Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Jerry Falwell Identifies Calvinism as Heresy
04/16/2007 - James WhiteThe irony, of course, is that not only does Falwell demonstrate tremendous inconsistency in his own presentation, and in reference to his statements of the past, but he does so at an institution that is constantly attacking Reformed theologians as "hyper-Calvinists," while he himself is the one illustrating the nature of what it means to be "hyper" by identifying the views of men like Edwards or Hodge or Spurgeon as "heresy"! Sorry for the quality, or lack thereof, of this clip, but nothing else would work. This is from Friday, April 13th (ironically):
At some point in the past Falwell knew the historical fact that substitutionary atonement is a Reformed doctrine, rejected by Arminians. I do not pretend to understand the process that wipes inconvenient historical truths from the mind, but here you have a good example of its result. What will happen, I wonder, when those high school students keep running across passages like, "Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies" (Romans 8:33), or one of my favorites, "For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen (NIV: "the elect"), that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Timothy 2:10)? Will C. Gordon Olson come up with a new rule of Greek grammar that precludes the translation of the term evklekto,j? Or will Ergun Caner stand on his hands on a stump and yell "whosoever will" loud enough to banish all contemplation of what the term means? One is left to wonder.
Now, of course, Falwell is unclear as to whether he is identifying as heresy only the view that Christ's death is substitutionary and a true propitiation and actually accomplishes God's intention in it (that's called "particular redemption" or "limited atonement"), or all of Calvinism, since he sort of went back and forth and did not use very specific and clear language. But given that his #1 right hand man, Ergun Caner, has refused to apologize for asserting that Calvinists are worse than Muslims, we don't need to worry too much about the details.
In contrast with this, I post again the message for the students of Liberty University from back in November, here. Enjoy!