What Is Calvinism?: Introduction

I’ll open with a bombshell: I’m a Calvinist. Now, before you run away like I have the plague, I want you to stop and think for a moment. What images and words came to mind when you read that? Did you shudder? Did a picture of John Calvin pop into your head, or was it startling images of the Puritans and their odd hairdos? Perhaps some of you thought of Calvinistic friends who’ve told you there’s no point in evangelizing the lost. Whatever the case, most of you probably have some caricature in your head of the typical Calvinist.

The past few decades have only heaped up more stereotypes. Of course, the 21st century Calvinist has had to do some adapting. Let me introduce you to the Young Restless Reformed Guy. Like all Calvinists, the tulip remains his favorite flower, but he has a few new tricks up his sleeve. His face is home to a beard that would impress Spurgeon himself. On most days he wears skinny jeans and plaid shirts as he goes to battle with his misinformed Arminian friends. His iPod is loaded with Driscoll, Piper, and Indie music. Each Sunday he frowns down on his friends who carry any translation other than the ESV.

Of course, stereotypes exist for a reason. But over these next few posts I want to move beyond them to explore the heart of Calvinism, answering key questions along the way. What are the doctrines of grace? Is TULIP all there is to Calvinism? How does evangelism mesh with God’s sovereignty? With Scripture as our solid foundation, we will look at the beautiful news that God saves sinners.

So, whatever past experiences you’ve had with Calvinism, I invite you to come and see these truths afresh.

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