Monday, February 22, 2010

How to Defeat Calvinism


  1. Or you could just recognize that historically "Calvinism" is much more nuanced than Federal Calvinists want to think or know to think. I think Calvinists need to do more homework and quit buying into the steamroller thesis that Muller has forwarded. For example have any of you Federal Calvinists heard of The Spiritual Brethren? Or maybe ever took the time to understand the thought of "Scottish Theology" that was contrary to Westminster. And have any of you Federalists spent the time looking at how Calvin emphasized the unio mystica which is more fitting with his Scotist doctrine of God, and is at odds with the Thomist doctrine of God promoted by Westminster and so called "Reformed orthodoxy?"

    I just think vids like this, while funny and entertaining, fail to recognize that Arminianism and "Calvinism" are cut from the same cloth as far as a doctrine of God; and thus as far as thinking of God through a decretal lense (contra Trinitarian/relational).

    Anyway, I'm afraid to set Arminianism against Classic Calvinism as the only two alternatives is just wrong-headed. The history does not support this rather reductionistic approach, and most importantly neither do the themes and categories of scripture.

    Seen Janice Knight for further substantiation on "The Spiritual Brethren" and T. F. Torrance on "Scottish Theology."

  2. Bobby,

    Thanks for the comment. I am trying to get what you are saying here, but I need some clarification. By "Federal Calvinist" do you mean "Westminster and so called 'Reformed orthodoxy?'" Are these all one and the same theological perspective for you? Do you think the Westminster Assembly and what is called "Reformed orthodoxy" split from Calvin and are not in fundamental agreement with him?

  3. Yes. and Yes. Although I do think Calvin, like Augustine, can be appropriated by more than one "tradition." And that is my point, within the "Reformed tradition" there is most certainly a history that is broader than Muller and others would want us to think.

    What's interesting to me is how Westminster is the standard for "orthodoxy" today (this was not always the case, and this is what Janice Knight in her book Orthodoxies in Massachusetts: Rereading American Puritanism has substantiated in her book as she highlights "The Spiritual Brethren" vs. "The Intellectual Fathers" [the Westminsters] and how the "non-Westminsters" in England were the "popular" group of 'Calvinists' contra the Westminsters).

    Anyway, it just gets old to see this dichotomy set up as the norm (i.e. Arm vs. Calv.); I see this as a false dichotomy (for dogmatic reasons i.e. doctrine of God is the same). The history has more nuance to it, and Muller and camp has done much damage to reduce this nuance to nothing in the name of 'Orthodoxy'.

  4. Is this video a joke? Does this video really promote defeating Calvinism with taking Scripture out of context?


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