Reflecting on Various Errors in Calvinsm
April 11, 2010 3 Comments
Many practical and observational reasons could also be given, but this will focus on the central doctrinal errors I see.
By: Jay Dyer
I believe that Calvinism is an erronrous system that, while containing much that is true, must be abandonded because of several serious flaws:
1. Sola Scriptura cannot be the foundation of true religion because the Protestant Bible has the wrong canon and therefore sola scriptura cannot be true (since it presupposes a correct canon). The process of the formation of the canon in the early church as described by myraids of Protestant scholars makes it also impossible, as well as ahistorical.
2. Calvinsim’s christology is generally Nestorian, and at best, quasi-Nestorian. This is because it makes the hypostatic union a product of the Incarnation — divine nature + human nature = person Jesus. Most Calvinists (like many westerns in general) erroneously confess Jesus to be a “human person.” Turretinfan, as well as Gordon Clark and his disciples and other reformed giants like A.A. Hodge openly defend Nestorius and his views.
3. The Calvino-Nestorian view of the Incarnation has all kinds of other flaws that flow from it. Most notably, Calvinists often confess a human man – Jesus – being damned by the Father at the cross. This is, to say the least, Nestorian, while the other option for Calvinists is to keep the orthodox confession of the sole subject being the Logos, but that leads to the conclusion that the Father damned His divine Son – therby splitting the Trinity. Either route the Calvinist takes, it can only be heretical.
4. Also flowing from this issue is the nature of salvation and problems for imputational theology. If no. 3 is correct in its analysis, then we also cannot rely upon a legal status – itself a created grace earned by a human-person-Jesus – to save us. We need an actual ontological change in our whole being – theosis or deification, and this is denied by 99% of Calvinism. The reason for this is also faulty christology, because Calvinism won’t consitently confess that the Logos is sole subject of all the Incarnate economic actions. It will not confess two energies in Christ because of its denial of the essence energy distinction and adoption of western absolute divine simplicity, as well as its theological voluntarism and a whole host of difficulties that come with classical, unbalanced western augustinian theology.
5. As just mentioned in point 4, the rejection of essence – energy and adoption of absolute simplicity has plagued calvinism with the same problems as outright Augustinianism. Pure monergism means mon-energism, which means the heresy of monothelitism, condemned by the 6th council. Many Calvinists say they confess the 6th council and two wills in Christ, but the WCF mentions two wills nowhere and Calvinism’s acceptance of absolute simplicity means it must of necessity reject two energies in Christ as taught by the 6th council.
6. The denial of the Real Presence coincides with late medieval nominalism a la Gabriel Biel. Nominalism is an outworking of theological voluntaism and rejection of a proper ordo theologiae – starting one’s theology with divine persons/Logos Incarnate and working out from there, as opposed to Calvinism’s starting point of all theology at abstract questions of predestination and soteriology.
7. That God has an “attribute” of hate, wherein He damns for all eternity in “fire,” thereby giving evil an eternal “existence.” Instead, the best answer to this apparent Manichaean dualism is St. Maximus’ apokatastasis wherein all things really will be recapitulated in Christ and the reprobate will experience the glory fire of God, which is good in itself, as torment.
8. Calvinism has the same anthropology as Pelagianism in terms of pre-lapsarian man and is actually merit-based in it’s covenant of works doctrine. Calvinism thus confuses nature and grace in the garden as well as in soteriology, yet ironically rejects any real deification of the Logos’ flesh, and the former is based on the latter. The covenant of works, as said above, also necessitates a human person Jesus meritting a created legal state, which cannot save us. Our problem is mortaliy and corruption and thus we need to be made immortal, as 1 Cor. 15 clearly says Christ does to all.
9. Because human nature is inherently evil in Calvinism and because evil is given as substantial existence, created nature is thus alienated from and set in dialectical opposition to God and thus matter cannot image the Divine Persons or convey real divine energy/grace. We cannot be saved because Christ is not consubstantial with us. He is not consubstantial with us, because He does not assume our fallen nature, because fallen nature is thought to be inherently evil. In this system Christ does not assume universal human nature, but only some men – namely the elect. But resurrection isn’t a “natural” event – its supernatural and there is no other basis for all men to be resurrected than union with Christ.