Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Are Calvinists Arrogant?

Calvinists, particularly newborn or young ones, are often charged with arrogance. And for a moment, I want to grant the charge. Maybe it is true that Calvinists are more arrogant, manifested to other Christians precisely when a God-centered and grace-soaked gospel and vision of all things is first embraced. Consider this. Maybe Calvinists really are more arrogant. But maybe they were more arrogant before ever they knew the grace of Christ. Perhaps God has chosen some of the most arrogant people on the planet for at least two reasons. First, God's choosing the proudest would highlight his grace, and his freedom and sovereignty in bestowing it. Choosing the worst sinners makes it clearer that such sinners couldn't save themselves (and it certainly wasn't their humble reliance on God that moved God to save them). Second, the proudest of the proud need more humbling, and there is nothing to flatten an inflated self like comprehensive grace, grace top to bottom, front to back, weighty grace, pouring forth from eternity.

So maybe the charge that Calvinists tend to be more arrogant is true. And so they (before becoming Calvinists, of course) are the ones to whom God has often determined to make known the riches and fullness of his grace--to display it more fully and to lay low what is too high. I was and am a proud man. And nothing but sovereign grace could overcome my high arrogance. An Arminian gospel, which I do not believe to be biblical and find repulsive, would make a wretch like me more, not less, proud.

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