Refraining from a Good Book because it was Written by…a Calvinist

babcI can appreciate that the title of this post is a little strange and perhaps some of you are wondering what in the world am I trying to present. I must warn you that this post is going to be a bit more of a rant than anything but there are times when one must express himself in this way.

I always find it fascinating how certain individuals have such a negative view of the doctrines of Grace or as they would call it “Calvinism” that they avoid anything to do with it at all cost. This would even include reading a book by an author who holds to these biblical truths even on topics that have absolutely nothing to do with “Calvinism”. There are some great books available on a wide variety of topics written and beneficial for the Christian by Calvinist authors. For instance, you will scarcely find a better book on the holiness of God than by R.C. Sproul yet, with this anti-calvinistic mindset, you are left with ignoring this great book. Why do people think this way? Well, because in the mind of such a person, if the author is in error about election & predestination then logically  he/she must be in error about everything else. It seems they cannot be trusted. Such an attitude is unfortunate and carries with it a loss of edification and exhortation for this individual. This approach would have one ignore all of Jonathan Edwards or C.H. Spurgeon’s sermons. This person would have to disregard such books such as The Forgotten Trinity by James White, The Beautitudes/Lord’s Prayer by A.W. Pink, Desiring God by John Piper or J.I. Packer’s classic Knowing God. These books are seen almost to the same level as a book written by Joel Osteen! They would be willing to read a 2nd rate book on any of the topics expounded in these volumes simply because of their discomfort with the dreaded “Calvinism”. These same individuals would also never bother to pick up a book on the topic of Calvinism because they have already made up their mind that it is in error. Again, many folks who are this opposed to the doctrines of grace generally know very little about them.

I have been blessed by books that were written by author’s that I do not agree with their theological presuppositions. An example of this is authors such as Douglas Wilson. I would not agree with his Federal Vision theology however Mr. Wilson’s books on Marriage, raising children or even on atheism have been a tremendous blessing to me. Obviously, it required me to read these books with a deciphering mind however to ignore these books would have meant a loss of learning and exhortation. I have also been blessed by non-calvinistic books by Norman Geisler or Ron Rhodes and have greatly benefited from their materials even all the while disagreeing with many of their doctrines.

I guess this topic demonstrates that there are many Christians not comfortable with their beliefs. They are intimidated by Calvinist authors and they are afraid to be influenced by these seemingly influential doctrines. These folks would see us, not as brethren in Christ, but as deceived individuals through whom there can be no benefit in learning from us.

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2 thoughts on “Refraining from a Good Book because it was Written by…a Calvinist

  1. I would not call this ranting. It is the truth and a challenge to those who are so narrow minded that they cannot realize we are able to benefit from dialogue with many Christian communities and learn new truths. No one community of believers has a monopoly on all the truths of scripture.

  2. We can certainly learn from others and I believe we should. There are people who are very easily swayed so I would recommend that they be more cautious when picking reading materials. Most “Calvinists” are reputable people who are well respected biblical scholars and have provided fantastic materials throughout the last few hundred years. Boggles my mind!

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