Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Response to Jay Dyer on Calvinism (Part 13 of 13)
02/18/2009 - Tur8infanThis is part 13 of the thirteen part series in response to Jay Dyer. The previous part may be found here (link).
Throughout the series, we have seen the Calvinist position explained with respect to each of the eleven accusations leveled against Calvinism, we have seen the accusation refuted in most cases (the exception being labeling us, like Moses and Gideon, as iconoclasts), and we have seen that generally the accusations lead to greater headaches for those within Catholicism.
It should be clear that the headaches for Catholicism are not strictly speaking either an inversion of the accusation (just because, for example, there was a Monothelite pope doesn't make modern Catholicism consist of Monothelitism) nor are they themselves a rebuttal of the accusations (just because Catholicism has some ideas that are similar to those of the Gnostics doesn't - as a matter of logic - tell us whether Calvinists similarly err).
I hope that I have steered clear of making the same indefensibly inflammatory comments that I have been correcting with this series. That is to say, I hope I have not only demonstrated that Mr. Dyer's comments were inflammatory and indefensible, but I hope that in the process of redirecting those accusations, I have limited myself to legitimate critiques of Catholicism, Mr. Dyer's present affiliation.
For me the bottom line is that the Doctrines of Grace, a soteriology of monergism, as summarized against the Remonstrant errors with the acronym TULIP (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints), is what the Bible teaches about salvation. It leads to the position of "compatibilism" namely that God is sovereign in ordaining everything that comes to pass even while man is responsible for what he does. Calvinism is not and does not lead to heresies, precisely because it has been properly derived from Scripture.
After all, that is the one way in which we may avoid error: careful, prayerful consideration and examination of the Bible. Careful consideration of the Bible can include asking our fellow believers for their thoughts and going to commentators (including folks like John Calvin, John Owen, and Francis Turretin) that are steeped in the Word of God. Those writings of our fellow men, however, must always be placed beneath Scripture, since they are fallible, but the Word of the LORD is infallible.
Thus, in conclusion, Calvinism is orthodox because Calvinism is Scriptural. The measuring stick of Scripture is the umpire that shows whether John Calvin or Benedict XVI is the false teacher on any given doctrine.
As Gregory of Nyssa (circa A.D. 335–395) said: "Let the inspired Scripture, then, be our umpire, and the vote of truth will surely be given to those whose dogmas are found to agree with the Divine words." It is my hope that the preceding series of responses have demonstrated to you, the reader, that the vote of truth with respect to each of the issues presented is to be given to the dogmas of Calvinism because of their agreement with, and derivation from, the Holy Scriptures.