These New Calvinists are a weird bunch. They take the most unspeakably evil tragedy and say not merely that God allowed it, not merely that God will use it to bring good, but that God caused it. They remind me a little of conspiracy theorists: the very lack of evidence for—or evidence directly contradicting—their point of view is further proof of their belief. The more incomprehensible the evil—the more reluctant any sane person would be to say, “The God revealed to us in Jesus Christ must be the author of this”—the more satisfied they are that “God is in control” and “God’s will is done,” so praise God!
I try to give them the benefit of the doubt from time to time, but then I read something like this post from Trevin Wax. If I’m misinterpreting what he’s saying, please tell me how.
My favorite part is this:
Is it worth it having free will just so God can be loved without force? Isn’t there something bigger than our love for God?
I would ask that Wax refrain from using the word “love” because without freedom the word has no meaning. Coerced love isn’t love.
Good, evil, love, hatred, indifference… From Wax’s point of view, what’s the difference? A sovereign God wills what God wills, so praise God. In many ways, this extreme form of Calvinism isn’t much different from Hinduism: Whatever happens is really good, because it’s all God. What you see is what you get. If you don’t like what you see, that’s your problem, not God’s.
I would also recommend that Wax read David Bentley Hart’s Doors of the Sea. Christian thinking on this subject didn’t begin in the sixteenth century.