Naked Calvinism: presuppositionalism

Most Calvinists keep saying that people are generally totally closed to God’s invitation to believe in the Gospel owing to their alleged utter depravity.

As a consequence they keep saying that an evidential approach (providing people with arguments for the faith) is doomed to fail because unregenerate humans are too wicked to be receptive.

As a consequence they adopt a presuppositionalist methodology which consists in showing that all wordviews other than “Biblical Christianity” (and by that they really mean Calvinism) are incoherent.

A non-Calvinist fundamentalist offered a response which is really worth being read.

The lack of common ground between Calvinist apologists and non-Calvinists is undoubtedly real. However it is not caused by the total depravity of their opponents but by the willingness of reformed folks themselves to endorse doctrines that no decent, sensible and sensitive person can possibly accept, like God predetermining a person before her birth to become wicked while condemning her to eternal torment at the end of her life as a punishment.

This also underscores the real danger posed by a Calvinist theocracy: if you are willing to buy this, it is really a small step to introduce torture or execution against heretics (which inflict, after all, only a finite amount of suffering) as Calvin himself did with Michael Servetus.

Calvin executing Servetus?

It is no coincidence that the large majority of Islamic movements confess a believe in divine determinism very similar to reformed theology.

Important presuppositionalist.

Cornelius Van Till, Gordon Clark and James White


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7 thoughts on “Naked Calvinism: presuppositionalism

  1. You hit the nail on the head. Why would God create a beautiful human being in His likeness, then have that person live a life of “depravity” and suffer for eternity in hell? It makes no sense to me at all.

  2. Thanks for the article; I enjoyed it. However, it is not immediately clear to me what you mean by: “It is no coincidence that the large majority of Islamic movements confess a believe in divine determinism very similar to reformed theology.”

    How is it connected? Can you elaborate?

    • If I may reply here. My dentist whom I have known for over 30 years is an Egyptian Muslim. He is a kind and good man and not at all given to divine determinism or Jihadist ideology. All religions have their extremists and it is unfortunate that they get all the popular press.

    • Well I was not talking about all islamic movements.

      If you believe that predetermined people to be evil and eternally suffer, it is very likely He hated them from the very beginning.
      These persons have no way to repent and change, because the Almighty forbad that.

      Therefore it seems permissible, even mandatory for Muslims or Calvinists to hate them as well.

  3. This also underscores the real danger posed by a Calvinist theocracy: if you are willing to buy this, it is really a small step to introduce torture or execution against heretics

    Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists all tortured and murdered “heretics” as soon as they had the political power to do so. Singling out Calvinism is not really fair. The actual problem seems to me to be the christian concept of “heresy” itself.

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