A g a i n s t C a lv i n i s m
ContentsForeword (by Michael Horton) 9
one Introduction: Why This Book now? 15
two Whose Calvinism? Which Reformed Theology? 26
three Mere Calvinism: The TULIPsystem 38
Four Yes to God’s sovereignty; no to Divine Determinism 70
Five Yes to election; no to Double Predestination 102
six Yes to Atonement; no to limited Atonement/
Particular Redemption 136
seven Yes to grace; no to Irresistible grace/Monergism 155
eight Conclusion: Calvinism’s Conundrums 175
Appendix 1: Calvinist Attempts to Rescue God’s Reputation 181
Appendix 2: Responses to Calvinist Claims 188
Roger Olson’s book Against Calvinism represents a contemporary presentation and defense of evangelical Arminianism that not only merits but requires careful and sympathetic reading by non-Arminians as well.
Roger is correct when he says that it is increasingly difficult to know what the label “Reformed” actually means today. especially in America, where everyone likes to pick and choose the elements of one’s personal creed, it sounds arrogant to tell other people they’re not actually Reformed if they hold views that differ significantly from our confessions and catechisms. However, like other confessional traditions, Reformed teaching is determined by a common confession of believers in actual churches, not by the emphases of certain teachers or popular movements. The creeds and confessions don’t speak for us; we speak as churches through and with them. non-Calvinists should therefore evaluate these summaries and the doctrinal systems that are consistent with them rather than depend on idiosyncratic presentations.
When it comes to the doctrines of grace, our confessions reject hyperCalvinism as well as Arminianism. Furthermore, covenant theology — including the baptism of covenant children and connectional church government led by ministers and elders — belong to our common confession along with the famous TUlIP. God’s glorious grace is as evident in our view of baptism and the lord’s supper as means of grace rather than as merely human acts of commitment and remembering. For confessional Reformed and Presbyterian churches, regulating worship, ministry, outreach, and discipline on the basis of scripture is as crucial to glorifying and enjoying God as is the doctrine of election or justification.
But this challenge cuts both ways. Although most Arminians do not subscribe to a common confession or collection of doctrinal standards, there are fairly standard representations at least of evangelical Arminian convictions. Roger Olson cuts through the caricatures, challenging misconceptions. If popular criticisms of Calvinism often trade on misunderstanding or exaggerated representations, then Calvinists should also feel sympathy for Arminians when they are falsely accused, for example, of being “Pelagians” who deny grace in favor of works-righteousness. Neither of us is immune to the temptation of false accusations, but Roger and I agree that there has often been more heat than light in contemporary Calvinist-Arminian debates. neither of us succumbs to the illusion that both represent partial truths that can be balanced in a noncontradictory and harmonious blend. There is no such thing as “Calminianism.” Where these classic positions clash, Roger is a full-blooded Arminian and I am just as convinced that scripture teaches what is rather infelicitously nicknamed “Calvinism.” Yet we also agree that nothing is gained — in fact, much is lost — by misrepresenting each other’s views. It’s one thing to say that someone holds a certain view that the person explicitly rejects and another thing to argue that the view leads logically to that conclusion. This is where we often go astray on both sides: confusing our interpretations of the consequences of each other’s positions with a charitable statement of each other’s stated views.
On the one hand, Roger thinks that if I followed Calvinism to its logical conclusions, I should concede that the Holocaust and natural disasters are caused directly by God and that those condemned on the last day could justly blame God rather than themselves. In his view, the serious error of hyper-Calvinism is actually the position that follows most logically from Calvinism itself. In my view, it is not at all surprising that some Arminians have abandoned the classical Christian consensus concerning some divine attributes and original sin and have adopted moralistic theories of Christ’s person and work as well as justification.
On the other hand, I think that if Roger followed Arminianism to its logical conclusion, he should go on to deny that salvation is entirely of God’s grace; that Arminianism leads inevitably to human-centered rather than God-centered convictions if followed consistently. In other words, we each believe that the other person is inconsistent. At the end of the day, Roger suspects that monergism (e.g., God alone working) undermines God’s goodness and love (as well as human agency), and I cannot see how synergism can be reconciled with sola gratia (grace alone). Yet Roger knows that Calvinism does not teach that God is the author of evil or that human beings have no responsibility. And it would be reckless for me to describe Arminianism as “Pelagian.”
在另一方面，我認為，如果奧爾森採取亞米念的邏輯性結論，他應該也會否認救贖完全是神的恩典；亞米念主義者如果忠實的跟隨其原則，不可避免的傾向於以人為中心（human-centered）的觀點，而不是以神為中心（God-centered）的觀點。換句話說，我們都相信另一個人是自相矛盾的。在文章的最終，奧爾森質疑神恩獨作論（monergism ，例如：只有神作工）貶低了神的良善和藹（並人類的介入），我看不出來神人合作論如何調和唯獨恩典（sola gratia）的觀念。然而奧爾森知道加爾文主義並不會教導神是罪惡的作者或人類沒有任何的責任。對我而言，將亞米念描繪為『伯拉糾主義』是一種輕率的做法。
Although I’d still take exception to some of Roger’s descriptions of Calvinism, I respect his commitment to engaging real differences rather than caricatures. For my part, I have learned much from Roger about the stated positions of leading Arminian theologians and appreciate his cautions and rebukes along the way.
I also share Roger’s appraisal of the state of much in contemporary evangelicalism. Far beyond Arminianism, he argues, Pelagian assumptions seem astonishingly prevalent. He agrees that “Christless Christianity” is “simply pervasive in American church life.” When Arminian friends like Tom oden, William Willimon, and Roger Olson challenge this state of affairs while some professing Reformed preachers sell their birthright for a deadly soup of folk religion, our differences — though important — are put in proper perspective. I have no doubt that James Arminius or John Wesley would be as offended as Roger Olson at what often passes erroneously for “Arminianism” today in many circles.
我也分享奧爾森對於當代福音派主義的評估。遠在阿米念主義之外，他論及伯拉糾的假設看起來令人驚訝的普遍流行。他同樣『沒有基督的基督教（Christless Christianity）』是『就已經滲透到美國的教會生活中』 。當亞米念拍的朋友們，如果Tom Oden，William Willimon和奧爾森調整這個狀態，而在同時承認改革宗的宣揚他們與生俱來的權利，為的就是一碗大眾宗教的死亡之湯的時候，我們的分別—雖然是重要的—被置於正確的觀點中。我毫不懷疑亞米念（James Arminius）或約翰衛斯同樣的會與奧爾森一樣，被今日在許多圈子中錯誤的流傳『亞米念主義』激怒。
I am grateful to Roger for the candor, passion, and informed argumentation that this book represents. At the end of the day, Roger and I share the most important agreement: namely, that the crucial questions involved in this or any other debate must be brought to the bar of scripture. We both believe that scripture is clear and sufficient, even if we are confused and weak. We are all pilgrims on the way, not yet those who have arrived at our glorious destination. only by endeavoring more and more to talk to each other as coheirs with Christ instead of about each other and past each other as adversaries can we engage with serious disagreements — and with the hope that we may also be surprised by felicitous agreements along the way.
I write this book reluctantly; polemics is not my preferred style of scholarship. That is to say, I would rather proclaim what I am for than denounce what I am against. I value the irenic approach to theology, and I hope to be against Calvinism as irenically as possible. I want to make clear “right up front” that I am not against Calvinists. Many of my relatives are Calvinists, and I love them dearly. Although my immediate family was not theologically of that persuasion, we knew our relatives were every bit as Christian as we were. I still believe that to be the case; a person can be as marvelously saved and as dedicated a Christian as possible and be a Calvinist. let me repeat: I am not against Calvinists.
I am well aware, however, how difficult it can be to separate one’s sense of self-worth from one’s passionately held beliefs. I hope my Aunt Margaret is not rolling over in her grave as this book is published! And I pray my Calvinist cousins and friends are not offended. I try as far as possible to separate myself from my theology in order to accept criticism of the latter graciously without becoming personally defensive. I can only hope and pray that my Calvinist friends and family will do the same.
This hope for a fair hearing requires that I be scrupulously fair in my handling of Calvinism. That is my intention in this little book. I promise to do my best to represent Calvinism as Calvinists themselves would represent it — without distortion or caricature. I promise not to set it up as a straw man easily cut down and burned. My motto is “Before saying ‘I disagree’ be sure you can say ‘I understand.’ ” Another principle I try to follow is “Always represent the other viewpoint as its best adherents represent it.” That’s what I want done with my Arminianism, and I promise to do my best to do that with Calvinism.
I consider Calvinists my brothers and sisters in Christ, and it grieves me to have to write against their theology, which has a rich history and tradition. I confess that Calvinism, which I have studied from its primary sources (from Calvin through Jonathan Edwardsto John Piper and numerous Reformed theologians between them), has many positive aspects. As many Calvinists love to point out, Calvinism (or Reformed theology) is not reducible to the doctrines popularly associated with it — total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints (TUlIP). Some of those (especially the middle three) are the beliefs I will criticize in this book. Reformed thought in general, however, transcends them and is a larger whole of which they are only a part. How crucial they are to Reformed thought is much debated both by Calvinists themselves and by others.
我認為加爾文主義者是我在基督裡的弟兄姐妹，並哀傷與必須撰寫反對他們那個具有豐富歷史和傳統之神學的作品。我承認我用來研究加爾文主義的主要資料來源（從加爾文到愛得華慈茲到John Piper並許多在他們間的改革宗神學家），有許多積極的方面。就如同許多加爾文主義者樂意指出的，加爾文主要（或改革宗神學）並不能被消減為大家所認為的——人的完全敗壞（total depravity），無條件的揀選（unconditional election），有限的救贖（limited atonement），不可抗拒的恩典（irresistible grace），和對聖徒的保守（perseverance of the saints）（TULIP—鬱金香）。我將這本書中批判那個信仰的某些部分（特別是中間的三個）。然而，整體而言，改革宗的思想要遠遠超過它們，它們不過是一個大圖畫中的一部分。它們對於改革宗思想的重要性則是加爾文主義者本身和其他的人所爭辯的重點。
My point here is simply to acknowledge that when I say I am “against Calvinism,” I am talking only about some points of Reformed theology and not all that it stands for. Because the Reformed tradition (perhaps as distinct from some of its objectionable doctrines) is Christ-centered, I consider it a part of the rich tapestry of classical Christianity. I can and do worship with Calvinists without cringing.
In case anyone needs more persuasion about this matter, I wish to point out that I have worked and worshiped alongside Calvinists in three Christian universities and several churches (Baptist and Presbyterian) over the past thirty years without difficulty. I have voted to hire Calvinist professors and to give them tenure. I have no qualms about Calvinists being genuine Christian believers and faithful Christian scholars and teachers. I know firsthand that they often are. I admit that I am offended by some Calvinists. They are those that consider their theology the only authentically Christian (or evangelical) one and who misrepresent theologies other than their own — especially Arminianism. Unfortunately, especially in recent years, I have found those traits all too common among the “new Calvinists.”
some readers may question my credentials for writing about Calvinism. let me reassure them. For a number of reasons I consider myself able to write fairly and accurately about a theology with which I disagree. I have taught historical theology in three Christian universities on both the undergraduate and graduate levels for almost thirty years. I studied Calvin and Jonathan Edwardsand other Reformed theologians in seminary and graduate school and have always required my students to read them as part of their historical theology courses. I have also gone out of my way to invite “high Calvinists” (those committed to the entire TULIPschema) to speak to and interact with my classes. I have read John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion as well as many of Jonathan edwards’ treatises carefully and with extreme attentiveness to being unprejudiced.
有些讀者可能會質疑我撰寫關於加爾文主義著作的資格。讓我想他們保證。因著好幾個原因，我認為我自己能夠公正並準確的撰寫我所不同意的神學。我在過去三十年中，在三個基督教大學教導歷史神學，包括大學部和研究所。我也在神學院和研究所中學習加爾文，愛得華茲並其他的改革宗神學家，並總要求我的學生閱讀他們的作品作為他們歷史神學課程的閱讀材料。我也透過我自己的管道邀請『高派加爾文主義者（high Calvinists）』（那些完全接受TULIP教義的認識）來我的課演講並與我的課互動。我也仔細的讀過約翰加爾文的基督教要義（Institutes of the Christian Religion）並其他愛得華茲的教義手冊，並特別注意不要有任何的偏見。
I am well acquainted with the new Calvinism’s greatest contemporary proponent — John Piper — and have read several of his books. I have studied the writings of numerous other Calvinists, including Charles Hodge, loraine Boettner, louis Berkhof, Anthony Hoekema, R. C. Sproul, and Paul Helm. I have attended Calvinist theological conferences, contributed to Calvinist publications, engaged in extended dialogues with Reformed thinkers, and published a major historical theology textbook that extensively engages Reformed theology.
我也認識新加爾文主要最為重要的當代支持者—John Piper—並讀過他的幾本書。我也研讀過幾位其他的加爾文主義的作品，包括Charles Hodge, loraine Boettner, louis Berkhof, Anthony Hoekema, R. C. Sproul, 和Paul Helm。我也參與加爾文主義的神學研討會，為加爾文主義的刊物撰文，並與改革宗的思想家對話，並出版了歷史神學的教科書，密切的論及改革宗神學。
My acquaintance with Calvinism and Reformed theology is more than a passing one. It has become a passion — and not only with the intent to refute it. My study of Reformed sources has greatly enriched my own theological and spiritual life. I lay no claim to being an expert on Calvinism, but I will defend my ability to describe and evaluate it based on thorough study of its primary sources both ancient (sixteenth century) and contemporary. I hope and expect that even well-informed Calvinists will consider my descriptions here fair if not profound.
I wish to thank several people for their invaluable help in bringing this book to completion. Calvinists all, they aided it unwittingly simply by answering my questions and engaging with me in theological dialogue. There was no subterfuge on my part; the idea for this book arose later than most of those events. First of all I want to thank Michael Horton, editor of Modern Reformation and astute Calvinist scholar, who has graciously conversed (sometimes debated) with me about these matters over several years. I have learned much from him. I also want to thank my Calvinist friends of Redeemer Presbyterian Church of Waco, Texas, and of the local Reformed University Fellowship. They have graciously endured my (hopefully) light-hearted heckling when they spoke to my classes and always gently corrected my errors. Finally, I thank my many Calvinist students who took my classes in spite of my well-known qualms about Reformed theology and who often contributed to my understanding of their own faith tradition.
In t ro d u c t i o n :
w h y t h i s B o o k n ow ?
soon after I began teaching theology, an eager young student followed me to my office and asked to speak privately with me. Without hesitation I invited him to sit down next to my desk and tell me what was on his mind. He leaned toward me and with earnest countenance said, “Professor Olson, I don’t think you’re a Christian.” needless to say, I was somewhat taken aback.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because you’re not a Calvinist,” came his reply.
I asked him where he got the idea that only a Calvinist can be a Christian and he named a leading pastor and author whose church he attended. That pastor and author has since became world famous for his promotion of high Calvinism. I encouraged my student to go back and talk with his pastor about this matter, and I confirmed my confidence in being a Christian because of my faith in Jesus Christ. The student never did recant his charge that I was not a Christian. Years later, however, the pastor did deny that he ever taught that only Calvinists could be Christians.
That was the first salvo, as it were, of my long struggle with the “new Calvinism” celebrated by Time magazine (May 12, 2009) as one of the ten great ideas changing the world “right now.” My student accuser was one of the first of a movement later labeled the “young, restless, Reformed” generation of Christians. At the time, all I knew was that many of my best and brightest theological students were gravitating toward Calvinism under the inf luence of the pastor the student mentioned. Many on our faculty called them “Piper cubs.” But their tribe was destined to increase over the next few years.
這是我多年與時代雜誌所歌詠的（May 12, 2009），『現今』改變世界的十個主要思潮的『新加爾文主義』鬥爭的第一次交火。我的學生批判者乃是來自後來被標記為『年幼、不耐煩的、改革宗的』基督徒世代運動中第一波。在同時，我知道許多我最好並最為優秀的神學生都是被影響上述提及的學生的那位牧師所鼓吹的加爾文主義所吸引。許多我們的同濟稱他們為『派博愣頭青（Piper cubs）』。但是他們的數量在接下來幾年中快速的增長。
In 2008 Christian journalist Collin Hansen published the first booklength exploration of a phenomenon most evangelical Christian leaders were talking about: Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists.1 The roots of this movement go deep into Protestant history. Calvinism, obviously, derives its name from Protestant Reformer John Calvin (1509 – 1564), whose 500th birthday was recently celebrated across north America with conferences and worship events dedicated to his memory. A more recent catalyst was new england Puritan preacher, theologian, and educator Jonathan Edwards(1703 – 1758), who famously defended a version of Calvin’s theology against what he saw as the creeping rationalism of deism in his day. one apparent aspect of the new Calvinist youth movement (not confined to youth) is the popularity of graphic T-shirts sporting the face of Jonathan Edwardsand the motto “Jonathan Edwardsis my homeboy.”
基督教記者Collin Hansen在2008年出版了第一本探索大部分福音派基督教領袖最常討論的現象：年輕、不耐煩的，改革宗：一個記者與新加爾文主義者的旅程。這個運動的根源深植於抗議宗的歷史。明顯的，加爾文主義這個名字來自己抗議宗的宗教改革者約翰加爾文（1509 – 1564），北美在近期才使用大量紀念他的特會並敬拜活動慶祝了他的500年生日。一個更為近期的催化劑是新英格蘭的清教徒傳教士、神學家和教育家約拿森愛得華茲（Jonathan Edwards，1703 – 1758），他因為捍衛加爾文主義，對抗當時他認為笨拙的理性主義自然神論而揚名於世。一個新加爾文主義年輕人運動（不僅限於年輕人）明顯的特徵是運動襯衫上面愛德華茲的肖像，並『約拿森愛得華茲是我的老鄉（Jonathan Edwardsis my homeboy）!』的口號。
A major contemporary catalyst of the movement is Minneapolis Baptist pastor, author, and popular speaker John Piper (b. 1946), whose numerous theological books are unusually reader-friendly and scholarly — a rare combination. His Desiring God: Confessions of a Christian Hedonist2 is second only to the Bible in terms of inspiration and authority for many of the young, restless, Reformed Christians who eagerly devour Piper’s books and sermons (readily available online). Piper speaks to enormous youth audiences at “Passion Conferences” and “one Day” events — sometimes attended by as many as forty thousand people under age twenty-six. What many of his followers do not know is something Piper makes no secret about — that he is simply repackaging the Calvinist theology of Jonathan Edwardsfor contemporary youth. (edwards’ writings can be daunting to read!)
這個運動在近代的一個主要催化劑是明尼阿波利斯的浸信會牧師、作者、和著名的公眾演說者約翰派博（John Piper，b. 1946），他撰寫的神學書籍不尋常的易於閱讀，並非常的學術性——這是一個少見的組合。他的渴慕神——一位基督徒快樂主義者的懺悔對於許多年輕的、沒耐性的、改革宗基督徒在聖經之外最具有啟發性並權威的作品，他們熱切的投身於派博的書和講道中（已經公佈在網路上）。派博在許多『激情特惠（Passion Conference）』和『一天』的活動中向許多年輕聽眾演說——有時候參與的26歲以下的聽眾，數目可以達到四萬人。許多他的聽眾不知道的是，也是派博公開承認的——他不敢就是為了當代的年輕人，把愛德華茲的加爾文主義神學重新包裝。（愛德華茲的作品可是有名的令人畏懼！）
For readers not sure what this “new Calvinism” (or perhaps even Calvinism itself) is all about, I will here present journalist Hansen’s apt nutshell description. (A fuller account of Calvinism and Reformed theology will unfold throughout this book.) According to Hansen:
Calvinists — like their namesake, Reformation theologian John Calvin— stress that the initiative, sovereignty and power of God is the only sure hope for sinful, fickle, and morally weak human beings. Furthermore, they teach that the glory of God is the ultimate theme of preaching and the focus of worship.3
Furthermore, Hansen explains, “Calvinism puts much stock in transcendence which draws out biblical themes such as God’s holiness, glory and majesty.”4 But if these were the only emphases of the new Calvinism (or old Calvinism, for that matter), few genuinely evangelical Protestant Christians would quibble with it. What evangelical Christian denies them? For Hansen and those he studies, however, it may be a matter of emphasis. According to him, the new Calvinists are reacting to what they regard as a general decline of theology and especially emphasis on God’s glory in contemporary American church life. His subjects, he says, are reacting against the “feel good theology” of many contemporary evangelical churches.5
此外，Hansen解釋到，『加爾文主義非常強調聖經中關於神的聖潔、榮耀和君權的主題的超越性。』但是，如果那些僅僅是新加爾文主義（或舊加爾文主義）所強調的，沒有幾個真正的福音派抗議宗基督徒會對它吹毛求疵。那麼，福音派基督徒否定的是什麼呢？對於Hansen和那些他所研究的認識而言，可能是強調點的不同。根據他，新加爾文主義者對他們所認為的，神學的整體性衰弱做出回應，特別強調在當代美國教會生活中神的榮耀。他說，他的研究對象反對許多當地福音派教會的『感覺良好的神學（feel good theology）』。
Hansen refers to sociological studies of evangelical Christian young people that label their default view of God as “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism”6 — a fancy term for a vision of God as a grandfatherly figure in heaven who demands perfection but always forgives anyway. This “God” is both a judge and a self-esteem coach. He cannot be pleased but he always forgives. This is a weak and thin vision of God by historical Christian standards, and many young Christians have figured that out and turned to the only alternative available to them — the strong and thick doctrines of Calvinism.
Hansen指的是對於福音派基督徒年輕人的社會性研究，他們的神論乃是『道德性並治療性自然神論（Moralistic Therapeutic Deism）』——一個花俏的詞彙，認為神是一個像爺爺般的人物坐在天上，要求完美，但總是神面。這位『神』同時是審判官，也是自視甚高的教練。無法取悅祂，但是祂總是赦免。根據基督教的歷史標準而言，這種對神的看法是薄弱並淺薄的，許多青年基督徒發現並轉向他們唯一的另一個選擇——強健並厚實的加爾文主義教義。
As a veteran teacher of Christian college and university students, I accept this critique of much contemporary evangelical church life and preaching. Far too many Christian youth grow up with almost no biblical or theological knowledge, thinking that God exists for their comfort and success in life even if he lays down a law nobody can really live up to. like a kindly grandfather who dotes on his preteen progeny while decrying their bad grades, God may be disappointed in us but his whole goal is to make us fulfilled anyway.
That may be something of a caricature; few evangelical pastors or teachers would say that. But my experience resonates with what Hansen argues — that somehow or other most evangelical Christian young people manage to latch onto such a picture of God and fail entirely to plumb the riches of either the Bible or Christian theology to deepen their understanding of themselves and God. so many of the brightest and best become vaguely aware that something is missing in their spiritual upbringing, and when they hear the message of Calvinism, they latch onto it as their lifeboat from watery, culturally accommodated spirituality. Who can blame them? However, Calvinism isn’t the only alternative; most of them know little to nothing about either its weaknesses or historically rich, biblically faithful, and more reasonable alternative theologies.
By now readers may be wondering if this new Calvinism phenomenon is a youth fad that popped up out of nowhere. I’ve already strongly hinted that’s not the case. But something new is afoot in it — the appeal of a very old theology to a very young audience. Calvinism and Reformed theology (the distinction and relationship of those terms will be unpacked in chapter 2) used to be considered largely a Christian tradition of mostly old people. Years ago even many evangelical Christians thought of Calvinism as almost confined to the Dutch enclaves of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Pella, Iowa (and similar communities populated mainly by Dutch immigrants). Holland was, after all, a country where Calvinism especially caught on. Grand Rapids sports a number of influential Calvinist institutions such as Calvin College and seminary, several Reformed-leaning publishers, and numerous large Calvinist churches. In Pella, Iowa, the scene of a well-attended, annual TULIP festival, one can find First, second, and Third Reformed churches within blocks of each other. And the town boasts the fine Central College — a Reformed liberal arts school.
讀者如今可能會感覺器官，如果這個新加爾文主義的現象是不是一個不知道從那裡冒出來的，屬於年輕人的流行現象。我已經暗示過，並不是這樣。有一種新的事物正在發展中——向一群非常年輕的聽眾訴諸一個非常古老的神學。加爾文主義和改革宗神學（我在第二章中會進一步解釋兩者間的區別於關係）曾經被被認為屬於非常老年的基督徒人口的傳統。許多年前，甚至許多福音派基督徒認為加爾文主義基本上只限於密西根的Grand Rapids和愛荷華的Pella這兩款荷蘭國的飛地（並其他由荷蘭移民定居的類似群體。）別忘了，荷蘭是一個加爾文主義特別盛行的國家。Grand Rapids則擁有好幾個非常具有影響力的改革宗機構，就像加爾文學院與神學院，好幾個傾向改革宗的出版商，並好幾個大型的加爾文主義教會。在愛荷華的Pella，則舉辦了年度性的，大規避的TULIP慶祝大會，人們可以在每一個街區中發現，第一、第二和第三改革宗教會。那個城市也已一所很好的核心大學為榮——一個改革宗的文科大學。
All that is by no means meant to demean Reformed churches or Calvinist theology; they have a rich historical tradition and a major presence within American evangelical Christianity. Many leading evangelical leaders and thinkers have been Reformed since the days of the Puritans (who were english Calvinists). However, for several generations during the twentieth century Calvinism’s vitality seemed to be waning. one can sense that in the defensive tones of lofty Calvinist theologian Loraine Boettner’s (1901 – 1990) massive tome, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.7 (Boettner’s book was long treated as a magisterial source on high Calvinism by numerous Reformed Christians even though more popularly written books that espouse the same theology have largely eclipsed it.)
我們根本沒有辦法使改革宗教會和加爾文主義謙卑；他們擁有一個豐富的歷史性傳統，並在美國福音派基督教中具有相當的地位。從清教徒（他們是英國的改革宗者）開始，許多福音派領袖並思想者都是改革宗的。然而，在二十世紀的好幾個世代中，加爾文主義似乎一直在衰弱中。人們可以發現傲慢的加爾文主義神學家Loraine Boettner（1901-1990）的巨著—--改革宗關於預定論的教義（The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination）中出現那種防衛性的語調。（Boettner的書總是被許多改革宗基督徒視為高派加爾文主義的權威，雖然許多更為普及的，涉及同一個神學的書籍使得它黯然失色。）
Boettner, who declared that “a full and complete exposition of the Christian system can be given only on the basis of the truth as set forth in the Calvinistic system”8 and that “our doctrine is the clearly revealed doctrine of the scriptures,”9 decried the decline of strong Calvinist belief among evangelical Americans. He would be delighted to see its current Renaissance. But he was right. In the 1940s through the 1980s Calvinism struggled to hold onto young people; the 1970s Jesus movement was anything but Calvinistic, and the charismatic and Third Wave movements were also, for the most part, non-Calvinist. These were the popular Christian movements of my youth; many of today’s Christian teenagers and university students (and older people as well) are just as excited about their newfound faith in God’s absolute sovereignty as Christian young people of my generation were about “getting high on Jesus.”
Boettner宣稱『對基督教系統更為全面與完整的探討只能根據加爾文主義系統所制定之真理的基礎』並且『我們的教育明確的是聖經教義所啟示的，』公開譴責在福音派美國人中強烈的加爾文主義者衰減的事實。他或許會非常欣慰於加爾文主義最近的復興。但是，他是正確的。從1940年到1980年，加爾文主義努力要緊緊抓住年輕人；1970年代的耶穌運動（Jesus Movement）就是加爾文主義的，而靈恩和第三波運動（Third Wave movements）則大部分是非加爾文主義的。那些都是我年輕時候眾所共知的基督教運動；許多金融的基督教青少年和大學生（並較老的去中）都因為在神絕對的主權中重新找到信仰而興奮不已，就像我那個時代的年輕人『因為基督而興奮』一樣。
However, Calvinism never disappeared or even went underground. It has always been a strong force in certain segments of American church life. And the contemporary young, restless, Reformed believers are largely unaware of Calvinists before John Piper (and his popularizing young preachers and writers), who paved the way for their rediscovery of that message and lifestyle. one was Boettner — little known but inf luential. Another was one of my own seminary professors, James Montgomery Boice (1938 – 2000), who pastored the strongly Calvinistic and evangelical Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. He was also a radio preacher, Bible commentator, Christian magazine publisher (Eternity), and author of numerous books mostly about Reformed theology. (Boice took a sabbatical from his church in the mid-1970s during which he taught a course at north American Baptist seminary in sioux Falls, south Dakota; I was one of his students during that minisemester course on preaching.) Most of the young, new Calvinists have never heard of Boice, but he was an amazingly prolific pastor-theologian-author-speaker who was, like Piper later, almost a force of nature in American evangelical life.
然而，加爾文主義從未消失，或甚至變成地下運動。它在美國教會生活的某個部分中總是一股非常強大的力量。當代年幼、不耐煩的、改革宗的信徒大部分對於派博（並他推銷的年輕傳道人和作者）之前的加爾文主義者一無所知，派博為他們重新發現神的信息和自身的生活方式鋪平了道路。其中的一位是Boettner——不是那麼有名，但是具有很大的影響力。另一位是我學校的另一位教授，James Montgomery Boice（1938 – 2000），他牧養具有非常強烈加爾文和福音派色彩的費城第十長老教會。他也是一位廣播傳道人，聖經詮釋者，基督徒雜誌的編輯（永恆——Eternity），並好幾百主義關於改革宗神學書籍的作者。（Boice在1970年代任教於Dakota州的Sioux Falls的時候，在他的教會使用了安息年；我在那個關於講道的課程中是他的學生。）大部分的年輕的，新一代的加爾文主義者幾乎沒有聽過Boice的傳道，但是他乃是一位令人驚嘆，全方位的牧師—神學家—作者—傳道人，他就像後來的派博一樣，機會成為美國福音派生活中的一股力量。
Another precursor and pioneer of the new Calvinism is Reformed theologian and apologist R. C. Sproul (b. 1939), founder of the influential ligonier Ministries, which specializes in Christian apologetics. (not all Calvinists are as fond of rational apologetics as Sproul, but there can be no doubt about his Calvinist credentials.) Sproul has taught at several leading conservative Calvinist seminaries and has appeared in person and via media at numerous Christian conferences and church events. Among his widely read expositions and defenses of Calvinist theology are What Is Reformed Theology? and Chosen by God.10 Hansen gives Sproul great credit for paving the way for the new Calvinism even though he is not nearly as well-known among the young, restless, Reformed as John Piper.
在新加爾文主義中另一位前輩和先鋒是改革宗神學家並護教學家R. C. Sproul（b. 1939），是具有影響力的Ligonier Miinistries的創辦人，著重在基督教的護教活動。（並不是每一個加爾文主義者都想Sproul一樣是非常理性的護教者，但是，他的加爾文主義特徵是毫無疑問的。）Spoul在好幾所主要的加爾文主義神學院任教過，並親自透過媒體參加好幾個基督教特會和教會舉辦的活動。他廣為人所閱讀的，禪師並捍衛加爾文主義神學的作品有什麼是改革宗神？（What Is Reformed Theology? ）並被神揀選（Chosen by God）。Hansen認為Sproul在為新加爾文主義鋪設康莊大道這件事上居功至偉，基本他根本不像派博一樣在那些年幼、不耐煩的、改革宗的信徒中成為眾所周知的人物。
Another popular Calvinist writer and speaker who helped set the stage for the revival of Reformed theology among the youth is radio evangelist, pastor, and Bible commentator John F. MacArthur (b. 1939),pastor of one of the original megachurches — grace Community Church of sun Valley, California. His radio program Grace to You has been in constant broadcast since 1977. In 1985 he founded his own Christian college and in 1986 his own seminary. He is the author of numerous books, all of which promote a Calvinist perspective on the Bible and theology. There can be no doubt that, like Boice and Sproul, MacArthur’s inf luence “trickled down” to the new Calvinists who, by and large, have never heard of him.
另一位出名的加爾文主義作者與演說家是F. MacArthur（b. 1939），他幫助建構了改革宗神學復興的舞台，他同時是廣播佈道家，牧師和聖經註釋者，也是一個超大型教會——加州Sun Valley的恩典社區教會的牧師。他的廣播節目—--臨及你的恩典（Grace to You）一直從
One other precursor and pioneer must be given credit for the resurgence of Calvinism even though few of its youthful adherents know about him. That is prolific theological author and editor Michael Horton (b. 1964), who teaches theology at Westminster Theological seminary’s California campus in escondido. He is the consummate organizer and has brought together many Calvinists (and others with similar views of God and salvation) in organizations such as the Alliance of Confessing evangelicals, of which he was executive director. He is editor of the enormously successful Modern Reformation magazine and host of the White Horse Inn radio program — both serious but popular organs of Calvinist Bible interpretation, cultural critique, and theology. Many young Calvinists are discovering Horton and his works, such as Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church11 — a prophetic critique of the thin “man-centered” theology and spirituality of much contemporary evangelical Christianity.
還有另一位必須被提及的前輩與先鋒，他也促成了加爾文主義的復興，雖然只有少數的年輕家額外人主義者知道他。那就是多產的神學作者和編輯者Michael Horton（b. 1964），他在位於加州Escondido的衛敏斯特神學院分校任教。他組織了好幾個機構，也罷許多加爾文主義者（並其他對神與救贖帶有類似觀點的人士）整合在一起，例如認信福音派聯盟，他是該組織的執行長。他也是非常成功的現代改革宗（Modern Reformation）雜誌的編輯，並主持白馬驛站（White Horse Inn）這個廣播節目——兩者都是嚴肅，但都是眾所共知的加爾文主義聖經詮釋，文化批判和神學的機構。許多年輕的加爾文主義者發現Horton和他的作品，及乳頭沒有基督的基督教：美國教會的另類福音（Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church）——一個先知性的，對於存在於當地福音派基督教中淺薄的『一人為中心』的神學和屬靈神學的批判。
These notable Calvinists are surrounded by a host of others who could be named as inf luential promoters of evangelical Calvinism and preparers for the rise of the new Calvinism in the 1990s and first decade of the twenty-first century. But one more phenomenon must be mentioned to give even a cursory accounting of its background — the “Edwards Renaissance” in both philosophy and theology during the last decades of the twentieth century. For decades and perhaps a century Jonathan Edwards was known to most people, including Christians, only as the cranky Puritan preacher of the sermon “sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” However, he was rediscovered as a profound philosopher and theologian as well as an astute observer of nature and amateur naturalist in the 1980s and beyond. numerous books continue to fall from publishers’ presses touting Edwards as “America’s Theologian” — the title of one theological recommendation of Edwardsand his thought.12 During his student days at Fuller Theological seminary, John Piper chose Edwardsas his theological mentor and found in him the richest and fullest account of biblical Christianity in the modern world.13
None of this history includes those associated with the bastion of American Reformed thought and life — Calvin College and seminary of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The extent to which those institutions paved the way for the new Calvinism is uncertain. Their inf luence is probably more remote. Moreover, some American Reformed thinkers associated with those institutions have expressed certain reservations about the new Calvinism that, interpreted in a certain way, could be taken as casting doubt on its already named precursors.
The December 1, 2009 issue of Christian Century magazine contained an article by Reformed theologian Todd Billings of Western Theological seminary of Holland, Michigan (like Calvin College and seminary, a center of the older Dutch-rooted Reformed tradition). In his article “Calvin’s Comeback? The Irresistible Reformer,” Billings decried the new Calvinism’s one-sided focus on some of Reformed theology’s more exotic doctrines and especially the TULIP scheme of total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace and perseverance of the saints. He averred that the new Calvinists use TULIP as a litmus test by which one’s authenticity as Reformed is tested. In response he claims that “TULIP does not provide an adequate or even accurate distillation of Reformed theology”14 and criticizes the new Calvinists for placing at the center what is peripheral to the tradition.
2009年12月1日出版的基督教世紀（Christian Century）雜誌收錄了一篇任職於密西根Holland的西部神學院（如同加爾文大學和神學院一樣，是一個更為古老的、源自於荷蘭的改革宗傳統的中心）改革宗神學家Todd Billings撰寫的文章。在他的文章——『加爾文的回歸？無可抗拒的改革宗』中，Billings公開反對新加爾文運動單方面桌子某些改革宗神學最為奇異的教義，特別是TULIP中的完全敗壞，無條件揀選，有限救贖，不可抗拒的恩典，並對聖徒的保守。他證明，新加爾文主義者只用TULIP作為測試某人是否真的屬於改革宗神學的基石。為了反對這種做法，他宣稱『TULIP不能提供一種足夠或甚至正確的，對於改革宗神學的萃取』，並批評新加爾文主義者將改革宗傳統的邊緣思想置於傳統的中心的做法。
For Billings and for many other “churchly Calvinists” (a term for those associated with the older Dutch and scottish Reformed and Presbyterian liturgical and sacramental denominations) the new Calvinists are missing the boat almost entirely. “Reformed” designates not an emphasis on predestination and certainly not on reprobation (predestination of some persons to hell) — what Calvin famously called the “horrible decree [of God]” — but on a certain catholic (with a small “c,” meaning universal) and sacramental vision of Christianity that does emphasize God’s sovereignty but does not play it out in celebration of God’s absolute control of the minutest events including evil.
Billings’ objection will no doubt be debated by other self-proclaimed Reformed Christians. I only mention it here because it well expresses a murmur against the new Calvinism one can hear emanating from the older Reformed institutions of American and European Christianity that have to some extent downplayed the TULIP system of Reformed theology. I will explore this and other aspects of Reformed and Calvinist diversity in the next two chapters.
This introduction is entitled “Why This Book now?” Indeed, why a book now Against Calvinism? Isn’t the rise of serious theological ref lection and commitment among young Christians a good thing? Why pour cold water on the revival fires of spirituality among the young? I take that objection seriously to heart.
However, I believe the time has come for someone to point out the f laws and weaknesses in this particular type of Calvinism — the type widely embraced and promoted by leaders and followers of the young, restless, Reformed movement. But the promotion of what I consider a flawed system comes not only from them. The same theology of God’s absolute sovereignty can be found in Calvin (perhaps without the aspect of limited atonement), Edwards(in an extreme way as I will explain), Boettner, Boice, Sproul, and numerous other popularizers of Calvinism. so what’s wrong with believing in and celebrating God’s sovereignty? Absolutely nothing! But, it can be and often is taken too far — making God the author of sin and evil — which is something few Calvinists admit to but which follows from what they teach as a “good and necessary consequence” (a somewhat confusing technical phrase often used by Calvinists themselves to point out the dreaded effects they see in non-Calvinist theologies).
One can go to the Internet phenomenon called YouTube and watch numerous video clips by adherents of the new Calvinism declaring shocking beliefs about God’s sovereignty, including that God causes all calamities and horrors “for his glory.” John Piper famously published a sermon a few days after the Twin Towers terrorist events of september 11, 2001, declaring that God did not merely permit them but caused them.15 He has since published other statements similarly attributing natural disasters and horrific calamities to God. Piper is not alone; many of the new Calvinists and their mentors are aggressively asserting that this view of God is the only biblical and reasonable one.
Contemporary popular Calvinism may be by-and-large consistent with Calvin and many of his followers (although I think it is even more shaped by his successor as chief pastor of Geneva, Theodore Beza [1519 – 1605] and his followers), but it is not the only version of Reformed theology and Calvinism. I will explain that further in the next chapter. For now, suffice it to say that even many Reformed Christians are shocked and appalled at the implications of the new Calvinism’s extreme emphasis on God’s sovereignty.
當代著名的加爾文主義可能在大部分的方面與加爾文和許多他的跟隨者一直（雖然我認為他的跟隨者要比日內瓦的大牧師在塑造這個神學上，具有更大的貢獻，就是Theodore Beza[1519 – 1605]和他的跟隨者），但是，那不是唯一的改革宗主義和加爾文主義的版本。我會在下一章中進一步解釋這點。至此，只要說基本許多改革宗的基督徒也因為新加爾文主義者以極端的方式強調神的主權而感到震驚。
Of course, the definition of “Reformed” depends largely on the church or thinker claiming the label. In fact, the worldwide organization called the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) includes many denominations and churches that in no way embrace the whole TULIP system. (In fact, shockingly to some Calvinists, the WCRC includes some Arminian churches that believe in free will and deny God’s meticulous, providential control of all events!) I consider myself Reformed in its broadest sense — non-Lutheran in the broad Protestant stream extending from the Swiss Reformation led originally by Ulrich Zwingli (1484 – 1531).
當然，『改革宗』的定義主要依賴宣稱擁有那個標籤的教會或思想家。事實上，被成為世界改革宗教會團契（World Communion of Reformed Churches ，WCRC）的世界性組織包括了許多並沒有完全接受TULIP系統的宗派和教會。（事實上，另某些加爾文主義者驚訝的是，WCRC還包括了一些相信自由意志，並否定神在萬事上過度細膩並具有看護性的控制之亞米念的教會！）在這個廣義的意義上，我認為我自己也是改革宗——在廣泛意義上的抗議宗分支中的非路德會，源自於原由慈運理（1484 – 1531）所領導瑞士的改革宗。
I believe someone needs finally to stand up and in love firmly say “no!” to egregious statements about God’s sovereignty often made by Calvinists. Taken to their logical conclusion, that even hell and all who will suffer there eternally are foreordained by God, God is thereby rendered morally ambiguous at best and a moral monster at worst. I have gone so far as to say that this kind of Calvinism, which attributes everything to God’s will and control, makes it difficult (at least for me) to see the difference between God and the devil. some of my Calvinist friends have expressed offense at that, but I continue to believe it is a valid question worth pursuing. What I mean is that if I were a Calvinist and believed what these people teach, I would have difficulty telling the difference between God and satan. I will unpack that in more detail throughout this book.
Some Calvinists accuse non-Calvinists of rejecting their theology of God’s sovereignty because of a latent humanistic love for free will. A Calvinist colleague, who has since become a well-known author of Reformed books, once asked me seriously if I had considered whether my belief in free will was evidence of unrecognized humanism in my thinking. Needless to say, I rejected that suggestion. The fact is that I, like most non-Calvinist evangelical Christians, embrace free will for two reasons (beyond that we believe it is everywhere assumed in the Bible): it is necessary to preserve human responsibility for sin and evil, and it is necessary to preserve God from being responsible for sin and evil. I can honestly say (as most non-Calvinist evangelicals do) that I don’t give a f lip about free will except for those reasons.
I have no interest in man-centered theology; I am intensely interested in worshiping a God who is truly good and above reproach for the Holocaust and all other evils too numerous to mention. Too many Calvinist authors misrepresent non-Calvinist theologies as if they are all man-centered, humanistic, less-than-God-honoring, and even unbiblical without ever acknowledging the problems in their own theology. Too many young, impressionable followers have not yet figured out what those problems are.16 I write this to help them.
So, the time has come for an irenic and loving but firm “no!” to the extreme version of Calvinism being promoted by leaders of the young, restless, Reformed generation and too often uncritically being embraced by their followers. I will demonstrate that the “no!” can be said from within Reformed theology itself and has been said by some leading Reformed theologians and biblical scholars. I will show that this extreme Calvinism, which with adherent Hansen I label “radical,”17 is inherently f lawed biblically, logically, and in terms of the wider Christian tradition.
I will put all my cards on the table here and confess that I operate with four criteria of theological truth: scripture, tradition, reason, and experience (the so-called Wesleyan Quadrilateral). Scripture is the primary source and norm of theology. Tradition is theology’s “normed norm” — a respected guidance mechanism. Reason is a critical tool for interpreting scripture and weeding out absolutely incredible theological claims that contradict each other or lead to consequences that are untenable in the light of what else is believed. Experience is the inevitable crucible in which theology is done, but though it is a criterion for evaluation, it is not an authority, so I will hardly appeal to it at all. What I do believe about experience is that no theology is created or embraced in a vacuum; experience always colors what we believe and how we believe it.
I will argue throughout this book that high Calvinism is not the only or the best way of interpreting scripture. It is one possible interpretation of isolated texts, but in light of the whole witness of scripture it is not viable. Furthermore, I will argue that high Calvinism stands in tension with the ancient faith of the Christian church and much of the heritage of evangelical faith. some of its crucial tenets cannot be found before the church father Augustine in the fifth century, and others cannot be found before a heretic named Gottschalk (d. circa 867) or from him until Calvin’s successor, Theodore Beza.
我將會在整本書中辯論到高派加爾文主義不是唯一或詮釋升級的最好方式。它可能可以用來詮釋某些獨立的經文，但是在全部聖經的見證下，它的詮釋不是切實可行的。此外，我也會論到嘎登加爾文主義與古代基督教教會的信仰並福音派所繼承的信仰間具有張力。它的某些重要的教條在五世紀的教父奧古斯丁之前根本找不到，有些交通在一個名為Gottschalk (d. circa 867) 的異端之前，或從他到加爾文的繼承人——Theodore Beza間都看不到。
Finally, I will argue that high Calvinism falls into contradictions; it cannot be made intelligible — and Christianity should be intelligible. By “intelligible” I do not mean philosophically rational; I mean capable of being understood. A sheer contradiction is a sure sign of error; even most Calvinists agree about that. The greatest contradiction is that God is confessed as perfectly good while at the same time described as the author of sin and evil. I do not say that all Calvinists admit that their theology makes God the author of sin and evil; many deny that. But I will show that it is a “good and necessary consequence” of what else they say about God.
Someone has said that no theology is worth believing that cannot be preached standing in front of the gates of Auschwitz. I, for one, could not stand at those gates and preach a version of God’s sovereignty that makes the extermination of six million Jews, including many children, a part of the will and plan of God such that God foreordained and rendered it certain.18 I want young Calvinists (and others) to know and at least come to terms with the inevitable and unavoidable consequences of what this radical form of Reformed theology teaches. And I want to give their friends and relatives and spiritual mentors ammunition to use in undermining their sometimes overconfidence in the solidity of their belief system.
Part Three V
我耶和华凭公义召 你、必搀扶你的手、保守你、使你作众民的中保、〔中保原文作约〕作外邦人的光、开瞎子的眼、领被囚的出牢狱、领坐黑暗的出监牢…看哪、先前的事已经成就、现在我将新事说明、这事未发以先、我就说给你们听…旷野和其中的城邑、并基达人居住的村庄、都当扬声．西拉的居民当欢呼、在山顶上呐喊。他们当将荣耀归给耶和华、在海岛中传扬他的颂讚。耶和华必像勇士出去、必像战士激动热心、要喊叫、大声呐喊、要用大力攻击仇敌。我要引瞎子行不认 识的道、领他们走不知道的路．在他们面前使黑暗变为光明、使弯曲变为平直．这些事我都要行、并不离弃他们（赛42:6-7，9，11-13，16）。
我耶和华凭公义召 你、必搀扶你的手、保守你、使你作众民的中保、〔中保原文作约〕作外邦人的光、开瞎子的眼、领被囚的出牢狱、领坐黑暗的出监牢…看哪、先前的事已经成就、现在我将新事说明、这事未发以先、我就说给你们听…旷野和其中的城邑、并基达人居住的村庄、都当扬声．西拉的居民当欢呼、在山顶上呐喊。他们当将荣耀归给耶和华、在海岛中传扬他的颂讚。耶和华必像勇士出去、必像战士激动热心、要喊叫、大声呐喊、要用大力攻击仇敌。我要引瞎子行不认 识的道、领他们走不知道的路．在他们面前使黑暗变为光明、使弯曲变为平直．这些事我都要行、并不离弃他们（赛42:6-7，9，11-13，16）。