Pesky Calvinists?

Scot McKnight asks how you would respond to this letter:

The main reason I am writing is to see if you know anything a person can do in response to hyper-calvinism. Around these parts, we are getting killed by very vocal, self-righteous hyper-calvinists…The problem is that they just are relentless. Absolutely no discussion or compromise. I have had the life kicked out of me at my church this past year by some of these people. For them, it just isn’t good enough to be a solid evangelical who really loves Jesus and wants to serve him. It has to be all about reformed theology.

You can add in your thoughts at Scot’s site.

You can argue with some details in the letter: Is he really talking about hyper-Calvinists? Can you really single out John Piper? But I wonder if there is some truth in what he writes. I speak as one who thinks the Reformed movement has tons to offer the church.

Tim Keller’s words from earlier in the year continue to challenge me:

We can’t avoid drawing boundaries. Everyone does it, and if they say you’re not doing it, then you’re drawing a boundary by saying you’re not doing it. But what matters is how we treat the people on the other side of the boundary. We’re going to win the younger leaders if we are the most gracious and the most kind and the least self-righteous in controversy toward people on the other side of the boundary.

Update: Abraham Piper responds at the Desiring God blog:

It won’t be easy to change the pejorative stereotype that clings to Calvinism, but we can start by admitting that it is accurate far too often. Then we can make sure we are manifestly not self-righteous, condescending, arrogant, unfriendly, or argumentative. Also, you can count on us to buy dinner or coffee sometimes.
Paying attention to those who disagree with us and taking them seriously, even if we’re pretty sure we’ll still disagree, is part of what it means to be in the body of Christ. It’s humbling; it sanctifies. It will make us better husbands and wives. It will make us better Christians, and maybe even better Calvinists.
Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash

I'm a grateful husband, father, oupa, and pastor of Grace Fellowship Church Don Mills. I love learning, writing, and encouraging. I'm on a lifelong quest to become a humble, gracious old man.
Toronto, Canada