We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded solely by your direct support. Please consider supporting this project.

3311540632_5cbea7b1e7

Yes, Calvinism Really Teaches That

I am sometimes accused of caricaturing Calvinism when I make claims like:

  • Calvinism teaches that God SPECIFICALLY WILLS and TAKES DELIGHT IN every evil event in history as well as each person who will suffer eternally in hell.
  • Calvinism teaches that God ordains every single evil thing that people do IN SUCH A WAY that God is all-holy for ordaining these evil acts while the people who do the evil acts God ordained them to do are sinful for doing them.
  • Calvinism teaches that God has a “sovereign will” that ordains and delights in evil and a “moral will” that is revolted by the evil his “sovereign will” ordains. This is why I have claimed that God’s “moral will” must hate God’s “sovereign will” if Calvinism is in fact true.

I believe this brief article demonstrates that I’m caricaturing nothing. And let me just say, with all sincerity, that I deeply respect John Piper’s willingness to “say it straight” and to be logically consistent. Check it out if your interested.

(By the way, if you’re interested in an alternative interpretation of the verses Piper cites to support his determinism you can find them in the Q&A section of this website).

Peace,

~Greg

Image by bareknuckleyellow. Used in accordance with Creative Commons. Sourced via Flickr

Related Reading

How do you respond to Proverbs 21:1?

“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he wills.” Calvinists sometimes argue that this passage teaches that everything every government official ever does is the result of the Lord turning their heart. In light of the hideous things many government officials have done (e.g.…

What does the Bible mean when it says God “sent an evil spirit” on certain people?

Question: In Judges 9:23, I Samuel 16:15ff and 18:10 it is said that God sends evil spirits on people. Doesn’t this support the idea that everything Satan and demons do is under God’s sovereign control? Answer: I’ll make six points in response to this question. 1) If everything Satan and demons do is under “God’s…

How do you respond to 1 Kings 8:58?

Solomon prays as he dedicates the temple, “The Lord our God be with us…[and] incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments…” (vs. 57-58). Compatibilists sometimes cite biblical prayers such as this one to support the view that God determines the human heart. If this were the…

How do you respond to 2 Samuel 17:14–15?

“Absalom and all the men of Israel said, ‘The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.’ For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring ruin on Absalom.” This passage is sometimes cited to support the view that God ordains all…

Q&A: If Salvation Depends on our Free Choice, How are we Saved by Grace?

As a companion to today’s testimony and the link to Greg’s thoughts on Romans 9, we thought it would be helpful to post this Q&A on salvation by grace within the Open View of the future. Enjoy! Question: I’m an Arminian-turned-Calvinist, and the thing that turned me was the realization that if salvation hinges on whether…

How do you respond to Ruth 1:13?

Because her husband and two sons had died, Naomi says to her two daughter-in-laws (Ruth and Orpah), “[I]t has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me” (1:13, cf. vs. 20). Some compatibilists cite this passage to support the conclusion that all misfortune is…