Greetings all! I have found that there is a great deal of misconception regarding the doctrines of grace. “Calvinism” has taken on such a different meaning from its original intention (as put forth by the response of the Synod of Dort to the Remonstrance from November 13, 1618 - May 9, 1619) because many people often misrepresent it. On one side we see types like Norman Geisler who call themselves “moderate Calvinists” yet, by definition, are merely Armenians in sheep’s clothing (pardon the pun) and on the other side we see hyper-Calvinists (who never recognize themselves as hyper-Calvinist’s) that pervert the truth to the other extreme. So very often we get so hung up on what something is that we forget to look at what it is not, thus the purpose of this thread. I would like to share with you what historic “Calvinism” is NOT: - Calvinism does not claim that you have to be “Calvinist” to be a Christian. - It does not say that God is the author of sin and evil. - It does not say that men have no will of their own, and secondary causes are of no effect. (See later quote from the 1689 LBCF) - It does not say that men may know the number of the elect. - It does not say that it is wrong to evangelize. - It does not say that men who once sincerely profess belief are saved regardless of what they do in the future. - It does not say that children dying in infancy are definitely damned. - It does not say that God does not command everyone to repent. - It does not say that the grace of God does not work for the benefit of all men. I am sure I have left out many other misconceptions but my point may be contrasted to reading the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith which was very careful to express with clarity such things as the concept of “Free Will”: “9. Free Will God has indued the will of man, by nature, with liberty and the power to choose and to act upon his choice. This free will is neither forced, nor destined by any necessity of nature to do good or evil. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which was good and well-pleasing to God, but he was unstable, so that he might fall from this condition. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has completely lost all ability of will to perform any of the spiritual good which accompanies salvation. As a natural man, he is altogether averse to spiritual good, and dead in sin. He is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself for conversion. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into a state of grace, He frees him from his natural bondage to sin, and by grace alone He enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good. But because of his remaining corruptions he does not only (or perfectly) will that which is good, but also wills that which is evil. The will of man will only be made perfectly and immutably free to will good alone in the state of glory.” – 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith Scripture must harmonize (in other words, it cannot contradict itself) and as such we cannot use one scripture reference to negate another scripture truth. We must analyze our traditions and modify them to bring them in compliance with God’s word.