|Dr. Couch, what do you think of Dave Hunt's book on Calvinism? Many Bible teachers endorsed it.|
ANSWER: Many Bible teachers, even published ones, are not really scholars when it comes to exegesis and knowledge about church history. So we don't take a vote on doctrine as to who believes this or that. We must exegete carefully the biblical texts to find the truth.
Let's play a little game for a moment. Let's drop the word "Calvinism." Now what do we see with careful exegesis of the Word of God? We see
(1) God being absolute sovereign. (2) God controlling His universe with His absolute providence. (3) We see total depravity of the human race, with "none seeking after God, no not one" (Rom. 3). (4) We see absolute predestination and election, i.e. no one gets saved unless they are sovereignly drawn by Christ and the Spirit of God. (5) And we see those who have come to Christ kept for eternity!
Textually, we do not see Limited Atonement, i.e. (Christ died only for the elect)! It is extremely doubtful if Calvin taught this false doctrine. And whether he did nor didn't doesn't matter. I can prove that Christ died for all. His sacrifice is sufficient for all but applied only to the elect. So then, I can be "Calvinistic" in essence but not in every detail as to what Calvin taught. Thus, if you want to throw away that dirty word (Calvinism), go ahead, but this above is what the Bible teaches and does not teach!
Your question about Calvinism is an indictment against our theological schools that used to be clear on the subject but are now in the dark. The big Evangelical seminaries, Bible colleges, and institutes, were mostly Calvinistic and did not mind teaching it in the classrooms. They are now turning liberal, however, and moving away from "basic" Calvinism (minus Limited Atonement). The rejection of basic Calvinism is a neon blinking sign of how we've moved away from strong and deep theology. The ignorance theologically today is gross!
Thanks for asking.
Mal Couch, Ph.D., Th.D.