f The Wittenberg Door: Graceless Calvinism

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Graceless Calvinism

And I am afraid there are Calvinists, who, while they account it a proof of their humility that they are willing in words to debase the creature, and to all the glory of salvation to the Lord, yet know not what manner of spirit they are of. . . . Self righteousness can feed upon doctrines, as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature and the riches of free grace.

John Newton

Jared Wilson warns us against graceless Calvinism over at Between Two Worlds. Here’s how he begins:

I have discussed with other Calvinists just where the (well-earned) stereotype of the graceless Calvinist comes from. Shouldn’t belief in total depravity necessitate profound humility? Shouldn’t belief in unconditional election preclude a spirit of superiority? And yet there is a doctrinal arrogance infecting Calvinist Christianity. This culture then produces doctrinaires like Baum’s man of tin: squeaky and heartless.

Cold-hearted rigidity is not limited to those of the Reformed persuasion, of course. You can find it in Christian churches and traditions and cultures of all kinds. In fact, to be fair, I have found that those most enthralled with the idea of gospel-wakefulness, those who seem most prone to champion the centrality of the gospel for life and ministry, happen to be of the Reformed persuasion. So there’s that. But gracelessness is never as big a disappointment, to me anyway, as when it’s found among those who call themselves Calvinists, because it’s such a big waste of Calvinism.

Why is it such a waste? Find out here.

--The Catechizer



Blogger James Jordan said...

All Calvinism is graceless because even when using the term "grace" all they mean is predestination, never "mercy." And predestination is certainly worse than the opposite of mercy.

7:36 PM  
Blogger The Catechizer and The Deacon said...

You’ve been misinformed, James. Calvinists do not believe that grace and predestination are synonyms. Grace means unmerited favor. When speaking of salvation, it refers to God’s not giving the sinner what he deserves. Predestination, on the other hand, refers to God’s intention beforehand to save sinners (the elect) from His wrath.

3:35 PM  

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