Most of the Calvinists I have met are robustly evangelical and passionate about the gospel. They love the church and have found their soteriological understanding as empowering to their Christian life, causing them to function with greater confidence and courage under the sovereign purposes of God. However, there is a Calvinist here and a Calvinist there, few to be sure, who have provided sufficient provocation to address dysfunctional Calvinism.
What am I taking about, you might ask?
Dysfunctional Calvinism is the practice of embracing human responsibility in converting people to Calvinism but denying human responsibility in converting people to Christ.
Dysfunctional Calvinism likes to play the “sovereignty card” as a “get out of evangelism” exception clause.
Dysfunctional Calvinism gives an articulation of the doctrines of grace without exhibiting grace to those who disagree with them.
Dysfunctional Calvinism embraces “word” ministry to the exclusion of “deed” ministry–that is the love for the truth does not go far enough. Let’s just have another Bible Study.
Dysfunctional Calvinism finds it easier to talk to Christians about election than the free grace of God to sinners.
Dysfunctional Calvinism turns your right theology in a wrong-headed way, sometimes as a heresy hunter/watchdog blogger and other times a tacit gnosticism.
Dysfunctional Calvinism is gospel-centered insofar as it satisfies their intellectual inquiry but does not inflame their affections and transforms their will in becoming “all things to all men that by all possible means I might save some.”
Dysfunctional Calvinism gets mad that I am willing to call out the dysfunctionality and complains that I am not going after Arminians.
Thursday, February 04, 2010