Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why I am a Bad Calvinist - Conclusion

A Calvinist is a person who knows he is bad, and knows Christ is good. It's that simple.

In this series I have endeavored to show how a Biblical understanding of human depravity leads directly and necessarily toward a theological viewpoint which exalts the grace and mercy of God, maximally glorifies Him, and gladly rejoices in His exhaustive, meticulous, comprehensive, detailed, enveloping, all-encompassing sovereignty over all things - including the salvation of individual sinners. The five parts coincide with the 5 points of Calvinism.

The trouble with some Calvinists is they have forgotten they are bad. A "good" Calvinist (indeed, a "good" Christian of any sort) has a short shelf life and spoils immediately. Bad Christians, on the other hand, never stop repenting and never stop receiving more of Christ and grace. And when Christ's work in us is complete, we will be fully restored from all the effects of the fall - better than if it had never happened.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Solus Christus!
Sola Gratia!


  1. Thanks Blaine. This series serves as a reminder to myself that I am prone to forget how bad I am (which is strange, because there's plenty of evidence) and that God is good (plenty of evidence for that, too), and it reminds me to keep seeking God's grace in the Gospel.


  2. Thanks for the series. I now have a new way of introducing myself to other Christians (and unbelievers).

  3. Like this?

    "Hi, I'm Eddie, and I'm a really bad Calvinist."

    I'd love to see the reaction. Maybe I'll try it!

  4. This all to focused on self centered belief in God rather than seeking to know God and the power of the mind, body and spirit we are given to use in loving service. Stop with the self deprecation and let's return to the wisdom based practices.

  5. Kimberly,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment and offer these criticisms. You may have a valid point. To help me understand I'd like to clarify a few things, ask some questions, and then hear from you further.

    Granted, the focus of this series is narrow. The aim is not so much self-deprecation as it is achieving a realistic, Biblical view of humanity, both theologically and practically. Added to this is a commitment to apply the truth of human fallen-ness to myself first and foremost, striving not to elevate the sins of others in an attempt to justify self. As Paul said, "Christ came into the world so save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all." David said in Psalm 51, "For I know my iniquity, and my sin is ever before me." I realize everyone else is a sinner, too. But I know my own sin firsthand, experientially (though not exhaustively), right down to the inner motives and desires. I don't ever want to stray from the essential knowledge that I am a sinner in need of Savior. This foundational truth is generally ignored (or even opposed) in many churches nowadays.

    Of course, the other side of this (the "paradox", if you will) is that a believer in Christ is a sinner who HAS A SAVIOR. And what a GREAT Savior! You're right that this truth has to be kept at the forefront. If we fail to emphasize it, we can easily lapse into mere self-deprecation. I added just a hint of it with this statement: Bad Christians . . . never stop repenting and never stop receiving more of Christ and grace. That is the proper result of knowing our sinfulness. I believe a Biblical understanding of our depravity is what keeps us repenting and receiving God's power to live. It keeps us reveling in the forgiveness and grace we've been given.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "self centered belief in God." Also, what do you mean by "return to the wisdom based practices." ? How would this look different from what I have written? These questions are not an argument, but arise from genuine curiosity.

    I appreciate your comment. Please follow up with further questions if I'm missing something, and definitely expound a little more on your suggestions so I can understand better.

    Grace & peace,


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