I was happy to see a post by Calvinist blogger C. Michael Patton calling for Calvinists to “calm down.” I was most pleased to see Patton calling Calvinists to account for commonly associating Arminians with various heretical positions. Patton’s attitude is to be greatly appreciated, and if both sides took his tone more often, then the debate would be more productive. I’ve copied a few exerpts below or you can read the whole thing.
“Calvinists: Don’t send me any more emails talking about the “heresy” of Arminianism. I don’t get excited. Don’t forward me any more videos that dramatize the departure of Arminian theology. I won’t ride that bus. If you do, with sadness, I will just delete them. Not because of the message telling me “Ten Reasons Arminians Have a Different Gospel,” but because the message you give when you forward this kind of stuff.”
“Are Arminians wrong? This is what we believe, but the seriousness of their departure should not be overstated. We treat each other with great respect, knowing their love for Christ and the image of God they bear.”
“The rhetoric that is out there is embarrassing. I am sick of having to explain over and over again what Calvinism is not before I get to what it is. “No, we are not arrogant.” (At least we are not supposed to be.) “No we don’t think we are better than others.” (How could we? Don’t we promote the doctrines of grace? Do we even know what grace means?) And, most importantly, “No, we don’t think Arminians are going to hell.” If you do, then you are way out of line.”