Matthew R. Perry

Why All the Angst Against Calvinism, Objection I: They Are Not Evangelistic

In Apologetics, Church Life, Evangelism, Theology on March 14, 2007 at 7:05 am

Among the average Southern Baptist member, the knock against Calvinism is that they are not evangelistic. Some believe that Calvinists have no place in Southern Baptist life because of the emphasis Southern Baptists put on missions and evangelism. With the IMB, the NAMB, the CP, with FAITH Evangelism Through Sunday School, the Acts 1:8 Challenge all prevailing programs within the SBC helping SBC agencies with their Great Commission call, Calvinism just doesn’t fit.

Why does Calvinism not fit, according to the average SBCer?

The first reason is a misperception of the role of God and man in salvation. What is God’s role? Does he initiate the process, or do we? If God does initiate the process, when does he do so? And if God is the sole arbitor of when salvation occurs, where does man come in — if at all?

Some who fail to look into the doctrine of God’s sovereign grace believe that “Calvinism” is a brand of fatalism. Some who are known as ‘hyper-Calvinists’ advocate the idea that God has chosen whom he will, so therefore man has no need to respond to him by faith at all — for God has already chosen him. This is not only untrue to the Scriptures, but exceedingly dangerous.

God ordains the ends of our salvation, but God’s role is also ordaining the means by which we are saved and he also grants us the faith. We know from God’s Word that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). One cannot have saving faith outside of the hearing and responding of the Word of God.

The second reason is a misperception of our ability to respond to God by our own will.

Take the first two words of Romans 10:17: “Faith comes … .” The question to ask is, where does faith come from? The average Southern Baptist says, “From my heart when I see what Jesus has done — I then have the faith to call on him.” I would agree with this — but only so far. But if you recall Romans 3:9-11:

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, [10] as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
[11] no one understands;
no one seeks for God.

None on earth are righteous. In other words, we do not have a right standing before the Creator and Judge of all things — and we have to rely on a righteousness that he gives to us (Romans 3:21). No one understands the things of God either, so God has to give us that understanding to help us understand the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-15). No one even seeks after God, for “all we like sheep have gone astray, each of us turning to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

Not righteous before God.

No understanding of godly things.

No one even seeks after him.

With this, how do we have any hope of being saved? The grace of God.

Ephes. 2:8-10 tells us:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

I use this verse and all the preceeding ones because these are verses with which we as Southern Baptists grew up in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. And I suppose I am also saying that a right and full understanding of these verses would show that not too many SBCers are that far away — and may already be closet “Calvinists.”

“It is not of your own doing, it is the gift of God,” Paul says. What is the ‘it’ that is the gift? Salvation? Yes — but how. By grace? Yes — and why is this grace applied? Faith. Yet, if we cannot seek God on our own, cannot obtain our own righteousness, cannot even understand the things of God, how shall we have faith? Not of yourselves, but this salvation by grace through faith is the ‘it’ which is God’s gift to us.

You may say, “Salvation. Grace. Faith. That’s three things, not one.” I say it is one accomplishment of salvation — the other is just the means by which this salvation occurs.

So How Does an Average SBCer Reconcile Calvinism with Evangelism?

Simple. The pressure is off of us. We are called to “go and make disciples” (that’s still in the Bible — Matthew 28:18). We are called to “be his witnesses” (Acts 1:8). We are called to preach the Good News and call people to repentance to Christ (Mark 1:14-15; Romans 10:13-15).

For the “Calvinist,” those commands are still in place, with one notable exception in perspective: I know that someone getting into heaven is not squarely on my shoulders but on the one who calls. We already know that we are to plant and water, but God causes the growth, yes (1 Corinthians 3:8, ESV)? We already no that “no one comes to [Jesus] unless the Father who sent [Him] draws them” (John 6:44). We already know that “all that the Father has given [Christ] will come to Him, and whoever believes in [Christ, He] will in no ways cast out” (John 6:37).

We are in the telling and persuading and disciple-making business, which God empowers us to do (Acts 1:8a). But we are not in the soul-saving business — that is entirely of God.

So we go and tell and witness and persuade and beg and plead — knowing that God is moving in someone’s heart someone — but we do not know whose. So we tell everyone we can about Christ and trust the Holy Spirit will move where he chooses (John 3:7-8).

——-

Previous posts on “Why All the Angst Against Calvinism?”

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  1. I guess I don’t struggle with the Calvinistic view because I am a Calvinist. You did an excellent job of representing why Calvinists believe what they believe. To me it has always boiled down to the fact that the view is not able to be disproven by Scripture and then that I’d much rather believe it’s through God’s mercy and grace that I have been saved rather than what I or someone else has done.

  2. Amen, Amen, and Amen!

  3. Matt: Good article. One question…who are you referencing in giving “angst against Calvinism”? Everything I hear and read in the SBC is that there is a sweet spirit in making sure that Calvinists are included in leadership and so forth. This is my perspective of course, but I believe the people making “angst against Calvinism” are the moderate and liberal bapitsts who are trying to cause a wedge between the conservative majority in the SBC. What are your thoughts? Thanks!

  4. Don:

    If you will, go to my Introduction section (see the bottom of this blog entry) and you will see some of my referencing. The SBC, as you well know, is a wide umbrella and those who deem themselves conservative also deemed themselves very evangelical. They love Jesus, love their Bible, love his church — yet they see Calvinists as quite opposed to their particular evangelical ministries. In fact, I have a number of folks here at Boone’s Creek who are very conservative but have major reservations about this doctrine.

    In fact, one conservative church who called me while I was looking for a church asked me point blank, “Do you believe in the five points of Calvinism? Folks around here think it’s a cult!” I told him that I didn’t believe I would fit well in that area, then.

    Just my thoughts.

  5. Matt: Hey, good intro and I see where you are coming from for sure. Listen, my take is this. Most of the scuttle against Calvinists SBCers comes from the older generation. In my circles here on the east coast, most of the younger SBC leadership are very inclusive to Calvnists. I attended the Calvinist debate at the convention this past year in Greensboro with Patterson and Mohler and it was great. It was amazing to see that I couldn’t find a seat at either session. And believe it or not, it was very well recieved even if the liberal/moderate state papers hinted otherwise. Lastly, I have heard the older generations talking negative about Calvinists, but when you peel back thier definition, they are referring to hyper-calvinist, who you have already said you disagree with in the above post. I believe that there is much more in common with the two sides (sbc calvinist and sbc non-calvinist) than the liberal/moderate news media would like to report. Thanks!

    Oh yeah, concerning that conservative church that called you…I am not a five point Calvinist and I would have told them the same thing! Good move!!

  6. Here is a short story I wrote which I believe effectively points out the folly of Calvinism:

    http://rdtw.blogspot.com/2007/03/first-mate-calvin-and-captain.html

    And also, I have this piece with scripture supports which speak strongly against the idea that we do not all have the same chance at salvation:

    http://rdtw.blogspot.com/2007/03/reconciling-arminian-and-calvinist.html

    Now, I’ll leave you with this… if you believe that the Bible does not show that man has free will, look at Psalm 78:41

    41Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

    How did they “limit” God? Well, they did it by using the free will that He designed them with, of course. They used their will to thwart His will, because He designed us all this way. He did this so that when we glorify Him, it will be true glory, not something robotically contrived on God’s own part.

    Dan

  7. Dan:

    Sadly, your short story simply comes from a view which seems to say, “I don’t believe in Calvinism, so I’ll write a story which shows why I think Calvinism is silly.”

    Free will will always take us away from God. Even your verse in Psalm 78 says this. Adam had free will — and it went away from God. Free will is proof-positive for our need for redemption and shows we have no spiritual wherewithal in order to make any spiritual decisions. Christ has to intervene. They limit God’s influence in the world by refusing to be a testimony and a witness — they cannot circumvent his will.

    James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

    Also, God’s will and word are set and sure:

    Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
    but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

    So you honestly have a God who is so small and pliable that finite, rebellious, sinful men can go against his will? Wow.

  8. Then what limits God’s will? We know that it isn’t His will that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9) and that He would will that all be saved (1 Timother 2:4)…

    so what factor limits His will? You cannot say that He limits His own will, because that’s oxymoroic.

    Something limits that will. I would say it is man’s God given free will that causes God’s perfect will to be limited when we do not choose Jesus.

    Do you believe that God does not want all of us to be saved?

  9. Well, we could sit and throw verses at each other until the cows crow. But it seems as if you are saying that we are in the driver’s seat completely and totally. It seems as if you are throwing out John 6:37 and John 6:44.

    And besides, the ‘will’ of what’s being accomplished in Isaiah is the difference between the ‘will’ mentioned in 1 Timothy.

    I will just say this — please read my post to see what I believe… if God says in Romans 3 that no one seeks after God, if John 6 says that no one comes to Christ unless the Father draws him (John 6:37, 44), if Ephesians 1:4-5 says that we were chosen before the foundation of the world and predestined (pre-determined) to be in His kingdom before the world began, if 2Tim. 1:9-10 says that God is the one:

    …who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, [10] and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel

    .

    Then you come at me and say that it is God’s will for everyone to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), then which is it? Does God only draw those whom he has chosen and predestined before creation? Or does God simply sit up in heaven hoping and begging for someone to come?

    And before you say it, I will be a bit preemptive: some say, “Well, God chose those who he saw (foreknew) would come to faith?” Yet, does not Romans 3:9 say that “no one understands, no one seeks after God?” Does not 1 Corinthians 2:14 say that the natural man does not understand spiritual things because they are spiritually discerned? You see, when God looked down the corridors of time to see who would be faithful — he would find no one! For no one understands, no one seeks after God, no one has the spiritual wherewithal to come.

    Funny — those who reject Calvinism on these grounds don’t seem to have a problem with God choosing just a small group of the world in the Old Testament. Why didn’t he choose everyone? No one asks that! Yet, God choses his covenant people — beit Old Testament or New.

    So… nothing limits his will, but we tend to limit his influence in the world.

    Some reconciling of verses needs to be done. We can shoot our Calvinist and Arminian verses at one another, or we can take the whole Bible and not put it against each other. Clearly, God has chosen his people before the world began; and clearly, it was not because of faith we mustered up, because we are in spiritual poverty. We will not understand it all, but I’m not going to pick and choose. When I preach and a “Calvinist” verse comes up, I’ll preach God’s sovereign work. When an “arminian” verse comes up, I will take the lead from Scripture and beg them to respond by faith.

    More later.

  10. […] a recent blog entry (”Why All the Angst Against Calvinism, Objection I: They Are Not Evangelistic“) that has just recently caught some attention, I understand the objections against it […]

  11. I do agree that if one is to have a correct understanding of the Bible, that understanding should not have any “problem verses,” i.e. verses that the espouser of that viewpoint would rather not think about–or worse yet write blathering dissertations trying to explain why that verse says something other than what it obviously does say.

    I’m not an Arminian, because I do believe in eternal security. (Most Arminians I know believe you can lose your salvation, which seems rather foolish; God wouldn’t ever consider that you had salvation if He knows in His foreknowledge that you’d lose it).

    I know that some Calvinists (not sure about your own view) believe that the “all men” in 1 Tim 2:4 means “all of the elect.” That just doesn’t make good sense to me.

    Since we know that not every man will be saved, but that God does will (or wish) that all would be saved, the question remains: Who or what limits His will? I believe He gives us freewill, and in so doing gives us the ability to hurt Him, just as we as humans give others whom we love the ability to hurt us.

    I believe that Romans chapter 1, verses 18-21 tells us how God chooses who the elect will be:

    18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    Paul says here that folks who reject God after He reveals Himself to them (through His creation) are “without excuse.” Paul implies that these could have glorified God–and even knew Him, but rejected Him. If Paul knew that these people were totally incapble of responding to God, he would not have commented that they are “without excuse.” This same principle would apply to Old Testament folks as well, I would think. Although no one sought God, He revealed Himself to them all. Some glorified Him, but most did not. Those who did not glorify him were without excuse and were destroyed…

    I realize that there is plenty of scripture that seems to give the Calvinist philosophy its legs (you mention John 6:37, 44). But there are other verses which seem to contradict these–and a good truth model will not have any verses contradict it. We all agree that the Bible is inerrant; man just has a problem understanding many parts of it.

    Ezekial chapter 18 seems to indicate that we have the option to choose good over evil:

    23Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

    I know that Calvinists teach that faith comes from God, as part of our regeneration. But why, then, does Jesus marvel over the “great faith” of some, and lament the “little faith” of others–if indeed He is the one giving and withholding that faith? This just doesn’t make sense…

    Mark 4:11-12 says: 11And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
    12That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

    If man is totally depraved and cannot seek after God, why does Christ strongly imply here that these who are “without” might understand and be convereted and have their sins forgiven? By the way, these described as “without” are, I believe, certain Jews whose time hasn’t yet come… Paul says that Israel has been blinded in part until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in (Romans 11:25).

    I know that we do not deserve eternal life with God. I know that “none seek Him,” as the scripture says… but He seeks ALL of us!

    Matthew 22:14 says: 14For many are called, but few are chosen.

    The Greek word for “called” there means invited. So Christ is saying that “many” are invited, and that “few” are chosen. How would you explain how someone could be invited to communion with God and end up not being chosen? If God’s Grace is irresistable to all, how do we explain the “many” and “few” in this verse?

    It is verses like these which cause me to strongly believe that we do have a very small part in receiving our salvation. God invites, and we must respond. If you invite me to dinner at your house, I can accept or decline the invitation. I did not seek after dinner at your place, but you sought me and chose to invite me.

    To view God as a God who would make reprobate people without any chance at all of receiving salvation, to me, violates the loving nature that God’s word shows us that He has.

    I have learned the most about Bible matters (and other matters as well) from folks I disagree with. They prompt me to examine my own points of view, and they sometimes actually cause me to change my mind. 🙂

    Dan

  12. Dan:

    Just looked up Psalm 78:41 and my version says, “They tested God again and again and provoked the Holy One of Israel” (ESV).

    Then I thought, “Wait a minute, let’s look up another verse.” So I pulled up BibleWorks and looked up the NASB: “And again and again they tempted God, And pained the Holy One of Israel” (NASB).

    Then I looked up the KJV — and lo and behold, there it is! “Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel” (KJV).

    Now, that’s a pretty big disparity — provoked, pained, limited. So I looked up the definition of the Hebrew: It’s the word tavah — to pain, wound, trouble, to cause pain (from Strong’s).

    So, with all due respect, the verse that you used to support your case about man being able to limit God’s will does not hold up… maybe ‘limited’ meant something different back in 1611 than it does now in 2007 (much like the word ‘let’ in Acts in the KJV means to ‘hinder’ whereas now it means to ‘allow’).

    As for the other, you said,

    I realize that there is plenty of scripture that seems to give the Calvinist philosophy its legs (you mention John 6:37, 44). But there are other verses which seem to contradict these–and a good truth model will not have any verses contradict it. We all agree that the Bible is inerrant; man just has a problem understanding many parts of it.

    Yes, but will we throw those clear verses out, or will we find a way to reconcile them based on the clear terms presented? The problem is not accepting the clear Word. There is a God-side to salvation just as there is a man-side.

    When Pilgrim in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress was entering the wicket gate which represented salvation, the sign above it said, “Whosoever will may come.” When he entered, the back of the sign said, “Chosen from the foundation of the world.”

    There is where I stand.

  13. Pained, provoked, limited… what is being addressed there is the fact that the Isrealites would not do as God wished. So he was pained for that reason.

    Now you got to admit that you’re splitting hairs there! 😀

    Whether God is pained or provoked is not the issue… the issue at hand in Psalm 78 is that the Isrealites are using their free will to thwart and aggravate God.

    Why don’t people get this? :confused:

    Since we know that not everyone will be saved, the Calvinist must believe one of the following with regard to God’s will:

    a) God’s will is being limited by God Himself (but this is oxymoronical)

    or

    b) It isn’t truly God’s will that everyone be saved (but this goes against scripture already reference)

    I wouldn’t struggle with that too much, were I you, because John Piper couldn’t answer it either–at least not without sounding rather foolish by saying, and I quote:

    [b]That is, my answer to the above question about what restrains God’s will to save all people is his supreme commitment to uphold and display the full range of his glory through the sovereign demonstration of his wrath and mercy for the enjoyment of his elect and believing people from every tribe and tongue and nation.[/b]

    😀

    The link for the Piper piece is below…

    http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/1995/1580_Are_There_Two_Wills_in_God/

  14. So you are contending that a sovereign (whether a king or God or whoever) who is provoked can have his power limited? President Bush can have his administration and policy criticized and be provoked and pained and wounded — but it does not follow that this will “limit” his will — and this is a democracy. Forget dictatorships!

    I note a sense of smugness in your comments — although you may very well not intend that. You make absolute statements that Piper sounds “rather foolish.” To whom? You? Other Cal-minians (or is that Ar-vinists?)? The Israelites would not do what God wished, sure — but is his ultimate will and purpose with the world being uprooted? Does not Isaiah 55:11 say that God’s will will be accomplished regardless?

    Another sense of absolutes is that “Calvinists must believe” such and such. Who made those rules that these are the only two options? God called a covenant people in the “Old” Covenant as well as the grafted-in “New” Covenant (Romans 11). He did not call them because of their greatness or number, but in spite of that — he called them because he chose to call them (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). Why didn’t he choose everyone in the world in the Old Covenant? Well, no one questions that. Yet we do in the NT.

    Another absolute statement is referenced earlier:

    I realize that there is plenty of scripture that seems to give the Calvinist philosophy its legs (you mention John 6:37, 44). But there are other verses which seem to contradict these–and a good truth model will not have any verses contradict it. We all agree that the Bible is inerrant; man just has a problem understanding many parts of it.

    You seem to imply they contradict. You rightly say we don’t understand them. Why is it that you are so willing to take at face value and questionable context your Psalm 78:41 verse yet seem to be willing to redefine verses with such clear terminology such as John 6:37, 44, Ephesians 1:3-4, Romans 9:14-18, etc. If you’re willing to take ‘limit,’ then take ‘chosen,’ and predestined on their own terms as well — that God chose his people from before the foundation of the world and that he predetermined them. Don’t redefine them based on your own notions.

    If I thought I could limit God’s will, then I guess Paul blew it in Romans 9:14-18 (or did David blow it in Psalm 78:41). We must work to reconcile them rather than redefine them according to our own notions.

    Feel free to have the last word.

  15. I didn’t mean to sound smug… I’m sorry about that, and I see what you mean.

    On John 6:37, I would understand that to mean that all who God gives to Christ will come to Christ. But this verse says nothing of what it is about us, as individuals which causes God to decide whom He will give to Christ, and whom He will not. That is God’s decision (which I think you’ll agree there) but there is something in us that helps Him to make this decision. I would respectfully contend that God makes this decision based on how we use our free will.

    You believe that it makes God look weak if I say that God is pained by our actions. But the only way to understand how a soverign God could be pained by the actions of man is to realize that He–since He is soverign and can do anything He chooses to do–gave us free will to choose him or not choose him. Romans 1:20-21 shows this clearly. God expects us to choose Him, and those who do not are “without excuse.” Now, if God had made me without the ability to choose Him and then burned me forever in Hell because I didn’t choose Him, I would not say that I was “without excuse.” I’d say I had a darned good excuse for being in Hell! No? 😀

    On Romans 9, this is a very misunderstood passage of scripture. My take on it (for any interested) can be found in the body of this document: http://rdtw.blogspot.com/2007/03/reconciling-arminian-and-calvinist.html

    The only way to reconcile all verses of scripture, as you and I seek to do, is to understand that God’s will that all men be saved is being limited in some way. The only way that makes sense is free will–God given free will. He intended to do it that way–so that when we come to Him the love is genuine, not contrived. That should make sense to most of us, since being made in His image we would not be satisfied with contrived love. We want the real thing! And I suppose that God does as well, which is why he made us with free will.

    Christ speaks in Luke 13:34 saying: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

    Why wouldn’t they? Was it not really God’s will that they come to Him? Do we accuse Christ of being duplicitous?

    The God given free will of man is the only way to understand such verses. He allows us to limit His perfect will that we all be saved.

    I’m sorry if I’ve been abrasive. I just found this blog page where the question was asked, “Why the angst against Calvinism?” and I decided to jump in there and share my thoughts. God bless and keep you all…

    Dan

  16. Brother Matt,

    Greetings! Just had a chance to listen to your sermon entitled “The God Side of Salvation” on Ephesians 1:3-14. The sermon was well presented, very clear and concise. The reason that I chose to respond to this specific discussion thread was that your sermon and this thread are about the same topic: Calvinism.

    There was one statement that you made in your sermon that was rather general, and inaccurate. You stated, and I have replayed the audio recording several times to make sure that I get you quoted correct, “There will be people who do not hold to this, this selection, predestination and choosing. There will be people who don’t hold to this because they say, ‘Well,’ same people who don’t believe in eternal security…”

    The problem that I had with this specific statement is that it is untrue. I do not hold to the Calvinistic view of election, predestination and choosing, but I certainly do believe in eternal security. You know that I do not agree with nor support the theology of Calvinism, and this because I have yet to be presented with Biblical support for the claims purported by Calvinism. Perhaps I should clarify my last statement by saying that I have not been presented with Biblical support that has not been “shaped to fit” the theology of Calvinism. Plenty of verses have been shared but these verses were only partial verses or were taken completely out of their original context. This is not a personal attack against you, nor your sermon, for I thought that you did a wonderful job of presenting the points of your sermon.

    Back to my original point…your statement about those who do not adhere to a Calvinistic view of election, predestination and choosing, are the same people who do not adhere to eternal salvation was a little surprising. I did not think that you would make such a general and broad judgment. I do not adhere to Calvinism and find that particular theology to be un-Biblical. I also do not agree with theology of modern Arminianism because it is not Biblical, either. And please do not mistake me for an “open theist” because I most certainly am not. Nor do I have a “salad bar theology” where I pick and choose those things from each school of thought that I like, discarding those I do not, to form a theology that is “perfect for me”.

    In all Christian Love,
    Jeremy

  17. By saying, “There will be people who do not hold to this, this selection, predestination and choosing. There will be people who don’t hold to this because they say, ‘Well,’ some people who don’t believe in eternal security…” it was not meant to be exhaustive. It is a fact that there are people out there who do not believe in Calvinism because they reject eternal security. But not everyone that rejects Calvinism, et al, disagrees with eternal security. I did not say that everyone who rejects Calvinism disagrees with eternal security.

    Hope that clears it up.

  18. I’ve never met a Calvinist who has had any true suffering in this life, and the believers who have suffered do not believe in Calvinism.

  19. Keith:

    I don’t know who all you’ve met — maybe you’ve met ever Calvinist who ever lived. But for you to make such an incredibly general statement about Calvinists and suffering is so undeniably presumptuous it’s hard to know how to comment.

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