Thursday, March 08, 2018

Perspectives on Calvinism

There are different perspectives on Calvinism. Different ways of approaching Calvinism. Differences of emphasis or orientation:

1. Soteriological

This orientation stresses doctrines like unconditional election, reprobation, special redemption, spiritual inability, sola gratia, monergistic regeneration, perseverance. 

It has special reference to the human situation. This is typically the focus of Reformed pastors, preachers, and evangelists. 

2. Theological 

This orientation stresses doctrines like absolute predestination and meticulous providence. It operates at a more cosmic level. It lays more emphasis on God's relation to the world in general rather than God's relation to mankind in particular. 

There are people who incline to (1), but distance themselves from (2). 

3. Philosophical 

This orientation piggybacks on (2). If (2) is true, then everything happens for a reason. There are no random, aimless events. No brute facts. No fortuitous accidents. Everything serves a purpose in a part/whole, means/ends relation. God leaves nothing to chance. Everything unfolds according to his master plan for world history. 

This dovetails with the principle of sufficient reason. There are no inherently inexplicable truths. And that's a condition of intelligibility. In principle, there's a rational explanation for everything, although many things may be inscrutable to humans, given our epistemic limitations. 

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