This is in response to Heather’s request for me to compare/contrast Evangelical Calvinism with Traditional/Classic Calvinism. This will all be off the top (it’s a blog remember πŸ˜‰ ).

  • Doctrine of God

♦ Evangelical Calvinist: Holds to a view of God that emphasizes the Trinitarian nature of God’s life of love — a more relational understanding. God’s life is determined to be what it is by His free-love one for the other; which overflows to His creation.

♦ Classic Calvinist: Holds to a view of God that emphasizes God’s oneness as the Law-giver — a more abstract understanding. Which is why we end up with decrees in God’s dealings with humanity, he must remain unmoved by His creation.

  • Election

♦ Evangelical Calvinist: Grounds election in Christ. He is the electing GodΒ and elected God-Man for humanity — which means all of humanity.

♦ Classic Calvinist: Grounds election in the decree, and focuses on particular individuals instead of Christ as the elect.

  • Salvation

♦ Evangelical Calvinist: Emphasizes the idea of ‘union with Christ’ as the ground of salvation, thus His vicarious life is the place where our salvation is rooted (i.e. in His choice for us, not our choice for Him). The Holy Spirit makes Christ’s objective work for us subjective, making Christ’s ‘Yes’ to the Father (as our mediator in His humanity) our ‘Yes’ in ‘Him’.

♦ Classic Calvinist: Speaks of ‘union with Christ’, but grounds salvation in the ‘elect’ man’s Spirit ‘enabled’ choice; in this sense elect man is enabled to cooperate with God in appropriating salvation (albeit it is all attributable to God’s power).

There is more, Heather, and I will respond further. You wanted to know more about Barth’s “apparent” universalism, I will broach that at a later time as well. Let me know what you think of this, if this helps. And of course this post isn’t just for Heather πŸ™‚ , so any and all feedback is expected.

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