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From Co-Author, Jon Cardwell:

The book that I recently co-wrote with Jeff and Eddie, Against Calvinism, has stirred a great deal of emotion from both professing Arminians and Calvinists, much more than I could have imagined. Many of the most snide and venomous remarks have come from those who have either not read the content, nor read the caveat, neither have they bothered looking into the book any further than a brief glance. A few have accused us of suggesting or believing that those holding to Arminian theology are incapable of logical thought. One comment that came my way suggested that the premise of this book would cause those who hold to non-Calvinistic theology feel like we are calling those people illogical. That could not be further from the truth as people are not arguments or propositions themselves. Though they can draw logical or illogical conclusions, for a created being to be logical or illogical is an illogical conclusion.

Although I believe the doctrines of grace and though I believe that the basic tenets provided by the “five solas of the Reformation” are the most consistent and logical interpretation of scripture, the truth of man’s salvation, sanctification, and man’s ultimate end in Christ alone. To insist that someone must believe one system of theology over another system of theology, apart from fundamental scriptural truths concerning salvation, would be to add to grace. This doesn’t mean that the doctrines of grace, say, do not exist, or are not true. What does matter is that Christ saves sinners; and that salvation is not based upon a theology, whether Arminian or Calvinism. Theology merely defines systematically how salvation has come to man from God based upon God’s written revelation of Himself in the scriptures. Although the means of salvation is by God’s Word (Rom 10:17), “salvation is of the LORD” (Jon 2:9).

Then why, am I so adamant about the doctrines of grace? Because it is true what the late Dr. A.W. Tozer wrote,

“Always and always God must be first. The gospel in its scriptural context puts the glory of God first and the salvation of man second.”[1]

The doctrines of grace place the glory of God first and the salvation of man second. The doctrines of grace exalt the sovereignty of God without removing the responsibility of man. The doctrines of grace exalt the Person of Jesus Christ, because although Christ receives great glory in the salvation of souls, even if God saved no one (theoretically speaking), it would not diminish who Christ is in the least. He is the Almighty God, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being.

We have used humor, satire and irony in conveying the doctrines of grace in this book. As there has already been a few who have expressed their very strong displeasure with our use of humor to convey these truths, I’m certain that there will be others that will share that particular view. As far as the use of wit and humor, I’d like to provide this quote from Mr. Charles Haddon Spurgeon,

“Sometimes, anecdotes have force in them on account of their appealing to the sense of the ludicrous. Of course, I must be very careful here, for it is a sort of tradition of the fathers that it is wrong to laugh on Sundays. The eleventh commandment is, that we are to love one another, and then, according to some people, the twelfth is, ‘Thou shalt pull a long face on Sunday.’ I must confess that I would rather hear people laugh than I would see them asleep in the house of God; and I would rather get the truth into them through the medium of ridicule than I would have the truth neglected, or leave the people to perish through lack of reception of the truth. I do believe in my heart that there may be as much holiness in a laugh as in a cry; and that, sometimes, to laugh is the better thing of the two, for I may weep, and be murmuring, and repining, and thinking all sorts of bitter thoughts against God; while, at another time, I may laugh the laugh of sarcasm against sin, and so evince a holy earnestness in the defense of the truth. I do not know why ridicule is to be given up to Satan as a weapon to be used against us, and not to be employed by us as a weapon against him. I will venture to affirm that the Reformation owed almost as much to the sense of the ridiculous in human nature as to anything else, and that those humorous squibs and caricatures, that were issued by the friends of Luther, did more to open the eyes of Germany to the abominations of the priesthood than the more solid and ponderous arguments against Romanism. I know no reason why we should not, on suitable occasions, try the same style of reasoning. ‘It is a dangerous weapon,” it will be said, “and many men will cut their fingers with it.’ Well, that is their own lookout; but I do not know why we should be so particular about their cutting their fingers if they can, at the same time, cut the throat of sin, and do serious damage to the great adversary of souls.”[2]

It is our duty, and should be our pressing passion to preach the gospel to a lost and dying world. Quite often, however, our loving but firm presentation of the gospel, be it the public proclamation of Christ’s gospel in open air, or the worshipful teaching of doctrine, appeal to truth, and exhortation of holiness from the pulpit in expositing God’s Word, we are met with opposition; and very often, met with the vile and venomous insults of gross cavilers. Would we not still preach the gospel? We must, and we will by God’s grace, Lord willing. Likewise, if the doctrines of grace are true, and I believe they are, as a preacher of the gospel and a pastor of a local congregation, would I not have a grave responsibility before God to proclaim these truths, despite objections from those who believe otherwise?

And yes, all three authors embrace the Doctrines of Grace. In other words, they are Calvinists. (note from Jeff – please note the present tense here – “are” Calvinists – not “were” Calvinists)

[1] A.W. Tozer, Born After Midnight, Ch.4, “The Key to Human Life is Theological.”

[2] C.H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students Vol. 2, Lecture 3, “The Uses of Anecdotes and Illustrations.”


18 responses

  1. Keith

    I wanted to argue against the premise of this book so bad…but you can’t argue with the Truth of God’s Word can you? hahaha

    All kidding aside…

    This book gave a tidy and historical backdrop and explanation of Arminianism and Calvinism.

    It kept it simple, focused, and direct. No rabbit trails, no dead ends, no inflated opinions.

    Best of all, it let the Holy Scriptures do the talking (albeit with some input from our friends Skeeter and Satch).

    It was incredibly informative for such a light read.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go do some research and form some logical arguments. I might be a while…

    August 18, 2010 at 10:52 am

  2. I tied into the book with all my theology behind me to prove it wrong, but as I went through each set of proofs, I had to say that the lists were quite definitive. Well done gents! – Mike Ratliff

    August 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm

  3. Sheri

    Clear and concise. Against Calvinism gets to the heart of the Gospel ~ Biblically. Just when we thought we’d heard all the Calvinist/Arminian arguments, these clever authors have come up with an original!

    August 20, 2010 at 5:45 pm

  4. What a blessing! I appreciate the simplicity. For someone who is relatively new to the doctrines of grace, it was so easy to understand. I appreciate the highest regard for the Word of God that is so evident throughout. I appreciate the humor because it is wonderful to laugh! And, I appreciate the saints who have taken the time to share their knowledge and love of God with the body of Christ. If you ask me, it ought to be required reading for every convert because, at it’s heart, this is a book about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

    August 21, 2010 at 3:46 pm

  5. This nifty little book fills a nitch we haven’t found yet – that is to explain in a nutshell the origins of Calvinism and Arminianism – with the ensuing arguments from both sides.

    Of course anyone familiar with these three authors won’t be a bit surprised to learn that the serious truths presented will be sprinkled with a hearty dose of sanctified humor.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:26 pm

  6. Good stuff, tongue and cheek for sure but very well done. Will link it from my blog as well.

    August 29, 2010 at 7:43 pm

  7. Matthew

    Nice deceptive title.

    A lot of people will buy this book under a false pretense.

    I realise that this book is an attempt at being humourous, but seriously, it adds nothing to the Calvinism/Arminianism debate. Any old Arminian could write a book called ‘Against Arminianism’ with blank pages of the definitive Scripture list that refutes Arminianism, and the debate would not progress one bit.

    Peterson, Eddings, and Cardwell should grow up. Childish stunts like this poor excuse for a book do nothing more than feed the Arminian perception that Calvinists are arrogant elitists who love nothing more than to stoop to mockery in order to stroke their ego, and possibly recruit more Calvinists.

    These professing Christian authors should be ashamed of themselves: a deceptive title and childish arrogant mockery in the name of ‘tongue-in-cheek’ humour are not the actions that we should be seeing from any Christian, let alone three men who publish a book on this controversial topic, one of whom is a pastor.

    If an Arminian had stooped to such a low act as this, we wouldn’t hear the end of how such actions are typical and to be expected of the depraved, heretical Arminian mind. Go ahead, endorse this book if you want, but know this: you’re simply giving Arminians ammunition by promoting a book that proves absolutely nothing, and disproves absolutely nothing. In terms of furthering the cause of Calvinism, this ‘Against Calvinism’ is useless.

    Arminians give Calvinists the respect of actually trying to disprove Calvinism with Scripture, and logic. They don’t resort to mocking Calvinism, or publishing books with blank pages, even for the sake of having a laugh. Give the Arminians the same level of repect, okay?

    I know, I know, I’m taking this too seriously; the book is supposed to be parody, it’s not supposed to be a deep theological defense of Calvinism.

    Seriously, though, take a reality check: it’s time to move on from childish arguments. This debate requires mature, Christian reasoning from the Scriptures.

    Peterson, Eddings, Cardwell, and any other Calvinist who endorses this rubbish needs to grow up.

    December 25, 2010 at 12:31 am

    • Thanks for stopping by.

      RE: Your admonition. Hence a) the book being filed under “Humor” in the Amazon classification and b) the lengthy
      disclaimer written on the sale sites that many appear to overlook before purchasing.

      Thanks again.

      December 25, 2010 at 6:28 am

    • There’s no war to be found here, Matthew. Surely there is room at the table for me, for you, and anyone else who bends the knee at the cross of Christ!

      Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours!

      December 25, 2010 at 10:01 am

    • You say the authors need a reality check, even after having just said: “Arminians give Calvinists the respect of actually trying to disprove Calvinism with Scripture, and logic.”

      Excuse me, but that begs the question: What reality do you inhabit?

      Of the small amount of professing Christians who even know that there is a long-running debate on it, to the oh-so-much tinier amount who have actually picked a side in it (because, let’s face it, the VAST majority simply do not care enough about doctrine and theology to even regularly read their bibles, let alone try and have something more than their $3.00 of Jesus in the tank), over the last SEVERAL years I’ve had exactly NONE approach me as Arminians that have not done so in a self-righteous, smug, rude, flippant outright unkind manner. Even among those who claimed to be not only my Christian brothers, but my friends as well, there have been those instances that went like this…

      “Hey Loren, you’re a Calvinist right? Can I ask you a question?”

      “Sure! If I can answer it I will, if not I’ll find out. What’s the question?”

      “I always thought you were a pretty smart guy, but are you REALLY DUMB ENOUGH to think that God made people just so he can send them to hell?”

      “Excuse me???” (me aghast at the coldcocking assault of my “friend”)

      “‘Cos really, I got this 10 minute message from Adrian Rogers (or other) that just buries all that Calvin nonsense!”

      Remember, these reasonable and sober attempts at “discussion”, etc. came from professing Christians who were supposed to be my own personal FRIENDS!

      This kind of thing got so prevalent, that I stopped interacting with pretty much anyone who began a “conversation” with me by saying “You’re a Calvinist right?” or something similar – it just plain wasn’t worth the emotional energy it took to remain peaceable and kind in my responses as they blabbered more and more obnoxious and too often childishly ignorant (lack of) understanding of even the basic issues in the debate.

      As if that weren’t bad enough, the ONLY other “question” I’ve gotten from inquisitive Arminians (or at least folks leaning toward it and awayyyyy from Calvinism) has been – and I promise you that I am absolutely not making this up, I am sickeningly serious about it in fact – “How come Calvinists believe that you can lose your salvation?”

      Add to that that much of current “evangelicalism” is doing it’s level best the last few years to paint all Calvinistic thought as being blasphemous and those who agree with any of it to be nothing short of full-on heretics (apparently all this “New Calvinism” stuff of the last handful of years has frightened a good many who’ve long been perhaps a little too comfortable in their “3 bullet points and an application Christianized-self-help sermonizing” from the pulpits!)

      Is it really any wonder that many Calvinists have grown weary and/or frustrated enough with the whole state of the (non) debate around the country that some have become a bit sarcastic (which can indeed be biblical BTW), and a few others have become openly antagonistic about it all?

      As I said, I love to talk, and discuss and debate with folks on everything from real issues to nothing stuff as unimportant as to who was better: Starsky or Hutch?, but I (who believe you me, owns a tongue that is wickedly sharp and nasty when turned loose) HAD to completely disengage from the whole thing because the hurt and frustration at how I was being mistreated every time it came up was becoming too much for me to continue and be able to do so honorably before Christ!

      And you have your panties all in a wad because a few Calvinists have been able to step back far enough to inject a little levity and light-heartedness into the subject? Seriously? Here’s the REALITY CHECK: They don’t need to grow up my friend, you apparently need to unclench all 50+ sphincters in your body, and relax a little bit. Time to stop telling people to act like the self-flagellating monks in Python’s Holy Grail, and instead enjoy a laugh at the absurdity of it. If you think that our Saviour is utterly humorless, you have a pretty weak view of who/what God truly is (in my opinion).

      April 3, 2014 at 1:16 am

  8. Matthew


    Maybe I just have unrealistic expectations, but shouldn’t a book filed under ‘Humour’ actually be humourous?

    The fact that you need to write a lengthy disclaimer is proof that the title is misleading.

    (BTW, not all sites that sell the book have a disclaimer)

    God bless, and merry Christmas!

    December 25, 2010 at 4:22 pm

  9. Oh wow! This debate happened a bit ago, but I’ll join in.

    Please, feel free to guide me back where I go off the trail, but Calvinism basically says that God decided who is going to heaven. Who is going to hell. We have ZERO choice in the matter. If that’s the case, Then what about 2 Peter 3:9// Ezekiel 33:11

    If God had it TOTALLY HIS WAY, we’d all be going to heaven. If Satan had it totally his way, we’d all be going to hell. Dilemma. Who gets their way? God COULD bring us all to heaven, but that would contravene His justice and Holiness, because we’re all sinners and nothing impure will enter heaven. Thus, we end up at a place Calvinists’ dispise almost as badly as J.W.’s disdain the cross. CHOICE. If we choose Christ, then we do so out of LOVE for what HE did for us. Those who end up in hell go because of their refusal to accept Christ, not just because God was playing Eeeny Meeny Miney Mo.

    I was reading another site that refuted Calvinism and the writer used a word I’d been using the whole time; ARBITRARY. This guy’s going to heaven. This girl’s going to hell…. It makes all the sense of arresting Miss Piggy for a crime committed by Frank Oz if all we are is fleshy Muppets; being told to go here or there.

    Taking the doctrine of Calvinism back to the Garden, how much sense does it make for God to tell Adam and Eve, “Don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of God and evil’ and then deciding that they would. That would contradict His first command and make God as responsible for the Fall as Adam and Eve were. That God KNEW what was going to happen is not the same as God MAKING that thing happen. If you could go back in time to Germany, as people are voting in their new leader (it’s 1933) would you be responsible for the fact that many DID vote for Hitler? No. God gave Adam and Eve a CHOICE; with the warning of what the potential consequences could be. In the same vein, God’s bride, the Church, isn’t His out of force. There aren’t any believers who don’t want to be. We have a choice, and God knew what that choice would be. That’s NOT the same as making the choice for us, or it wouldn’t be our choice, but HIS.

    Hope I’m on the right track, but from the people I’ve spoken to, this is the impression I have of Calvinism. I’m just glad I’m not the only one who’s confused by it!

    July 23, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    • Mark D. Griswold

      Thank you SOOO MUCH for your Excellent assessment of Calvinism & CHOICE!! I have been having a friendly Argument with a ‘4 Pointer’, who accepts everything but LIMITED Atonement. He is a Very Strong Christian, who has an Excellent website on the DEITY of CHRIST.(type in ‘TOM DAWES’ ‘Deity of Christ’ to find it)
      But he is Not the most logical person, and when I share with him Scriptures which blatantly Contradict Calvinism, he just smiles and or gives me some lame Calvinist response.
      Your comments, though, give me some hope in trying another approach with him!
      THANK Youi!!!

      I was raised Presbyterian (with 3 ministers among my relatives) but when I was in a COMA for 5 weeks after being hit by a car without its headlights on, I needed the prayers of an Intercessor before I made a Sharp Turn for the better.

      I wound up in a Charismatic Church, where the pastor Preached the WORD so well, that when my wife (at age 29) was told by her Dr. “I’m Sorry. The 3 tests we gave you all show that you have NO Life in your WOMB. Your WOMB is DEAD.” (My wife’s Dalcon Shield IUD had not been checked in over a year, and it caused her sterility.)

      We had been waiting on having children, since I was often out of work, but my wife always wanted the option! So when we got home from the Dr.s she lay down on our bed Sulking. BUT since our pastor often reminded us that ‘GOD’s WORD would Not return to HIM Void’, and that ‘By HIS Stripes we Were/And/ARE HEALED (Isaiah 53 and I Peter 2:24), just before entering our apartment I was reminded of those Scriptures, and what someone had said, “IF you have a Need and don’t know where to look, See What the Bible says!”

      So on entering our apartment I ran for the Concordance and looked up the word “BARREN” — Deuteronomy says, “The fruit of your WOMB Shall Be BLESSED.”
      Nice, BUT her WOMB Was “DEAD”!!

      The next entry, PSALM 113:9 JUMPED off the page: “HE gives the BARREN Woman a home, And Makes Her the JOYFUL MOTHER of CHILDREN.”!!!!!!!!!! As I read that, a little voice spoke to my heart, “This is GOD Speaking To You.” So I Ran into the bedroom where Clarice was sulking on the bed, and Said, “LOOK What I Found in the BIBLE!!!

      As she read the LIFE-Giving WORDS I could see LIFE flowing back into her tear-stained face, and she looked at me with a BIG SMILE and we just PRAISED GOD for HIS WORD, which is “…LIFE to them that find it And HEALTH to ALL Their Fleash.”

      So we have a BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED 25 year old daughter who just gave birth 4 months ago to another MIRACLE daughter!!!

      GOD IS SOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!! (By the way, MIRACLES Did NOT Pass Away When the Last Apostle Died!!!) “JESUS CHRIST, the SAME Yesterday, Today, AND FOREVER.”

      Be BLESSED!!!

      January 31, 2012 at 2:12 am

  10. Drake Cash

    I don’t think the Bible supports a three ponged choice between God, Satan, and Man.
    -God chooses heaven
    -Satan chooses hell
    -And We are the deciding choice between the two.

    Rather, God’s love and kindness is that He allows any humans in heaven. The paradigm is:
    -All humans are sinful and deserve hell.
    -Jesus who did not deserve to die and absorb “hell” for Christians got we He did not deserve & God desiring to show His grace and mercy chose many.
    -All Christian do not get what they deserve, namely heaven and God.

    Can you comprehend that? Christians get what they DO NOT deserve!!! And it’s based on God’s love and not our works or our choice!!! Doesn’t that make you worship God even more???

    Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm

  11. preach the truth

    Calviinism is Hellish blasphemy and it is utterly stupid in every way conceivable. It the people embracing Calvinism are aren’t mentally challenged prior to embracing this Saanic doctrine, they will surely become stupid afterwards, as every Calvinist apologist I have ever dealt with or read has amply demonstrated the mental degeneration this doctrine had on their minds. Honesty and humility went out the window, as did rules of reason, logic, grammar and Hermeneutics.

    August 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

  12. Mark David Griswold

    Amen And AMEN!!!!!

    May 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

  13. Sad that so many of the posts here reflect exactly the ugliness of what passes for modern Arminian apologetics.

    It’s like having a spoiled 8 year old storm into the class of a Professor and proclaim it has a better understanding of classical philosophy that does the big poopy-head with all the degrees, published works, and decades of study.

    Are there no Finney’s or Wesley’s left today, or even just well-studied undergrads?


    April 3, 2014 at 2:13 am

  14. fi

    calvinism it seems to me is very cruel and leaves most people fearing that they are not saved. If Calvinism is true and we are preappointed heaven and hell, then WHY is the whole message of the bible about CHOICE/ WHy is God having prophets communicate with the inhabitants of planet earth that they must CHOOSE Him, choose a moral or ethical way of behaving and that the choice is up to them. Its not just in the gospels but its starts long ago… God tells us long time ago, “”Choose this day whom you will serve..””… why would God say that to us if He has already decided who is going to heaven and hell ? Why would Jesus tell the disciples to go into the whole world and preach the gospel to all the world ? If God knows who’s in and who is out and will draw them by His spirit, why is God telling us disciples to go about and share the good news and telling us to choose Him ? And why if we are preappointed by God does God tell everyone to love Him and to love their neighbour ? And if we are preappointed why does Jesus when He is separating the sheep and the goats that the REASON they go to His right or left is becaue of what they have DONE and the kindness and love they have shown in their life…. Those who are chosen to go to His right are those who showed kindness and visited Him in prison and gave water to the thirsty and clothes and food to those who needed them… they were surprised at this saying they did not know they had done this for Him and Jesus replies that what those chosen to come to the RIGHT had done was they did it was the”least” of these they did for Him. SO why are we told this parable by Jesus an d why does God allow us to hear this prable in Matthew if it is not true ? It clearly says we are chose according to the act of showing kindness or goodness to those who are powerless and unseen…. its not the SHOWY acts of kindness but helping when others can’t see it. Jesus says these people who CHOSE to obey God by doing the Father’s will in this way will be taken to the RIGHT. Id Calvinism is true, why are we constantly told to be kind, show love and to help the poor ? If our final fate is already decided why does God spend so much time telling people to choose one thing over another and telling us to behave in moral and ethical ways… why is so much of God’s communicating with people in the world about how we act…why does He gfive us the ten commandments and why does Jesus give us the added commandement of loving our neighbour as ourself if we are already preappointed to go somewhere ? If the end is decided why is God taking such a big interest in leading andf guiding all people on the planet and having us choose a moral good path to follow ? If calvinism is true why are all people encouraged to share the gospel with all people if they can ? ANd why are theytold to encourage everyone to forgive and pray for their enemies if there is no chance of our actions leading to our or our neighbours or our enemies betterment or improvement- or salvation ? It would appear that all this stuff God has commanded us to do has no purpose… so we chose Him, choose Jesus, forgive people and feed the poor ( privately)… but according to calvinism we still go to hell because none of that meant anything….We also share the gospel with hundreds of people who respond and believe- but the same fate awaits them too… they also according to calvinism go to hellas they were not chosen… if calvinism is true WHY is God sending this message out to all people and why has God been telling us all to choose Him? ( there are scores of pleaces in the bible where we are told and asked to choose Him and follow Him or just do good)… If calvinism is true then God’s deep involvement with all people and all who will listen doesnt make any sense… God telling us to choose when we have NO CHOICE according to calvinism.

    September 5, 2014 at 6:16 pm

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