My journey to Calvinism was a bumpy one. I had never heard of it until college. Like all human beings, I assumed I came to Christ of my own 100%, free will. When I came to Christ, I came by my own volition (though not without outside factors) – right? That’s what I believed and what all young and new Christians believe.
When I first heard of God’s sovereignty in my salvation, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. A college professor of mine was telling our class that God ultimately decided who He would save. That out of His sovereign grace, He chose some for salvation. I thought, “That couldn’t be!” I went back to my dorm after class and told my dorm RD (resident director) what I heard in class from Dr. Carter. I was so offended and angry. Then I was confused when my RD said that he believed it too (although he didn’t really say he believed it – I only realized that later). He simply suggested I read Romans 9, Ephesians 1, and John 6 and let them speak for themselves. He suggested I read them over and over and over again and try to let them speak for themselves.
So I did that. I read them over and over and over. I turned off my inner lawyer and just let them speak. And they speak very loudly – once you turn off your inner lawyer.
In a matter of weeks, I was a full-blown Calvinist (although I still dislike that term). I wrote a 30 page paper as a sophomore in college about Calvinism – not for an assignment, but just because I wanted to get my passion on paper (I know – I’m such a geek). In the process – I became an evangelist for Calvinism, and loved picking fights with any Arminian I could find. I was young and foolish.
I am still a strong Calvinist, but I’ve learned to the art of coffee-shop persuasion rather than war-bunker arguments. I would love to go back and talk to my 19-year-old self. I would save myself and others a lot of pain.
That is why I enjoyed the book: “Killing Calvinism: How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology From the Inside” by Greg Dutcher. It is a great book worth reading. You can purchase it online.