Response to a review of “Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist”

Although I do not normally read or respond to reviews of my books, I did respond to this one that appeared on Amazon. It is precisely the puddle jumping techniques that I address in the book. The first is what the reviewer said, and then my response. (We did not seek to correct his grammer etc.)

“The authro misses a lot. He was prejudice against Calvinism and made some wrong assumptions about Calvinism. For example, in the first chapter he assumes that Calvinist believe God predestines some to hell (Which is not true), That men have no will at all (which is not true), and that Calvinists rejoice when these men go to hell. THe only thing that will change my mind about Gods unconditional election (or Calvinism which Spurgeon says is just a nickname) is if God by His divine power changes the words in Scripture. I pray that that godly men will rise up as leaders and take Scripture as it is and do not humanize God. To use the words of Martin Luther “Your God is to human”. What kind of loving God would see His children run to sin and hell and say “Well, I dont want to impose My will on him so Ill let him choose”. THat would be horrible. Yes God has a general love for the WORLD!. But he has a specific love for His elect. The author seems to be a kind and gracious man, but he is wrong.” ((http://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Disenchanted-Calvinist-Disquieting-Realities/dp/1462712851/ref=cm_aya_orig_subj accessed 4/19/12))

Here is my response: Unfortunately my dear brother, each of your comments is inaccurate. First, the author was not prejudiced against Calvinism, but was actually a Calvinist for twenty years. Second, Calvinism’s predestination is either by God’s decision to create some with the intent of not saving them or consequentially by God creating all, allowing the fall, and then choosing only to selectively regenerate some when He could have done so for all; hence, people are in hell because He predetermined to not deliver them–read Calvin, etc.

Third, the author never even suggests that anyone believes that men have no will, but rather explains that Calvinist hold to a compatibilist view of man, which basically means that man’s nature gives the desires and man freely chooses to follow his desire; however, it is God who gives the nature or changes the nature from which the desires flow, and man cannot choose against his nature. To wit, an unbeliever freely chooses not to believe but cannot choose to believe until God changes his nature, which God only does for some through selective regeneration. When He changes the individual’s nature, via regeneration, the person will freely believe, but at that point he cannot disbelieve.

Fourth, the author did not say that Calvinists “rejoice when…men go to hell.” He did demonstrate how it is incongruent with consistent Calvinism for Calvinists to bemoan the plight of men going to hell when it was in fact the God of Calvinism who withheld precisely what they needed to go to heaven. What He gave some was exactly what was needed for everyone to go to heaven, according to Calvinism; therefore, when Calvinist commentators or speakers say that God chose only to elect some to heaven and leave the rest to go to hell, when He could have done otherwise, the Calvinist cannot call that a tragedy or sad since it is the will of God. Consequently, Calvinists don’t, but should according to consistent Calvinism, rejoice for the will of God was done. Calvin, the Westminster Confession, etc., say things like “it was God’s good pleasure” to pass them by etc. Read Calvin who also says it was not passive but actively passing them by. The author sources all of this.

Please, my dear brother, it is fine to disagree, but not to misrepresent.
The author

The reviewer has subsequently removed his review.