This is my last post on Rev. Joel McDuffie and his unfortunate and embarrassing diatribe against Calvin and Calvinism. His personal attacks against me and “your [my] readers” in private emails have continued. That is hardly reason enough for this final post, but as Centuri0n pointed out in his comment yesterday, McDuffie is sadly too representative of a sector of “Hunt and Corner” followers who continually misrepresent the doctrines of grace.
I have made one final appeal to him, encouraging him to submit what he has written to someone he trusts who will speak plainly to him. We all need those kinds of people in our lives and we should open ourselves up to them. They can be a great means of grace to us if we will listen and receive correction when offered.
In his last email, Rev. McDuffie again accuses me–and you–of not understanding Calvinism and wants to “enlighten” (his word) us. To do so, he gives me a “summary from the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology.”
Here is that “summary” as he copied and pasted it in the email:
A main premise of Calvinism is God’s sovereignty and His complete control over everything. This means nothing happens in the world that is outside of God’s control. Another premise of Calvinism is God, in His sovereignty, has arbitrarily decided who will go to Heaven and Hell. God pre-determined (predestined) the eternal state of each person. Those who were chosen (elected) to go to Heaven are called the elect, and those who were chosen to go to Hell are called reprobates. (Source: Evangelical Dictionary of Theology p. 186-188.)
Now, I have used the EDT for over twenty years. While I certainly have not read every article in it, I have read widely in it–enough to know that it is generally a very balanced and reliable source for things theological. When I got this email, I went back and read this article (by WS Reid) again. Suffice it to say that if the article had a virus, the above summary would be in no danger of catching it! But, hey, don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourself here.
After reading it for yourself, go take a peek at the source (now tertiary to Rev. McDuffie) for his “summary” which he cited to me, without attribution, in his email. You can read it here (look under Calvin’s picture–at least they got that right!).
Rev. McDuffie did not cite a primary source. He did not even honestly cite a secondary source. Rather, he depends on a tertiary source–namely, Michael Bronson–as his authoritative insight by which to enlighten those of us who have been benighted by reading primary sources.
This, as I have already said, is sad. Not only because of the mischaracterization of a man and a theology, but also because of the slipshod way that truth has been handled. The 9th Commandment is still in the Bible and we are not free to ignore it simply because we disagree with someone. God cares about bearing a false witness! Those of us whose stock and trade is truth should be the most careful of all in making sure, to the best of our ability, that what we say about a man or his views is honest and accurate.
I have invited Rev. McDuffie to correct me publicly at any point where he believes that I have misquoted or misrepresented him.