are there different kinds of calvinists?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by nodak, May 26, 2008.

  1. nodak

    nodak
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    As I posted before, I am not a calvinist.

    I have had very little experience with calvinists. The calvinists I have known in real life (very few) were extremely bombastic, argumentative, domineering, fundamentalistic, holier than thou, and very very unloving. All pointed to knowing they were saved by their good works, rather than by their faith.

    From that I assumed their attitudes, beliefs, and actions were reflective of calvinism itself.

    As I have also posted before, we are considering leaving our church. That may mean leaving being a baptist behind, or it may just mean a long commute to church.

    We were visiting a "half Baptist" church yesterday. By that I mean one where, if I understand, it is a community church composed of ABC Baptist and others cooperating due to small community size. I believe (could be wrong) one can maintain whichever denominational ties you prefer among the cooperating churches if you join there.

    The church self identifies as being calvinistic. However, the people and the teachings did not come across as fundamentalist, legalistic, unloving, bombastic, argumentative, or at all unlovely. Rather, it was the most evangelical--how can we serve you--ain't God good and loving and kind--let us also be loving and kind-- bunch of people we have encountered in a long time. It did seem very conservative.

    The service was a blend of liturgical and typical Baptist, with an air of being in presence of a great gracious awesomely loving God.

    It intrigued us. Are there different schools of thought within calvinism?

    Can you point me to resources reflective of this type of thankful servant heart calvinism?

    I admit that I place a burden on you: if posters here come across as the calvinists we have known in the past, I doubt we will get up our nerve to visit there again. Answer carefully but honestly.
     
  2. Jarthur001

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    I'm what they call a "Tall ugly Calvinist", because I'm 6'5. Not sure what they mean by ugly. :)
     
  3. russell55

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    Every group has people who are bombastic, argumentative, domineering, fundamentalistic, holier than thou, and very very unloving. Apparently, in the past, you met some Calvinists that were that way, but there's nothing in the Calvinistic doctrine that should make people that way. In fact, Calvinistic doctrine should do the opposite, make believers humble and loving. You must have met some Calvinists who were truly living out their theology when you visited that church yesterday.

    If you want resources that reflect thankful, servant-heart Calvinism, I can think of no better place than here.
     
  4. Jarthur001

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    The "cold old mean Calvinist" can be true I guess in some folks, but I have yet to meet one. If one does exist, it maybe in the form of a Hyper-Calvinist. I feel however it is a myth that non-Calvinist try to stamp on all Calvinist as being. One needs only to go to a Calvinist church to know this idea is false.

    I'm always think its kinda funny when a new guy begins to post, and it becomes clear that the new guy is out to place those Calvinist in line and have them kicked from all the churches. They must base this on a "how to overcome a Calvinist type of book, for they all use the same logic. If they stick around for more then a month, they start to cool it a bit.

    Then we have others that NEVER seem to learn. :)
     
  5. Allan

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    There are as many different types of Calvinists as there are non-Cals. (which means a wide variety) :)
     
  6. Jerome

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    Why Are Calvinists So Negative? By John Piper

    "...the intellectual appeal of the system of Calvinism draws a certain kind of intellectual person, and that type of person doesn't tend to be the most warm, fuzzy, and tender. Therefore this type of person has a greater danger of being hostile, gruff, abrupt, insensitive or intellectualistic.
    I'll just confess that. It's a sad and terrible thing that that's the case. Some of this type aren't even Christians, I think. You can embrace a system of theology and not even be born again."
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    In the Philippines we have a knife called "doble canto", which means "double edged". Cuts both ways.

    You could be describing some non-Cals I have met, both on this board, and elsewhere (when they're talking about Calvinists).

    You may also add "patronizing, dripping with sarcasm (and proud of it too, as one poster I've replied to this morning indicated in his/her post), self-righeous".
     
  8. David Lamb

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    Your Piper quote, taken out of context, could give the false idea that John Piper is being negative about calvinism. I am not criticising you, as I realise you could not quote the whole article. Perhaps Piper's opening sentences might make this clearer:
    "I love the doctrines of grace with all my heart, and I think they are pride-shattering, humbling, and love-producing doctrines. But I think there is an attractiveness about them to some people, in large matter, because of their intellectual rigor."

     
  9. Jerome

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    Yes, Piper is a Calvinist who admits the reality of and laments the "mean" Calvinist phenomenon. It's no myth.
     
    #9 Jerome, May 27, 2008
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  10. Rippon

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    What do you mean ? :laugh:
     
  11. Jarthur001

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    Thanks for the link, but if this is what you got from the article, you missed the point bud.
     
  12. nodak

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    Perhaps I misunderstand, but it sounds like some are saying calvinism is more intellectually rigorous than other systematic theologies. It sounds like some are saying only "really smart" people are attracted to it.

    Exactly the "stuck up" attitude I have encountered in what few calvinists I had met before last Sunday.

    All systematic theologies, studied in depth, are rigorous. All attract deep thinkers.

    Forgive me if I misunderstand, but sometimes it appears that calvinism attracts egotists.
     
  13. webdog

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    From my experience, calvinism attracts the analytical type. I fall into that camp, and almost leaned that way back in the day.
     
  14. Jarthur001

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    I think this is point of Piper. Once the doctrines are seen, many cannot understand why all do not see it. One can even be driven to become mad, for others cannot follow the logic. This of course is wrong and I have been guilty of this myself. I do not feel it is that Calvinist are smarter. I do however feel it is something that is shown to some believers by the will of the Holy Spirit, and not to others. Maybe its to keep us balanced....I don't know. But each side does believe they see the truth of the Bible and it is my feeling if they saw it the other way they would place aside pride and hold to the other side.

    I understand your point and both sides have deep thinkers as you put it. However, I still disagree with you. A non-Calvinist studies needs not be rigorous, nor even look into a system at all for its believers. A Calvinist must be well read in the Bible in order to know the system, and understand it. This is not to say all well reread believers become Calvinist for they do not. But Calvinism is systematic theology and therefore you must know your Bible to understand it.

    There is a danger as Piper said, of loving the system more then God who made the system. This turns one into a lover of knowledge and not understanding that with no wisdom, the knowledge is worthless. I mean, one could study the Bible and understand much of it, but if the wisdom is never applied to the person, it is a waste of time. TD is not that one cannot understand some things, DT is that man will never see a need to apply to themselves unless God opens their eyes and heart to the truth.

    You have it wrong if I dare say. Calvinism comes when you set aside self-will. This produces a humble worthless feeling when one see they are picked for salvation and cannot understand why. As Paul, a Calvinist sees themselves as the worst sinner, and can think of no reason for God to save them, but still understands He has loved them before they were born.

    Egos can over take the Calvinist as well as the Non-Calvinist. Some extreme non-Calvinist will never give God the credit holding to their freewill (ego) till the end. Calvinist show egos often in debates as if they know more then others, forgetting that all they know comes by the grace of God, and if God had not given them understanding they would not know of the doctrines. So why the ego? Pride.

    Yes Calvinist sin too. You heard it here 1st folks. :)
     
  15. Bob Farnaby

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    Surely the one thing a true Calvanist cannot be is egotistical, after all the basic thought is "God does it all"

    Regards
    Bob
     
  16. jdlongmire

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    Amen, brother - As I see it, the difference between Calvinistic and Reformed (C&R) sytematics and others is that Calvinistic systematics don't blur the distinction between theology and philosophy nearly as much.

    The C&R will bump up against a theological blank-spot and accredit it to our limited knowledge and the mysteries of God (Deut 29:29), wheras other systematics will use science, philosophy, logic, imagination, etc... to "fill in the gaps".

    Now don't think that means we "give up", because you'll find us a Berean in spirit as anyone! It's just that the C&R understands that God's Word is the foundation of knowledge to which all other disciplines must concede.

    Other systematics don't seem to keep that distinction, which is frustrating to the Calvinist.

    So, to the OP - I agree with the contention that Pharisaical, bombastic, overbearing folks will be present in any congregation, regardless of systematic - it is the frequency and duration of tolerance of that type behavior that marks a fellowship. :)

    SDG!
     
    #16 jdlongmire, May 30, 2008
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  17. skypair

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    I think one result of believing that God has created most people to be "without a prayer" for salvation does give the "elect" a great degree of pride -- "vain in their imaginations" I think the Bible says -- definitely believing themselves to be wiser that the rest of us.

    skypair
     
    #17 skypair, May 30, 2008
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  18. jdlongmire

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    This is quite a strawman construct. Calvinists believe everyone "has a prayer" for salvation in Jesus - only the elect will cry out for it, though.

    "...Thy will be done..." is our wisdom and Christ our only boast. :)
     
    #18 jdlongmire, May 30, 2008
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  19. David Lamb

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    Where does this idea of "most" people not being saved come from, Skypair? I have never seen or heard a calvinist claiming to know the ratio of saved to unsaved. Have you?

    The fact that I do not agree with you on this matter does not mean that I consider myself wiser than you. (I don't). Obviously I think calvinistic doctrines are right, or I would not believe them, just as I am sure you believe as you do because you judge it to be right. Surely neither of us is claiming to be wiser than the other?
     
  20. nodak

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    I am absolutely stunned that anyone would think any one systematic theology is more intellectually challenging than another.

    Surely arminianism and free grace are systematic theologies, requiring deep study and strong intellect to really comprehend.

    The idea that calvinism attracts deep thinkers and intellectual people is pure hubris.

    So I guess I answered my own question. Apparently there ARE different kinds of calvinists. Now to research and find out if there are different kinds of calvinism.

    Any answers to that question?
     

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