Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Knew Review: For Calvinism (9)

The end of Horton’s book seemed to drag on a bit (much like this 9 part review!). In his final chapter, Horton evaluates contemporary Calvinism, considering a number of points of danger. He warns his fellow Calvinists to guard against intellectual elitism (so… one of the weaknesses of Calvinism is that Calvinists are too smart. This seems a bit like answering a question about your weaknesses with a response like ‘sometimes I give too much to charity’). A find it a little funny, though, that over-intellectualism is apparently associated with Calvinism, especially given its numerous appeals to mystery in the face of apparent contradiction. But I’m probably being too harsh here and should just let Horton come across as humble without questioning it.

Other dangers? Horton says that Calvinists sometimes forget the ‘heart,’ placing the emphasis, instead, on the head and/or legal perspectives. Calvinists have a tendency to caricature their theological opponents. They sometimes treat their forerunners too much as heroes (instead of the totally depraved people that they were). Horton talks about how reading Romans became almost an unhealthy obsession earlier in his life. I appreciate Horton’s willingness to point out potential dangers for Calvinists.

So I’ve responded to the whole book now. It was worth reading. I think it is important for Arminians like myself to read about Calvinism from the leading Calvinists themselves. I wouldn’t have taken the time to review the book in such detail if it hadn’t been somewhat stimulating.

Now on to Roger Olson’s “Against Calvinism.”

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