Calvinism is Pantheism

499198-John-Calvin-Quote-By-predestination-we-mean-the-eternal-decree-ofJesus was not created; He was begotten. He proceeds forth from the Father, and He does so eternally. There was never a time when Jesus did not exist. (The terms “time” and “exist” I use lightly when talking about God.)

The universe, however, was created by God, not begotten. The universe is wholly separate from God — the universe is not God, and God is not the universe. Nor is God the “prime-mover” of the universe, for to be the prime-mover of a system is to be a part of that system. God is not a part of the universe even if it’s the first part. He is the creator of the universe, not the begetter.

Deism teaches that God created the universe wholly separate from Himself and afterward had, and has, no interaction with the universe. Pantheism teaches that God is inseparable from the universe as He is the universe and the universe is Him. The proper teaching, in my opinion, is that God did create the universe wholly separate from Himself, but does indeed interact intimately with the universe, even to the point of entering His creation as the man Jesus and continuing with the Holy Spirit.

Calvinism teaches that God’s will is so intertwined with the universe, predestining every detail of what happens from before creation, being the first cause of every event, that God becomes inseparable from creation. How can creation be separate from God when God has already decided exactly what will happen before any event took place and then ensures from moment to moment that all plays out as He predestined?

Some Calvinists would argue with this assertion, “You’re taking things too far!” But these Calvinists aren’t thinking their theology through to its logical conclusions. If God predestines a few things, He predestines all things. If God is sovereign, as the Calvinist defines that term, nothing occurs which is opposite to His will.

What we end up with is a kind of Christian Pantheism where it becomes impossible to imagine any event happening without being directly caused by God. We end up with a universe where only God is real and everything else is illusion. A universe in which there is only God playing out a story of unreal characters in His mind.

Calvinistic Brownies


The only thing worse than a self-righteous Calvinist is a self-righteous anti-Calvinist.

I’ve occasionally found myself among those who are confusedly obsessed with this issue. Some are for, some are against. But what I’ve noticed about many is that they don’t really know what they’re talking about. They get caught up in the buzzwords and assign shallow meanings to such words (predestination, election, sovereignty, etc.), and become highly critical of something they don’t even try to understand. It’s the same as when Atheists attack the Bible without making any effort to understand it.

“The Bible condones slavery and genocide!”

“Okay, but how much of the Bible have you read?”

“The parts about slavery and genocide!”

I remember one person using the word ‘Calvinistic’ to describe anything she didn’t like. “That worship leader is too Calvinistic!” Which meant what? I don’t know. Maybe he didn’t contort his face enough during the ‘free worship’ time. Maybe he just had bad breath. But what I do know is that she had no idea what ‘Calvinistic’ really meant. “These brownies are too Calvinistic!” Maybe they just needed more sugar.

The word Calvinist is a shorthand word used in contemporary times. It will most likely be replaced by something else one day. You could also use ‘Augustinianism’, or ‘The Doctrines of Grace’, or ‘Reformed Theology’, or whatever. Maybe in the future it will be called ‘Piperism’. One who currently calls himself a Calvinist is not necessarily guilty of what Paul is rebuking in 1 Corinthians 1:10-17. That rebuke was about pride, not theology. And, of course, if one is using his Calvinism to cause division with other believers, he is indeed guilty of what Paul was rebuking, but again, not because of theology, but because of pride.

If you want to understand something, even to the point of being able to criticize it, then you must first set aside the buzzwords (Calvinism, Arminianism, those listed above, and others), and educate yourself on the subject. Read books and listen to messages by those who hold to the positions and then hold all that up to the Bible (test it!) and see where it takes you.

It seems the biggest proponent of Calvinism today is John Piper, although there are many others. Piper recently retired from his position as a pastor. About a month before he did so he gave a seminar on the five points of Calvinism, or his personal take on the theology currently called Calvinism. I have listened to this whole seminar myself. I recommend this to all thinking Christians. If you don’t like to think, then don’t listen to it — the reason I make that jab is because God gave us brains, and to truly know Him is not just a matter for the heart or the spirit, it is for the mind too.

I invite you to listen to the seminar. Set aside the buzzwords and really listen to what Piper is saying about God. It is quite profound. Here is the link…

New Course on Calvinism from John Piper

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