Defending Calvin With Arminianism
I took AP Western Civilization when I was in high school. I’ve forgotten a lot since then, but I vividly remember the class where we talked about the Reformation. Even though it was a public high school, my teacher found a way to get us talking about Luther and Calvin. In discussing Calvin, we couldn’t avoid a heated conversation about predestination. The class uniformly thought the idea of God choosing people for salvation was ghastly.
But I remembered my mom telling me that “we like John Calvin,” so I felt duty bound to put in a good word for the Genevan Reformer. I raised my hand and, once called upon, explained to my classmates that predestination simply meant that God looked into the future to see who would believe, and then God elected those people for salvation. To my delight, the class seemed quite satisfied with my explanation. think that God chose those whom he knew would choose him was a much easier pill to swallow. Only years later did I realize that I had magnificently defended Calvinism with Arminianism!
Imagine a President…
Imagine a president who was elected who spent all his time talking about his election…he ordered studies on how he was elected…people wouldn’t be happy…right, you are elected to do something…it’s the same thing with our own election.
Predestination and Free Will
The story is told of a group of theologians who were discussing the tension between predestination and free will. Things became so heated that the group broke up into two opposing factions.
But one man, not knowing which to join, stood for a moment trying to decide. At last he joined the predestination group. “Who sent you here?” they asked. “No one sent me,” he replied. “I came of my own free will.” “Free will!” they exclaimed. “You can’t join us! You belong with the other group!”
So he followed their orders and went to the other clique. There someone asked, “When did you decide to join us?” The young man replied, “Well, I didn’t really decide–I was sent here.” “Sent here!” they shouted. “You can’t join us unless you have decided by your own free will!”
Today In The Word, August, 1989, p. 35.
Still Looking for inspiration?
Consider checking out our quotes page on Election. Don’t forget, sometimes a great quote is an illustration in itself!