A Much Needed Apology

I have been vocally opposed to the degree of influence that Calvinism has garnered in the recent months in the SBC and to the fact that it continues to be so. My position there has not changed nor has my position changed with respect to the theological posits of Calvinism.

My apology is in the area of practical applications of what I have associated as inconsistencies in Calvinism with the preaching and presenting the message by Calvinists to a lost world. While I have not been one to jump on the band wagon that Calvinists are not evangelistic, I have been critical of the inconsistencies in presenting the gospel through the lens of Calvinism in the pulpit as being inconsistent with what Calvinism actually suggests. Let me explain.

I have been critical of the Calvinist preacher who stands in the pulpit and says to the congregation, “if you are here this morning and are lost and without Christ, then you need to repent and in faith come to Christ, trusting Him and Him alone for salvation.” I saw that as inconsistent with the Calvinist position of total depravity, where those listening individuals are not even able to make that kind of commitment, in and of themselves and no invitation from a preacher is going to change that.

Unconditional election says, God choses who will and will not respond; not the individual in the pew and certainly not the preacher behind the pulpit. Limited Atonement gets even more precise in that Jesus only died for certain ones and only THOSE hearers will respond and their response is not specifically to the message, but to God’s efficacious call. Add to that, Irresistible Grace; it is God and God who alone pulls lost individuals out of the throws of judgment and when He speaks to the lost individual, that individual will respond positively. This is how I see the framework of Calvinism shaping any invitation given by a Calvinist preacher.

Even though I do not agree with the above concepts, I also do not agree that preaching to lost men to repent and come to Christ is inconsistent with the posits presented above because it is true that no preacher (Calvinist or non-Calvinist) knows who is and who is not to be saved in that setting. I was wrong in concluding that a Calvinist preacher should say, “If God wants you to be saved, you will be saved and if He does not you will not be saved.” While I agree that the aforementioned statement may be accurate, it is unfair to state that this ought to be the position of the Calvinist preacher. I have been unduly critical and wrong in that assessment and I apologize for that.

Grateful to be in His Grip!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. A very nice and courteous apology. Duly noted and accepted – at least by me. We are all apt to speak out of turn, when we are agitated during an argument, Thank God, we can seek to make amends for our failures in this respect. If it is any comfort, I have made my share of such mistakes. Would that all who might have observed and noted such shortcomings would forgive me.

    Reply

  2. Bob,

    Very good and to the degree I was in sight, duly accepted. I agree with James above. We all are prone to saying things we regret later. I know I have many times.

    God bless.

    Reply

  3. Excellent duckspeak!

    While I agree that the aforementioned statement may be accurate, it is unfair to state that this ought to be the position of the Calvinist preacher.

    Reply

  4. Andrew, I’m not looking for a controversy, but you seem to be saying that Bob is being insincere. Is that correct?

    Reply

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