For whose sins did Jesus die? Who are the elect? Is the sinner’s prayer biblical? What exactly is T.U.L.I.P.? Ever had questions like these?
The year was 1751 and Oliver Hart had just come to Charleston to take the reins of the church at Charleston. He could have concentrated solely on building up the church, which had been down, but instead he sought to reach out to other congregations’ just starting or needing encouragement.
Calvinists are notorious for asking the unsuspecting believer, “Why did you believe in Christ and someone else does not; are you smarter, or more praiseworthy in some way?” I asked this question more times than I can remember as a young Calvinist.
If someone disagreed with me, my presumption was that they must not really understand my perspective. So, instead of attempting to listen and objectively evaluate their arguments, I focused on restating my case more clearly, confidently, and dogmatically. If I did not fully understand what they were saying I would often label and dismiss them instead of taking the time to fully evaluate their point of view.
Piper is free to have and express his opinion about Arminians and exegesis, but it would be helpful if he would at least reveal which Arminian Bible scholars he has read and found wanting and why. Instead his response was merely dismissive and ought not to be taken very seriously—unless one takes whatever Piper says seriously just because Piper says it.