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Friday, September 08, 2006

The Face of Calvinism

But aren't Calvinists mean? That's the kind of question I often receive.

If there ever was a Young Calvinist Pastors Union, I would nominate Josh Harris to be our president. Here are some of his quotes from Christianity Today:
I remember some of the first encounters I had with Calvinists...I'm sorry to say they represented the doctrines of grace with a total lack of grace. They were spiteful, cliquish, and arrogant. I didn't even stick around to understand what they were teaching. I took one look at them and knew I didn't want any part of it.
Someone like Louie [Giglio] is saying, 'You know what, it's not about us. It's about God's glory, it's about His renown.' Now I don't think most kids realize this, but that's the first step down a pathway of Reformed theology. Because if you say that it's not about you, well then you're on the road of saying it's not about your actions, your choosings, your determiniation.
If you really understand Reformed theology, we should all just sit around shaking our heads going, 'It's unbelievable. Why would God choose any of us?' You are so amazed by grace, you're not picking a fight with anyone, you're just crying tears of amazement that should lead to a heart for lost people, that God does indeed save, when He doesn't have to save anybody.
Here's my own personal testimony. As I have begun growing deeper in my understanding of the doctrines of grace, I have:

grown in my passion to see the lost reached
become more evangelistic
grown in my passion of the sufficiency of Scripture
become a more accurate preacher
become committed more to expository preaching
cared less about my standing before other men

I am, however, far from the perfect pastor, husband, or man. But I would like to express:

When I ignore the lost, or get lazy in evangelism

Calvinism isn't the problem, but rather my sinful apathy

When I seem smug or arrogant in conversations

Calvinism isn't the problem, but rather my sinful pride

When I preach a message totally void of practical application

Calvinism is not the problem, but my sinful self-suffiency

Praising Him for His grace!


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