Zondervan recently published two books dealing with the Arminianism/Calvinism debate. The pro-Calvinist position is presented by Micheal Horton in “For Calvinism” and the counter is presented by Roger E. Olson in “Against Calvinism”.
I’ve just started to read Horton’s offering and his introduction includes this line:
“Calvinism ranks knowing above feeling and doing, doctrine over life.”
The above statement is one of many attempts by Horton to capture common misrepresentations of reformed theology. He’s spot on I think. As an Arminian I have never understood Calvinism and of late I have been very disappointed by many Calvinists.
To me their theology makes God appear overbearing and unloving. Given that they call their central doctrines the “Doctrines of Grace”, I find it not so amusing that many of them don’t seem to extend much grace when speaking to others about differences in theology. They are so committed to their theology, so fine-tuned, so damn sure about everything, that it seems like a theology for academics, not average people.
I am encouraged by Horton’s introduction and Olson’s preface that I will have my heart softened towards reformed theology and its followers. I have met many fine Reformed Christians, including one who introduced me to wonderful aspects of Catholic doctrine. I don’t imagine Horton will make me change my mind, but still, I am open and hope that Horton’s presentation will be superior to the personal presentations I’ve been exposed to thus far that seem to be more interested in division than unity.