So, I'm a calvinist. A Baptist and a calvinist. I used to hate that word and everything about it. It seemed that people HISSED when they said it. Much has changed in the few years since I was first so adamantly opposed to the word, the doctrine, etc. I had REAL questions. I had so many presuppositions coming into the issue that it took me a very long time to first, come to an understanding of these truths, then, a love for them, and slowly, a right application of them to MORE than just your Gospel presentation. A passion for Scripture, God's glory, an understanding of my sinfulness, God's amazing grace, etc. So, I'm a calvinist. It's just a term and I'll take it or leave it, but I definitely hold to the reformed view of salvation, believing firmly in the doctrines of grace.
Yesterday, my cousin (great blog, by the way) pointed his readers to a CT article on the topic. It's very long, but when Dustin headed to work, I sat down to work through it.
I think it's well worth your time. And I don't really write that to those of you who are all on the same page, but to dear friends and family who ask the same questions I did. I feel ya. Don't feel like you have to sort through it over night. It can be a tough issue and can keep you awake at night, wrestling with verses, wrestling with all you grew up thinking was true. That's okay. Ask the hard questions. Read articles like this, and definitely keep digging for Biblical answers.
This article will briefly hit on, among other things, calvinism and missions. In my book, those are really GOOD questions. DOES a belief that the Bible clearly teaches election and predestination really quench evangelism and missions? Those are questions you should ask.
I agree with Travis. Harris' quote was noteworthy.
"If you really understand Reformed theology, we should all just sit around shaking our heads going, 'It's unbelievable. Why would God choose any of us?'" Harris said. "You are so amazed by grace, you're not picking a fight with anyone, you're just crying tears of amazement that should lead to a heart for lost people, that God does indeed save, when he doesn't have to save anybody."