"Calvinism"--True or False?

Predestination or free will?
Reconciling God's Sovereignty & Man's Free Will

Contents of this page
* poems on predestination & free will * Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer * Theology pages on this site *

Doctrines of Calvinism Examined in Verse. The first stanza of the following was an old Particular Baptist Hymn. The other three stanzas were added years later to show the difference between Hyper-Calvinism and moderate Calvinism.

Old Particular Baptist Hymn
We are the Lord's elected few,
Let all the rest be damned;
There's room enough in Hell for you,
We won't have Heaven crammed.
---author unknown
My poems in general and this hymn in particular offended a Christian who happens to be a Calvinist.  He wrote me and we had a "debate" which consisted of several pages of text.

Go to this A Defense of Calvinism page
if you are persuaded -not coerced-
to read this debate between Kenny Wolf and a Calvinist.

There is also a response letter from another Calvinist concerning the debate.

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We're Not Hyper-Calvinists!
(moderate Calvinists' showing us the "big" difference--a satire)

Some of us were predestined for above,
You know that our doctrine is true;
God's sovereign grace forces us to accept His love,
As for your salvation, there's nothing you can do.

Don't excuse yourself, you've no right to be mad,
For rejecting Him, you're still to blame;
Even if you had free will, you'd still be sad,
Because you were predestined to enter the flame.

Don't blaspheme God, by questioning what we moderates say,
We're not Hyper-Calvinists and we're proud that's true;
Everything was sovereignly fixed before your birthday,
As 4 pointers we can say, "Rejoice, Christ also died for you".

---Kenneth J. Wolf (08/27/91)

(see the end of letter #49, in Captured Thoughts, on the 5 points of Calvinism. 4 Point Calvinists consider themselves "moderates" because they reject the doctrine that Jesus Christ's atonement was Limited to those he had already chosen for heaven (the L in the 5 point TULIP--commonly known as the weak point). Moderate Calvinists believe Christ died for the sins of all sinners, not just for the sins of the chosen few (this is called unlimited atonement or unlimited redemption), but that it can only actually apply to the chosen few--thus the other 4 points of the TULIP stand.)

Other letters in Captured Thoughts dealing with predestination versus free will are:
Letter #51 & Letter #60

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The following five stanzas were written for believers saved by grace through faith, who reject the doctrines of Calvinism.
 


Salvation Is Yours, If . . .
(Biblical truth of the Plan of salvation & free will as I believe it)

We believe salvation is presented to all,
That God is sovereign, loving, just and fair;
That everyone can receive God's gracious call,
Each unworthy soul is approached by His loving care.

We believe man is given genuine free will,
Our Calvinist brothers claim no one can truly reject Him;
They criticize us, because our eschatology is pre-mill,
And point to each of us and call us Arminian.

We see predestination and free will as compatible,
God's sovereignty (as they claim) is not compromised;
The human alteration of God's Plan is impossible,
Calvinists are wrong!, man's not a robot who is mechanized.

God foreknows and predestines, the election of all believers is sure,
When man's will is aligned with His, God gets all the glory;
God's saving grace also keeps the saints secure,
For Christians, there's a victorious ending to the story.

So lost sinners headed for Hell, don't foolishly reject His will,
For you, He has graciously provided The Way;
Jesus Christ died on the cross and paid your bill,
Salvation is yours, if you will receive His Gift today.

---Kenneth J. Wolf (09/13/91)

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The following eight stanzas illustrate how the conflict of Calvinist versus non-Calvinist doctrinal positions between Christians can be an ugly sight.
 


The Christian Baseball Game
(the Calvinists vs. the non-Calvinists)

Did you hear about the recent baseball game?,
Between two theological seminary schools;
The arguing that broke out before it, was a shame,
And it had absolutely nothing to do with the rules.

The Calvinist players boasted rather proudly,
That they were already predestined to win;
The non-Calvinist team shouted just as loudly,
That by their individual free wills, they were the better men.

As a witness to the contest, I hesitate to tell the story,
Of these Christian men and their behavior on that night;
I brought fellow workers to see these men give God the glory,
But the human pride displayed was quite a sight.

Before the game began, I prayed several times,
Hoping something would bring them to their senses;
I can't think of anything for this line that rhymes,
And I'm not very good with my English tenses.

I saw many flaring tempers and heard many harsh tones,
Each side began quoting Bible Teachers left and right;
One quote was about a verse as explained by Professor Jones,
Since the other team despised Jones, this intensified the fight.

"My theologian says this",..."my theologian says that",
This kind of arguing went on for quite a bit;
One spectator said, "Why doesn't a team go to bat?",
And we'll see if one of these proud men can hit!

Here I was sitting with my several unsaved guests,
Who were witnessing how Christians get along;
They laughed as they got up to leave, each of these atheists,
I heard one say, "Now I know the Christian Way is wrong!"

Christian Theologians are an asset to the Church, we all agree,
But these Godly men are still just flesh and bones;
All Christians have a teacher who will help each saint to see,
The Holy Spirit can teach us Scripture, even better than Professor Jones.

---Kenneth J. Wolf (10/01/91)

All of the stanzas on this page, except for the first, were written by Kenneth J. Wolf on August 27th, September 13th, and October 1st, 1991.

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My theology teacher was a Calvinist. I learned theology from a great man who thought of himself as a "moderate" Calvinist.  I believe this gives me a unique perspective on this theological argument!
Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer
This is a picture of Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952), First President of Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas until his death. Somewhere around November 1981, I read Dr. Chafer's book titled "Salvation". This led me to read his entire 8 volume set of books titled "Systematic Theology". It took a lot of discipline on my part to read through this very detailed coverage of every doctrinal area of theology. Completed in 1947, Chafer's Systematic Theology is both premillennial in it's Eschatology (prophecy) and Calvinist in it's Soteriology (doctrine of salvation)(See letter #51 on this site for more discussion on these doctrinal viewpoints).I learned theology from this great Calvinist teacher who exemplified grace in his very life; including his written works and his teachings, singing and administrative work.

Dr. Chafer led me to the writings of George N. H. (Nathaniel Henry) Peters, who completed a 3 volume set of books in 1884, which went into an in-depth study of premillennial eschatology entitled "The Theocratic Kingdom". Through the writings and teachings of Dr. Chafer, I also discovered the works and ministry of John Nelson Darby, one of the leaders of the "Plymouth Brethren" movement out of Plymouth England. J. N. Darby was a strict 5 point Calvinist.

All of these Calvinist men, and many others who influenced them and were influenced by them, had an understanding of God's grace toward us (giving us what we don't deserve--"salvation") and His mercy on us (not giving us what we do deserve--"damnation"). They were Calvinists and I learned much from them and appreciate their diligent and systematic work in the study of the Bible.

But, although I tried, I could not reconcile a just God and the strict 5 point TULIP SYSTEM of Calvinism or predestination as understood by Calvinists (also referred to as "determinism") where-by some are chosen for Heaven, while the rest are predestined for Hell! The poems on this page show, in essence, what they believe and how I believe about what is known as the doctrine of divine decrees.

Thank God for men in the church like Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer.

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Some other theology pages on this web site

A Bibliography of 40 Past & Present
Premillennial and Dispensational Theologians
& some of their works in Biblical Eschatology

A Defense of Calvinism
-- a Debate between Kenny Wolf
and a Concerned Calvinist Reader

A Calvinist Response letter concerning the debate

“The Five Points of Calvinism” by Edwin H. Palmer
A Critical Book Review of a Calvinist Book
The book was sent to me by a fine Christian Pastor
in order to better explain Calvinism to me
after he read my letter to the editor #49
"What If I've Been Wrong?"

Writers Refuting Calvinism
comparing Predestination & Free Will

Letters on Christian Theology
in Captured Thoughts
References to God
in Captured Thoughts

#05 World constantly in state of change

#51 Predestination concept some accept, some not

#60 Why does evil exist?

#73 Christians should not be discouraged

See my Hall of Influence for pictures & profiles

of other Christians who have influenced me.

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