John Newton on Calvinism

I admit I’m such a lightweight when it comes to church history, so please don’t be too shocked about this: I just learned moments ago that John Newton, writer of the famous “Amazing Grace,” was a Calvinist, having read a quote of his beliefs shared by the Reformed Mafia.

Now, completely unrelated to the point the Mafia made, this thought crossed my mind: there are fundamentalists who argue against contemporary Christian music for a variety of reasons, but often including the personal beliefs of the musicians. These same fundamentalists condemn Calvinism as a perversion of the truth, yet they sing a song written by an adherent thereof. Somebody light a match; I smell a double standard.

3 thoughts on “John Newton on Calvinism

  1. Justin says:

    *smacks face*

    First Spurgeon, and now Newton? …

    Rick, do both of us a favor and pick up a church history book. :D

    I have always thought that myself, though, how Christendom’s most beloved hymn (Amazing Grace) was written by a proponent of Christendom’s least favorite theology (Calvinism). Very ironic, I think.

    I don’t know how people can sing about “amazing grace!!!” if they believe that grace can ultimately be thwarted and finally rejected. But then again, I don’t know how a lot of people can sing a lot of hymns. For example, my LUGG leader is a two-point Calvinist (so not really a Calvinist at all), but he leads the worship band at our youth group and one time we sand, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and one of my favorite lines is, “O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be! Let Thy love, Lord, like a fetter bind my wandering heart to Thee! Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.” How can you sing that and *not* believe in the doctrines of grace?

  2. Rick Beckman says:
    Student of the sciences, the religions, the science fictions, and the fantasies… But mostly I’m just trying to find my groove in this big, crazy world.

    I’ve a couple of church history books; they don’t seem to be doing me any good.

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