Friday, March 11, 2011


I am reading through Calvinistic book after Calvinistic book (Boettner, Sproul, Palmer, Steele, Thomas, Brown, Stewart, and more). At moments their use of Bible verses present a possible theological basis, or, at least, until I examine the context and the words, and then, compare their theological conclusions with the whole of scripture. Now, after having read through Palmer's presentation in his "Study Guide" of Calvinism's five points, Palmer has finely had to address the ever looming Calvinistic contradiction. In chapter five Palmer pretends to convincingly speak to his Calvinistic-wannabe-students about the contradiction Calvinism creates when it inflates God's sovereignty to radical proportions by making God responsible for everything (including sin), while at the same time attempting to maintain some level of scriptural integrity concerning man's personal responsibility. Palmer writes:
Calvinist accepts both sides of the antinomy. He realizes that what he advocates is ridiculous. It is simply impossible for man to harmonize these two sets of data. To say on the one hand that God has made certain all that ever happens, and yet to say that man is responsible for what he does? Nonsense! It must be one or the other, but not both. To say that God foreordains the sin of Judas, and yet Judas is to blame? Foolishness!...The Calvinist freely admits that his position is illogical, ridiculous, nonsensical, and foolish. This is in accord with Paul, who said, "The word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness. (1 Cor. 1:18)"
This is unbelievable. Palmer takes the student through five twisted points of Calvinism and then when faced with the gigantic stumbling stone of contradiction, he embraces it by pretending to defend his illogical theology by quoting the Apostle Paul with a verse that has nothing to do with the contradiction created between God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. By using 1 Corinthians 1:18, Palmer attempts to paint a clear contradiction into a divine mystery. Palmer is doing what the third commandment was forbidding when it commands us not to take the name of the Lord in vain.

The message of the cross that Paul was talking about as being foolish concerned teaching that salvation might be attained through the crucifixion of a Jewish man by the Romans. That message just didn't sell very well in the Corinthian philosophical circles rich with brilliant debates and highly trained rhetoricians. Paul was not talking about Calvinism. If Palmer has such a great case to present to his students in his "Study Guide" then he needs to hit this contradiction a little more truthfully.

Galyn Wiemers
Generation Word