me and I was eager to prove that I knew my theology. So I started with Wikipedia and chanced upon Paul Washer's "infamous" video. That video was the very means of grace that God used to genuinely save me as far as I can tell, as before that church was more a way for me to cope with my loneliness in a foreign land. God opened my eyes and my heart, and I came into contact with heaps of videos and sermons from the T4G people like John MacArthur and John Piper. It just made so much sense. This started me on the journey of my Reformed faith and God led me out of the errors of charismatism and into a Presbyterian church. In my current church, I'm slowly learning more about covenant theology and other tenets of Reformed theology.

    Dumbest question: Who is this King James who translated the bible?
     
  25. A.J.

    A.J. Puritan Board Junior

    I first read about Calvinism from Roman Catholic sources which were written for the very purpose of refuting the claims of the Protestant Reformation. Many of the authors of these books claim that they used to be Protestants before becoming Roman Catholic (e.g., Robert Sungenis). This happened about three years ago. I was a 3rd year college student then.

    My curiosity about the historical roots of the Protestant Reformation in general and Reformed Theology in particular led me to do more reading on the subject. Reformed websites like monergism.com and the-highway.com have been extremely useful in my study. The writings and sermons of John MacArthur, John Piper, and James White (among others) as well helped me to see and believe in the sovereignty of God.

    I later learned about the importance of the Reformed confessions, the Three Forms of Unity and the Westminster Standards, and have come to believe and confess the other important teachings of historic Reformed Theology.
     
  26. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    I was raised in the Christian Reformed Church, so I was taught Calvinist doctrine from the start. I've never had good reason to question it. Anything less would detract from the soveriegnty and gracious love of God.
     
  27. yoyoceramic

    yoyoceramic Puritan Board Freshman

    My mother explained it to me in the car when I was 13, and I had a superb Children's Sunday school teacher who taught the TULIP like a champion.
     
  28. Sarah

    Sarah Puritan Board Freshman

    I was in a (secular) college class, and we were doing an exercise to get us to think about our beliefs where we would go to one corner of the room if we agreed and another corner if we disagreed. The professor made the statement "Humans are basically good." I went to the "disagree" corner with only one other classmate. The prof then clarified that I believed we were born sinful and then said, "so you're a Calvinist." I almost argued because I had a vague impression that Calvinism was some cult-like denomination that wasn't Christian even though I had never heard what Calvinism really is. Since I didn't know what a Calvinist was I decided not to argue. I went back to my dorm room and looked up Calvinism on wikipedia. I didn't agree with all of it, but it sparked a lot of interest. Over the next few years I came to believe that it actually was true.
     
  29. SemperEruditio

    SemperEruditio Puritan Board Junior

    So you guys/gals are saying that you can become a Calvinist from reading the Bible?














    :lol:
     
  30. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

    I was raised Roman Catholic and converted in college through a campus ministry. In God’s providence, my dorm was on the west end of campus, and the closest gospel church was Reformed Presbyterian. (The students on the east end had a American Baptist church close by.) I attended on a somewhat irregular basis. When my wife and I married during my senior year, we decided to make that our church home. We took the membership classes and had our first real exposure to Reformed theology. (My wife was raised in a mixed Methodist/Pentecostal home.) Some of our friends in the church worked hard to convince us of the truth in Calvinism. We also benefitted greatly from being in close proximity to Puritan-Reformed Books in Delaware (aka Great Christian Books). There we were able to load up on great material to help us in the faith.
     
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