Much of Church History at Odds with Calvinism (Part 2)

Be sure to check out this article at SEA on the comparative lack of historical precedent in Calvinism as well as some insightful discussion on the origins of Calvinistic determinism:

Church History and Calvinism

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5 Responses

  1. Hello Ben,

    This point about Augustine originating the doctrine of unconditional election is a devastating point against Calvin-ism. I looked at the article and it just further confirms what I discovered in seminary.

    I attended a theological seminary which had very good professors and a great and large and extensive library. It was fun going into that library and researching things because you could find a ton of material on virtually anything there. To my utter shock and amazement when I went to research and find out whether or not Calvinism pre-dated Augustine in 400 A.D., to see the “Calvinist” presence between the early church and Augustine. I found NOTHING, NADA, NIX, not a shred of evidence of Calvin-ism, in the time frame between the first century and Jesus and the apostles and Augustine. That strongly indicates that Augustine invented the doctrine of unconditional election and that he brought this false idea into church history.

    The bible says that all believers receive the Holy Spirit who leads them into truth. If Calvin-ism were true, if it were the teachings of Jesus and the apostles then how do you explain that for about four hundred years no Christian leader or teacher or apologist was presenting or teaching Calvin-ism? The reason that it is completely absent from this period of time is that Jesus and the apostles did not teach Calvin-ism, nor did the early church up until Augustine. Unfortunately, Augustine brought this Trojan Horse into the church.

    The false unconditional election doctrine was injected like a deadly virus into the church’s bloodstream and the church has struggled with and battled against this virus ever since.

    Robert

  2. Robert,

    As I have said before, the issue has to be ultimately determined on what Scripture teaches when properly interpreted. However, if I were a Calvinist, such historical considerations as outlined in that article would make me extremely uncomfortable.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  3. Hello Ben,

    “As I have said before, the issue has to be ultimately determined on what Scripture teaches when properly interpreted. However, if I were a Calvinist, such historical considerations as outlined in that article would make me extremely uncomfortable.”

    My own view is that truth corresponds with other truths, sort of like having one diamond with multiple facets (all different, yet all part of the one diamond). So for me the fact that Augustine invented unconditional election is just one truth/’one “strike” against Calvinism. It is not the **only** truth/strike, but it **is** a strike against it. I would agree that the bible provides the most important strikes against it.

    Regarding the fact that Augustine invented unconditional election troubling the zealous calvinist: I don’t think so. If the bible verses like John 3:16, 1 Jn. 2:2, etc. etc. etc. are reinterpreted and swept aside without troubling them, why should the facts of church history trouble them?

    Robert

  4. I don’t think so. If the bible verses like John 3:16, 1 Jn. 2:2, etc. etc. etc. are reinterpreted and swept aside without troubling them, why should the facts of church history trouble them?

    Right. What I said was “if I were a Calvinist”. And truly, if I were a Calvinist I would find such things very troubling. I would also find passages like those you quote above to be very troubling. So if I were a Calvinist, I probably wouldn’t stay one very long 🙂

    God Bless,
    Ben

  5. Hello Ben,

    “Right. What I said was “if I were a Calvinist”. And truly, if I were a Calvinist I would find such things very troubling. I would also find passages like those you quote above to be very troubling. So if I were a Calvinist, I probably wouldn’t stay one very long ”

    Ben I think again you underestimate what is going on with the calvinists. It is **like** when someone joins a non-christian cult, they act as if and speak as if they have been “converted” when they join the new group. And they join the new group because they have adopted some false beliefs and teachings, and this has occurred as a result of indoctrination. Once in, they are then shown how to defend their new beliefs against errors (with the errors actually being the truth, so they are carefully innoculated **against the truth**). In this they are being further indoctrinated into the teachings of the group. And non-christian cults develop certain stock objections and replies to challenges from outsiders (calvinists do exactly the same thing). So you may claim that you wouldn’t stay one for long, but many zealous Calvinists are quite comfortable with their new conversion experience and the new teachings that they have imbibed. They speak glowingly and joyfully of their conversion to Calvinism the way other Christians talk about their conversion to Christianity.

    Robert

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