For Calvinists, the issue was not Arminianism but was the Christian faith in general. Yet for some Arminians, the issue was Calvinism versus Arminianism. There are times when we can embrace our Calvinist brethren in defending the Christian faith and historic doctrines. And this is such a time.
I think it's worth reading the whole article (and many others on his blog) but there's a lot of meat in this quote alone:
- He correctly assumes a hierarchy of doctrines; only some are essential (i.e. they define the faith, and loss of any one would leave you outside Christian orthodoxy).
- Defending attacks on essential doctrines as a common cause for all believers
- Doing so does not minimize or ignore the great differences we can have within the Body
Focusing on differences in doctrine or practice with other Christians, to the point where one starts defending heresy just because the other person is attacking it, is especially seductive to people interested in discernment. I think many of the more baffling dust-ups we've seen in the community over the past year are a result of this overly-narrow focus.
This is a reminder that healthy perspective is part of spiritual maturity. I understand that discernment is often a matter of drawing bright-but-subtle distinctions between positions, but arguing over whether we should be in second or third gear is harmful if that causes us to ignore that the car is heading toward a cliff...
Just in case someone misses my point...
I'm not a Calvinist, but I am a monergist, so we have similar objections to the underpinnings of Arminianism, which seems inherently synergistic. For example, I'm not really sure how one can hold to the tenets of Arminianism without losing the idea of "God Almighty being the center [of theology]," which is one of the things this author decries in modern Arminianism.
But holding to the essentials of the faith doesn't mean logical or theological consistency necessarily follow. This brother and I would likely have sharp disagreements on many topics, but based on a quick scan of several posts, it would be an in-house debate, within the Body.