I’m writing to ask, “Where is the consistency?” Your newsletter regularly promotes the book, The Other Side of Calvinism. It’s proclaimed to be “…the best book exposing the heresies of Calvinism….”

Yet in your Nov-Dec 2007 newsletter you have an article featuring Charles Spurgeon, one of the biggest Calvinists of all time. So where is the consistency?

If Calvinism is a heresy, then Spurgeon is a heretic. Yes or no?

—A Reader

Michael answers:

There prevails a misconception, historically promoted by Calvinists, that the great doctrines of the faith are the product of, and exclusive to, Augustinian Calvinism. I have read after and appreciated many wonderful works written by professed Calvinists. I graduated from a strong Calvinist Bible College. If you have read much of Spurgeon you know that you will read a thousand pages and not come across anything that is exclusively Calvinistic. He teaches the same gospel that is taught by so-called Armenians like Wesley and Finney. The old Methodist and the General Baptist preached the wonderful words of grace and life exactly as Spurgeon. Long before Luther or Calvin the gospel Spurgeon preached was believed and taught by many non-Catholic sects throughout the Dark Ages and all the way back to the Apostle Paul. If the Apostle Paul were to preach in a Calvinist’s School he would be labeled a Pelagian or an Armenian and never invited back.

Sound Biblical exegetes do not reject all that a professed Calvinist believes; we reject those doctrines particular to the interpretation of total depravity as an inability of the sinner to choose Christ after having been drawn by the Holy Spirit. I have read thousands of pages of Spurgeon and only found one place where I found him to be in error regarding this subject.

If I say your pie is no good because it has too much salt, that doesn’t mean I don’t like apples, brown sugar, and spices.

Finally, if Spurgeon were representative of all Calvinists, the kinky twists of Calvinism would never be known. Old fashioned Methodists and Bible-believing Baptists would invite him to preach a revival any Autumn week.