From the Author
From Co-Author, Jon Cardwell
The book that I recently co-wrote with Jeff and Eddie, Against Calvinism
, has stirred a great deal of emotion from both professing Arminians and Calvinists, much more than I could have imagined. Many of the most snide and venomous remarks have come from those who have either not read the content, nor read the caveat, neither have they bothered looking into the book any further than a brief glance. A few have accused us of suggesting or believing that those holding to Arminian theology are incapable of logical thought. One comment that came my way suggested that the premise of this book would cause those who hold to non-Calvinistic theology feel like we are calling those people illogical. That could not be further from the truth as people are not arguments or propositions themselves. Though they can draw logical or illogical conclusions, for a created being to be logical or illogical is an illogical conclusion.
Although I believe the doctrines of grace and though I believe that the basic tenets provided by the "five solas of the Reformation" are the most consistent and logical interpretation of scripture, the truth of man's salvation, sanctification, and man's ultimate end in Christ alone. To insist that someone must believe one system of theology over another system of theology, apart from fundamental scriptural truths concerning salvation, would be to add to grace. This doesn't mean that the doctrines of grace, say, do not exist, or are not true. What does matter is that Christ saves sinners; and that salvation is not based upon a theology, whether Arminian or Calvinism. Theology merely defines systematically how salvation has come to man from God based upon God's written revelation of Himself in the scriptures. Although the means of salvation is by God's Word (Rom 10:17), "salvation is of the LORD" (Jon 2:9).
Then why, am I so adamant about the doctrines of grace? Because it is true what the late Dr. A.W. Tozer wrote, "Always and always God must be first. The gospel in its scriptural context puts the glory of God first and the salvation of man second."The doctrines of grace place the glory of God first and the salvation of man second. The doctrines of grace exalt the sovereignty of God without removing the responsibility of man. The doctrines of grace exalt the Person of Jesus Christ, because although Christ receives great glory in the salvation of souls, even if God saved no one (theoretically speaking), it would not diminish who Christ is in the least. He is the Almighty God, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being.
We have used humor, satire and irony in conveying the doctrines of grace in this book. As there has already been a few who have expressed their very strong displeasure with our use of humor to convey these truths, I'm certain that there will be others that will share that particular view. As far as the use of wit and humor, I'd like to provide this quote from Mr. Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
"Sometimes, anecdotes have force in them on account of their appealing to the sense of the ludicrous. Of course, I must be very careful here, for it is a sort of tradition of the fathers that it is wrong to laugh on Sundays. The eleventh commandment is, that we are to love one another, and then, according to some people, the twelfth is, 'Thou shalt pull a long face on Sunday.' I must confess that I would rather hear people laugh than I would see them asleep in the house of God; and I would rather get the truth into them through the medium of ridicule than I would have the truth neglected, or leave the people to perish through lack of reception of the truth. I do believe in my heart that there may be as much holiness in a laugh as in a cry; and that, sometimes, to laugh is the better thing of the two, for I may weep, and be murmuring, and repining, and thinking all sorts of bitter thoughts against God; while, at another time, I may laugh the laugh of sarcasm against sin, and so evince a holy earnestness in the defense of the truth. I do not know why ridicule is to be given up to Satan as a weapon to be used against us, and not to be employed by us as a weapon against him. I will venture to affirm that the Reformation owed almost as much to the sense of the ridiculous in human nature as to anything else, and that those humorous squibs and caricatures, that were issued by the friends of Luther, did more to open the eyes of Germany to the abominations of the priesthood than the more solid and ponderous arguments against Romanism. I know no reason why we should not, on suitable occasions, try the same style of reasoning. 'It is a dangerous weapon," it will be said, "and many men will cut their fingers with it.' Well, that is their own lookout; but I do not know why we should be so particular about their cutting their fingers if they can, at the same time, cut the throat of sin, and do serious damage to the great adversary of souls."It is our duty, and should be our pressing passion to preach the gospel to a lost and dying world. Quite often, however, our loving but firm presentation of the gospel, be it the public proclamation of Christ's gospel in open air, or the worshipful teaching of doctrine, appeal to truth, and exhortation of holiness from the pulpit in expositing God's Word, we are met with opposition; and very often, met with the vile and venomous insults of gross cavilers. Would we not still preach the gospel? We must, and we will by God's grace, Lord willing. Likewise, if the doctrines of grace are true, and I believe they are, as a preacher of the gospel and a pastor of a local congregation, would I not have a grave responsibility before God to proclaim these truths, despite objections from those who believe otherwise?
And yes, all three authors embrace the Doctrines of Grace. In other words, they are Calvinists.
A.W. Tozer, Born After Midnight
, Ch.4, "The Key to Human Life is Theological."
C.H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students Vol. 2
, Lecture 3, "The Uses of Anecdotes and Illustrations."
From the Inside Flap
Yes, this book has stirred a bit of flap from nearly every quarter of Evangelicalism: from Calvinists, Arminians, and Puritans; as well as from thousands of mutants, Martians, armchair quarterbacks, weekend fathers, and wheelchair generals. Get this resource today!