Brad Titus has written a short rant against Calvinism on his blog where he identifies Calvinism as a heresy. While I find such a label to be strikingly odd coming from a Oneness Pentecostal it goes without saying that most Arminians would never say such a thing. Equally, I disagree with Calvinist who say Arminianism is a heresy. Once I was an Arminian and I observed the slippery slopes related to Calvinism. Now I am a Calvinist who sees the slippery slopes of Arminianism.

Neither Calvinist nor Arminians, in my opinion, answer some of the important questions about the foreknowledge of God and the salvation of humanity in such a way that it does not leave us asking, “But what about this passage of Scripture?” There are Calvinist who stutter trying to explain away several portions of the Book of Hebrews. There are Arminians who struggle making sense of several parts of Romans 9-11. That is why I think that someone who is dogmatically Calvinist, as well as someone who is dogmatically Arminian, is ignoring the obvious tension of the Scriptures.

 What we have is conflicting data of which we are all trying to make sense. We both must address several problems found in Scripture. First, why did God create humans He knew would go to hell (or not be saved, depending on your view of eternal damnation)? Most Calvinist must answer why God predestined some for salvation while leaving others out. Everyone has to answer why God created such people in the first place, or allowed them to come into existence, knowing that they would reject Him.

Second, we read Acts 17.26 that God has determined the times and places of which certain people groups would be part. Why did God allow certain tribes of people to wander toward what is now North America knowing that the gospel would not reach them for a very long time? Could God have prevented such migration? If so, why did He, in essence, predestine generation after generation by determining that He would let them go so far away from Palestine that it would take a very, very long time for the gospel to reach them?

I think Calvinist and Arminians have many of the same problems and we answer most questions as a difference of degree rather than type. An Open Theist does not answer these questions like we do. A Universalist does not answer these questions like we do. One says God didn’t know what was going to happen and therefore is not responsible. The other says God will make sure that this whole thing is consummated by saving everything and everyone. Neither Calvinist nor Arminians tend to affirm such things. 

So is Calvinism “heretical”? No more than Arminianism. We are both trying to answer tough questions while being (mostly) limited to biblical data which exist in tension with itself.