A Reader Comments on Calvinism

Triston sent this comment by email and I thought I would pass it on. It brings back memories of days past when I would spend hours day after day debating theological issues such as determinism and free will (usually framed as Calvinism and Arminianism in Christian circles).

Say, if anybody wants to throw out a comment about determinism (predestination, Calvinism, unconditional election, etc.) and/or free will (does God limit his control?), feel free. I’d be glad to throw in my thoughts at points and respond to comments.

Triston’s comment is in reference to a post from a few days ago: https://derek4messiah.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/limits-of-knowledge-brilliant-ben-witherington-comments/

Dear Derek:

I wanted to comment to your recent comments on Calvinism, but since I’m not a member of wordpress, it seemed easier just to email.

As a staunch Calvinist I have yet to find any other Christian belief system which gives more glory to God for our salvation than Calvinism. That is it’s attraction to me and, I would think, to most all Calvinists. Is it a flawless system? I would not go that far. Is it the best Christians have come up with in a faithful attempt at understanding God and His Word? I would say “Yes.”

PS: I’ve enjoyed some of your posts on Jewish theology.


Triston Dyer


About Derek Leman

IT guy working in the associations industry. Formerly a congregational rabbi. Dad of 8. Nerd.
This entry was posted in Christian, Messianic Jewish, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Reader Comments on Calvinism

  1. mchuey says:

    I have a great deal of respect for Calvinists, largely because Calvin was one of the first greatest commentators of the Reformation, and I often find Reformed exegetes to be very thorough and detailed. I would be a disloyal Scotsman if I denied the value of the Calvinist-originated Protestant work ethic. The Reformed tradition also has a very high view of the Torah of God, as witnessed in many of the works of Walter C. Kaiser.

    As someone raised as an Arminian, though, the idea of predestination of some individuals to salvation, and some individuals to damnation, does disturb me–as do some of the Calvinist interpretations of Romans 9-11. We feel as though salvation should be open to all and available to all. There are many variations of Calvinism, though, some more evangelistic than others.

    I consider myself as about as Calvinistic as Arminius or Wesley were. Respect is to be shown to Calvin to be sure, but there is a definite preference for Divine foreknowledge over Divine predestination.

    I have a feeling that as the Messianic movement grows, and along with it our Biblical Studies, we will see more engagement on this issue. But in all liklihood, those opting for Calvinism or Arminianism will do so on the basis of the theological tradition in which they were reared–perhaps moderated here or there.


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