Why Christian Music Must Die
The Importance of Words

My Calvinist Buddies

You know that your child has reached his teenage years when he begins to assert his or her opinion about things that he used to easily accept. I found that out recently. My son has been studying the Calvinism-Armininism divergence of opinion in his humanities class. This has led to numerous discussions. In the latest, he referred to "you and your Calvinist buddies at Peace Church." He said he had been brainwashed, that he didn't realize that there was an alternative to Calvinism. He argues in extremes at times.

What bothers him is what bothers most folks, that is, the perceived unfairness that God would elect to save some people and not others. Nothing really removes the mysteryof this. To say we are all dead in sin and God resuscitates a few is no good; it is not as if God is unable to save everyone, as in a triage situiation where only some can be treated. God is God; He can do it, but he chooses not to. I can tell him that God is wholly good, but the perceived contradition bothers him. Well, of course it bothers me too,

But he's in good comany. George McDonald, raised on Calvinism, held to God's complete sovereignity yet could not accept the doctrine that God would not save all, that is, he could not accept the doctrine of limited atonement. As Kerry Dearborn notes, "[i]n 'Weighed and Wanting,' he describes feeling as a child that he didn't want God to love him unless God loved all people.''

Truly there are paradoxes here. No one can really reconcile God's sovereignity with our free will. Perhaps it has to do with God's super-dimensionality. All it makes me realize is how much bigger God is than we imagine, and how feeble are our attempts to reconcile his love and justice, his soverignity and our free will, among other things.

But like the good Father He is, He allows us (apparently) the freedom to wrestle with such weighty matters. Maybe I can be the same kind of Father to my son, giving him room to search out these things on his own. I hope so.

Comments