Those who follow me on my @weecalvin1509 account on Twitter (as opposed to my more serene @wee_evangelist account) will know that I spend a little bit of time defending the Doctrines of Grace as gleaned from the word of God and articultated in the Calvinist system of thought. The weekend past saw such activity. Note that I italicised the word defending because I seldom go on the attack on this matter. I am happy to state my case and defend it, although there is the odd activity on the break. Overall, I seldom go on a Jihad against rival interpretations.
It strikes me that many of the critics of Calvinism are learning on the job. Twitter leaves it open for folk to come in (including me) and say all sorts of things without any real knowledge of the subject. This is one of the reasons why I am happier defending than attacking. Who am I to say "So and so believes this, that and something else" when I have not really done my homework? I have the works of Jacob Arminius (3 volumes) on my hard drive and being in the .pdf file can quickly transfer them unto my Kindle for easier reading. I have not done so. I have looked up a few things, but can hardly qualify as a critic. Picking out odd quotes without studying context is IMO playing false and loose. Therefore I tend to actually say little about Armininism at all. I prefer to postively defend Calvinism than possitively attack Arminianism and its softer counterparts.
It strikes me, as a defender then, that many of the attacks on #Calvinism are based on what we believe concerning the decree of God. The Westminster Confession (IMO) states it very well. This is the bit (to quote) Spurgeon that often draws the rage of some of our opponents. But please remember, that the very same Confession that gives us the "hard sayings" of the decree of God also gives us the chapter affirming man's free will. In fact, even within the decree of God chapter, it is positively affirmed that, when decreeing, God at no time ever authored any sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. (Paragraph one) This chapter on Man's Free Will is as fundamental to the whole Calvinist interpretation as is the chapter on the divine decree. You cannot have one without the other. Yet many of the debates on Calvinism are one sided as if the Westminster theologians never spoke on the matter or (worse still) actually denied it.
No one is under any obligation to defend what he does not believe. Sometimes I regret getting into some debates. Hence I have to fall back on wearied statements like this i.e. "The rabbit chasing is over."
Moral: If you are going to attack, then do your homework. It does not send out the right signal if you are attacking from what becomes painfuly obvious as a platform of ignorance. If you are not prepared to do your homework, then sit back and defend.
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