I know the title of this thread is provocative, and probably raised the ire of many of you who have clicked on it for the purpose of seeing what vile and horrid things I may say about Calvinists. I want to assure you, I have no such intent. However, I do want those of you who consistently engage in debate with those who would challenge the revered doctrines of John Calvin to hopefully recognize yourself and seek to modify your behaviors. In exchange, I for one will admit to the truth of much of what Calvin taught, and vow to engage in fellowship rather than division. There is a disturbing (to myself and other solid Southern Baptists) movement among the SBC elite that has been tagged with a catch-all name, the "Young, Restless and Reformed." They are dedicated to bringing Calvinism into the mainstream of the Southern Baptist Convention and making it the foremost teaching of the denomination to the detriment if not outright loss, as some feel, of the traditional understanding of salvation in the Baptist church as encompassed by the SBC membership. Now, I want to say before I continue, I am far more Calvinist than I am willing to admit. When "confronted" by Calvinists who want to condemn me for "rejecting" the Doctrines of Grace as they understand them, I revert to a position that consistently is identified as Arminian by those with whom I discuss them. The problem is, I'm not anywhere close to Arminian. I firmly believe no man comes to Christ without the drawing, calling and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. I firmly believe that there is no salvation for one who is not so drawn, called, and empowered, that man has nothing within him that would allow him to "seek God." The natural man has no interest in seeking the Lord and Creator of the Universe. I am obviously the product of the teaching that led me to Christ, which is solidly Southern Baptist, and which, despite the opinions of Calvinists on this board and elsewhere, is very very close to being Calvinistic in nature. All of this said, I want to get to the point of the the thread: The attitude of most people toward Calvinism has more to do with the mood and attitude of most Calvinists than it does with the solidly founded principles of Calvinist thought. Unfortunately, what I see is exactly what Dr. Paul Owen, a Calvinist in the Episcopalian denominations who teaches at Montreat College in North Carolina, detailed when he wrote a paper earlier this year titled "What is Wrong with the Young, Restless and Reformed Movement?". In a solidly grounded paper, Owen said: The paper makes note of the tendency to equate the gospel itself with the Doctrines of Grace, and the awe some Calvinists express in speaking of when they "first accepted" those doctrines, as though they had somehow come to a deeper, richer understanding of the gospel. Some even claim that a dilution of the doctrines is somehow a dilution of the gospel. There are those on this board who express these thoughts. Owen's critique gets pretty harsh, and many anti-Calvinists will heartily agree with his viewpoint. But rather than dwell on the negatives of the presentation of Calvinism from those who adhere to it, Owen moves on to express why the presentation is wrong. I include the bare essentials of his points below. Check out the link above to get his full arguments on these points. I am sure this thread will be divisive and engender arguments, and I truly wish it would not. What I hope here is that we see each other for who we truly are in Christ: A new creation, beyond condemnation, His workmanship, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, who may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.