Many who oppose Calvinism do not know Bible doctrine nor are they educated about church history. From the period of the Reformation Calvinism was the standard belief that governed all of church history until Arminianism was opposed at the Synod of Dort in Holland. The Methodist became the most outspoken advocates of Arminianism in opposition to Calvinism. It is a known historical fact that Calvinism was the concrete upon which America was placed! In fact, some go so far as to say that Calvin and his theology established this country, though the Puritans, etc.
All evangelical schools, when I was growing up, were Calvinistic in nature, minus Limited Atonement. Dispensational and independent schools, such as Dallas Seminary, Philadelphia College of the Bible, Moody Bible Institute, Dallas Bible College, etc., were all Calvinistic. I taught at all of these schools, full or part-time. This has changed over the years because of outright ignorance in many of our schools. The greatest teachers were Calvinistic, and I taught the same in a course on salvation at Philadelphia. At one time Moody Press published all of Pink's works, which are definitely Calvinistic.
Now these schools were not Covenant in theology but Dispensational. These institutions, and I myself, held to the Sovereignty of God, the Providence of God, absolute election and predestination, eternal security, and total depravity, minus Limited Atonement. Because these schools were so good in the practice of sound interpretation, Limited Atonement was not taught because it is not biblically provable. (Neither is Covenant theology.)
During Calvin's day war was raging between Catholicism, the Reformers, and others such as those who were anti-Trinitarian. By war I mean that those opposing the Reformation were killing those who were in opposition. Servitus was told not to come to Geneva. He was told that he would die if he came. It was the Geneva city fathers that put him to death. Calvin did not have the authority to do that.
I virtually have a major in history. I know what I'm talking about. I have read the entire Reformation history volume of Schaff (the greatest of the church history theologians), which explains all of this. Those who oppose Calvinism are just plain ignorant and are not in our conservative, premillennial, dispensational camp.
Back in the 50s and 60s, when I was passing through the halls of theology, Calvinism was taught in all of our evangelical dispensation schools. Ignorance put it out to pasture! Chafer, the founder of Dallas Seminary, puts Calvinism forward in his systematic theology. The great Greek professor at DTS, Dr. S. Lewis Johnson, was strong as oats in his Calvinistic in the classes in graduate school. No one could outdo him in his teaching of Calvinism from the Greek text. I can explain all of the major passages from the grammar that show the biblical doctrines on the subject.
By the way, Calvinism is not the issue but biblical doctrine is. The great Calvinistic doctrines I mentioned above is the issue, not the name of Calvin! However, why did the entire family of the Reformers across Europe weep bitterly when Calvin died at the early age of fifty? They must have known something that folks today do not know! He was so appreciated and loved because of his brilliance in the Bible. If you are interested I can give you a reading list of books to reference. (All of the great Bible teachers through the ages were Calvinists.) --Dr. Mal Couch (1/11)