"Not Willing That Any Should Perish"
A critical examination of the doctrine of Determinism as taught by Augustine, Calvin, Luther et al., but particularly as set forth by Calvinism's Five Points: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and the Perseverance of the Saints.
Man's Free Will
The Foreknowledge Of God
The Five Points Of Calvinism Examined
by: Allan Turner
In concluding this study, I should like to quote once more the words of the Calvinists themselves. Commenting on the dark picture painted by the doctrine of Total Depravity, Boettner said: "This side of the picture is dark, very dark indeed; but its supplement is the glory of God in redemption. Each of these truths must be seen in its true light before the other can be adequately appreciated."1 Unlike Boettner and his Calvinist constituents, I accept what the Bible says about the glory of God in redemption. Indeed, the eternal God is my refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms,2 but I totally reject the very dark picture of the crowning glory of God's creation totally unable to positively respond to Him with love and obedience. And what does this dark picture say about Calvin's God? Where is the glory in a God who must, by the constraint of His sovereign will, coerce love and obedience from those under His care? In truth, Calvin's God is nothing more than an ogre, a being of the most brutish sort, taking by force that which has not been freely given to Him.
Is this the picture painted of either God or man in the book of Job? Listen to and learn from the conversation between God and Satan:
Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" So Satan answered the Lord and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" And the Lord said to Satan, "What a complete simpleton you are Satan. Do you not know of my Eternal Decree? Job serves Me because He has no other choice. Even if he had free will, and he does not, he could not curse Me even if He wanted to, and all this because of My Sovereign Will and not because of anything in Job."3
No, this is not what God said! What He said was:
"'Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.' So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord."
Of course, the lesson is this, a man, of his own free will, will serve God and, in general, remain faithful to Him even when he cannot understand why God is permitting terrible things to happen to him. Job was God's servant, and he served Him because he wanted to, not because God had shackled his will and coerced him. He served God with his own free will. He could have cursed God, and there were those who urged him to do so, but he did not, and this was not because he could not, even if he wanted to, because of God's Eternal Decree. No, he continued to serve God willingly even when it looked like God had become his own worst enemy. Now, what was the lesson Satan learned in all this? Was it that Job would continue to serve God because He had decreed that he would, or was it that a man would willingly continue to serve God even if all seems for naught?
Calvin was wrong, and all who espouse his doctrine are wrong. The God they serve is not the One who has revealed Himself in the Bible. They have bowed themselves down to an idol of their own making, created for their own destruction.4 Ironically, and the devil loves irony, Calvinists, who think they cannot be lost, will, if they do not turn from their false system, be cut off (i.e., eternally lost) as a result of their allegiance to a false religious system, a system that impugns both God and man.
It is my sincere prayer that this study will help you to help Calvinists see the error of their system. And, for those of you who have never imbibed this doctrine, it is my desire that this study will assist you in keeping yourselves from idols.5