Read the following carefully. It is supposed to be a critique of my theological position found in my book Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist. Please note, this Calvinist and my brother in Christ says all of this without having read my book—this all comes from an interview of my testimony on sbctoday.com —and please note what he says I said, then go back and read the exact thing I said, and then if you want a lesson in rapid-fire ad-hominem arguments well, look no further. Enough said.
The following is an excerpt, and his full “critique” from Tuesday, July 17, 2012 can be found here.
Yesterday I gave my concerns stemming from Part 1 of SBC Today‘s interview with Ronnie Rogers, a career Southern Baptist who claims to have escaped Calvinism – although he was never an actual Calvinist. Today I continue my concerns with Part 2 of SBC Today‘s interview.
Rogers follows the established game plan of the not-so-traditional “Traditionalists” in the SBC who eschew the doctrine of our founders. Step 1, build a Calvinist straw man. Step 2, torch it and watch it burn. Step 3, claim – as does Peter Lumpkins (LOL) that you were once a Calvinist or raised a Calvinist and you’ve seen the light in order to gain credibility.
I have rarely, if ever, met a Southern Baptist who was violently opposed to Calvinism not say “I was raised in that” or “I use to think that way.” Usually upon investigation, their upbringing was not the slightest bit Calvinistic and they still do not understand even the basic elements of Calvinism. This is illustrated by Roger’s claim that he was a “four-point Calvinist.” No self-respecting Calvinist would tell you there was such a thing.
In short, Rogers was no more a Calvinist that Ergun Caner was a Muslim.
And yet, the interview (concerning Rogers’ book) is replete with the same propaganda. Notice Rogers’ story. In part 1, Rogers became a Calvinist by reading books by men. In part 2, Rogers became a semi-Pelagian by reading the Bible. This is keeping with the broad stereotype that Calvinists “have the doctrine of a man” and non-Calvinists are “Biblicists.” Rogers credits his “exposition” (using a term most popular among Calvinists, by the way) with his moving away from the doctrine of God’s sovereignty.
“Then I actually began to believe that Calvinism was wrong with regard to a growing number of things, e.g., the love of God for the lost, the nature of God, God desiring the vast majority of His creation to go to hell, Lamb’s book of Life, God’s complicity in the “good faith offer” and the inadequacy of overloading verses like John 6:37 (all that the father gives will come) with more than is there and concomitantly forgetting what is required, but is not there — Christ dying so not just a transaction. The simple reading of Scripture seemed to diverge from the tenets of Calvinism if I would let it do so.”
Here, I have to wonder if Rogers’ ever understood Calvinist doctrine at all (I jest; it’s clear he did not). Calvinists do not (typically) argue that God does not in any capacity love the lost, but rather God is not obligated to love every person salvifically or in the same capacity. I love my neighbor. I love my wife much differently. I wonder if any reasonable-minded Arminian or Pelagian would argue that Jesus loves Judas and Pharaoh to the same degree He loves His bride, the church. We would argue that God looks down and loves the world as a whole, and yet He reserves His right to hate individuals as He so chooses (Esau, the Ammorites, and “all those who do iniquity” just to name a few). If Rogers was a Calvinist, why is he straw-maning us?
We also see from Rogers the typical appeals-to-emotion that form the substance of the Arminian argument. He just couldn’t believe that “God desires the vast majority of His creation to go to Hell.” Someone with a firm academic understanding of Calvinism and who has been converted from Calvinism through a solid exposition of Scripture wouldn’t need to lean so heavily on such purposefully-inflammatory (and misleading) mischaracterizations of Calvinist doctrine. When Rogers was a “four-point Calvinist” did he phrase it such a way? How about “God desires to demonstrate His glory by distributing justice to some and grace to others?”
Oh my! Although I have been misquoted before, this brother holds the record for the most times in such a brief span of time.
Below is a link to an actual review or Reflections by someone who read the book and is responding to a critique by James White.