Heterodoxy Hall of Shame

(From Outside the Camp Vol. 2, No. 4)


The following quotes are from Loraine Boettner, a prime example of a "tolerant Calvinist" promoting the "Reformed Faith" as spiritual pride:

From The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1932):

"He will be a very imperfect Christian who does not know these deeper truths which are brought to light by the doctrine of Predestination. He can have no adequate appreciation of the glory of God, nor of the riches of grace which are given him through redemption in Christ; for nowhere else as brightly as in the predestination of the elect to life does the glory of God shine out in its full-orbed splendor, undimmed and unsullied by human works of any kind." (p. 332)

"The doctrine of predestination is a doctrine for genuine Christians. Considerable caution should be exercised in preaching it to the unconverted. It is almost impossible to convince a non-Christian of its truthfulness, and in fact the heart of the unregenerate man usually revolts against it. If it is stressed before the simpler truths of the Christian system are mastered, it will likely be misunderstood and in that case it may only drive the person into deeper despair. In preaching to the unconverted or to those who are just beginning the Christian life, our part consists mainly in presenting and stressing man's part in the work of salvation, -- faith, repentance, moral reform, etc. These are the elementary steps so far as man's consciousness extends. At that early stage little need be said about the deeper truths which relate to God's part. As in the study of Mathematics we do not begin with algebra and calculus but with the simple problems of arithmetic, so here the better way is to first present the more elementary truths. Then after the person is saved and has traveled some distance in the Christian way he comes to see that in his salvation God's work was primary and his was only secondary, that he was saved through grace and not by his own works." (pp. 348-349)

"We believe the Calvinistic system to be the only one set forth in the Scriptures and vindicated by reason, and therefore the most stable and influential in the production of righteousness. Yet to all who differ from us we cordially allow the right of private judgment, and sincerely rejoice in the good which they are able to accomplish." (p. 352)

"While the Presbyterian Church is preeminently a doctrinal Church, she never demands the full acceptance of her standards by any applicant for admission to her fold. A credible profession of faith in Christ is her only condition of Church membership. She does demand that her ministers and elders shall be Calvinists; yet this is never demanded of lay members. As Calvinists we gladly recognize as our fellow Christians any who trust Christ for their salvation, regardless of how inconsistent their beliefs may be. We do believe, however, that Calvinism is the only system which is wholly true. And while one can be a Christian without believing the whole Bible, his Christianity will be imperfect in proportion as he departs from the Biblical system of doctrine. In this connection Prof. F. E. Hamilton has well said: 'A blind, deaf and dumb man can, it is true, know something of the world about him through the senses remaining, but his knowledge will be very imperfect and probably inaccurate. In a similar way, a Christian who never knows or never accepts the deeper teachings of the Bible which Calvinism embodies, may be a Christian, but he will be a very imperfect Christian, and it should be the duty of those who know the whole truth to attempt to lead him into the only storehouse which contains the full riches of true Christianity.' 'The Calvinist,' says Dr. Craig, does not differ from other Christians in kind, but only in degree, as more or less good specimens of a thing.' We are not all Calvinists as we travel the road to heaven, but we shall all be Calvinists when we get there." (pp. 353-354)

"In regard to the truly broad and tolerant nature of the Presbyterian Church we shall now take the privilege of quoting rather extensively from Dr. E. W. Smith's admirable little book, 'The Creed of Presbyterians,' -- more than sixty-five thousand copies of which have already been distributed. ... 'We respond with all our hearts to the "Amen" of the Methodists; we join with our brethren in any psalmody that puts the crown upon the brow of Jesus; and most lovingly do we invite our fellow Christians of every name and denomination to partake with us of the emblems of His broken body and His shed blood. We have no prejudice, no peculiarity, no crotchet of any kind, to restrict our Christian sympathies and dig a chasm between us and other servants of our Master. Our catholicity is as wide as evangelical Christendom,' (pp. 189-193). And again he says: 'The catholicity of the Presbyterian Church appears in her one condition of church membership. She demands nothing whatever for admission to her fold except a confession, uncontradicted by life, of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The applicant is not asked to subscribe to our Standards or assent to our theology. He is not required to be a Calvinist, but only to be a Christian. He is not examined as to his orthodoxy, but only as to his "faith in and obedience unto Christ." (Conf. of Faith, 28:4). He may have imperfect notions about the Trinity and the Atonement; he may question infant baptism, election, and final perseverance; but if he trusts and obeys Christ as his personal Saviour and Lord, the door of the Presbyterian Church is open to him, and all the privileges of her communion are his. When churches prescribe conditions of membership other than the simple conditions of salvation, they are guilty of making it harder to get into the Church than into heaven. ...' (pp. 199, 200)." (pp. 354-360)

"It may be proper at this point to say that the author of this book was not reared in a Calvinistic Church, and he well remembers how revolutionary these doctrines seemed when he first came in contact with them. During one Christmas vacation of his College course he happened to read the first volume of Charles Hodge's 'Systematic Theology,' which contains a chapter on 'The Decrees of God,' and which stated these truths with such compelling force that he was never able to get away from them. Furthermore, he takes some pride in the fact that he has reached this position only after a rather severe mental and spiritual struggle, and he feels deeply sympathetic toward others who may be called upon to go through a somewhat similar experience. He knows the sacrifice required to withdraw from the church of his youth when he became convinced that that church taught a system which contained much error." (p. 362)

From What is the Gospel? (obtained from the internet):

"The author is convinced that what has been known in church history as Calvinism is the purest and most consistent embodiment of the religion of faith, while that which has been known as Arminianism has been diluted to a dangerous degree by the religion of works and is therefore an inconsistent and unstable form of Christianity. In other words, Christianity comes to its fullest and purest expression in the Reformed faith. ...

"It is the author's conviction that Christianity comes to its fullest expression in the Reformed faith. The great advantage of the Reformed faith is that in the framework of the five points of Calvinism it sets forth clearly what the Bible teaches concerning the way of salvation. Only when these truths are seen as a unit and in relation to each other can one really understand or appreciate the Christian system in all its strength and beauty. The reason that so many Christians have only a weak faith, and that so many churches present only a rather superficial form of Christianity, is that they never really see the system in its logical consistency."


Home

Heterodoxy Hall of Shame