Calvinism and Arminianism:
Myths & Realities

Calvinist, R.C. Sproul, explains: “Predestination seems to cast a shadow on the very heart of human freedom. If God has decided our destinies from all eternity, that strongly suggests that our free choices are but charades, empty exercises in predetermined playacting. It is as though God wrote the script for us in concrete and we are merely carrying out his scenario.” (Chosen By God, p.51, emphasis mine)

Sproul adds concerning his conversion to Calvinism:I no longer feared the demons of fatalism or the ugly thought that I was being reduced to a puppet. Now I rejoiced in a gracious Savior who alone was immortal, invisible, the only wise God.” (Chosen By God, p.13, emphasis mine)

One Calvinist explains: “[Arminians] suffer from a cosmic authority complex. It’s a common syndrome among Atheists. The fear of a God who knows us and controls us. They just can’t stand the idea that God ‘controls’ them. But, of course, ‘control’ is just a synonym for Lordship or dominion.”

At first glance, one might say that they reject Calvinism for purely biblical reasons, rather than being motivated by some sort of phobia, but at the same time, the idea of being a puppet is not exactly appealing either, and may drive a person to a negative initial perception towards Determinism.

Even if one is driven away from Calvinism by some sort of fear, that may not be a bad thing either, just as being driven away from the Jehovah’s Witnesses for fear that it is a cult, is not necessarily a bad thing either.

Calvinist Charge:  Arminians resist Calvinism because they are afraid of it.

Myth or Reality:  Calvinists believe that Arminians are afraid of the implications of Calvinism, and that it might mean that their destiny is not in their control. Calvinists argue that we should only be afraid if our destiny really was in our control, given the depraved and fallen nature of man, and hence, Calvinists use that as a basis to argue for an Irresistible Grace.