It is a great irony to me that Calvinists are stereotyped as logic-driven. For forty years my experience has been the opposite. The Calvinists I have known (English Puritans, Edwards, Newton, Spurgeon, Packer, Sproul) are not logic driven, but Bible-driven. It’s the challengers who bring their logic to the Bible and nullify text after text. Branches are lopped off by “logic,” not exegesis.It's not my aim to be redundant, especially when I couldn't say it half as well as Piper has, but this observation (and you should read his whole post because it's bigger than just that one point) resonates with me. For this reason:
Who are the great enjoyers of paradox today? Who are the pastors and theologians who grab both horns of every biblical dilemma and swear to the God-Man: I will never let go of either.
Not the Calvinism-critics that I meet. They read of divine love, and say that predestination cannot be. They read of human choice and say the divine rule of all our steps cannot be. They read of human resistance, and say that irresistible grace cannot be. Who is logic-driven?
For forty years Calvinism has been, for me, a vision of life that embraces mystery more than any vision I know. It is not logic-driven. It is driven by a vision of the ineffable, galactic vastness of God’s Word.
When I first "converted" to a Reformed view of soteriology, much of the criticism I found myself receiving had to do with how hyper-logical Calvinism appeared to be. "Don't put God in your little theological box!" was the sort of thing I heard multiple times from multiple people. That always sounded strange to me, because I had discovered in Calvinism a God much, much bigger -- "ineffeable" and "galactically vast" to use Piper's words -- than the God I had known. Coming to a Calvinistic reading of the Scriptures opened up the box, as it were (for me, anyway).
Lately, though, the criticism seems to have shifted. I hear much more these days the charges that Calvinism doesn't make enough logical sense, that it's too illogical. "How can sovereign predestination and human freedom coexist?" they say. "It's self-refuting." Which is odd, again, since previously it appeared Calvinism didn't allow for enough mystery. Now it allows too much. Ironically enough, it's typically the proponents of the "generous orthodoxy," "wider mercy" type streams of thought, the emergent-type believers in a mysterious God who bristle at the irrationality of Calvinism. For some reason there is more concern now than before that that little theological box is empty.
Just some wondering and wandering thoughts.