WARNING: This lecture is a very sharp and pointed critique of Calvinist theology. Viewer discretion is advised.
In Protestant Christianity, there is a division between people who accept Calvinist doctrines and those who don’t. Both groups think that the other group are genuine Christians, but the debate has more to do with the human free will, human responsibility and who God loves.
About Dr. Jerry Walls:
- BA in Religion and Philosophy, Houghton College
- MDiv, Princeton Seminary
- STM, Yale Divinity School
- PhD in Philosophy, Notre Dame
He is a professor at Houston Baptist University.
Dr. Walls is Protestant (like me). He is a substance dualist (like me). And he believes in a real eternal Hell (like me). And he is very, very assertive. Definitely no confidence problems here. And you’re not going to have a problem keeping your attention on this lecture!
Note that I do not agree with or endorse Dr. Walls on all of his views.
Here’s the lecture: (64 minutes)
- What are the main doctrines of Calvinism? (TULIP)
- A look at the Westminster Confession
- The nature of freedom and free will
- Calvinist doctrine of freedom: compatibilism
- The implications of compatibilism
- Who determines what each person will desire on Calvinism?
- Who does God love on Calvinism?
- The law of non-contradiction
- Does God make a genuine offer of salvation to all people on Calvinism?
- Does God love “the elect” differently than the “non-elect” on Calvinism?
He quotes at least a half-dozen Calvinist theologians in this lecture, including John Piper, J.I. Packer and D.A. Carson. And he also mentions 3 videos at the end of the lecture where he goes over specific Bible verses that seem to support Calvinism (part 4, part 5, part 6 are the ones he mentioned).
This lecture is very strong stuff, and I think that he could have been nicer when presenting it, but he hit on every single objection that I have to Calvinism, and he worked through my reasoning too! So I really liked that he validated all of my concerns about Calvinism. I’m not as bothered about the problems with Calvinism as he is, though. I don’t think it’s a big divisive issue. I almost always read Calvinist theologians when I am reading theology. I just conjoin Calvinism with middle knowledge and resistible grace, and it’s fine. You get divine sovereignty AND human responsibility, and without having to swallow determinism and double-predestination (doctrines which cannot be separated from 5-point Calvinism). Calvinists are some of the best theologians, but I think that they are just wrong on the things he discusses in his lecture.
Calvinists who are interested in this issue would do well to read a book on the other side of the fence, like “Salvation and Sovereignty” by Kenneth Heathley. That’s a good defense of the middle knowledge perspective.