‘As I have dealt with Calvinists throughout the years, there has been one objection that has stood out the most. There is one thing that I hear them say, more than anything else. They say this on YouTube videos, on Facebook posts, through email correspondence with them, etc. They are constantly accusing people of misrepresenting Calvinism, of not knowing what Calvinism “REALLY IS” and of engaging in straw man arguments against their doctrines.
You know what I think the problem is? I think that that most “Calvinists” aren’t REALLY Calvinists. They don’t even know what “Calvinism” is. I’ve been studying Calvinism for about 10 years now. I’ve studied a lot about Calvinism, both from Calvinists and from those against Calvinism. I’ve watched videos from both sides, listened to sermons from both sides, read books and articles from both sides, etc. For the most part, those who are against Calvinism have properly represented it. There have been those who have engaged in straw man arguments, but they have been few and far between, from what I have seen.
I think that many people who call themselves “Calvinists” haven’t studied much about Calvinism. They probably heard a passionate sermon from Paul Washer (and YES, HE IS a Calvinist), read an article by Charles Spurgeon, read a book by John Piper, listened to a James White debate, watched an R.C. Sproul lecture or read a John MacArthur Commentary. Then they put their theological “stake in the ground” and say, “I’m a Calvinist”. Also, some people are just “bandwagon” Calvinists. They see it as a popular trend in the circles they are in and “jump in”. I wonder what will happen when it’s no longer a “popular trend”?
These are some of my observations over the last 10 years or so. Now obviously, I am not referring to EVERYONE who goes by the tag of “Calvinist”. There are some Calvinists who have studied Calvinism and know what it teaches. I would say that they are the minority, though. Yet, even they don’t seem to like to talk about the “bad side” of Calvinism. They seem to “hide it” and only talk about it when someone presses them on the issues. Or they engage in linguistic revision, regarding words like, “free will”, “sovereignty”, “author of sin”, etc.’
source: Kerrigan Skelly, “John Calvin Quotes – The Calvinism of John Calvin – Are Calvinists REALLY “Calvinists”?” (kerriganskelly).