Along with the concern of one losing their salvation, this has to be the most asked question I receive from students of the Bible. If Jesus is the only way for salvation, then what does that mean for those who have never heard about Him? It is one thing to hear and reject the gospel truth, but to be condemned for rejecting a message you never heard just does not seem fair.
The Particular Baptists, as Calvinists historically seem to do, slipped the other direction into so called “hyper-Calvinism.” What that means, essentially, is an overemphasis on the sovereignty of God to the point of the loss of human freedom, and an eventual loss of any missionary motivation.
I don’t think I would have enjoyed being around John Calvin. I think I’d probably feel that, behind his polite smile and bulging eyeballs, he was sniffing the scent of free-thinking upon me. In a democratic society that would be fine, of course, but in a Calvinocracy like Geneva, that would mean trouble for me.
For Calvin, if a practice wasn’t prescribed in the Bible you didn’t do it. On the question of the relation of faith to reason, Luther came down heavily on the side of faith. Calvin came down on the side of reason. Since this partition between the dominance of faith or reason has been one of the great dividing lines of the history of the Church, it’s no surprise that it made a difference between them.
If Peter is supposed to be a Calvinist warning against the Arminian interpretations of Paul (as I’ve heard some say), then he certainly chose words unlike any Calvinist I’ve ever heard…