Evangelical Calvinism’s God of Love V Classical Calvinism’s God of Law

When I have the strength again, I plan on writing a book, an accessible book, that explains what Evangelical Calvinism offers as an alternative to what most think of classical or 5 point Calvinism. I still think this is a needed corrective for many out there who are enmeshed in classical Calvinism because they think it’s their only orthodox alternative. Evangelical Calvinism starts with the revealed premise that God is triune love, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Versus classical Calvinism which starts with the premise that God is a unitary God of law, and who thus relates, primarily, to creation through legal contact points (like the through an absolute decree of predestination so on and so forth). Evangelical Calvinists start with the notion that God relates to us, the apple of His creational eye, as an eternal Father relates to an eternal Son by an eternal Holy Spirit; it is purely relational, gracious, and loving rather than forensic, cold, and causally deterministic as we get in classical Calvinism (and Arminianism).

9 thoughts on “Evangelical Calvinism’s God of Love V Classical Calvinism’s God of Law

  1. That is a helpful breakdown of the EC view. Godwilling you will write that book!

    I would only add, that principally I would vieq myself as beginning with EC, but soteriologically am accepting of CC and don’t see as strong a break as you seem to. I do find problematic, however, the overemphasis in Western Christian constructions of the Trinity on what you call the “unitary God of law.”

    I just can’t see that either/or is necessary, but rather a faithful blending of both. Perhaps, I don’t see the implications of such a view yet.

    Nevertheless, I think what you’re offering in EC–as I understand it–is a warranted and helpful corrective in many respects to much of the Reformed Tradition.


  2. Nathan, it is not possible to blend. The prolegomena is totally disparate one from the other. I have lots of posts explaining how that is. My category: analogia fidei would be a good place to start.


  3. I look forward to considering your future work on this subject, as I have never thought of the Doctrines of Grace as “forensic, cold, and causally deterministic.” I usually think of the Gospel in the terms of love which you have described. I shall pray your strength returns as I am ever interested in robust dialogue, especially concerning the Gospel and how we perceive our great salvation.

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  4. Indeed, “God’s relation to humanity is through a person; not through a decree…. through the an/enhypostasis of patristic theology and reality.“


  5. Thank you, Bobby, for the referential posts you provide… it’s always an edifying process to explore your post, not current and past.


  6. Hi Michael,

    I’ve done a lot of work in this area. My recent phd is based on this theme, and then I have hundreds of posts explaining what I’m getting at in depth, and then we have two edited books that develop these things as well. Here are some categories of interest https://growrag.wordpress.com/category/critiquing-classic-calvinism/


    And then the books https://books.google.com/books/about/Evangelical_Calvinism.html?id=Z8ZMAwAAQBAJ


    Thank you for the prayer, I need it indeed.


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