Sunday, 23 March 2008


Calvinism strongly affirms that God chooses us before we choose him. The only reason we decide to follow Christ, to trust him for our forgiveness, is that God works in us to humble us, give us a sense of our sin, and make Christ attractive to us. This is the famous Calvinist doctrine of Predestination.
Calvinism therefore destroys freedom. Predestination inevitably leads to a depressing, destructive, life-denying fatalism. God decides who’s going to be saved and who’s not; it’s all his choice in the end. So what’s the point of doing evangelism, or any other human activity at all? We’re just toys in the hands of the cosmic vivisectionist (pardon the mixed metaphor...).
Not according to P. T. Forsyth.
What was it that made the tremendous strength of Calvinism? What makes some form of Calvinism indispensable and immortal? It was this: that it cared more to secure the freedom of God than of man. That is what it found in the Cross. That is why it has been the greatest contribution to public liberty ever made. Secure that God be free. Seek first the freedom of God, and all other freedom shall be added to you. The Calvinistic doctrine of predestination was the foundation of modern public liberty; and, deeply, because it was an awful attempt to secure God’s freedom in Grace at any cost […] We must put God’s free grace first – far before our free thought or action […] Let us be more concerned about the freedom of the Word than the freedom of the Church, or the pulpit. Let us care fast for such a free Word as secures God in His freedom. Let the historic Word of Grace have its way with us. Then the Church must be free. But a Church freedom which, in the name of free–thought individualism, or spirituality, feels itself free to abolish that apostolic Word and succession, is destroying Word,
Church, freedom and future, all together.
P. T. Forsyth, The Principle of Authority: In Relation to Certainty, Sanctity and Society. Blackwood, South Australia: New Creation Publications [Independent Press], 2004 [1913], pg 255.


John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Calvinist site; pls visit, comment., Editor

Anonymous said...

Good post.. Thanks! Come by and visit my blog sometime. I'll be back! God bless!