Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace to You and curator of the Spurgeon Archive, has finally lit the fuse on his own blog, Pyromaniac.. His first substantive post, Quick-and-Dirty Calvinism, has already sparked a firestorm of comments. Ostensibly taking his cue from the Discerning Reader and the Internet Monk, Phil points to smoldering problems within the ranks of cyber-Calvinism. He bemoans neophyte five pointers who too often exhibit fanaticism, non-evangelism, polemicism and anti-intellectualism rather than attitudes more consistent with the doctrines of grace. He urges green theologians to get their feet wet with “the historic mainstream Calvinist authors, not from blogs and discussion forums on the Internet.” I won’t mention the irony since its such good advice. 🙂
I first ran into Phil on The Fightin’ Fundamentalist Forum several years ago. I mentioned to him I had only read one of John MacArthur’s books, Charismatic Chaos, and most of my familiarity with MacArthur had come from the anti-Lordship Salvation crowd. A few days later a box of three or four complementary books arrived on my doorstep from Grace to You. Those books, along with Spurgeon’s writings set my feet on the path toward embracing Calvinism. Apparently I had already been leaning in that direction without really realizing it, but God used these influences to kindle the fire. Founders Ministries helped me along the way and John Piper pushed me over the edge.
Summer before last, my wife competed in the National Cycling Championship in California. On the trip we had the privilege of worshiping with Grace Community Church. Phil and his wife treated us to a wonderful lunch. We snapped this picture. I’m the “beardless Calvinists” on the left.