I think I have had my fill of the conversation. I have been part of the Calvinist/ Anti-Calvinist/ Traditionalist/ Reformed argument dialogue, and I am making my public declaration that i’I’ve had enough. It’s become a fruitless dialogue filled with anger and lacking in reason and civility. I am going to unpack for you exactly what I think the issue is, and then you agree or disagree, up to you.
First off, the labels are not working. If you have followed my writings, you know I call myself a Wovenist. Yes, Wovenism incorporates much of Reformed soteriology. Being so, most non-Calvinists just say “this is just repackaged Calvinism”. News flash, most SBC doctrine is some level of Calvinism. Traditionalists, you are 2 ½ pointers. You are good with Total Depravity and Perseverance of the Saints, you know Predestination is in the Bible, but we are not gonna agree on what it really means. Now many will get mad and argue that I called you a 2 ½ point Calvinist, but it’s pretty much a simple fact. You are not Arminian, the Arminian’s get upset when you are called that. You have been called Pelagians, but don’t like that title. Simply put, you are 2 ½ pointers, so I could call Traditionalist doctrine a repackaging of nominal Calvinist. Don’t like that label? Ya, see, the labels don’t work. The labels are making things worse.
The reason I say I’m a Wovenist is that the word Calvinist doesn’t mean anything anymore. It all depends on how many points you affirm, or as Danny Akin said, redefine and then affirm. There are all these definitions and interpretations floating around that I just went to the scripture and searched for truth. What I found I pieced together and it looked like things wove to make a beautiful picture, so I called it Wovenism. Does it have similarities to other soteriology? Of course, we are all using the same book, the same verses, the same sayings of the same Savior, of course it looks similar to much of what is already out there. I called it Wovenism for the same reason many are now called Traditionalists.
Another reason I am leaving the discussion is the lack of logic incorporated. One of the things I really focus on in Wovenism is God’s relationship with time, specifically that God is outside of time. I get argued with all the time about God being in time and in the time line. Much of Traditionalist arguments and many Calvinist arguments make the assumption that God knows what will happen, but it hasn’t happened yet. In Wovenism, my statement is that God is outside of time and everything is going to happen, is happening and has already happened, making much of the argument about predestination a null point. This makes people mad and I get “how do you know God is outside time”. Here is my final answer for that question. God has eternally existed. He never had a beginning. If He never began, He can’t be waiting. To wait for something to happen, there has to be a point you start waiting, so when would God start waiting if He’s always existed. If he started waiting at eternity, wouldn’t He always be waiting in eternity for creation? If there is no beginning, how do you move forward in time? To move forward, there must be a starting point, which means at some point for God to be in time, He either started outside of time or had a beginning. I am not ok with the idea that God created time and is now stuck in time, and I know He had no beginning. It’s nonsense to argue that God is trapped in time, yet people do it to protect their theology.
Here is another issue, there is no concern about preserving doctrinal or Biblical purity. Let me give you a logical issue. Bible teaches that God has numbered the days of man, that He has set for him a number for his days. This means that God chooses which day you will die, doesn’t it? Free will says God can’t possibly do that, because if we murder or commit suicide, we have “gone out of God’s will” and therefore trumped God and He would be wrong on the number of days, since He can’t control out free will. How do you reconcile that God numbered days, yet we trump God with free will? I am sure there is plenty of Biblical acrobatics that people come up with to preserve their doctrine, but it often makes the box that we stuff God into smaller and smaller. We cram God into our theological limits, wrap it up and put a bow on it.
My next issue is the behavior of many. I have never seen grown men and women act like infants and middle school girls like I have on this issue. I wrote once that I thought Calvinism had more Biblical support, simply because words like Predestination, Election, Elect all appear in scripture, Free Will and accept Christ don’t appear in scripture. My entire article was virtually ignored in the light of that one comment. People doing the “really, did you really say that? Wow, gee wiz, I’m offended”. They cry and complain for a paragraph that I don’t think their theology has as much Biblical support as another. Here is a reality check, people think you are wrong. People think I’m wrong and that my exegesis is incorrect. It’s a reality, just because you hold to a teaching or idea doesn’t mean we agree. What you think is orthodoxy others think is heresy. I saw a book the other day about Calvinism being the work of the Devil. John Owens wrote “A Display of Arminianism” which was pretty harsh. In a conversation with someone, they told me that they believe that most Traditionalists are not saved, they don’t understand grace because they never experienced it. There are harsh things being said, and the response is crying and whining. It’s disgraceful and it’s not working.
At this point, the lines are drawn, the battle field is full of bodies and the argument has grown just for the sake of the argument. No one really tries to work through or reason through the entire cannon of scripture to find truth. We shoot verses at each other and try to defend our theology with one English translation of one word. If I hear someone tell me that Calvinism is wrong because of “whosoever” I may lose my mind.
Bottom line, no one will change their mind,very few will answer the hard questions or wrestle with the big issues. I proposed Wovenism as a way to dialogue about what I see are the big issues, the hard issues, the difficult to reconcile things that I poured over different scriptures and changed how I was thinking. I proposed it, thinking that it would help many of us find common ground, giving it a strong Biblical foundation. No one really cared, just enjoyed pointing out what they thought was wrong, shooting a verse or two at me and being offended at stuff. It’s nonsense people, and we are becoming Pharisees and Sadducees and I’m out of energy. When you all figure this out, then you can give me a call, until then, I’ll stick to Discipleship, Christian Education, Coaching and Teaching.