My preference is not to use the theological labels “Arminian” and “Calvinist,” but I feel the need to respond to Christian academic philosophers who apparently cannot get through the week without attacking the beliefs of their Calvinist brothers and sisters in Christ. It seems conservative Christians are fair game if they do not meet the standards of Arminian thinking.
Last month I read a tweet about the research of a Houston Baptist University professor whose academic mission is to prove “what is wrong with Calvinism.” Dr. Jerry L. Walls went to Princeton Seminary, Yale Divinity School, and has a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame.
His dedication to his mission includes video lectures on his website and You-Tube where he explains the blunders of those who fail to embrace the enlightened ground of Arminianism.
Yes, Arminian professors have every right to turn a blind eye to important issues dear to conservatives such as opposition to abortion and assisted-suicide and the defense of religious liberty. Such professors are free not to instill in their students the importance of uniting with other conservatives to oppose dangerous trends in culture. If they want their students to feel smug in their perceived theological superiority, so be it. It’s called academic freedom. And, certainly, there is nothing surprising about being a cheerleader for Arminianism in liberal circles.
But why all the anti-Calvinism at an evangelical university? What is so threatening about Calvinism that obsesses Arminian professors to the point that they will throw their Calvinist brothers and sisters under the bus?
In today’s hostile climate for Bible-believing Christians, is it helpful to consume a lot of intellectual energy undermining the platform of Calvinists such as Albert Mohler who provides excellent biblical analysis on today’s culture? Even if the Arminian assault is not directed specifically at Mohler or another defender of Bible Christianity, does it not still help liberalism?
In the bigger picture of principalities and power, how many Bible-believing Christians really care about the so-called Arminian-Calvinist debate?
If it makes any difference, I ask these questions as a non-Reformed person. If you are looking to label me, think D.L. Moody proto-fundamentalism.
Let us park what appears to be theological arrogance and let liberals do their own work of tearing down conservative Christians.