The Difference Between Calvinists and Arminians

Four Reasons Election Is Good News

Look at the Book Live Seminar | Houston, Texas


Theology is the study of God and his works as revealed in the Bible. Now remember, we’re talking about God — infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth (WSC, 4). When we’re trying to understand the ways of someone infinite in wisdom, we should not be surprised when our limited, human logic reaches the end of its understanding and cannot comprehend how everything fits together. In other words, Christians should embrace mystery, because we embrace the God that outruns our own reasoning.

This is one of the most fundamental differences between Calvinists and Arminians — between those who love the sovereignty of God in all things and those who insist on free will untouched by God. The difference between Calvinists and Arminians is capacity for mystery. Do we accept what the Bible puts forward as truth — even when we can’t fully comprehend it — or do we try to fit everything into our own philosophical boxes in order to avoid mystery?

Look at the Book is John Piper’s latest effort to help teach people to read the Bible for themselves. It’s an ongoing series of 8–12 minute videos in which the camera is on the text, not the teacher.

As part of this initiative, Desiring God is putting on regional events focused on certain passages of Scripture. This is Part 8 in a series on Romans 9 called “The Word of God Has Not Failed.”