Calvinism: Free Ebook

 

CalvinismThe History Of Calvin and Calvinism: The doctrine that we today call Calvinism was formulated by John Calvin who produced his Systematic Theology (known as Institutes of the Christian Religion) in 1536. Since the Protestant Reformation  had started just in 1534, Calvin lived and propagated his ideas at the very start of the Protestant Reformation and that is one reason why he became very influential in spite of his errors. 

The new believers did not have much else to read during those days except Roman Catholic books. There were very few Protestant writers, and those who wrote massive volumes at the beginning were read with great interest by the new believers. What is more, most people had not seen a Bible, let alone a Protestant book on theology. Thus they were not in a position to assess the doctrines and influence of Calvin and Calvinism, and thus Calvinism became all-pervasive before most people could realize what was happening. 
 

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35 Comments

  1. Antoine k February 4, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Dear Dr. Philip

    Iam grateful to you and the members for this new site for us students. I have just downloaded Calvinism and cant wait to read and enjoy it. The site is a very good resourse for me and Iam thankful to you and God for it.

    Bless you

    Antoine

     
  2. Jerry Basiao February 7, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Sir,

    There are too many misrepresentations in the book. It is not the product of good and dignified research.

    For example, it says, calvinist believe that God is the author of sin. In all confessions in the past, whether arminian or calvinist/reformed, it is made clear that God is not the author of sin. True, God controls everything but that is different from saying God is the author of sin. God controls satan completely because God has put limitations on him. satan cannot go beyond the eternal counsel of God. satan has a will that is governed by God’s power.

    A man who commits a crime is imprisoned. He is under the control of the jail warden. He cannot get out of the jail of his own but the prisoner can make his own mistakes within prison premises but not go out of his own will beyond the walls. Is that not control? In fact, if there is a being whom I want to control everything, I give it to God because He is the wisest being of all. Did God not say, everything in us in written in His book?

    To say that God does not control anything is to render HIm powerless because there are areas He cannot govern.

    Second, it says, calvinists believe that evangelism is not necessary. Where did the author on calvinism extract his source? Great calvinists are always great evangelists. Evangelism is the way by which God reaches out His people and judges the world.

    Third, the historical context by which Servetus was burned was not properly studied. Stake burning, in the past, was one of the punishment of heresies because there were considered destructive of the faith. This is not done anymore. Culture has shown changes in punishment but not as to sin. But show any source as to the position of Calvin in the government that enabled him to wield power. It was always the consensus of the governing authority as to the determination of what are heresies.

    Even the Bible commanded rebel children to be stoned to death which we do not do today. But as already said, the external forms of punishment changed but not as to nature of sin.

    That’s it for now.

    Thank you.

    bro. jerry basiao

     
    • SuperAdmin February 7, 2011 at 3:08 am

      Thanks for your attempt to defend the murderous involvement of John Calvin. Here are a few things you need to notice

      1. All confessions might say that God is not the author of sin. We are not talking of confessions. We are talking of what Calvinists are teaching today in their books. Most of them clearly say that God is the author of sin.

      2. You say imprisoned people are under the control of wardens. Right! But John Calvin had his hand in everything in Geneva, and you have conveniently ignored that, or you did not read up his history.

      3. You say burning at stake was common. The question is, can the crimes of John Calvin be overlooked merely because crime was common? What do you mean?

       
      • Jerry Basiao February 7, 2011 at 11:15 am

        Ok, you agreed that reformed and calvinist confessions never said that God is the author of sins. Most confessions and creeds were thoroughly discussed by God’s people of reformed/calvinist persuasions. If the confessions and creed did not say it, then that would settle the issue.

        Anyway, tell me of a book by a reputable calvinist which says that God is the author of sin. I have researched and found nothing.

        As to John Calvin, he was not directly running the government. I may not have researched thoroughly but I checked my history books and tell me if John Calvin was a President or Prime Minister or what was the government position he held which gave him the power to punish a person for heresies. He may have influenced but it was impossible for him to punish a person without the governmental laws in effect at that time.

        Tell me since the bible in the Old Testament allowed burning and stoning, was God a criminal? Check what God did to Sodom and Gomorrah. God through Elijah burned at least 50 men and then later on killed at least 450 of Baal’s prophets without mercy,did it make God and Elijah criminal? Without a proper historical and contextual understanding of the past, we can get lost.

        There is another problem which you have to contend with. In the future, the unbelievers will be tormented by the most loving and holy God we ever knew!

        Thanks,

        from the friendly calvinist,

        jerry basiao

         
      • Denver Montgomery February 13, 2011 at 2:20 pm

        Dr.Philip,
        I was wanting to know what your prefered Bible you read from.

         
        • SuperAdmin February 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm

          I read from a number of translations in a number of languages. The preferred one is a translation in my own language — Hindi

           
          • Pastor Edmund Yiljep February 21, 2011 at 4:38 am

            Yes,I might tell you thesame think,if I could read my own Language.I would tell you that,my dialect is the most enjoyed and most simple,Mother tongue plays an important role in evangelism.Therefore, Bible in Someones Mother tongue is most preferred.

             
      • Billy Sichone February 16, 2011 at 8:13 am

        Dr,

        I do not think proper Calvinists in their right mind would say that God is the author of sin! Read carefully what they say, unless they are hyper-Calvinists, which definition many, scholars included get confused over. I should be grateful to get just such one quotation and in which book this comes across, read in their specific context.

        Evangelism is at the heart of Calvinism not as portrayed. I think objectivity is needed here.

        About the burning of servitus, not even Beza or Ferrel could defend calvin. The heretic ran away from trouble elsewhere and was punished at Geneva. That may be a clay foot admittedly but does that make the man’s work useless? I beg to differ.
        Thanks for jogging our minds though…

         
        • SuperAdmin February 16, 2011 at 8:26 am

          Almost ALL well known eventually claim that God is the author of sin!!

           
    • Billy Sichone February 16, 2011 at 8:04 am

      Jerry,

      Pardon me, I cannot comment on the book as I have not read it yet but what you highlight, if it is what the book says, then there serious problems with the book at hand. Calvinism is great, glorifies God and puts man where he belongs. For instance, I cannot believe a claim that Calvinism teaches that God is the author of sin! That cannot be true because the Calvinism I know and espouse holds and says that God is NOT the author of sin, for He is eternally holy. That claim must therefore be torn apart as being malicious or misguided.

      Calvinism has been misrepresented and misunderstood by many. Many cannot even distinguish between Calvinism proper and hyper calvinism, let alone supra or infralapsarianism.

      That said, its good people are writing books and position paper to stimulate further discussion. There is need to set the record straight at every turn.

      Let me down load the book and hopefully enjoy it for my self!

      Regards

       
  3. Basilius M. Kasera February 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Good work on portraying the life of John Calvin. I surely do agree that Calvin had a hand in the crimes against anti-protestants of his day. However, I somehow do not agree with the absolute negativity with which Calvinism is portrayed in the booklet. For many of the things mentioned in the booklet would not be true reflections of many of the Calvinists I know and whose materials I’ve studied primarily through my coming to Trinity Graduate School of Apologetics and Theology.

    I’d personally start thinking as to why Trinity should be making use of such a wide range of Calvinists materials in the textbooks given to students if – it is portrayed as a heretic movement in the booklet. To mention a few of the Calvinists whose books we use at Trinity: Vincent Cheung, John Piper, and Berkhof just to mention a few. I suppose Trinity uses the books of these men with the background that they do teach sound doctrine. Or how else would you allow us to be infiltrated with heretic doctrines?

    Having read a number of your articles, I surely do think you Dr. Philip to be quite a reasonable man who is not into empty labeling of individuals and always have reasons for your arguments. Thus, I continue to have great respect for you as my academic mentor and president of Trinity.

    It’s with this background that I’d really love to see a much more fairer presentation of Calvinism and perhaps also be able to distinguish it from Hyper-Calvinism. I’m a Calvinist and surely everything said as taught by Calvinist is not how I learned my Calvinism nor do I share any of the views. I hold to the TULIP concepts however, I do not interpret it in the way it is interpreted in the booklet.

    Surely honorable theologians of the days past and even modern who are Calvinists do not share the ideas of Calvinism portrayed in the booklet. What Calvin did is his own, I’m not accountable for his actions nor should any other Calvinist be labeled through the deeds of Calvin. Rather let every Calvinist be evaluated on the merit of their case…Just as not all dispensationalists are heretics…it does not give me the right to point to what they teach as heresy.

    The writing of this booklet did not make such demarcation as to what is extreme Calvinism and what is not extreme Calvinism. Which in this case I think that the article would have served a better purpose under the heading of “Hyper-Calvinism!”

    Yours in Christ,

    Basilius M. Kasera

     
    • Basilius M. Kasera February 7, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      Please note a correction in this sentence below:

      “I’m a Calvinist and surely everything said as taught by Calvinist is not how I learned my Calvinism nor do I share any of the views.”

      It’s supposed to be:

      I’m a Calvinist and surely everything said as taught by Calvinist in this booklet is not how I learned my Calvinism nor do I share any of the views.

       
    • Mick Chidester February 11, 2011 at 1:01 am

      I also thought that Trinity stated their beliefs were more Calvanistic, or has that changed?

       
      • SuperAdmin February 11, 2011 at 5:20 am

        Calvinistic inclination does not mean that we are 5-point Calvinists.

        Also, this book is about a strain of Calvinism that is spreading in India.

         
    • Billy Sichone February 16, 2011 at 8:23 am

      I heartily agree with this view!
      I also heartily have been impressed with Trinity’s curriculum, thats why I signed up! To the very end, its been very delicious a meal!!!

      Dr Philip, we salute you for the great work so far in the school. Its in a class of its own. We may not hold your opinions on Calvinism but we certainly and heartily do respect/treasure you very much! I speak from my heart and for my self.

       
      • Jorge A. Reyes March 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm

        I have to agree with this man. Trinity college has been very fair about the way the material is presented, and their opinions are not biased. Why do we continue to support John Calvin, especially here in America. I often hear many pulpit ministers teach calvinism and say that it is the doctrine of Christ. Didnt the Lord warn about teaching the doctrines of men? What is the goal at the end of the day? to defend men, or to defend the Holy Scriptures from men who distort the truth. It’s 2011, with the advancements in technology, achaeology, science , and the readily availability of the Scriptures in many languages. Why are we still falling for these so called masters of theology. Im not trying to offend anyone by my statements. Remember, great men are not always wise. Please read the Brethren Theological journal issue# 10. Im not the only one who feels this way.

        Thanks,

        Jorge A. Reyes

         
  4. Damaris Kanyi February 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Hello friendly Calvinist ,you need to understand that as much as our God is HOLY AND LOVING He is also a God of Justice and judgement and he does not condone sin.He will send sinners to the lake of fire because of his righteousness. That is why He has set a day of judgement aside having given men time to repent. Please see Acts 17;30-31.
    ,

     
    • Billy Sichone February 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

      I think thats what the friendly Calvinist was saying, precisely what you have stated!

       
  5. Jerry Basiao February 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Damaris,

    Hi, precisely it does not make God a criminal when He punished people even unto death for eternity. Calvin has to be taken in his historical context just as the burning and stoning in the Old Testament.

    “trying to be a friendlier calvinist”

     
  6. Jerry Basiao February 8, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Another thing, John Calvin never formulated calvinism as claimed by the book.I salute the efforts of your website to proclaim and uphold the Word of God. I love arminian believers though I may disagree with their understanding of the redemptive work of the Trinity.

    I hope you can discuss with your calvinist friends to validate facts before allowing such booklet. John Calvin never wanted to be dignified much less glofied. He died without his name on the epitaph to show that he is “nothing” before his creator. If John Calvin were alive, he would not allow history to use such affiliation known today as Calvinism.

    Calvinism was a label made by history to identify the people who had similar persuasion with the action taken by the great, holy and wise men of God who deliberated in what is known as the Canons of Dort against the remonstrant.

    I love you Dr.Philip. Just be a little sober with your calvinist friends.

    jerry basiao

     
  7. edgartc February 10, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Regarding God as the author of sin, isn’t it that Calvinism says that God did ordain WHATSOEVER comes to pass? Can sin come to pass had God not ordain it?

     
  8. Earl Jackson February 10, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    I have lots of respect for Dr. Philip, and for many of the wonderful things God has used him to do in India, and around the world. I am a Calvinist, and I maintain a Calvinistic website, where I disseminate lots of free information about Calvinism and the Reformed Faith. The notion that Calvinism is based on something other than sola scriptura is unfounded completely, and Dr Philip has published this book with many such unfounded statements in it. However, I think that Dr. Philip is correct in pointing out that John Calvin did many reprehensible things to people who resisted his doctrines. That is true, and Calvin is certainly to be faulted in all that stuff. But the doctrines of grace commonly called the five points, were not invented by Calvin, in fact they were not formulated until the Synod of Dorcht, long after Calvin. What needs to happen here, is that people need to quit referring to the truths of scripture after the names of men. Calvin did not right the Bible, and no sets of Biblical doctrine should bear his name, or anybody else’s name for that matter. I’m against Arminians, Wesleyans, Darbyites and all the other doctrines bearing men’s names. Why can’t we simply follow Christ, read and share his Bible and let the dead sinners of the past be dead, and stand or fall before God themselves. Calvin is answering to the almighty for what he did, what he taught, and all the rest of it. Let’s be Bible believers, and get on with preaching the gospel, instead of decrying those whom we don’t agree with.

     
  9. Jerry Basiao February 16, 2011 at 4:20 am

    To Edgartc,

    Hi, it is true that God ordains all things to come to pass otherwise we cannot trust God to fulfill His prophecies, commands and promises.

    Briefly, let me say about 4 P’s in looking at the will of God. This is a good guide especially in understanding God’s sovereign will.

    PERPETUAL WILL – it is His eternal and sovereign counsel throughout eternity.It is a fixed and stable will. His will is accomplished throughout all generations.

    PRESCRIPTIVE WILL – it is His mandate, it is His order of what we should do, it is what He prescribes or tells us what to do.

    PREVAILING WILL – it is His overpowering will, His will governs over the will of frail man and over all creation.

    PERMISSIVE – it is His permission to allow His imperfect creation such as man to commit his natural disposition to sin. If God will not permit sin and sin grows, then God is powerless over sin. This is what is meant when God ordains everything to come to pass. God does not commit sin but His creatures are allowed for a season to rebel or sin against God – – – so that the story of redemption, justice and grace may be properly presented, understood and experienced.

     
    • Kevin Reeve March 21, 2011 at 4:29 am

      Good explaination..!!!

      I found the book to be a good reflection of the short commings or Calvinism and in deed of Calvin himself.

      Both Calvin and Zwingli are both heralded as great men of the reformation but if you read history carefully you will see they just men. And infact there were other Christians and groups that had a better grasp of what it meant to be Christian.

      The reformation only broke the monolithic nature of Europe but the church and state alliance was still intact. Although both Calvin and Zwingli were able to oversee reforms, they only went so far and did not challenge the norms. For the majority of people very little changed. Instead of being repressed by the Roman Catholic church they were repressed by Protestant authorities.

      Both Calvin and Zwingli in their positions in Geneva and Zurich failed to follow through. And instead became part of the establishment that pursued, tortured and killed with as much zeal as any of the Catholic authrorities that preceded them. And it does seem that both men ware activly involved.

      If we were to become fruit inspectors as Jesus encourages us to be (In Matthew). What would be the verdict?

       
  10. Pastor Edmund Yiljep February 21, 2011 at 4:43 am

    My reply shall come later please,Thank you.

     
  11. Dr. Milad Philipos February 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Tanks Trinity for this great book for you answered the question: If God already elected those who are going to heaven, then why evangelize or even follow God’s path? It means that God predestined everything and created sin. It results that any good deed is truly motivated by something evil. In fact, Jesus died for everyone, and calls for repenting. Finally, because God chose us, we will be saved when we accept hin and serve hin because of he loves us first.
    Dr. Milad Philipos

     
    • jerry basiao March 12, 2011 at 4:32 am

      When a person plans, he wants to use something to finish or to consummate it.

      Well, God plans in the eternity. Is He not allowed to use means to make such plans come into a visible reality?

      Is it a good God to make a “plan” and forget about it?

      He plans to save a people of His own, is God forbidden to use instrumentalities such as preaching to finish such plan?

       
  12. monga kipanzula February 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    I thought I knew what calvinism is about, but with all the discussion above and the book, I have realised that I knew nothing.
    thank you dear Dr Phillip for this resource

     
  13. Temesgen Dabessa Birru March 7, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Tanks Trinity for this great book for you introduced us about the Calvinism doctrin. There are a lot of doctrin in the world. We know that most of believers have their ouwn doctrin. I have dawnloaded it for know about Calvinsm.

    Temesgen

     
  14. Martin makokha March 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    This I think deals with John Calvin, I believe I will know more about this great man of God!

     
    • Martin makokha March 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      Am short of words after reading this book! The John Calvin that I read while in school in my religious eduction with the one you are discussing here are totally different. I was taught that Calvin was a nice man who helped to reveal many truths, but am shocked!! Am going to study alot about this man as it seems from the look of things I don’t know him yet.

       
      • Nicholas Potts April 18, 2011 at 6:03 am

        Calvin was a great man. almost all of Europe mourned his death because his church in Geneva was not only the largest refugee camp, he personally took care of many people in the city and loved and cared for them…the people of the city and the refugee camp. John Piper has a sermon about him at DesiringGod.org. you should go check it out! 😉

         
        • SuperAdmin April 18, 2011 at 10:29 am

          If one looks only at ONE side of a person, even Hitler was a great man and many people mourned his death.

          A Christian should be a man with all sides balanced properly, particularly if he is in a leadership position.

           
          • Atty. Juan T. Rubrico May 25, 2011 at 9:23 pm

            There are times when the achievement of man seemed humanly impossible, like that of Calvin. But let us realize that in God, nothing is impossible. God does it through man to the praise of His glorious grace. And so. while we look at Calvin and to such other great men of God, let us not forget the grace that God bestowed upon them and the grace that enables us to see His work in them.

             
  15. Reginold Pouncy February 18, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Dr. Philip,
    I have recently read your book and find it a good weapon in the fight against Calvinism. It at very least it humanizes, John Calvin, whose name is given to false doctrine being spread today. The 5 points of Calvinism (TULIP) were of course actually drawn up by a council called the “Synod of Dort” in 1618 in response to the five articles of remonstrance presented by the followers of Jacob Arminius. There have been many great preachers such as Spurgeon and George Whitefield who were Calvinist. But John Wesley and others such as Billy Graham were very successful in spreading the doctrine that the Gospel is for “whosoever”. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting Life.” John 3;16. They were so successful, that until recently after attending a Calvinist school, I didn’t even know anyone still followed the Calvinist line of thinking in evangelical circles. They are however making a concerted effort to make a come back. Men in our pride, still want to be “chosen”, special people better than those other people. Fortunately, God, our heavenly Father is still no respecter of person and still says “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” act 2:21 and “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” Rev 22:17. Calvinist are trying very hard to redefines the words of the scripture to say that the Salvation found in believing in Jesus Christ is only for a certain, few rather than for anyone who repents and accepts Jesus Christ as Lord. To all believers in Jesus Christ I say, do not be deterred in your fight to see the salvation of your love ones, your neighbors and your friends even your enemies. “God so loved the world”, which means everyone, not some chosen few who no one know why they are chosen. God has chosen to save everyone who repents and confesses Jesus Christ as Lord. Rom 9:10. When did he choose? Before the foundation of the world. Does GOD know everyone who will be saved? Of course. He declares the end before the beginning. Everyone who will be saved is found in Revelation chapter 7:4-9 which includes “a great multitudes. which no man could number”. Nevertheless salvation is available to the whole world for Jesus died for the sin of the world. John 1:9

     

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