Skip to content ↓

Pondering Calvinism

Articles Collection cover image

There have been several times over the past few weeks when I have been challenged on my Calvinist theology. People have not been confrontational, but I believe by-and-large have been honestly seeking answers and have asked my opinion on various matters. They generally come from an Arminian background and truly want to discover the truth on matters of God’s sovereignty, presdestination and so on. These conversations have given me ample opportunity for reflecting on what I believe.

I’ve decided that Calvinism is wrong and am immediately converting to Arminianism.

Just kidding, of course.

The time I have spent reflecting on the doctrines of grace has done much to reinforce my beliefs in Calvinist theology. Above all, I believe Calvinism allows God to be God – it raises Him to His rightful place, while not exalting man above what he deserves. Allow me to give a brief analogy.

When my family was visiting Georgia last week my son, my mother and I visited a small museum in Cartersville, a few miles from Atlanta. The museum had a glass elevator to move people between the two floors and the basement. Because the elevator was glass, we were able to see the mechanisms that drove it. As we went from the main floor to the second floor we saw the huge counterweight go by our window. As we went up, the counterweight had to move down to provide the energy to raise us. Later, when we went back down to the main floor, the counterweight passed us in the opposite direction. When we moved, the weight moved in proportion to our movement.

Now think of yourself and God replacing the elevator and the counterweight. As one is raised up, the other must necessarily be lowered down. There is a constant relationship between how we view ourselves and how we view God. In order to view God as He reveals Himself in Scripture, we must humble ourselves. It is my conviction that the doctrines we know as Calvinism raise God to the highest heights. Arminian beliefs begin to slowly raise man, never making him equal to God, but pulling God down from His rightful position. Arminianism raises man too high, thus pulling God too low.

Calvinism rightly views man as being in the lowest possible position. To exalt God to His rightful place, we must lie prostrate on the ground, faces pressed firmly into the dust. When we can get no lower, God is raised to the place He deserves.

That view of God – a God who is truly sovereign and who stands exalted in the highest – that is the starting point for the doctrines of grace.

I am hoping to have plenty more to say about this in the coming days!


  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (March 2)

    A La Carte: The only way out of our desperate hypocrisy / Are Evangelicals too hard on men? / 9 healthy ways to respond to criticism / Is God disappointed with me? / 4 snapshots of dispensationalism today / Logos and Kindle deals / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Help The Persecuted)

    This weeks giveaway is sponsored by Help The Persecuted. Help The Persecuted rescues, restores, and rebuilds the lives of persecuted believers in the Islamic World through spiritual support and tangible help. Every week, they send out an email with specific, real-time prayer requests of persecuted believers to their global Prayer Network. You can join the…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (March 1)

    A La Carte: Rumblings of revival among Gen Z / Addition by subtraction / Seeing red / Burying the talents of the Great Rewarder / Inviting evaluation of your preaching / Book and Kindle deals / and more.

  • New and Notable Books

    New and Notable Christian Books for February 2024

    February is typically a solid month for book releases, and this February was no exception. As the month drew to its close, I sorted through the many (many!) books that came my way this month and arrived at this list of new and notables. In each case, I’ve provided the editorial description to give you…

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (February 29)

    A La Carte: Is it ever right to lie? / When the “perfect” fit isn’t / An open letter to Christians who doubt / When a baby is a disease / The long view of preaching / and more.

  • A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    A Freak of Nature (and Nurture)

    We are probably so accustomed to seeing bonsai trees that we don’t think much about them. But have you ever paused to consider how strange and freakish they really are?