My Thoughts On Calvinism, Part 1: The Introduction

One day, while working at Lemstone Christian Store, Jeff the Baptist and I were opening a box of new books that we just received and needed to shelve. The book at the very top was a new one by Jerry Walls, entitled Why I Am Not a Calvinist. Intrigued, Jeff and I spent the rest of our day thumbing through the book and laughing at the very notions of Calvinism -- the most elemental beliefs of the theology. To us, back then, it was a joke of a philosophy! It warranted no other response BUT a laugh -- maybe a shake of the head or two. In fact, if someone had approached me, at that time, and told me their fundamental beliefs lined up with Calvinism, I would've thought they were kidding.

And this isn't because I was raised in an Arminian (a philosophy which is just as insane as Calvinism) church (the United Pentecostal Church, where salvation is earned by deeds and can be lost at any time upon one's sinning) -- it's because Calvinism didn't make any sense to me, based on what I had read in the Bible.

Now, over the course of the past 6 or so years, I've visited plenty of churches and listened to plenty of pastors and I've discovered something that I still can't get over -- people actually believe this Calvinism stuff. And not only do people actually believe this Calvinism stuff, A LOT of people actually believe this stuff!

Now, for you readers who are unfamiliar with the tenets of Calvinism, here's a general overview:

There are 5 pillars that follow the acronym TULIP.

Total Depravity (or, man is garbage, man is shite, there are no redeeming qualities in man, there is no good in man, man is incapable of doing good; see also, original sin),
Unconditional Election (or, there is nothing man can do to earn salvation -- God ELECTS whom He saves),
Limited Atonement (or, Jesus only came to die for the elect -- not for all of mankind),
Irresistable Grace (or, God pulls those He elects into salvation; man cannot refuse this grace, nor accept this grace -- he is incapable of doing anything that would negate his salvation nor affirm his salvation, no matter his piety nor depravity),
Perseverance of the Saints (or, man cannot lose his salvation; once one is elected, one is saved).

Now, like I said, Arminianism is just as insane as Calvinism (for a general overview of Arminianism, invert TULIP -- it's basically the exact opposite of Calvinism), but I don't necessarily believe these two philosophies to be mutually exclusive.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to try to find time to update my blog with My Thoughts On Calvinism. This will mostly be a way to get some grievances off my chest, but hopefully it'll shed some light on theology for the rest of you out there in the blogosphere.

Until then, slainte.

- the drew


  1. What an outrage! How offensive! How dare you!


    Just kidding.

    You just told me on your facebook site not to be offended and I am rebelling.

    William Carey wrote about the importance of using "means" to reach the lost (evangelism, missions) and got the same basic response that you got. William Carey is considered to be the "Father of Modern Missions."

    "Go into all the world and preach the gospel..."

    Seems pretty clear to me.


  2. Wow, I have to agree with you on these two. I believe that evangelism is the heart of the church and was Jesus's mission. It's almost contradictory to Christianity's core to suggest otherwise. As far as being redeemed only by your deeds, that's absolutely ridiculous and frightening; no one would be saved for that matter as we are all sinners in need of God's grace, which is the significance of the crucifixion - the basis for our faith.

    I'll be interested to read the follow-up posts to this one.

  3. Don't be afraid to say what you think even if people disagree...