Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Calvin's Radical Soteriology!

While preparing to preach on Acts 2 recently, I stumbled across John Calvin's explanation of Acts 2:21 ("And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."). He writes:
God admitteth all men unto himself without exception, and by this means doth he invite them to salvation, as Paul gathereth in the tenth chapter to the Romans, and as the prophet had set it down before, "Thou, Lord, which hearest the prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come," (Psalm lxv. 2.)

Therefore, forasmuch as no man is excluded from calling upon God, the gate of salvation is set open unto all men; neither is there any other thing which keepeth us back from entering in, save only our own unbelief. I speak of all unto whom God doth make himself manifest by the gospel. (Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. XVIII, p. 92)
I don't expect this will silence the don't-confuse-me-with-facts-I-know-what-I-believe anti-Calvinist loonies* running around out there, but perhaps it will equip one or two of you with a useful response.

*This refers to a subset of anti-Calvinists, not all of them. You know who you are. ;-)


d4v34x said...

But its not a choice if you can't chose other than in accordance with your own nature which doesn't want to and would never want to doesn't matter lalalalalalala.

Unknown said...

i didn't know calvin was an arminian!

Anonymous said...


Yes, indeed, Calvin is a radical soteriologist!

Calvin: "It is an awful decree, I confess; but no one can deny that God foreknew the future final fate of man before he created him, and that he did foreknow it because it was appointed by his own decree"

Calvin: "All men are not created for the same end; but some are foreordained to eternal life; others to eternal damnation. So according as every man was created for the one end or the other, we say he was elected or predestinated to life, or reprobated, that is, predestinated to destruction."

Calvin: "In conformity, therefore, to the clear doctrine of the Scripture, we assert that, by an eternal and immutable counsel. God hath once for all determined both whom he would admit to salvation, and whom he would condemn to destruction. We affirm that this counsel, as far as concerns the elect, is founded on his gratuitous mercy, totally irrespective of human merit; but that to those whom he devotes to condemnation, the gate of life is closed by a just and irreprehensible, but [incomprehensible] judgment.”

There’s no rehabilitating Calvin. He is what he is: a predestined nut!


Ben said...

tjp, thanks for delivering Calvin from Josh's suggestion of Arminianism. Had me worried there for a bit.

Anonymous said...


No problem. Glad to help.