I put up a post last week in which I quoted a single passage from Calvin which illustrates well my theological rejection of Calvinism. The statement was not meant to constitute an argument but state a conclusion to which I've come regarding the Calvinistic system. The bottom line is, regardless of all the protest to the contrary, Calvinism reduces to pure determinism. From my standpoint, rigid Calvinism is as much about philosophy as theology and unhealthily depends upon both for its warrant to exist in lieu of sound, consistent biblical exegesis >>>
Below are a few more golden nuggets from Calvin which reflect Calvin's undeniable adherence to fatalistic philosophy (all emphasis mine):
"Let him, therefore, who would beware of such unbelief, always bear in mind, that there is no random power, or agency, or motion in the creatures, who are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed" Institutes I, xvi, 3
"But whose has learned from the mouth of Christ that all the hairs of his head are numbered (Mt. 10:30), will look farther for the cause, and hold that all events whatsoever are governed by the secret counsel of God. With regard to inanimate objects again we must hold that though each is possessed of its peculiar properties, yet all of them exert their force only in so far as directed by the immediate hand of God. Hence they are merely instruments, into which God constantly infuses what energy he sees meet, and turns and converts to any purpose at his pleasure." Institutes I, xvi, 2
"They deny that it is ever said in distinct terms, God decreed that Adam should perish by his revolt... They say that, in accordance with free-will, he was to be the architect of his own fortune, that God had decreed nothing but to treat him according to his desert. If this frigid fiction is received, where will be the omnipotence of God, by which, according to his secret counsel on which every thing depends, he rules over all? ... As this cannot be ascribed to nature, it is plain that it is owing to the wonderful counsel of God... I again ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy unless that it so seemed meet to God?... The decree, I admit, is, dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknow what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree... Nor ought it to seem absurd when I say, that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it. Institutes III, xxiii, 7
"Let us suppose, for example, that a merchant, after entering a forest in company with trust-worthy individuals, imprudently strays from his companions and wanders bewildered till he falls into a den of robbers and is murdered. His death was not only foreseen by the eye of God, but had been fixed by his decree. For it is said, not that he foresaw how far the life of each individual should extend, but that he determined and fixed the bounds which could not be passed (Job 14:5)... All future events being uncertain to us, seem in suspense as if ready to take either direction. Still, however, the impression remains seated in our hearts, that nothing will happen which the Lord has not provided." Institutes I, xvi, 9
"It seems absurd that man should be blinded by the will and command of God, and yet be forthwith punished for his blindness... That men do nothing save at the secret instigation of God, and do not discuss and deliberate on any thing but what he has previously decreed with himself and brings to pass by his secret direction, is proved by numberless clear passages of Scripture." Institutes I, xviii, 1
"By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death." Institutes III, xxi, 5
Thus, when non-Calvinists display protest toward our Calvinist brothers and sisters, we do not protest because we assume they automatically accept Calvin's inadequate understanding of baptism, covenant, church and state relations, or even the burning of Servetus. Instead many of us vigorously protest the dreadful deterministic philosophy undeniably embedded within the theological model Calvinism embraces. For us, we outright reject the fatalistic tendencies we observe in Calvinism which, from our standpoint, makes God out to be a divine Despot resembling more a narcissistic Devil than the Sovereign loving Father our Lord Jesus Christ revealed.
So, pardon us in love if we will never accept the dark Calvinistic "truths" that:
- God created the clear majority of the human race for the specific purpose of damning them to hell
- all human actions, thoughts, impressions—good or bad—were divinely decreed from eternity
- all social crime is decreed and happens according to God's infinite wisdom—as the robber is decreed to rob, so the rapist is decreed to rape and the child molester decreed to molest all for God's pleasure and infinite wisdom
- infant babies doomed to eternal destruction
- God blinds men and punishes them for their blindness all the while taking pleasure in doing so
- any thought we possess or mindful deliberation we experience was all previously decreed and will be brought to pass exactly as God predetermined it to be
- all unreached people groups today which have never heard the name of Jesus were predetermined in eternity never to have known Jesus and therefore were created specifically for eternal destruction
There are many more Calvinistic "truths" for which we'd beg our Calvinist brothers and sisters to pardon us in love if we reject their deterministic understanding of reality.
But we think this is enough for now...