My edition of The Works of Jonathan Edwards begins with “An Essay on the Genius and Writings of Jonathan Edwards”. In discussing the doctrine of moral necessity, the author makes this remark about Calvinism that caught my eye:
[The doctrine of moral necessity] seems far better calculated to cherish humility, to subdue pride, to bring us more immediately into contact with God, to teach us more effectually our dependence on him, than the opposite doctrine. This remark, indeed, applies to all the peculiarities of Calvinism; if abused, they will lead to more awful and terrible perversions of the gospel, than any other system; but if not abused…they are, we sincerely believe, calculated to produce the most ardent and elevated piety, by bringing the soul into more constant communion with God with and with eternal virtues, than the opposite opinions.
Interesting! There’s something everyone can agree with here. If you’re not a Calvinist – or even if you are – you may agree that Calvinism can be abused to twist the gospel more than any other system. Calvinists need to be reminded of this. But if you’re a Calvinist, you probably agree that Calvinism at its best should lead to humility and a close walk with God.
No matter whether you’re a Calvinist or not. Beware of perverted Calvinism. It’s ugly. If you’re going to be a Calvinist, let it lead you to holiness and humility.