Saturday, July 30, 2011

The view from the glass house

One of the favorite objections that Arminians raise to Calvinism is to constantly dust off the musty case of Servetus, as if Calvin’s complicity in the death of Servetus somehow taints Reformed theology.

Suppose we try that reasoning in reverse:

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina pastor is accused of kidnapping and raping a woman at gunpoint.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reports Saturday that 46-year-old Dale Richardson of Summerville is charged in North Charleston with kidnapping and possession of a firearm during a violent crime.
Police records say Richardson offered the victim a ride, but then pointed a gun at her, put a pillowcase over her head and bound her hands. A report accuses him of forcing her to have sex in a Dorchester County home. Charges are pending in that county.
Richardson says he has a spotless record and will put up a strong defense. He is the minister of Freedom Free Will Baptist Church in Ladson...

And, of course, that’s hardly an isolated incident. Off-the-top of my head, just consider some of these upstanding individuals:

Jim Bakker, Ergun Caner, Morris Cerullo, Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Eddie Long, Barry Minkow, Peter Popoff, Richard Roberts, Jimmy Swaggart, Robert Tilton, Paula White, &c.

Stop and ask yourself how many of them subscribe to double predestination, or limited atonement. In fact, if I were a betting man, I’d guess most-all of them subscribe to unlimited atonement, libertarian freewill, &c. 


  1. Why not just admit that John Calvin was wrong about Servetus as this man above and the many others you listed were wrong as well. I don't think its fair for either Arminians or Calvinists to try to defend the sinfulness of those who are part of our groups whether it be Calvin or anyone else. That is why we must keep our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2) and not on Calvin or Richardson or any flesh.

  2. Seeking Disciple -- first of all let me say that none of us should focus solely on humans who can fail but keep our eyes upon Jesus.

    So I am agreed.

    However, the presence of Jesus is mediated through His church so we cannot get away from some sort of focus on people.

    And the point of the post is broader than Calvin and asks Arminians to consider a just rejoinder to their constant raising of this case.

    Calvin in being associated with the death of Servetus erred. He wasn't the only one involved. Do you not realize that and do not many of those who attack Calvin realize this? Catholics were just as eager to have the man silenced.