I have a friend who says, “Calvinism is the most ridiculous system of thought ever forced upon scripture.”
While I’m not as strident in my assessment, I do wholeheartedly reject Calvinism, especially two of their key positions:
Unlike Calvinists, I do not believe that God predestined every single thing we will ever do in our lives before we were born. Rather, we have free will, which means we make choices every day which, when paired with God’s activity in our lives, shape our future. In other words, I believe God has a plan for our lives, but we help bring that plan into reality.
Unlike Calvinists, I do not believe that once we become Christians, we cannot lose our salvation. I believe it is almost impossible to do so, but I do believe that it is possible. In the same way we have the free will to choose the gift of salvation offered us, we have the free will to reject the gift of salvation offered us later on.
However, the difference between me and many of my friends who are a part of, say, The Gospel Coalition, is that I don’t call Calvinists heretics.
Brilliant, godly, and passionate Christ followers have disagreed over these issues for a long, long time. I just happen to believe, like great modern-day scholars like Ben Witherington and Jack Cottrell, that the teaching of scripture leads me to different conclusions. (In fact, if you haven’t read it, you owe it to yourself to read Jerry Walls and Joseph Dongell’s Why I Am Not A Calvinist. It does a fantastic job laying out the issues in an easy-to-understand format.)
Despite the impression you’re given in the blogosphere, there are a lot of non-Calvinists out there.
We were just predestined to be a bit less vocal.