Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Are Calvinists arrogant?


My good friend, Stephen Garrett, has an excerpt on his BaptistGadfly blog from Pastor John Piper. See --

Piper on Arrogant Calvinists

While what Piper says may indeed be an observation which is the case with some, we must say that "Calvinists" do not have a franchise on "arrogance." After being around practically all sorts of professing Christians over the years, I would be reluctant to put the professing "Calvinists" alone in the "arrogance" column.

As for Brother Piper's observations, I would much prefer that he exposed the Hybrid Calvinist heresies which parade as "Calvinism" rather than the alleged arrogance of "Calvinists." He often "runs with" a crowd which teaches the "Reformed" Pedobaptist Hybrid Calvinist heresy of "born again before faith," and that is much more worthy of refutation than arrogance is worthy of rebuke.

I personally am not bothered very much by the arrogance of any religious or theological sect or group. I do not hold it against a group if some manifest some degree of arrogance, for we all can be and perhaps have been guilty of arrogance. In fact, if we are not careful we might become rather arrogant when we get too tough on what we see as arrogance in others!

Rather than focusing on what might be seen in some cases as arrogance, I prefer to focus more on what I perceive to be the mistakes or errors of the teachings held by the alleged arrogant party. Their arrogance does not really constitute a refutation of their error, nor does it necessarily discredit their view of something.

To be perfectly humble and yet hold to heresy is not really a virtue within itself. In fact, a humble heretic may lead more astray than the arrogant type -- for example, the Pope. Did you ever see a Pope who was not among the most pious and humble persons of mankind? Humility may simply be a tool in the repetoire of one who holds to serious error.

Another thing about arrogance, it does not add one ounce of accreditation to anything as being the truth. Neither does humility. A pious Pope is just as heretical as an arrogant Pope.
A pious Hybrid Calvinist is as wrong as an arrogant one.


At Thursday, May 29, 2008 8:36:00 AM, Blogger Rick said...

I believe it is more blindness than arrogance which distinguishes Calvinists.

Most people from other movements will happily confide to anyone listening that there are facets of their own movement that are flawed or that they don't agree with.

Calvinists can't see errors in their precepts.

They cling to Luther, Calvin, Augustine and Puritan writers like bark to a tree and call it Scripture.

No one should feel too bothered by them once you get an understanding of what their thinking is based on.

At Thursday, May 29, 2008 11:13:00 AM, Blogger Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Brother Bob:

Your good cautions are received. I thank you for them.

Yes, there is plenty of "arrogance" to go around, among all Christians, Calvinists or Arminian.

Still, my whole point is that we, as Calvinists, emphasize "grace," but we seem to show little grace in our speech with others who disagree with us.

I am not saying I am innocent. Yet, God knows that I am becoming more and more conscious of this "sin that does so easily beset us," especially Calvinists, as Piper said.

Perhaps some of us have a "thicker hide" than others. Some perhaps carry their emotions on their shoulders only to have them easily knocked off. All of us are probably more "touchy" than we ought to be, being overly "sensitive."

Still, "grace" should characterize our discussions of serious doctrine.

Personally, I have neither heart nor time to waste with the arrogant soul. That is all I really am saying.

God bless and take care,



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