Can someone please explain the faults of this Calvinist article? Help-conversion from the Church is at hand!

ligonier.org/blog/gods-sovereignty-salvation-and-unity-trinity/

You might find what you need here. Dr. Anders is a former protestant (Calvanist) who has come Home to the One True Church.

calvin2catholic.com/?page_id=7

The paradox between “election” (clearly evidenced in the scriptures) and “free will” and God’s calling to man to “choose” Him (also clearly evidenced in the scripture) is a divine mystery. Both are truths. But it is not an attack (as is often suggested) on God’s sovereignty to believe that perhaps God foreknew who who would “choose” Him. Not if God, in His sovereign plan, chose to make that choice available to mankind -

Calvinists and Catholic teaching both agree it takes God’s grace to draw us to Him and enable us to respond to His calling. Having been in both camps at different points in my walk of faith - I think the larger story of scripture supports God’s call to repentance (through Jesus and the prophets) and that would not “mean so much” if we remained incapable of responding to that calling.

Ultimately - if you doubt, why not live your life trusting in God (as His sovereign plan is perfect) and believing that people are capable of choosing - and thus your evangelism may make a difference?

Predestination, Election, Man’s Choice to follow God - they all reveal themselves as truth i scripture - since scripture can’t contravene itself - God’'s foreknowledge seems to be a clear path to harmonization (whereas pure election and pure choice do not) - in any event, we will all find out when we meet Jesus face to face - till then, I’ll throw my lot in with the Church and 2,000 plus years of historic, apostolic teaching.

Blessings,

Brian

It would be more helpful if you said, “the following arguments seem convincing to me, and they are incompatible with Catholic teaching in the following ways.” That might also clarify your own thinking and help you work through the issue.

The idea that God predestines some people to be saved without regard for His foreknowledge of their actions (i.e., the key position defended in that article) is fully compatible with Catholic orthodoxy. In fact it’s the dominant position in Western Catholicism, historically, although it’s unpopular these days.

Some of the other claims made in the article, like the claim that Jesus only died for the elect, are unorthodox by Catholic standards.

Edwin

The problem with the business of the “elect” is that they may as well do nothing - they’re “saved”, or they think they are.

I know of a certain Presbyterian pastor who repeatedly tells lies, backstabs, and conspires against those he disagrees with, and yet somehow imagines he’s one of the elect.

I believe he had a bit to do with my losing a job some years ago. My old pastor predicted that he would be involved, and I found from experience he was nearly always right. But I can’t prove it.

His comments about the above pastor were “He tells a lot of lies” and “I think he serves the devil. He thinks he serves God, but he serves the devil. It’s a terrible position to be in.”

I’m not so sympathetic.

When I first started going to my Catholic psychiatrist a few years back, I mentioned this bloke’s name. His response surprised me - he told me he’d treated about eight Presbyterian pastors for stress breakdown, and in every case this pastor’s name came up.

What happened was that he was moderator at the time, and if he didn’t like another pastor, he’d get a person or clique in that pastor’s congregation to pick and pick and pick at that pastor. Eventually they’d go to him, as moderator, for help, only to be told, “Well, maybe if you can’t handle it, you might be better to move on.” But he was behind it! One of the aggrieved pastors had even written a booklet about the experience, entitled “A Corrupt Church in Queensland”. Bugalug’s name was on every second page.

The psychiatrist gave it to me, and I handed it on to one of my old pastor’s sons.

Yet this same lying, conspiring pastor would be utterly convinced that he’s one of the elect. I think he’s doomed. If he’s been a pastor for over 40 years, and hasn’t worked out that lying is a mortal sin, there’s not much hope for him.

The doctrine of the “elect” can lead to spiritual pride. Mind you, I know some very worthy and holy Presbyterians.

Elsewhere the Scriptures exhort us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” That’s hardly an encouragement to believe that we’re one of the “elect” and there’s nothing to worry about.

It’s the usual story - we pick and choose the verses that back up our point of view, and disregard the rest.

The reality is that ***none of us ***know where God’s sovereignty and human will intersect.

And we won’t know till the day we die, and we see the truth face to face. In the meantime we see through a glass darkly.

A misunderstanding of how the theology works. If you are among the elect, you will bring forth fruit. Typically, Calvinist theology leads to earnest, even obsessive well-doing and a great deal of self-examination. Of course it may have the opposite effect too.

I know of a certain Presbyterian pastor who repeatedly tells lies, backstabs, and conspires against those he disagrees with, and yet somehow imagines he’s one of the elect.

I have on occasion heard of Catholic priests who behaved this way as well. Of course, the theological resources people have to justify their own behavior vary from one tradition to another.

The doctrine of the “elect” can lead to spiritual pride. Mind you, I know some very worthy and holy Presbyterians.

Right. And which group best represents the theology isn’t empirically provable. Probably both do in different ways.

I agree that the doctrine of election can lead to spiritual pride. But then, so can Catholic confidence in being part of the One True Church. So can the Wesleyan theology of sanctification. So can the Pentecostal/charismatic doctrine of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the value of spiritual gifts. So can Anabaptist pacifism. And so on, and so forth.The theology has not yet been developed that is a sure-fire vaccination against spiritual pride.

I would argue that the specific doctrines that most lead to spiritual pride in Calvinists are not so much predestination itself but perseverance and assurance. Predestination in its original Augustinian sense tends if anything to work the other way, because it reminds you that your salvation is dependent on God and not on anything in you that is better than anyone else.

But of course, like everyone, I approach this from my theological bias.

Edwin

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