Books of a Fether

Books I've written or summarized, free to download, print, or just read online.

The Hunt/White Debate, Chap. 18, Conclusion

What's the point of Calvinism?

As I mentioned at the beginning, I spent considerable time studying Calvinism at the request of a friend. However, when I had finished my studies of both sides and supplied him with links and books for the opposition, I was met with resistance and hostility. I was not to be afforded the same courtesy I had shown to my friend, all because I rejected Calvinism. Sadly, in my experience this reaction has proven to be typical.

But when one considers the fact that both sides preach essentially the same gospel message in evangelism, one wonders why this system is so important to its adherents. What practical difference does it make? Both sides reach out with the same gospel, both believe in training new converts and exhorting them to live lives that please their Savior, and both (regardless of accusations to the contrary) hold scripture in the highest regard.

So Calvinism is truly a divisive force in Christianity, and needlessly so. While this is certainly not the only topic believers have divided over, forgetting to distinguish the vital from the disputable and secondary, it is a prime example of such divisive forces. By studying this debate we are better able to warn others about division and get them to think more deeply about the gospel itself and the nature of God. I would have preferred that Calvinism had never taken root, but it may be one of the ways in which God tests our character by observing how we treat those who disagree with us. And it certainly does motivate us to dig deeply into the scriptures.