Calvinism Explained in 26 Seconds

S. Michael Houdmann wrote an article for the Christian blog, “Got Questions”, addressing why he believes some people so passionately oppose Calvinism? Houdmann’s last comment was intriguing; “For all you Calvinism haters out there, would it help if I told you that you were predestined to hate Calvinism?” I suspect Houdmann was trying to be cute inferring the deterministic aspect of his Calvinistic belief. But instead, Houdmann hammers home the stark reality that determinism within Calvinistic doctrines dominates all other aspects of that creed.

This sound bite is perhaps the most consistent presentation of Reformed Theology. And perhaps Dr. Zachariades is as true of a Calvinist as there is. Frankly, I admire his passion – and his consistency in being a hard-core determinist and believing that “God works all things after the counsel of his will.” So, Dr. Zachariades, you’re teaching me that God, as manifested through Calvinistic determinism not only prevents someone from committing adultery – but that adultery is ordained to be committed when God wants it to occur? Okay … no ambiguity there.

Like a number of Calvinists, Zachariades denies free will. Per his Calvinist doctrine, man has no free will – zip, zero, nada. God commands everything and therefore is responsible for everything that occurs in the world including evil. Many Calvinists infer God’s command through “compatibilism” which essentially has to do with God bringing about evil but not being responsible for that evil. Nevertheless, Dr. Zachariades blurts out what all what I believe all committed Calvinists believe.

As I see it, theistic determinism within Calvinism is incompatible with the entirety of Scripture if only because Christians are taught to use wisdom – as outlined in Proverbs. So, if we’re to use wisdom, doesn’t that by definition indicate we have to choose to exercise wisdom? Why would God see the need to give us Proverbs if he is, after all, determining everything that will happen? Further, it seems apparent that any direct guidance, revelation and any leadings of God were only given to pivotal individuals in the Old and New Testaments. Moses’ burning of the bush immediately comes to mind which makes me wonder if any guidance actually given from God was only provided through some supernatural revelation?

A question I’ll pose to my theistically determined Calvinist friends; why is there so much angst against abortion in this country? Sadly, I’ve yet to get a satisfactory answer. Wouldn’t it be accurate within the framework of Calvinistic determinism to say that God determined abortion to be the law of the land back in 1973? And since then, God has deterministically decreed that >40M infants should be killed. Why am I not hearing a bunch of hallelujahs from deterministic Calvinists? Can it not be accurately stated, per Calvinistic determinism, that God has brought about all sorts of specific diseases, heartaches, disappointments, financial difficulties, divorce, crime? All for God’s glory, of course! It only seems logical, then, that any attempt to alleviate or otherwise cure some God-given medical malady to be in direct violation of God’s determinist desire?

Well, it’s easy to harp on Dr. Zachariades and what I believe to be his fallacious views. But more to the point, I find precious few Calvinists who wish to distance themselves from the beliefs of Zachariades. And in reality, I don’t think they can. Are not Dr. Zachariades’ statements the quintessential logical outcome in Calvinistic doctrine?

Author: Bob

I’m an upper Midwestern guy who recently entered the "Buick stage" of life given my present eligibility for senior discounts. This blog is an attempt to rectify discordant aspects within my Christian faith ... or what often feels like my lack of Christian faith. Things which make life more enjoyable include strong black coffee, charcoal grilling anytime of the year, putz'ing at a table saw, playing chess, a good orthopedic surgeon and an occasional IPA. Please feel free to poke around and comment as you wish. I welcome discussion and the insights of others.

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