On Saturday I posted the first part to my interview with Greg Dutcher, author of Killing Calvinism. Below is part 2
5. You mention in the book that some things about our theology make you uncomfortable. You also, and I love this point, encourage us to be real and acknowledge those difficulties. What is the biggest thing about Calvinist theology that makes you uncomfortable?
I try to show that every Christian, regardless of his theological stripe, has some emotional discomfort with at least something. I've never met a Christian who did not emotionally balk at the concept of an everlasting hell, for instance. Of course having some emotional reticence does not threaten the existence of a doctrine so there really is no danger in admitting that we may struggle with certain aspects of our theology. Has it EVER bothered me in some way that God does not choose everybody to be saved? At the risk of having my Calvinist card revoked, I would say have to say "yes- sometimes it has bothered me." A non-Calvinist friend of mine was very appreciative of me admitting that. He told me that too often Calvinists come across as "Stepford" wives who seem robotically at peace with emotionally difficult doctrines.
Of course it is difficult to come to terms with our inability to choose God on our own. We live in a culture where choice is king. We have already made countless free-will decision before our car keys are in the ignition. There is no reason we need to fear admitting that it can be hard to accept the fact that sin has wrecked our will beyond our worst nightmares.
6. How could this book benefit a non-Calvinist?
My hope is that non-Calvinists might scratch their heads and think, "Huh- maybe it's not as much the theology of Calvinists but the attitude of Calvinists that has bothered me so much." Once a distinction is made, maybe they won't throw the baby out with the bath water. Of course I'm not so naive to believe that our non-reformed friends will simply come to embrace Calvinism after one of its advocates admits a bunch of his blunders. But I do hope that they will sense genuine love and respect from a dude just trying to handle his Calvinism well.
7. All of Christendom has decided that the issue of Calvinism will be settled by a wheel-barrow race. You've been chosen to select the two racers for Team Calvin. Team Not-Calvin is championed by John Wesley and Billy Graham. Who do you pick to lead us to victory? And why?
Wow- that's a tough one. To be consistent with Team Non-Calvin, I'll pick a dead Calvinist and a live one too.
I hate doing this, but Spurgeon edges out Calvin to me. Even though I'm bypassing the guy my theology is actually named after, I just can't think of anyone who can beat Spurgeon in eloquence or passion.
Then I'd have to go with Piper as the modern Calvinist. Why? Because he's the 21st century Spurgeon in my opinion. Eloquence, passion- I just can't think of anyone else who can match him in today's pulpit.
Thanks for doing the interview Greg. And I pray that the Lord blesses your ministry and your writing. Thanks for this helpful little book. It’s my prayer that many will read it and that the Lord will use it to expand His Kingdom.
You can get the book here.