My name is Jeff Peterson, residing in the prairies of Emmet County, Michigan. I am married to Sheryl and we have six children (one deceased at age 19 in 2002) and three
four five six seven (number eight is pending) grandchildren. We attend the Indian River Baptist Church. My wife and I have been servants in prison ministry since 1996. Our soteriology is Reformed, our ecclesiology Baptistic, our hermeneutic Covenental and it’s all semper reformanda. Amillennial is the eschatology around here and is under construction as well (please, don’t start accusing types like me of holding to “replacement theology.” We don’t. We don’t hate Jews, either). Our apologetics are presuppositional and more Clarkian than VanTilian. For free materials of a Clarkian nature, read most anything on apologetics by Vincent Cheung. Or, if you don’t mind rather lengthy lectures of sketchy audio quality, listen to the good Dr. Clark himself (scroll down to Collection 6).
This blog is written from a layman’s perspective. Don’t look for detailed exegesis because I can’t give it.
The title, “Lighthearted Calvinist” is meant to express a form of irony – there are many who would say the term is an oxymoron. I would maintain that it is redundant – if we as the redeemed are to have “joy that is inexpressible,” (1 Peter 1:8), then should we not indeed be, “lighthearted?” A Calvinist – of all people – should know the depths from which he/she was rescued by the sovereign grace of God and then knowing that, how can we NOT be joyful? This joy, though, is not the “giddiness” with which too many Christians define “joy.” It’s an inner sense of wonder and gratitude and contentment and peace for the rescue mission accomplished in our lives through a merciful gift from the one, true, living God.
Yes, its true. I am a “published” author. Our electronic age has very much simplified the process so any John Doe with a computer can become such. In collaboration with two swell gentlemen of outstanding character and a certain degree of chutzpah, we published an apologetic for Calvinistic soteriology in 2010. In doing so, we have suffered the slings and arrows of many who failed to read the lengthy disclaimer on the Amazon site – ah, such are the foibles of fame and the zeal of those who see such a phrase as “Against Calvinism” and swoop to partake without showing a degree of prudence. We lament the book’s status as out-of-print. ”We” is a very small group, however.
Yes, we are aware here that not all Christians share our views on the doctrines of God’s sovereign grace in saving sinners. It would be greatly appreciated that if you disagree with what is written here, please disagree in a civil manner (and this goes to the converse for my Calvinistic brethren with attitudes toward non-Calvinists) and do so without name-calling, profanity or accusing we Calvinists of being worse people than Talibanic Muslims or child molesters. Don’t look here for statements saying that Arminians are not by definition “not saved”. Paul did not say in Romans 5:1 that the Romans were justified by affirming Calvinism. They were justified by faith.
If you don’t like gobs of parenthetic references (see above. And the present one) in your reading, you may well grind your teeth reading this blog.
But do, please, read away, keeping in mind you are reading the thoughts of an average guy, an old man who sits in the third row, north side, on the aisle (same seat? Well, it IS, after all a Baptist church, right? Baptists don’t worship tradition, right? RIGHT?!?!? Umm, let’s keep that in mind when removing the hymnals from the pews gets brought up at the business meeting, OK?), in a rural Baptist church in a “town” that legally does not exist. (It’s true. Indian River, Michigan is nothing more than a “CDP” – a “Census-designated place” according to the US Government. It is not a city or a village – it is a somewhat nebulous area within Tuscarora Township that everyone – even the US Postal Service – calls “Indian River.” Applying the duck test, by all outward appearances Indian River IS a town, but try and find such a legal entity – your efforts will be without fruit.)