Thursday, February 20, 2014

Exceedingly Bored With the Whole Calvinism and Arminianism Debate



I am bored beyond words (except for the words in this blog post) concerning the Calvinism and Arminianism debate that is raging in some circles of American evangelicalism. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, the debate focuses on God's sovereignty and man's responsibility related to salvation. It's somewhat more complicated than that, but I REALLY do not want to delve into the details here.

I admit to having been involved in this debate a few years ago. I was a die-hard Calvinist in the Baptistic vein. I was also a pain.

The more I think about this issue, the more I see it as a big danger to the unity of the church in this country. While Calvinism/Arminianism is not a gospel issue, the unity of the body is. We should all be much more concerned about the togetherness of the church than we are about specific points of doctrine.

Please understand: doctrine is important. However, different doctrines are more important than others. The doctrine of the unity of Christ's church is far more important than the doctrines of God's sovereignty and man's responsibility.

The night before He died, Jesus Christ prayed in John 17:20-21, "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." Jesus was concerned for the unity of his church. He didn't show too much worry about sovereignty and responsibility.

To sum up, the whole Calvinism thing puts me to sleep. I care far more about the body of Christ acting and living like what it is: the body of Christ.

5 comments:

Dennis Brown said...

The problem is one of framing the debate as either a philosophical question to be answered or a relational issue to be resolved. I think that if you come to the problem realizing that we are in a relationship with one another and with the Holy Trinity then the issues of the debate begin to seem silly.

kbswan1 said...

I think I was predestined to be Arminian.. :)

Craig said...

Eric,

I agree 100% with your feelings. I am right there as well. I encourage everyone now to really think about the total "doctrine" that the early believerrs held and compare it with what we tell people they MUST have today to be a Christian, church member, etc. I hope when you think about these things, as I do, you will have the same thoughts about unity being of utmost importance!

Craig

MikeSnow said...

I just saw a great quote form Spurgeon (don't have the link) where he said that he wanted to be known as a Christian, not a Calvinist.

He has very un-boring things to say that Calvinists will not hear:
http://spurgeonwarquotes.wordpress.com/

Aussie John said...

Eric,
Well said!