Why I Am NOT a Calvinist

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Alicia has a nice post on Calvnism that serves to solidify my primary objections to the whole doctrine.

A "five-point" Calvinist adheres to all of the following:

1. T ~ Total Depravity of Man (effect of the fall)

2. U ~ Unconditional election (God's choice to save some but not all from the effects of the fall)

3. L ~ Limited Atonement (Christ died for only the elect that God chooses to save)

4. I ~Irrestisitble Grace (Grace given to the elect to receive salvation which is effectual and irresistible)

5. P ~ Perseverance of the Saints (the ability of the saints to persevere in saving grace)

When I was studying Calvinism I could never resolve total depravity with the innate goodness of all that God created. That goodness could not be "undone" by mere human action and so the idea of total depravity seemed unwarranted. Now, that is a facile and surficial understanding, I'm certain. Nevertheless, it was one objection. But the largest objection came between U and I. God unconditionally elects only some to be saved and then saves them with irresistable Grace. This is the sticking point for me. If I believed in the God represented by this doctrine I would have to believe in a God who creates without bounds, supposedly loves unconditionally, but who, for whatever reason chooses to damn some portion of the human race before they are born and not to redeem them. My word for this is not God, but rather Monster. How could an all-loving, all giving God arbitrarily determine some number of His Children would be thrown into the fire forever. Sounds like the Uber-Moloch to me.

Now Calvinists do temper these two lines of doctrine and nuance them with subtleties far too subtle for me. But when I boil it all down, the question comes to attempting to reconcile an all-loving Father who deliberately casts away some portion of his children. Well, then, I would say in my naivete, He isn't very all-loving now is He?

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re: T.U.L.I.P. - wow, that's nuts! What the heck were they smoking?

Dear Bill,

I suppose that is the reaction to my quite inexpert presentation of the facts without all of the nuancing that would go into making sense of these doctrines. I have to wonder what one would make of an essential "bare bones" presentation of some of Catholic Doctrine as well.

So the wise (you among them) will not evaluate Calvinism by this very hasty, very unnuanced sketch, but will derive that no matter how I try to nuance it, I still come flat up against a contradiction I can't seem to resolve--and All-Loving Creator, a God who is Love Incarnate, damning His Children as He wills. Certainly, as God, it is His right and perogative; however, is it in line with all-loving?

Thanks for the comment and giving me a chance to more carefully phrase what I intend.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 24, 2005 12:14 PM.

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