Yes, John Calvin DID Preach Double Predestination

John Calvin Double Predestination Election Institutes

Well I finally got around to it – I am reading through some of the Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin. I say “some” because the complete work spans more than 1500 pages and deals with some of the most weighty and complex theological issues known to mankind. I have chosen for now to plod my way through the most controversial aspects of Calvin’s writings; the topics of predestination and election.

Most of my friends who call themselves Calvinists are eager to disassociate themselves from the doctrine of “double predestination”. They state that God has predestined some to eternal life, but they assure me that He would never send people to hell. People get there on their own, I am told. And what did Calvin teach? I ask. Usually, I receive some sort of vague answer – like how Calvin’s writings are difficult to understand or how misunderstood he is by other denominations. Ok, I get that. He was an intellectual giant – but what did he say about double predestination and if you don’t know exactly, then why do you call yourself a Calvinist? Continue reading “Yes, John Calvin DID Preach Double Predestination”

Are Protestants Together?

Some time ago, I read the short book Are We Together? A Protestant Analyzes Catholicism written by the late Reformed preacher R.C. Sproul. It was a good read; I thought that Sproul treated this controversy with a degree of fairness and accuracy that was not present in other books that I have read on this subject. He basically laid the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Westminster Confession side-by-side as he worked through the major differences.  Sure, there were some snarky comments here and there but I overlooked these since it was clear that the book was being targeted mostly at people who already agreed with him.

By the time I was finished with the book, however, another question loomed large in my mind. Clearly, a great gulf exists between Catholics and Protestants. Anyone who knows history shouldn’t need much convincing of this. But there is an even more important question that cannot be ignored. Forget about unity among Protestants and Catholics. I think that the Lord will come back before that happens. What about Protestants? Are they together? Are they unified on the important issues? Do Protestants really have a leg to stand on when confronting Catholics? Continue reading “Are Protestants Together?”