Debate: Calvinism — For or Against?

I heard about this debate from one of the men attending my church. I’m glad he mentioned it and glad I found it at Ed Stetzer’s site. It’s worth the listen, so play it in the background while you go about your work. I will post comments once I finish listening to it. Also, listen to it and see if there is something said by either side that really challenges your views.

Thoughts? After I listened to it, I saw what the man in my church told me about the debate. Michael Horton, who was defending Calvinism, kept referring to passage after passage, while Roger E. Olson just kept appealing to his logic. Not good.

One point that both Horton and Olson agreed upon were about those who try to claim to be “biblicist” as opposed to being Arminian or Calvinist. I saw this in my series in Answering an Arminian, where that writer tried to claim to be a Biblicist. I liked what both men pointed out is that the moment you open Scripture, read it and begin to interpret it, you start doing theology and that immediately puts you in one camp or the other. so this claim to be a “biblicist” is completely false. No one can just open Scripture and quote it without interpretation.


4 thoughts on “Debate: Calvinism — For or Against?

  1. On being a “Biblicist”, I have used the term, but the only time I do is when I’m countering those who try to tell me, “You’re a Calvinist! You’re following the teaching of a man!” I use it not to say, “I’m a Biblicist and you’re not.” I use it to say, “Let’s drop this ‘you’re following the teaching of a man’ pretense and recognize that we’re both getting our teaching from Scripture.”

    On the other hand, if Michael Horton proved his position from Scripture and Olson proved his from logic, NOT Scripture, that would make Horton a “Biblicist” and Horton … not, right?


    • Hi Stan, yes it would, but I think both are rejecting the term because many who use it, do so just as you said that you didn’t. The implication is that those who are Calvinist or Arminianist are not looking to the Bible.


  2. Dear AOW,I suffered about two Sundays in an Orthodox PC. That was very tlorshy after I trusted Christ as my Savior in a super clear Free Grace church.. My wife and I were naively trying to find a church closer to home and this one had lots of friends who shared my Conservative bent.. After the AM service, the Chairman of the County Republican and Chairman and fellow member of the Rep. Executive Committee (a prominent attorney) and his wife came tripping up behind us, patted me on the back and shouted loudly, Hi Jack, glad to see you, Isn’t it wonderful that God has seen fit to choose us to be saved!! I mean loud and in a crowd!!.They loaded us up with Calvinist books, etc.. I then realized that church was no different than my family Calvinist Presbyterian Church from which I departed as an unsaved teenager 15 or so years earlier.Thankfully the Lord gave me enough discernment that their QPC teaching abrogated the Biblical whosoever wills and passages such as: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2Thankfully we never went back.Thanks for the interesting conversation.. Y’all have a blessed Christmas.BTW, I still visit your blog often and have wondered what ever happened to your friend The Merry Widow?In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack


    • Jack,
      I think you have the wrong blog. I’m not AOW. Thanks for sharing.

      BTW, the verse you quoted, 1 John 2:2 is used by Arminians all the time trying to debunk Calvinists. But a few questions can show that it is being misused. First off, John is writing to Christians, not the world population as is portrayed by Arminians. When he writes that Christ died not for their sins, the original recipients, but to the entire world he was saying that the gospel goes to both Jews and Gentiles throughout the world. He is not debunking election, but showing God’s plan to take the gospel to the world. Secondly, if you say that Christ died for every single person on the planet, then you end up with universalism, for that is what would happen IF Christ had died for the entire world. Ephesians 5 shows that Christ died for … the… church, otherwise known as the elect (see chapter 1). Think about that for a while before you rip that passage from it context.



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