I affirm the sovereignty of God in salvation and embrace a Calvinistic worldview where the glory and supremacy of God are the end of all things. Seven fundamental realities compel me to embrace Calvinism, what C.H. Spurgeon referred to as a “nickname for biblical Christianity.”1
- Calvinism is rooted in Scripture. The sovereignty of God over all things, including the salvation of his elect is a pervasive theme in the Bible (Jonah 2:9; Isa. 46:9-10; Eph. 1:11).
- Calvinism upholds the dignity of mankind and his total inability in proper tension (Gen. 1:27; 6:5; Ps. 8:5).
- Calvinism upholds the sovereignty of God in all things (Ps. 115:3; Dan. 4:34-35).
- Calvinism upholds the responsibility of mankind and God’s sovereign control over all things.
- Calvinism upholds the joy of the Creator and the joy of the creature. This God-centered joy is captured in the popular acrostic, TULIP:
Total depravity is not just badness, but blindness to beauty and deadness to joy.
Unconditional election is how God planned, before we existed, to complete our joy in Christ.
Limited atonement is the assurance that indestructible joy in God in infallibly secured for us by the blood of Jesus.
Irresistible grace is the sovereign commitment of God to make sure we hold on to superior delights instead of the false pleasures that will ultimately destroy us.
Perseverance of the saints is the almighty work of God, to keep us through all affliction and suffering, for an inheritance of pleasures at God’s right hand forever.2
- Calvinism underscores the five solas of the Reformation:
I believe that sinners are saved by God’s grace alone because apart from his grace we do not have the ability nor the desire to please him or earn his favor – Grace Alone (Eph. 2:1-5).
I believe that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone apart from any human merit, works or ritual. Genuine faith produces Christ-glorifying fruit in the people of God for the glory of God – Faith Alone (Eph. 2:8-10).
I believe that we are saved by Christ alone, who is fully God and fully man. Christ was our substitute who died for our sins on the cross and was raised from the dead on the third day – Christ Alone (1 Cor. 15:3-4).
I believe the Bible is God’s absolute truth for all people, for all times; it is our final authority for discerning truth – Scripture Alone (2 Tim. 3:16).
I believe in the triune God who exists in three distinct Persons (Father, Son, and Spirit) who created, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and to whom belongs all the glory forever and ever – To the Glory of God Alone (Rom. 11:36).
7. Calvinism is God-centered. “A Calvinist is someone who has seen God in His majestic glory and has been overwhelmed.”3
The world may mock and the world may scorn. But the truth holds fast: I am a Calvinist.
- I deny the notion of hyper-Calvinism which minimizes human responsibility, promotes passivity, and fails to proclaim the gospel to all peoples. ↩
- John Piper, Cited in Tony Reinke, The Joy Project: The True Story of Inescapable Happiness (Minneapolis: Desiring God Ministries, 2015), 6. ↩
- Ian Hamilton, What is Experiential Calvinsim (Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2015), Loc. 202. ↩