It is important to know before embarking on a serious study of Calvinism that Calvinism goes by various names.
Sometimes it is called “The Doctrines of Grace” and other times it is referred to as “Reformed Theology.”
This sort of terminology reveals, in my opinion, the pride and arrogance of some Calvinists,for despite the claims of some Calvinists, many people who are not Calvinists still believe in grace, and not all the Reformers were Calvinistic.
Calvinists also like to claim that Calvinism is equivalent to the gospel, and that there is no such thing as biblical Christianity that is not Calvinistic. All I can do is shake my head at such statements…
Anyway, you should know that if you hear people talking about “the Doctrines of Grace” or “Reformed Theology” they are probably referring to Calvinism.
Nevertheless, I believe it is inaccurate for Calvinists to attempt to appropriate the words “grace” and “reformed” for their own system of theology, especially when, in my opinion, many Calvinists know less of grace than their opponents, and numerous others have stopped seeking further theological reformation. ⇦ Tweet that!
Though I am not a Calvinist, I hold to radical, outrageous, scandalous grace (a grace which is more gracious than the grace of many Calvinists), and I believe that as fallen and sinful human beings, we should always be about the work of reforming ourselves and our theology and never consider ourselves fully reformed.
So despite the tendency of some to refer to Calvinism as “The Doctrines of Grace” or “Reformed Theology,” I reject both titles as misleading and inaccurate.
In the posts that follow I hope to show that while I am not a Calvinist, I stand fully within the Reformation emphases of grace, faith, Jesus Christ, Scripture, and the glory of God.
Though I have sometimes joked that I am a two-and-a-half point Calvinist, it is only because I hold to half of each point of Calvinism, which is really no Calvinism at all.
I believe in depravity, but not total depravity.
I believe in election, but not unconditional election.
I believe in the atonement, but not limited atonement.
I believe in grace, but not irresistible grace.
I believe we are saints, but not in the perseverance of the saints.