History of Calvinism

Written by Andrew Rappaport

February 24, 2024

Why Calvinism?When I was working on a message against sinless perfectionism, I decided to reach out to a well known sinless perfectionism to make sure that I was not misrepresenting the position. He went to our website and concluded that I was a Calvinist and stated that would I not call him a brother in Christ. I informed him that I have never spoken to him before and could not state if he was a brother or not until I heard his testimony and talked to him. So, we started a dialogue where instead on talking not about sinless perfection, he only wanted to attack Calvinism.

It was hard to talk about sinless perfectionism as he a stumbling block of Calvinism. He could not discuss a topic he was most known for because he could not get over his false views of Calvinism. So in an attempt to move the conversation forward I asked him why he claims I am a Calvinist since that is not stated anywhere in our doctrinal statement, but more on that later.

What is Calvinism

Many people have many different views of Calvinism. If you get 10 people from different churches in a room and ask them, you may get 12 different definitions. The most difficult thing with the topic of Calvinism is getting to a right definition. I have found that most of those that attack Calvinism almost never have a right definition of it. It is always easier to attack a straw-man argument, especially if you are talking mostly in an echo chamber of those that agree with your views already. A straw-man argument is when you attack a wrong definition of a topic that is easy to knock down rather than the true definition.

There is a well known evangelist that I used to be friends with that believes I am not saved because I am a Calvinist. He studied the topic for three months reading only the works of Dave Hunt and concluded that Calvinism was heresy and he did not need to read anything from any Calvinist. So I asked him if he believed five different things without using the labels and sure enough, he is a Calvinist himself. Yet, he still writes books about being a watchman against this “heresy”, because he does not understand the proper definition of Calvinism.

In a classic debate I had with RA Fuentes from the Philippines that he asked for on the topic, “Calvinism is Useless and Dangerous”, I exposed that not only was he a Calvinist and he does not understand what he attacks, but that the teachings of Calvinism are necessary to the gospel.

In the first round of cross-examination I went through all five points of Calvinism without using the acronym TULIP. He agree with all five points. Then in the second round of cross-examination I asked him to define: 1) Total Depravity, 2) Unconditional Election, 3) Limited Atonement, 4) Irresistible Grace, and 5) Perseverance of the Saints. He managed to provide a wrong definition to each of those points.

In short Calvinism’s five points are that:

  1. The curse of sin affected not only the thinking and emotions but also humans volition or will.
  2. The God’s selection of who He saved has nothing to do with anything we do, believe or family we are from.
  3. The atonement of Christ’s death is limited to those that believe. The fact that anyone is in hell is proof that it is limited.
  4. The grace of God is completely a work of God and not of man’s acceptance of it (Phil 1:29).
  5. The nature of salvation is that once Jesus paid the price for all our sin at the cross (Col 2:13-14) we cannot lose that gift of salvation (Rom 11:28-29).

Origin of Calvinism

Remember that conversation at I had with the sinless perfectionist? I asked him why he claimed I am a Calvinist, since I did not have that in our doctrinal statement where he claimed that I stated it. He pointed to my doctrinal statement that quotes Eph 1:4.

j”ust as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love” (Eph 1:4) 

He stated that this citation alone is proof that I am a Calvinist. I had to information him that If that verse alone with no interpretation of it proves that I am a Calvinist then Paul and more so God is a Calvinist, so I am in good company. Calvinism did not start with John Calvin and we do not worship John Calvin. Calvinism comes from the Bible we worship God.

We call this doctrine “Calvinism” due to the great work of John Calvin. The doctrines were not original with him. However, he and more so his followers systematized these doctrines into five points that we refer to today by the acronym T.U.L.I.P.

The five points of Calvinism are founded in the Scripture. We already saw that election was from God and He stated that he elected or selected us “before the foundation of the world” (Eph 1:4). This is God’s way of stating as clearly as possible that we had nothing to do with our salvation. He is not only saying that our election was before we were born but before creation.

Many that want to deny the clear reading of the text usually fall into one of two camps. They either claim that election is not individual but corporate, ignoring the personal language in the context of the passages. The other ditch is that try to claim that God looked down the tunnels of time to see who would choose Him and based on that He elected them. That is dangerous because that presents a God that is either not omniscience or not eternal, or both. God knows everything and is outside of time. He does not need to see our actions to know them.

One of the biggest struggles for non-Calvinists is the point that experientially they choose God. However, they ignore that theologically God chose them. We see this clearly taught in the verse that broke me when I used to fight this and then preached through Philippians.

“For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,” (Phil 1:29)

So Calvinism did not start with John Calvin. Its origins are found in Scripture!

However, we can see the teachings of Calvinism throughout history before Calvin.

The Calvinism of Augustine

We can see the five points of Calvinism taught in the writings of Augustine of Hippo:

Total Depravity

Augustine’s understanding of human sinfulness aligns with the Calvinist concept of Total Depravity. In his seminal work “Confessions,” Augustine reflects on the inherent fallen nature of humanity, asserting that all individuals inherit a sinful disposition from Adam. Augustine writes, “For in thy sight there is none free from sin, not even the infant who has lived but a day upon this earth.” This echoes the Calvinist perspective that humans are utterly depraved and incapable of turning to God without divine intervention.

Unconditional Election

Augustine emphasizes God’s sovereign role in salvation, a theme that resonates with Calvinist Unconditional Election. In “On Grace and Free Will,” Augustine contends that humans are assisted by God’s grace to become willing if they were initially unwilling. He writes, “Men are assisted, that they may become willing if they were unwilling, and that they may remain willing if they were willing.” This aligns with the Calvinist understanding that God’s choice in salvation is not contingent upon human merit but is an unconditional act of divine grace.

Limited Atonement

Augustine did not specifically address the concept of limited atonement in the way Calvinists later did. However, he did believe in the efficacy of Christ’s atonement for the elect. He expressed the idea of the efficacy of Christ’s atonement which can be inferred in his work “On the Predestination of the Saints”.

Irresistible Grace

Augustine’s theology includes the notion of irresistible grace, emphasizing that God’s grace works in individuals to elicit both the will and the act of faith. In “On the Gift of Perseverance,” he resonates with the Calvinist understanding that God’s grace is efficacious and irresistible in bringing about the salvation of the elect.

Perseverance of the Saints

Augustine’s belief in the perseverance of the saints is evident in “On the Predestination of the Saints.” He asserts that those predestined by God will persevere in righteousness, and God’s work in them ensures their ultimate glorification. Augustine writes, “And that they should so persevere that they should never depart from that path of righteousness, and never wander at random out of the way of God, He works in them without any fail.” This aligns with the Calvinist doctrine that the elect, once chosen, will persevere in faith until the end.

Augustine vs. Pelagius – The Conflict

Augustine’s teachings led to a conflict between Augustine of Hippo and Pelagius, which represents one of the most significant theological controversies in the early centuries of Christianity. This dispute revolved around the nature of human sinfulness, the role of divine grace, and the extent of human free will. It started when Pelagius was upset that Augustine would pray for what he was incapable of doing. Pelagius believed that if God commands humans to do something like “be holy”, then God also gave the means to obey that command.


Augustine (354–430 AD) was a North African bishop and theologian whose writings profoundly influenced Western Christianity. He developed doctrines such as original sin and predestination.

Pelagius (circa 360–418 AD) was a British monk who emphasized human free will and moral responsibility. He rejected the notion of original sin and argued for the capacity of humans to choose good without the absolute necessity of divine grace.

Key Points of Conflict

Original Sin

Augustine: Augustine asserted the doctrine of original sin, contending that all humans inherit the guilt and corrupt nature resulting from Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Humanity, according to Augustine, is morally and spiritually damaged, and individuals cannot choose good without God’s grace.

Pelagius: Pelagius denied the notion of original sin. He believed that humans are born morally neutral and have the ability to choose good or evil without being inherently predisposed to sin. Pelagius argued that Adam’s sin only set a bad example but did not transmit guilt to subsequent generations. This view is common among all man-made religions, Rabbic or modern Judaism calls it an “evil impluse”.

Grace and Free Will

Augustine: Augustine emphasized the absolute necessity of divine grace for salvation. He argued that human free will, tainted by original sin, is incapable of choosing God without God’s prevenient grace. Augustine believed in a strong form of predestination, asserting that God’s grace is irresistible and granted to the elect according to God’s sovereign will.

Pelagius: Pelagius placed a significant emphasis on human free will. He believed that individuals could freely choose to follow God’s commandments and achieve salvation through their own efforts. Pelagius downplayed the idea of irresistible grace and asserted that God gives commandments because humans have the ability to fulfill them.


Augustine: Augustine held to the idea of predestination, arguing that God, in His sovereignty, has chosen certain individuals for salvation. This choice is not based on foreseen merit but is a divine decision. Augustine’s view of predestination aligns with the concept of unconditional election in later Calvinist theology.

Pelagius: Pelagius rejected the concept of predestination in the Augustinian sense. He believed that God’s foreknowledge is based on foreseeing individuals’ choices and actions, not on a unilateral divine decree. That is not the God of the Bible. This is a God that is not omniscient then.

Councils and Condemnations

The theological conflict between Augustine and Pelagius came to a head in the early 5th century.

The Councils of Carthage (416 and 418 AD) condemned Pelagianism and affirmed Augustine’s teachings on original sin and predestination.


Augustine’s views on original sin, predestination, and grace became foundational in Western Christian theology, influencing not only Roman Catholicism but also later Protestant traditions.

Pelagianism, while condemned as a heresy, continued to influence theological discussions. Semi-Pelagian positions emerged, which attempted to find a middle ground between Augustine and Pelagius, asserting a cooperative model of grace and free will.

The Augustine-Pelagius controversy significantly shaped the trajectory of Western Christian thought and continues to influence discussions on the nature of humanity, sin, and grace within theological circles today.

The Fruit of Pelagianism

What is the fruit of Pelagianism? Orthodox doctrine is almost alway born out of heresy. The fruit of Pelagianism is that we have the works of Augustine defining the issues necessary to combat this heresy and clarify the truth. Pelagianism caused men to stand up and define the truth. The result was that Pelagianism was pretty much dead. The affect of Augustine was so great that those that bristled against Augustine’s teaching on the doctrine of predestination could not hold to the clear error of Pelagianism. Thus, the result was a new half measure of the truth with a view known as semi-Pelagisniam. Augustine provided a death blow to the heretical doctrines of Pelagianism.

The Calvinism of Luther

We will hear a full discussion on this topic later in this conference. Therefore, I will be brief here.

We cannot talk about the impact of Martin Luther without discussing one of the most important inventions in history; that is the printing press. The printing press allowed for wide spread information at a rapid pace. It hindered the Roman Catholic Church’s ability to censor teaching they did not like. The printing press allow for these theological discussions to be had with common people rather then just in the ivory towers. Most notable is Martin Luther’s 95 thesis. However, it did not end there.

When it comes to the teachings of Calvinism, we must speak of the debate between Luther vs. Erasmus, especially with their books Bondage of the Will and Freedom of the Will, respectively. If you have read Luther’s Bondage of the Will but never read Erasmus’s Freedom of the Will, then you cannot claim that Luther destroyed Erasmus’s arguments.

If you read Freedom of the Will then you know that Erasmus spends the first 75 pages explaining that people were asking him to respond to what Luther was teaching but he really does not understand the big deal. It was not Luther who destroyed Erasmus’s arguments. It was Erasmus who did that. He made weak arguments because Erasmus did not care to dig deep to understand the issues. Thus, he served himself up on a silver platter for Luther to easily tear down.

The Fruit of Erasmus

The fruit of Erasmus was the clear teaching of Martin Luther on the doctrines of predestination and the human will. Had we not had Erasmus’s weak argument on the freedom of the will, then we might never have had the clear and definitive teaching of Luther on the bondage of the will. This leads us in another formable teaching that would influence many following generations in the formation of what we call Calvinism. We stand on the shoulders of those that defined this doctrines before us; that is why we say we are reformed and keep reforming. We learn from those that came before us, take what they taught and refine it better and better.

The Calvinism of John Calvin

John Calvin (1509-1564) is consider to be one of the most important theologians in church history. He was a prominent French theologian of the second-generation of protestant reformers. His theological works shaped much of the reformation throughout Europe. Calvin’s Institutes was especial for the development of the doctrine we call Calvinism. We must understand that though John Calvin did more then anyone before him in the development of the defined teaching that we call Calvinism, he was not the final author. It was still further developed by his followers.

The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology states, “Although Calvin was the systematizer of the Reformation theology, since his day those who have accepted his structure of theology have continued to develop many of his ideas. During his own lifetime he himself developed his thought in the successive editions of his Institutes of the Christian Religion. With the writing of various Calvinistic confessions, such as the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), the Canons of the Synod of Dort (1618), and the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (1647–48), additions to and further developments in theological thought have appeared. Various theologians during the succeeding years have also elaborated various points which Calvin had raised but had not fully examined.” (Elwell, W. A. (2001). In Evangelical dictionary of theology: Second Edition (p. 203). Baker Academic.)

Just like Augustine had Pelagius and Luther had Erasmus, well Calvin’s followers had Jacobus Arminius. We cannot say that it was Calvin vs. Arminius as we can with the others because at the time of Calvin’s death Arminius was only four years old. But, to understand this conflict between these two men, we must look at Arminius and his followers compared to the followers of Calvin.

The Calvinism of Jacob Arminius

So let us look at the Calvinism of Jocob Arminius and yes I said that right.

Jacobus Arminius completed his studies at the University of Leiden in Geneva, where he studied under Calvin’s successor, Theodore Beza. He served a Reformed pastorate in Amsterdam from 1587 to 1603, when he became professor of Theology at the University of Leiden, where he remained until his death. Becoming alarmed at “high Calvinism,” Arminius began to raise questions for debate over issues that included unconditional election and perseverance.

We must first remember that during the life of Arminius the doctrine known today as Calvinism, found in the five points of the acronym TULIP did not exit yet. Much of the thought of what I am calling the Calvinism of Arminius was inspired by the writing of R.C. Sproul in his book Willing to Believe.

After the life of John Calvin, his followers continue to expand and expound on Calvin’s teaching in ways that Arminius thought was not faithful to the teachings of Calvin. Sproul and others seem to indict that Arminius may have thought that he was restoring the doctrine back to Calvin’s original teaching.

R.C. Sproul states, “James Arminius was emphatic in his rejection of Pelagianism, particularly with respect to the fall of Adam. The fall leaves man in a ruined state, under the dominion of sin. Arminius declares: ‘In this state, the Free Will of man towards the True Good is not only wounded, maimed, infirm, bent, and weakened [attenuatem]; but it is also imprisoned [captivatum], destroyed, and lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, but it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace.…’”

R.C. Sproul further states, “As a Calvinist I frequently hear criticisms of Calvinistic thought that I would heartily agree with if indeed they represented Calvinism. So, I am sure, the disciples of Arminius suffer the same fate and become equally frustrated. Arminius himself came from a Calvinistic framework and embraced many tenets of historic Calvinism. He frequently complained, in a mild spirit, of the manifold ways in which he was misrepresented. He loved the works of Augustine and in many respects earnestly sought to champion the Augustinian cause.”

Citations of Arminius’s works, according to Sproul, “demonstrates how seriously he regards the depths of the fall. He is not satisfied to declare that man’s will was merely wounded or weakened. He insists that it was ‘imprisoned, destroyed, and lost.’ The language of Augustine, Martin Luther, or John Calvin is scarcely stronger than that of Arminius.” Arminius not only affirmed the bondage of the will, but insisted that man is spiritually dead in his sin with a state that is incapable of choosing God in his natural state. That sounds very Calvinistic of him.

R.C. Sproul also states, “Then Arminius makes an observation that sounds like a sudden departure from Reformation thought. He declares that ‘this work of regeneration and illumination is not completed in one moment; but … it is advanced and promoted, from time to time, by daily increase.’ When Arminius expands on this point, he seems to mean that what is begun in regeneration is continued in the process of life-long sanctification. For example, the divine illumination that occurs at the onset of conversion is a work that continues through the Christian pilgrimage.

“The term preventing grace is open to misunderstanding. To prevent in modern usage usually means ‘to keep something from happening.’ This is not how Arminius uses the term. The word prevent derives from the Latin venio, which means simply ‘to come.’ The prefix pre means ‘before.’ Therefore, preventing grace does not keep salvation from happening but necessarily ‘comes before’ salvation.”

However, there is a pattern we see with people that end up teaching falsely. No one ever wakes up one day and decides to be a false teacher. No, they tend to get some teaching that they “discover” that they think explains better the Scripture, but then they hyper-focus on that one teaching. They start to see this teaching everywhere in the Scripture. Before long they start slowly incorporating little bits of this teaching into other areas not related. Before they know it, instead of correcting the wrong views of others, they double down to defend their view. They often start to make the case for their views and twist the Scripture to try and support them. This behavior blooms the flowers that leads them to go into full blown heresy.

In Arminius’s attempt to “save” Calvinism from Calvin’s followers, with views on things like double predestination and making God the author of sin, he swerved into false teaching, with an over emphasis on the human will. Something that his followers would take much further then he did to answer the development of the Calvinism of their time.

Toward the end of Arminius’s life there was a synod requested to address his later teachings. That synod did not happen during Arminius’s life. He dead before that synod and many hoped his later teachings would die with him. However, that was not to happen. His followers created a group known as the Remonstrants. The Remonstrants decided to develop their own articles of doctrine, the five articles of the Remonstrants. That synod would not occur until nine years after Arminius’s death.

So, it was never really Calvin vs. Arminius because though both men’s teaching was essential to the five points of Calvinism, both were long dead at the develop of the doctrines that bare their names.

The Fruit of Arminianism

What is the fruit of Arminianism? Where we have seen with the others in history that it was two men battling it out between two doctrinal views, with the doctrines known as Calvinism it was not the men but their followers. This was a battle of two schools of thought founded from men that were already dead. For nine years the Remonstrants had furthered their heresies and spread it far and wide, so that it forced the Synod of Dort in 1618-1619.

The fruit of Arminianism was the Synod of Dort, also known as the Synod of Dordrecht. This synod was a significant event in the history of Protestantism, particularly in the development and articulation of Reformed theology. The synod was convened in the Dutch city of Dordrecht from November 1618 to May 1619 in response to theological controversies that had arisen within the Dutch Reformed Church.

The Synod of Dort was called to address the theological disputes between the followers of Jacobus Arminius and the orthodox Calvinists (also known as the Gomarists) who adhered to the teachings of Theodore Beza and other prominent Reformed theologians.

Five Articles of Remonstrance

The Remonstrants developed five articles:

  1. Conditional Election – Election and reprobation are founded on foreseen faith or unbelief. All men have fallen in Adam. Election is based upon God’s foreknowledge of personal faith. The non-elect are left to condemnation for their own sins.
  2. Unlimited Atonement – Christ’s death is for all, but only believers enjoy his forgiveness. In Christ’s penal satisfaction, God desires the salvation of every person, on the condition of personal faith and repentance.
  3. Total Depravity – All humanity is the offspring of Adam, and every child is born in total depravity. The human will is in bondage to sin. Left to himself, no man can or will accept the gospel. Saving faith is the product of divine grace. God must take the initiative in salvation. This includes common, or prevenient, grace. However, many anti-Calvinists today argued the curse of sin affected the thinking and emotions but not the will of man.
  4. Resistible Grace – Grace is the beginning, continuation, and end of all good but is not irresistible. It can and has been resisted many times.
  5. The Possibility of Apostasy – Grace can preserve the faithful through every temptation, but Scripture does not clearly say that people may not fall from grace and be lost.

The Remonstrance sparked significant controversy within the Dutch Reformed Church, leading to fierce debates and divisions. The orthodox Calvinists, led by Franciscus Gomarus, rejected the Arminian doctrines and sought to defend traditional Reformed theology.

Results of the Synod of Dort

The Remonstrance gave rise to group of Dutch defenders of Calvinist orthodoxy and were known as the Conta-Remonstrants. Led by Francis Gomarus, a colleague of Arminius at the University of Leyden, attacked his teaching that the human will is free in matters pertaining to salvation. This great controversy was ignited a year after Arminius died in 1609. The Contra-Remonstrance was framed as a counter-declaration to the five points, which was made public at the Conference at The Hague in 1611. The introduction accused the Arminians of seeking to change the religion of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Some people like to joke that they love Calvinism so much that they would be a six-point Calvinist if they could. Well, the Contra-Remonstrance have you beat if you claim that, because they originally had eight points in their rebuttal of the five articles of Remonstrance.

The Contra-Remonstrance maintained:

  1. All human beings are totally depraved and incapable of saving themselves;
  2. God predestines to both salvation and reprobation;
  3. believers’ children are to be considered as elect, and if they die in infancy, as saved;
  4. election is not based on foreseen faith or deeds, but solely on God’s favor;
  5. Christ’s atonement is sufficient for all, but efficient only for the elect;
  6. faith and conversion are the results of the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration;
  7. the elect will persevere because God preserves them; and
  8. these truths do not breed carelessness, but virtue. (Elwell, W. A. (2001). In Evangelical dictionary of theology: Second Edition (pp. 295–296). Baker Academic.)

After thorough examination and debate, the synod formulated the “Canons of Dort,” which affirmed the orthodox Calvinist position on key theological issues. The canons consisted of five articles corresponding to the five points of the Remonstrance, asserting doctrines that we now refer to by the acronym TULIP. The Synod of Dort officially rejected the teachings of Arminius and his followers as contrary to Scripture and the confessional standards of the Reformed tradition.

The decisions of the Synod of Dort solidified the doctrinal foundation of Reformed theology and established it as the official theological position of the Dutch Reformed Church. The synod’s rulings also had a lasting impact on the broader Reformed tradition, shaping theological discourse and denominational identity in subsequent centuries.

The Synod of Dort’s theological formulations and doctrinal decisions exerted significant influence beyond the Dutch Reformed Church, shaping the development of Reformed theology throughout Europe and beyond. The Canons of Dort, along with other confessional documents produced by the synod, such as the Belgic Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism, remain foundational texts for Reformed churches worldwide.

In summary, the Synod of Dort was a pivotal event in the history of Reformed theology, addressing theological controversies, affirming orthodox Calvinist doctrine, and shaping the trajectory of Protestantism in the Netherlands and beyond.

The Calvinism of John Owen

I would like to take a moment to discuss the Calvinism of John Owen.

John Owen (1616–1683) was a prominent English Puritan theologian and pastor who made significant contributions to Reformed theology, particularly in the area of soteriology (the doctrine of salvation). Owen’s impact on the doctrine of limited atonement, also known as particular redemption, was profound and enduring.

Owen played a crucial role in articulating and defending the doctrine of limited atonement within the context of the broader Calvinist understanding of salvation. Limited atonement teaches that Christ’s death on the cross was intended to secure the salvation of the elect alone, rather than being universally applicable to all humanity.

Owen’s most famous work addressing the atonement is “The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.” Published in 1647, this treatise is a comprehensive defense of particular redemption. In it, Owen argues that Christ’s death was not merely a potential atonement for all humanity but a definite and effectual sacrifice intended to secure the salvation of the elect.

Owen grounded his defense of limited atonement in careful biblical exegesis and theological reasoning. He appealed to passages of Scripture that emphasize the efficacy and particularity of Christ’s atoning work, such as John 10:11, where Jesus speaks of laying down His life for His sheep, and Ephesians 5:25, which speaks of Christ giving Himself up for the church.

Owen’s writings on the atonement were part of his broader theological project of systematizing Reformed theology. He sought to provide a coherent and comprehensive account of God’s saving work in Christ, integrating the doctrine of limited atonement with other key aspects of Reformed soteriology, such as unconditional election and irresistible grace.

While Owen’s theological works are often characterized by their depth and rigor, they were also deeply pastoral in nature. Owen was concerned not only with defending doctrinal orthodoxy but also with nurturing the spiritual welfare of believers. His writings on the atonement were intended to encourage assurance of salvation among the elect and to exalt the glory of Christ’s redemptive work.

Owen’s defense of limited atonement has had a lasting impact on Reformed theology. His arguments continue to be studied and debated by theologians, and his emphasis on the particularity and efficacy of Christ’s atonement remains a defining feature of Reformed soteriology.

In summary, John Owen’s impact on the doctrine of limited atonement was significant both in terms of his rigorous theological defense of the doctrine and his broader contributions to Reformed theology. His writings continue to shape theological discourse and remain influential within Reformed circles to this day.

Modern Calvinism

There are many wrong views of Calvinism the bud and flower today, such as determinism, high Calvinism. Most anti-Calvinists like to define Calvinism with the definition of determinism, that is that God determinism everything and humans have no will or choice in any decisions in life. This a strawman as that is not the definition of Calvinism. However, it is easy to knock this false definition over and it helps to build a platform for many on social media.

Once example from Facebook is from Jeff Kairis: “Calvinists are not responsible for their own actions, God is! So is it no wonder that many REJECT the God of Calvinism. If God is responsible for what they do then God is blamed for much evil that HE DOES NOT DO.”

High Calvinism is a extreme view that some hold to that claims one must hold to the five points of Calvinism to be saved. Those that want to attack Calvinism often refer to these extreme and false arguments, again because it is easy to rebut. Though, both of these attempts to attack Calvinism are dishonest and logically invalid as they refuse to actually address the real definition of Calvinism.

These attackers claim that their arguments are biblical and strong. However, I have been challenging these keyboard warriors for years to discuss it on my Apologetics Live show any Thursday night and they never show. These attacks prefer their echo chambers of bad arguments that never have to be challenged. And when someone comments to their posts they can pridefully attack the person rather than the argument.

These strawman attacks against Calvinism have lead many to a logical conclusion that human free will is a most important aspect of God sovereignly conducts things. This has led to an anti-biblical view that challenges the nature of God, called Open Theism.

Open Theism is the nature and logical outworking of raising the human free will above God’s omniscience and eternal nature. This heresy is the result of trying to defend God’s submission to the human free will, but denies the God of the Bible. The fertilizer of Open Theism flowers into heresy.


Some call their anti-Calvinist views Soteriology 101, but misses the basics of the nature of God and salvation, and while some on still stuck in Soteriology 101 the rest of us have advanced to Soteriology 201, 301, 401, and 501.

Anthony with the tee shirt “Calvinism is what happens when Arminians read the Bible.”

Believing Arminianism makes as much sense and believing in Bigfoot.

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