Conclusions regarding Calvinism

The debate over Calvinism-Arminianism should not cause believers to break fellowship with one another. While we believe that Calvinists are wrong on this issue, we wouldn’t break fellowship with Calvinists over it. Many of the best tomes on Systematic Theology are written by Calvinistic thinkers (e.g. Millard Erickson’s Christian Theology), and some of the best thinkers in the church today are Calvinistic (e.g. D.A. Carson, Douglas Groothuis, James White, etc.).

It is also wise not to make this issue a focus in our theology. It is instructive that Francis Schaeffer makes no mention of his Calvinism in any of his many books. Commitment to the work of evangelism and missions is more important than one’s position here.

In fact, historically, some of the best evangelists in church history have been Calvinists, including Augustine, John Calvin, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon. Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright, and many effective missionaries have been motivated to share Christ because of their belief in predestination and election. In many cases, Calvinism has not caused fatalism—but evangelistic fervor! Calvinists believe that God not only ordained the ends—but he ordained the means to the ends. That is, God ordained that preaching and Scripture reading were the means through which he would draw his elect. Since Christ has people that are elect in every city, some Calvinists witness with confidence knowing that God will work powerfully (Acts 18:9-11).