Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Root of Angry and Divisive Calvinists: Part Eight

This will be the last installment in this series.  Hopefully it has been helpful. 

One of the greatest critiques that has come to this series is the title.  Why in the world would I have titled this Angry and Divisive Calvinists if the real issue is not about Calvinism?  Why bother with the potential vitriol that could come from people on either side of the issue?  There were three main reasons why I wrote this series and titled it the way that I did:

First, I wrote this series for angry and divisive Calvinists.  There really are angry and divisive Calvinists.  Yes, there are those that are angry and divisive in other theological camps as well.  But right now Calvinists are in the minority.  Sometimes when you are in the minority there can be seeds of anger and pride crop up.  I want to see consistent Calvinists.  I want to see Calvinists be known for their grace as much as their doctrine.  So, in one sense I did write this post about Calvinism and to angry and divisive Calvinists.  Calvinism is not the problem angry and divisive hearts are.  But there is a certain way that anger and divisiveness can hi-jack Calvinism and I want to address that.

Secondly, I wrote this series for those who view Calvinism as the problem with angry and divisive Calvinists.  I hope that this series has made the point that the way to help “Mark” is not to change his doctrine but to be a means that the Spirit uses to change his heart.  We can continue to discuss the merits of Calvinism or non-Calvinism and compare them against Scripture.  We can even have very strong opinions and truly believe that the other person is in error and really hope that they embrace the doctrine we hold.  We can faithfully teach what we believe.  But at the end of the day it is the Spirit’s work to mold and shape His children—not ours.  The world doesn’t need to be filled with Calvinists or Arminians.  The world needs to be filled with the glory of God shown through the passionate and single-minded worship of His redeemed. 

Thirdly, I wrote this series for those that have a “Mark” in their life.  Regardless of the doctrine that “Mark” holds so dearly I want to give you encouragement and a few pointers on being a means for his help.  The “Mark” in your life needs the gospel just as you do.  Love him and shepherd him towards the Good Shepherd. 


Perhaps the title was simply stupid.  It is possible that it undercut my entire point.  I don’t think it did—I think it was necessary.  I just don’t see a title like The Root of Anger and Division being something that would hook us and startle us to pay attention.  I told the story of Mark the way that I did because I want angry and divisive Calvinists to see that there are Mark’s and he is a problem.  I also want non-Calvinists to know that Mark’s problem isn’t his theology it’s his heart. 

Hopefully this was helpful…

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