Here are some of my favorite Calvinists, and what I admire most about them.
John Newton: Newton loved people and was passionate about sharing the gospel. He is probably best known for penning the words to “Amazing Grace”. Newton formerly worked in the slave trade, and eventually joined the abolitionist movement. I admire Newton’s love for the gospel, his humble spirit, and his dedication to ending the slave trade. “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am. “
Charles Spurgeon: Spurgeon was known as “the prince of preachers”. He preached to thousands of people, averaging 10 sermons a week. He was passionate about preaching to the lost. He was decidedly Calvinistic, but valued Christian love and charity above doctrinal convictions. I admire Spurgeon’s love of preaching, his dedication, and his efforts to promote Christian unity. “If “Christ is all” to you, you are Christians; and I, for one, am ready to give you the right hand of brotherhood. I do not mind what place of worship you attend, or by what distinctive name you may call yourselves, we are brethren; and I think, therefore, that we should love one another.”
William Carey: Carey’s enthusiasm for missions was in large part the catalyst for the missionary movement in England, and he was a pioneering missionary to India. I admire Carey’s heart for the lost, and how he helped changed church culture to a more missional focus. Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.
Corrie ten Boom: Corrie loved to share the message of God’s love and his forgiveness. She and her family helped hide Dutch Jews from the Nazis. They were arrested, and she and her sister were sent to a concentration camp (where her sister died). I admire her perseverance in hardship, her strong preaching, and her focus on God’s love for all. “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.”
Francis Schaeffer: Schaeffer was a pastor, theologian and author. He founded the L’abri community in Switzerland. I admire Schaeffer’s efforts to minister to the “hippie” generation, and his work in the pro-life movement. I also appreciate that his writings are not overtly Calvinist in nature. “Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.”