Below are two descriptive selections from two 19th century sources, one selection of which describes Calvinism's view of sovereignty and the other Mahometanism's view (or, in today's term, Islam's view). The first is from an essay in Review & Expositor by famed Southern Baptist historian, A.H. Newman, entitled "The Calvinism of Calvin." The selection to be compared is from an entry entitled "Mahometanism" in Buck's Theological Dictionary (1838).
A.H. Newman on Calvinism:
"Before the first man was created God had established (statuerat) what he willed should take place (fieri) concerning the entire human race. In this secret counsel of God it was determined (factum est) that Adam should fall away from the integral (unimpaired) state of his nature, and by his defection should draw all his posterity into condemnation to eternal death. On this same decree depends the difference between the elect and the reprobate: because he adopted for himself some for salvation, others he destined to eternal destruction. While the reprobate are vessels of God's just vengeance, the elect, on the other hand, are vessels of mercy; yet no other cause of the difference is to be sought in God than his mere will, which is the highest rule of justice.1
Buck's Theological Dictionary on Mahometanism:
6. God’s absolute decree and predestination both of good and evil. The orthodox doctrine is, that whatever hath or shall come to pass in this world, whether it he good, or whether it be bad, proceedeth entirely from the divine will, and is irrevocably fixed and recorded from all eternity in the preserved table; God having secretly predetermined not only the adverse and prosperous fortune of every person in this world, in the most minute particulars, but also his faith or infidelity, his obedience or disobedience, and consequently his everlasting happiness or misery after death; which fate or predestination it is not possible by any foresight or wisdom to avoid.2
Given these two statements, is there any great wonder there arose the continued objection that strict Calvinism appears to project some sort of theistic fatalism?
1Opera ix. 713, as quoted in A.H. Newman, The Calvinism of Calvin, The Review and Expositor, Vol. VI, 1909.
2Theological Dictionary Containing Definitions of All Religious Terms; A Comprehensive View of Every Article in the System of Divinity, Charles Buck, 1838. p. 254