Dave Hunt and James White, in a heated back and forth exchange, cobbled together one of the best books to understand the variance of thought as to Reformed Theology. Hunt is very anti-Calvinism. White is very pro-Calvinism. I readily admit my difficulties with Calvinist doctrine – especially unconditional election and this book has been an eye-opener to understand both sides of the equation.
I’m struck by a statement of Hunt, “Never forget that the ultimate aim of Calvinism is to prove that God does not love everyone, is not merciful to all, and is pleased to damn billions. If that is the God of the Bible, Calvinism is true. If that is not the God of the Bible who is love (1 John 4:8), then Calvinism is false. The central issue is God’s love and character in relation to mankind, as presented in Scripture.” (Debating Calvinism, pg.21)
Look up “aim of Calvinism” on a search engine and you’ll likely find something to the effect of:
Calvinism seeks to recognize God’s holiness and His sovereignty over all things, including those whom He predestines for eternal life.
Along with Hunt, I’ve come to the conclusion that the overriding intent and ultimate aim of Calvinism is:
- Proving that God does not love everyone – despite John 3:16
- Proving that God is not merciful to all – despite Romans 11:32
- Proving that God is pleased to damn billions – despite – Ez 33:11
- Proving that God ordains sin – despite James 1:13
- Proving that God does not wish all to be saved – despite 2 Pet 3:9
It’s troubling that Calvinists go to such great lengths to prove their perspective that God ordains sin but yet God himself is not guilty of sin. The notion of compatibilism makes no sense to me. If I cause my brother to stumble, I am not guilty of my brother’s stumble? If I push someone into my brother causing him to stumble, I am not still guilty of my brother’s stumble?
And yet, as is often the case:
Calvinists cite verses like Genesis 50:20 to prove that God caused the brothers’ evil intentions.
Or Isaiah 45:7 to show that God causes calamity.
Or Acts 4:28 to show that God not only predestined the events at Calvary but that everything has already been predetermined.
I understand that Calvinists believe their theology to be biblical. But that can only happen if Calvinists accept the assault on the nature and character of God based on those objectives noted above. I admit that sometimes a verse or passage does seem to support a Calvinist perspective. However, more often than not, verses do appear to be taken out of context. If interested, here are some articles that I’ve written to that effect.