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This Either Repels You... or It Doesn’t

Well, here’s further proof that I could never be a Calvinist. If any were needed. Christopher Benson quotes A. A. Hodge:

“The distinguishing mark of Calvinism as over against all other systems lies in its doctrine of ‘efficacious grace,’ which, it teaches, is the undeserved, and therefore gratuitous, and therefore sovereign mercy of God, by which he efficaciously brings whom he will into salvation. Calvinism is specifically the theology of grace; and all are properly Calvinists who confess the absolute sovereignty of God in the distribution of his saving mercy.”– From A. A. Hodge (1877), revision by B. B. Warfield (1893), “Calvinism,” for Johnson’s Universal Encyclopedia (1893), in Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield, ed. John E. Meeter.

I guess one either finds this theological premise repugnant or not.
Peter Ould reminded me on Twitter that this is why many people are Calvinists. And, I’m sure this is true.

I guess this is an example of what Roger E. Olson recently referred to as a “blik”: Bewildered by “seeing as”.

“I have written before here about Calvinism and Arminianism as bliks — perspectives on God and scripture. When I wrote Against Calvinism I didn’t think that I was showing Calvinists some evidence they hadn’t noticed (although that is probably true for some not-so-dyed-in-the-wool Calvinist readers). I was attempting to explain why I see the same evidence Calvinists see and “see” something different. I know some Calvinists believe the same about our disagreement. I routinely invite a group of educated Calvinists to speak to my class on Reformation and post-Reformation theology. At some point in the discussion they usually appeal to some kind of conversion-like experience that gave them a new perspective on God and the meaning of scripture and salvation.This is what John Wesley meant when he said about Romans 9 (as if both sides don’t read it!) that whatever it proves it cannot prove “that” — the Calvinist interpretation. Why? Because IF that’s what it means God is a monster. (Wesley didn’t use that word, but he meant the same thing I mean by it.) He knew very well that he and Whitefield and others saw the same chapter and book and canon. What he thought was that they, his Calvinist friends (and some enemies like Toplady!), were simply seeing it “as” the wrong thing while he was seeing it “as” the right thing (or at least more closely to right). Of course, Wesley did not think these perspectives were incorrigible or he wouldn’t have written his anti-Calvinist rants.”

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