Thursday, January 13, 2011

Louis Ruggiero's "The God of Calvinism"

Louis Ruggiero (aka LouRugg) has written the dangerously-titled book, "The God of Calvinism: a Rebuttal of Reformed Theology."

Ironically, the book has as front-matter before the (first) dedication "A Prayer at West Point Chapel." The prayer reads:
Make us choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be contented with a half truth when the whole truth can we won. Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when right and truth are in jeopardy.
Mr. Ruggiero does not make any commentary on the prayer, so it is hard to know whether he appreciates the significance of a prayer to God that God "Make us choose" something. Does Mr. Ruggiero believe that God can make someone choose something? If he does, then he's a compatabilist: someone who thinks that God's directing of men's choices does not take away the character of "choice." In other words, if the prayer is answerable in the affirmative, it means that a choice can be a choice without being a "free" choice.

The prayer is a very Calvinist prayer in that sense. It recognizes that God can make us choose things, while it remaining true that we choose those things. Once a person realizes that, a lot of false objections to Calvinism fade away.

Does this point render the rest of Louis' book moot? With God's assistance, we will explore this shortly, Lord Willing.



Anonymous said...


Pilgrimsarbour said...

Chip Stonehouse once told me that he was attending a Pastor's conference in New England one time. There was a good mix of Calvinists and Arminians there, but they all had one thing in common. Whenever the Arminians prayed for an individual, they would pray this way:

"Lord, break through his hard heart!

Bring him to yourself, Father!

Could it be, O Hound of Heaven, that he receives no rest until your Spirit brings him into the kingdom!

Show him the light and life of our Lord Jesus Christ and never let him go! Amen!"

No one ever prayed that God would:

"Present yourself to him, Father, in such a convincing way that his natural inclination to love You would stir him to choose the salvation that is to be found in Christ Jesus...

...but not so much that, you know, you're doing it against his will. Just woo him a bit, you know, how You do that thing you do. Amen."


There are no Arminians in prayer circles.

Paul said...

Not only "Baptists like Charles Spurgeon and John Gill teaching this many generations ago" but also modern Baptists like Al Mohler.

Dr. Mohler has pointedly remarked, "If you are counting points, there are five of them, and I affirm all five."

Apparently the good Dr. Caner is not aware of the president of his denomination's largest seminary!

Thanks for the review(s).