For the Reformation: Conclusion

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the final post in my series responding to Almost Heresy blog proprietor Rocky Munoz, who has written a series critiquing the five points of Calvinism. Like Munoz, I have followed each point of the T.U.L.I.P. acronym in reverse order. My entire rebuttal has been intended to demonstrate that the critic’s understanding of Reformed theology is faulty, his alternative interpretations of the relevant biblical texts are unsatisfactory, and his overall response is Scripturally and theologically problematic.

In his conclusion to his own series of posts, Munoz centers on how “belief in Calvinism really does make a noticeable difference in how we live,” and he asserts that this is supremely negative because the theology “is irrelevant and out of touch with the world that we live in … it is harmful to the individual who believes it, and it is harmful to society and global humanity as a whole.” It is from this overriding statement that we will address Munoz’s final critique point by point.

Munoz’s first major assertion, that Calvinism “assumes an outdated perspective on physics” that is Newtonian in nature, while “[r]eality is much more open and relational,” is a clear nod to the open theist position. My one question on this matter to the open/relational theist who is non-Calvinist is this: If what exists is not a universe of order based on God’s predetermined purpose and good pleasure, and every chain of events is entirely capable of being thwarted, how could Scripture ever talk about a certainty of types, shadows, and promises, that were in fact fully uncertain, without God being a liar? If the future is open and entirely subject to change, then God would have to be a liar. It could be that. Or, perhaps, it could be that the god of open theism couldn’t have had any way of knowing better.

But what about Reformed theology? Munoz insists that “Calvinism is irrelevant is because it assumes an outdated perspective on physics … Newtonian mechanics … deterministic reality.” Is this actually the case? This might seem to be the Death Knell for Calvinism, especially in the mind of any modern, scientific thinker. But Munoz’s assessment is not without problems.

Although it is true that Newtonianism assumes knowable and predictable laws of physics, it is a bit of a stretch for Munoz to associate this system completely with the Reformed position on God or the universe. God and his ways are knowable to an extent, of course, and God’s moral law is revealed to the extent that it is relevant to anyone’s being judged by Him as a lawbreaker. But on what basis can we say that modern and postmodern insights into string theory, or findings concerning multiverses or whatever else, suddenly make reality too complex for an infinite and omnipotent God to be intimately involved in absolutely everything?

The Calvinist idea is certainly not that everything is sovereignly predetermined in a way which humans can fully understand and predict. No – we would simply affirm that God’s eternal attributes have never and can never be subsumed by some lesser attributes. Yet an overriding assumption of Munoz’s is that absolute sovereignty is not an attribute of God to begin with. Instead, he clearly believes that God has let go of this kind of sovereignty in order to offer human beings absolute free will and autonomy of their own.

Lab Rats and Lawbreakers: A Crucial Difference

Next, Munoz emphasizes free will and what several insights from fields like psychology and neurology have suggested about it:

… just as Calvinism has failed to keep up with recent developments in the fields of physics, so too has it been largely ignorant of more recent studies in psychology and neurology when it comes to human free will. You see, not only have researches pointed out a number of problems with Libet’s study, but more recent studies have actually demonstrated results in favor of free will. I am thinking specifically of a 2015 study titled, “The point of no return in vetoing self-initiated movements,”3 from German researchers Blankertz, Schultze-Kraft, and Haynes, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which corroborates an earlier 2012 study from the same journal titled, “An accumulator model for spontaneous neural activity prior to self-initiated movement,”4 which also challenged Libet’s supposed findings. Even studies on animals, such as the 2014 study on rats, “Neural antecedents of self-initiated actions in secondary motor cortex,”5 published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, have demonstrated the vitality of free will decision-making, leading some researchers to call for “a new perspective“6 in the fields of neuroscience away from the now-outdated determinism of Libet’s research.

While this area of research would indeed be interesting if we were discussing human choices about wrist flicking, color preferences, or decisions over takeout Chinese vs. home-baked macaroni and cheese, it has no relevance to what Calvinist theology is actually concerned with: spiritual choices. Munoz could cite ten dozen more studies, and I would still wager that he would never be able to demonstrate an example of choices made in the laboratory that have any reference whatsoever to God’s law.

So, a lab rat has neurons that do something remarkable when the rodent is faced with a tone. And human beings may indeed think consciously before deciding to move little digits on their hands. Marvelous.

How, though, do any of these things compare to living according to righteousness or coming to Christ, which the Lord Jesus Himself said is possible for “no one” unless the condition is first met that “the Father has enabled them” or “it is granted him by the Father” (John 6:65)? Munoz’s imagined upholding of free will falls incredibly short in this regard.

Changing Needs?

Munoz continues with a discussion of how Calvinism is supposedly inapplicable to the present day because it no longer meets our basic needs. He explains:

It is no coincidence that John Calvin, before he was a religious reformer, was a lawyer, which helps to explain why in his theology a legal framework is so primary—God is first and foremost a moral lawgiver and judge, Jesus’ atoning work is primarily a legal loophole for humanity’s acquittal, and humans are fundamentally degenerate lawbreakers. You see, Calvinist theology, along with its inseparably close ties to a Penal Substitutionary theory of the atonement, is largely the product of the deontological ethical framework of 16th century Europe, and even the feudalistic society of the 12th century (a lá, Anselm of Canterbury).

That world, however, no longer exists. People just don’t have the same questions or concerns today that they did back then. People in present society seldom lose sleep over whether or not they’ve broken God’s laws or offended the personhood of some invisible deity, which is why a lot of Christian evangelism today is forced to begin with trying to convince people that they are sinners destined for hell before it can introduce them to the good news of Christ’s salvation. And if you have to convince folks that they have a problem before they are interested in the solution you’re trying to sell them, then it is very possible that the problem you’re pushing is immaterial to their situation. Moreover, there’s a high likelihood you’re not paying enough attention the problems that people are experiencing. Say what you might about Girard’s scapegoat theory of the atonement, but it certainly addresses some of the most profound felt needs of people today.

As we see, he emphasizes how “people in present society seldom lose sleep over” these issues of sin or have any worry about the idea that “they are sinners destined for hell.” And yet, the very message of the gospel—which Paul says has always been “folly to those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 1:18)—is that a great number of humans believe they are upstanding enough when compared to others or that they deserve some sort of salvation because of mere existence (under the assumption that God “loves” every one of His creatures equally).

The essential question is not whether the culture-at-large believes Scripture is relevant or not to today’s world. It clearly isn’t viewed in this way by many. Instead, the question is what people choose to supplant the biblical testimony with when it comes to matters like the purpose of judgment, the significance of salvation, and so forth. The fact that Reformed theology or even Scripture itself isn’t viewed as relevant to a culture has nothing to do with its truthfulness or untruthfulness. This is utterly fallacious.

Munoz adds:

I think this is actually why so many Christians get caught up in the culture wars, trying to get back to the “good ol’ days” (which probably never really existed), because they sense that their brand of Christianity is becoming irrelevant, and rather than adapt their religious perspective they try to stagnate cultural change so as to stay relevant.

Our critic of Reformed theology gets it backwards, I believe. The culture wars have most often been born from a strain of Christian faith that is intimately tied up with political conservatism. It is political conservatism, as well as adherents’ related desire to maintain perceived “traditionalism”—that has more typically led to these battles. It has never been Calvinist soteriology as such.

As a case in point, I need only remark that the most prominent Christian right organizations in America since the 1970s (e.g. Moral Majority, Christian Coalition) have tended to emerge out of evangelical, non-Reformed groups like Southern Baptists and non-denominational charismatics. To suggest that Calvinism has contributed to this movement in any significant way is simply unfounded.

Is Calvinism Actually Harmful to Individuals?

Munoz continues by describing the supposedly negative effects of Calvinism – not just on philosophies at large, but on individual human beings. He writes:

On the one hand, this is because a consistent belief in Calvinist doctrine logically leads to a loss of agency … Calvinism has no need of human free will, and even less need of a sense of responsibility on the part of people. In fact, ascribing responsibility to people’s choices, most noticeably their choice for or against Christ, is anathema in Calvinist circles since it is assumed that the exercise of such responsibility-laden choices would somehow rob God of His glory.

In reality, the exact opposite is true. Reformed theologians throughout history have continually stressed the fact that God’s divine decrees do not negate human responsibility. Take Loraine Boettner, for instance:

The same God who has ordained all events has ordained human liberty in the midst of these events, and this liberty is as surely fixed as is anything else. Man is no mere automaton or machine. In the Divine plan, which is infinite in variety and complexity which reaches from everlasting to everlasting, and which includes millions of free agents who act and inter-act upon each other, God has ordained that human beings shall keep their liberty under His sovereignty. He has made no attempt to give us a formal explanation of these things, and our limited human knowledge is not able fully to solve the problem. Since the Scripture writers did not hesitate to affirm the absolute sway of God over the thoughts and intents of the heart, they felt no embarrassment in including the acts of free agents within His all-embracing plan. That the makers of the Westminster Confession recognized the freedom of man is plain; for immediately after declaring that “God has freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass,” they added, “Yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[1]

Of course, Munoz might respond that Boettner is an inconsistent Calvinist who is failing to take the doctrine he espouses to its logical conclusion. Suffice it to say, however, that the idea of humans losing true agency or ultimate responsibility for their sinful actions has never been supported by a single Calvinist theologian. If anything, maybe Munoz would like to argue that we have a “No true Calvinist (Scotsman)” situation going on here.

His next target is the Reformed doctrine of Irresistible Grace, with a suggestion that it amounts to rape itself:

Certainly, things like Irresistible Grace sound nice, sort of like irresistible love. But love, for it to be true love, must allow for agency and the possibility of resistance. Otherwise, it is forced love. We have a word in the English language for forced love: rape.

Munoz’s assumption here, from what I can tell, is that true love means the ability to not love (“…agency and the possibility of resistance…”), since “freedom” is also probably assumed to be the ability to do moral opposites.

So far, so good—I suppose. But then I was forced to truly think about this concept for a while. And then the problems with Munoz’s definition became plain when I started applying it to the Trinity (which, being the Godhead, is the ultimate representation of the nature of true love).

Under Munoz’s logic, the love that exists between all the members of the Trinity—for it to be true love—must exist alongside free agency on the part of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And it must also allow for the possibility of resisting love on the part of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

But this can’t be. Since “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16), love is an aspect of His very nature. Love cannot be denied to or withdrawn from any member of the Trinity; otherwise, God’s nature would no longer be love. Of course, that’s the very problem that has to be brought up if this definition is assumed: God is unchangeable with regard to the nature of His eternal love. Even under open theism, I believe Munoz would be forced to admit that there is simply no Scriptural or philosophical basis for the idea of an imperfect or mutable love on the part of God.

Thus, under this basic axiom that “genuine love demands freedom,” all three persons of the Trinity are necessarily engaging in forced love for all eternity. And since this is the case, then none of the persons of the Trinity could be said to be freely loving.

So, are we to actually understand that the relationship demonstrated in the Trinity is nothing more than divine rape? If this insight is true and accurate (which it seemingly must be if we accept Munoz’s original definition of love), I have to wonder how this would affect the orthodox Christian theology of the Trinitarian God.

From my perspective, it seems that the only way out of this problem for Munoz would be for him to either (1) acknowledge that the Son, Father, and Holy Spirit can stop loving each other at any time or (2) alter the understanding of what “true love” is. This is an enormous problem that I have yet to see our critic resolve in any satisfying way.

Human Agency and Its Relatives

Munoz continues focusing on the supposed problem in Calvinism of a lack of human agency and responsibility. He writes:

Without doubt, we need a sense of agency and responsibility if we are going to live responsible and faithful lives. Too often I have heard Christians offer advice to hurting and struggling friends by saying things like, “just give it up to God,” or “let go and let God.” Not only do most people (Christians included) not have the foggiest idea what those clichés are supposed to mean, but they apparently assume that the answer to people’s problems is to stop trying to solve them and simply wait for some miraculous intervention from God. And when someone is struggling with depression, a failing marriage, or cancer, such trite banalities are actually incredibly damaging and can have some really severe (even life-threatening) consequences. Couple the lack of agency in Calvinist theology with the misanthropic view of humanity taught by Total Depravity, and you get a cocktail of self-loathing and helplessness.

The irony in Munoz’s criticism here is that the cliché of “let go and let God” is definitely not Calvinist in origin. It’s actually much easier to find this idea being associated with Arminian strains of thought like Keswick theology or the Higher Life movement.

In fact, I have yet to find an example of a single prominent voice in the Reformed tradition ever advocating such an approach to Christian living. Just consider how Calvinist theologian J. I. Packer puts it in his 1984 book Keep in Step with the Spirit: “The Christian’s motto should not be ‘Let go and let God’ but ‘Trust God and get going’”.[2] You really can’t get much clearer than that!

In his next portion, Munoz focuses out the supposed inapplicability of Calvinist theology to the entire psychotherapy profession. He explains:

This is why you will never (or, at least, should never) see Calvinist theology being espoused in a counseling session. Professor of psychology, Richard Beck, has written two very thought-provoking posts on his blog about why he believes psychotherapy from a Calvinist perspective is illogical and just doesn’t work. In the first of those posts, he writes:

[Therapy’s] optimistic vision of human agency and capability doesn’t sit well with certain theological anthropologies, Calvinism in particular. The optimistic and humanistic vision of modern psychotherapy crashes pretty hard into the doctrine of total depravity… In a Calvinistic anthropology we are so broken that we are incapable of helping ourselves. That view seems to doom the prospect of therapy right out of the gate… There is a clash of anthropologies between modern psychotherapy (high view of human agency) and Calvinism (low view of human agency).

Even more emphatically, he writes:

The Calvinistic anthropology is a round peg and psychotherapy is a square hole. And the two don’t fit. But that’s not a problem with science. Because there are alternative anthropologies within the Christian tradition that make for a better fit. Basically, I think all practicing Christian psychologists should be Arminian and their graduate coursework should educate them about Arminian theology.

Because even if Christian therapists are not confessing Arminians, they are functionally Arminian the minute they step into the therapy room. (emphasis in original)

On this point, I would insist that Beck is simply incorrect. There’s no reason that every type of psychological, spiritual, mental, or emotional healing has to somehow be rooted in a philosophy of “help yourself.” Furthermore, I see no reason for assuming that God, in His absolute sovereignty, is unable to call, raise up, and empower Calvinist-oriented psychologists who are able to carry out God’s purposes in transforming patients’ lives for the better through His own intervention in their lives. Why is God suddenly incapable of internally transforming any individual He wants to, in any therapy room He deems fitting, whenever He chooses to do so?

The other problem here, of course, is the assumption that modern, secular psychotherapy’s high view of human agency should take precedence over the actual Scriptural account of human agency. Modern psychotherapy, to be sure, has nothing whatsoever to say about mankind’s slavery to sin. Neither does the secular therapist give a tinker’s damn about what God requires or doesn’t require of people if they are to ever be reconciled to Him.

Calvinism and Social Justice Concerns

But Munoz is careful not to end his criticism in such questionable territory. Next, focusing on Calvinism’s supposed societal effects, Munoz discusses how this sets of beliefs manifests itself in “how some people regard their fellow humans.” He refers to a March 2017 study from Sandage, Jankowski, Crabtree, and Schweer-Collins[3] in order to describe what he calls “a strong correlation between (among other things) holding a Calvinist theology and a lack of care or interest in social justice.” After quoting only part of the study’s conclusion, Munoz notes:

There’s an ugly truth here that demands our acknowledgement: Calvinists tend to care less about social justice. Of course, correlation does not equal causation, but neither does it preclude it. Rather, correlation ought to lead to investigation. This raises the question, why do Calvinists have less concern for social justice than their Arminian counterparts?

In reality, the study’s conclusion doesn’t end with the portion that Munoz has quoted. Rather, the researchers continue by noting:

We also found that theological beliefs about female-male relating may be mere relevant to altruistic service, intercultural competence commitment, and social justice commitment than beliefs about divine-human relating.

Stated differently, their suggestion is that beliefs about egalitarianism vs. complementarianism have more to do with views on social justice and related areas than beliefs about Calvinism. Clearly, the Five Points of Calvinism as such do not offer a singular view regarding hierarchical relationships—or any other type, for that matter—between males and females.

The researchers also conclude:

Last, closeness with God (vertical dimension) seemed somewhat independent of theological beliefs (i.e., less consistent pattern across subgroups) about divine-human and male-female relating. The primary implication of the findings is training graduate students in the helping professions to consider emphasizing self-awareness and growth in relational virtues as part of their self-development, in addition to a focus on their vertical relating to God (p. 29).

Thus, the solution they encourage is not to increase acceptance of non-Calvinist soteriological perspectives. Rather, they suggest ramping up seminary students’ exposure to perspectives on horizontal relationships (human-to-human) in addition to their existing knowledge on vertical relationships (God-to-human).

The scholars who conducted the study are clear about something else: the origin of the participants’ views on men and women “are more relevant to diversity related social-ethical stances than are views of divine-human relating” (p.27). In addition, it is “a preference for social and relational hierarchy” that “often seems to be a powerful, implicit factor that informs views on various theological and social issues” (p. 28). Stated differently, they find that it is social views which tend to move someone toward Calvinist beliefs, and not Calvinist beliefs that move someone toward certain social views.

Munoz tries to show how the Calvinist is compelled to become like his or her conception of the deity, one which Munoz views as less-than-worthy of worship:

I would suggest that the connection is less economic and more existential. There is a fantastic quote frequently attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson:

It behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.9

In other words, we become like the God (or gods) we worship. In my understanding, this is why A. W. Tozer writes, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”10 If, when we think of God, we envision a deity whose character is like Christ—other oriented, self-sacrificing, inclusive, non-coercive, and loving—then our worship of such a God will lead us to become more and more loving and open-armed. However, if in our minds we imagine a God who cares for some more than He cares for others, or perhaps even to the exclusion of others, then we too will become more exclusive and selective in our own regard toward others.

I fully sympathize with Munoz’s motivations here. What he’s overlooking, though, is the very idea in Calvinist thought that we don’t (and can’t) know who is elect and who is non-elect. Thus, the reality of Reformed theology’s outworking in a Christian’s life can’t be selective behavior or exclusion of anyone.

In other words, even if God can be considered selective or exclusive in His divine decrees, we as humans aren’t working from the same orientation or position that God is. Our gospel call, missional living, and example of love must be extended to all people without exception. Absolutely nothing in Scripture – or even a Reformed interpretation of Scripture – precludes this from being the case.

Munoz then touches on the more tangible connection between this supposed view of God and believers’ behavior:

Make no mistake, in Calvinist theology God’s love and grace is decidedly selective. That’s what the doctrine of Limited Atonement is all about. God loves some more than others, as expressed by the notion that God grants faith and salvation to some but not to others. Recently, the Reformed (i.e., Calvinist) think tank, The Gospel Coalition, published an article asking the question, Does God love everyone the same? According to the article (especially point number four), the answer given is, well… apparently not. God doesn’t love all people, at least not equally, so why should His followers?

Actually, God is not ontologically required to love anyone apart from all the persons making up the Godhead. And God is certainly not ontologically required to love all people who have ever existed or will exist. God’s followers, however, have a specific reason to love all people, including enemies – Scripture explicitly commands that they do so:

Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those who speak evil about you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matt. 5:44-45)

Calvin: The Slimeball Himself

Munoz next moves onto directly analyzing some portions of Calvin’s Institutes. He writes:

Moreover, in Calvinist theology God is the author of all evil. As John Calvin himself writes,

Scripture, moreover, the better to show that every thing done in the world is according to [God’s] decree, declares that the things which seem most fortuitous are subject to him. For what seems more attributable to chance than the branch which falls from a tree, and kills the passing traveler? But the Lord sees very differently, and declares that he delivered him into the hand of the slayer. (Institutes, 1.16.6)11

Did you get that? If a branch randomly falls and kills someone, according to Calvin it wasn’t random, it was God. God killed that person. Not only do seemingly capricious happenstances fall under the intentional will of God, but apparently so do the wicked deeds of humans. Calvin goes on:

As all contingencies whatsoever depend on it, therefore, neither thefts, nor adulteries, nor murders, are perpetrated without an interposition of the divine will. (1.17.1)12

Did someone steal from you? That was divine intervention. Did your spouse cheat on you? That was God’s will also. Was one of your loved ones brutally murdered? Yup, God again. Calvin even offers a parable to illustrate his point, just in case you weren’t quite sure what he meant:

Let us suppose, for example, that a merchant, after entering a forest in company with trust-worthy individuals, imprudently strays from his companions and wanders bewildered till he falls into a den of robbers and is murdered. His death was not only foreseen by the eye of God, but had been fixed by his decree. (1.16.9)13

And, as if to make doubly certain that future Calvinists didn’t try to gloss over what he was saying, Calvin is absolutely explicit that in his theology any, or rather every, evil act perpetrated by the most wicked humans was in actuality God inflicting punishment on humanity:

I concede more – that thieves and murderers, and other evil-doers, are instruments of divine providence, being employed by the Lord himself to execute the judgments which he has resolved to inflict. (1.17.5)14

Every ounce of pain and tragedy, from the worst day of your life all the way up to the sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, the Boston Marathon bombing, generations of slavery in the American south, acts of terrorism (including 9/11), the black plague, the harrowing trench warfare of WWI, the Great Chinese Famine under Mao Zedong, the Holodomor (forced starvation genocide) under Stalin, the Holocaust under Hitler, the hundreds of thousands killed by atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Rwanda genocides, modern day sex trafficking across the globe, and the use of chemical weapons on Syrians and their children… all of it, according to Calvin, was intended by God.

I’ve quoted this portion of Munoz’s critique in full so that none of the context (either Munoz’s or Calvin’s) is lost. My single response is this: If God has no sovereign intention in allowing all or any of these events, then it seems to me that their only place in world history is as examples of random disorder, senseless suffering, and total purposelessness. I’m not saying that this must be Munoz’s view; I’m just suggesting that this seems to be the only logical, alternative understanding that he could possibly have.

And, quite frankly, I don’t find that idea comforting in the least, let alone Biblical. But perhaps that’s just me.

Munoz, however, reasons further:

If God, who is the greatest, most moral Being in all of existence, can and does ordain and cause the most nightmarish realities ever visited upon humanity, then it’s no leap in logic to say that His followers and worshippers are justified in doing so themselves.

Of course, this actually is a foolish and completely unwarranted logical leap. In Romans 12, for instance, the distinction between Christians’ authority and God’s authority in dealing with people is clearly laid out:

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom. 12:17-21)

We see, then, that the Reformed person has no absolutely no justification—whether philosophical or theological—for treating any human being with disdain, with hatred, or with anything else that our non-Reformed detractor might imagine.

In a sense, Calvinism could technically be considered more human-affirming than Arminianism, since the latter envisions God as endlessly pleading with every person but never having the ability to ever effect change in anyone’s life until they decide first to come to it on their own – and this, of course, while all these people are captives of sin and death. What on earth does our detractor see as the way out of this? And how much more man-centered can one’s vision of the gospel possibly get?

Our non-Reformed reader of Scripture is heavily equipped with wrongheaded assumptions about all the Reformed positions, to be sure. But the more serious issue is that these assumptions lead to poor lines of argumentation, require clumsy eisegesis of the Biblical text, and bring about highly problematic conclusions that have impossible-to-ignore ramifications for faith as well as daily living.

Munoz’s response to Calvinism is permeated with bad theology. In fact, at the end of my series responding to his objections, I am now more confident than ever before that the Reformed doctrines of grace are logically coherent, Scripturally sound, and entirely viable when it comes to thinking about how a Christian might live out the gospel on a practical level.

 

Notes:

[1] Boettner, Loraine. The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1960), p. 208-09.

[2] Packer, J. I. Keep In Step With The Spirit. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 2005. Print. 128.

[3] Sandage, Steven J. et al. “Calvinism, Gender Ideology, And Relational Spirituality: An Empirical Investigation Of Worldview Differences.” Journal of Psychology and Theology 45.1 (2017): 17-32. Web. 23 Feb. 2018.

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