Thursday, February 19, 2009

A gentle rebuke to Calvinists

Dr. Alvin Reid of Southeastern Seminary has penned an open letter to those of us known as "Calvinists." Reid does not attempt to dissuade us from our theological views, but rather gives a gracious, and I believe appropriate, warning.

Here are his four exhortations. I agree wholeheartedly with every one of them.

  1. Embrace humility. You have an obvious hunger for truth and for theological depth, which is commendable. But when your love for truth smacks of condescension, even to the point of arrogance, you do no one any good...
  2. Avoid implying that Calvinism and the gospel are synonyms. Sometimes I hear Calvinist speakers argue (or at least imply) that Calvinism and the gospel are identical, and if one does not affirm the tenets of Calvinism he denies the gospel. Not only is this theologically arrogant, it is unkind...
  3. Do not hesitate to call for non-Christians to turn to Christ in faith... I would submit some of you are far better at criticizing your brothers who give public calls for decision than at offering a biblical alternative for such calls. Some of you seem to have a practical agnosticism concerning personal conversion.
  4. In your conferences and other meetings, especially those directed primarily to Southern Baptists, consider involving some speakers who may not agree with you at every point...I would also submit that if we could today see an awakening sweep our land through the work of both modern-day Whitefields and modern-day Wesleys, we could bury a hatchet or two and learn from one another.
These are the faithful wounds of a friend (Prov. 27:6). Thank you, Dr. Reid. May God help us all grow more humble and charitable as we partner together for the Great Commission.

1 comment:

David Squyres said...

Thos are good no matter what someones persuation is concerning Calvinism. It is my assumption (wrongly?) that most Baptist are to some degree Calvinist.