From reading the far too large amount of blogs and from reading our Baptist state newspapers, one would surmise that the great plague of our Convention is not unfaithfulness to Scripture but those who hold to the Doctrines of Grace — also known as Calvinism. Jerry who moderates the SBC Outhouse noted in the comments section of a blog entry called “Hubris, Hubris, Hubris!!!” that “no SBC seminary president should ever be a five-point Calvinist.” One fellow in our state Baptist newspaper lamented all the hyper-Calvinists in our SBC who are dividing our churches. And in probably the most distasteful of all responses to Calvinism (or should I say the misunderstanding therein) goes to Dr. Ergun Caner, President of Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, VA, who comes up with a spiteful book cover entitled “A Potter’s Hatred: Learning to Love the Hatred of God — a Celebration of Reprobation.” Dr. Caner and Dr. James A White of Alpha Omega Ministries were to debate Calvinism vs. non-Calvinism. Yet the debate never occurred and Caner ended up sadly representing Liberty University with his rhetoric and misrepresentations of the Doctrines of Grace. More on that in a later post.
Our first inclination should be to step back and say, “Hold on! We need to clear up some terms here to cut through this myriad of misconceptions.” Over the next few days, I’ll spend some time dealing with one misperception at a time. But my desire is to show that Calvinism is not a pox on humanity nor a plague in the church, but comes from some rather ignored portions of Scripture. We have this tendency to either glance over Scriptures that we find offensive or we tend to redefine some rather concrete terms to fit into our mold.
Next: Misperception #1 — Calvinism says that God is mean.