The term “Gentle Calvinism” could be informally used to describe a more inclusive approach to Calvinism that places emphasis on mutual respect, understanding, and learning. This approach is characterized by the following attitudes and practices:
Interdenominational Dialogue: Gentle Calvinists actively seek out conversations and discussions with Christians from other denominational backgrounds to gain a fuller understanding of their theological beliefs and practices. They acknowledge that they can learn valuable insights from others, even if they don’t agree on all theological points.
Humility: Gentle Calvinists demonstrate humility in acknowledging that they don’t have all the answers and are willing to learn from others. They respect that others may interpret Scripture differently and approach these differences with respect rather than judgment.
Tolerance and Acceptance: Even though Calvinism emphasizes and embraces predestination and God’s sovereignty, gentle Calvinists respect other Christians’ different interpretations regarding predestination. They believe in the importance of maintaining unity in the body of Christ despite theological differences.
Sanctification and Mercy: Gentle Calvinists understand that Christians are in a process of sanctification. They advocate for mercy, compassion, and patience in helping all Christians who have fallen into sin, refraining from casting doubt or being judgmental regarding the election or regeneration of any Christian who believes in and confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord, as per Romans 10:9.
Non-aggressive Evangelism: Committed to their beliefs, gentle Calvinists prefer to share the gospel through non-aggressive methods. Instead of engaging in heated debates or arguments to witness Christ, they hope to share the gospel by exemplifying God’s love through their actions and behavior.
Love and Kindness: Above all, gentle Calvinists strive by the grace of God to embody the teachings of Christ in their interactions with other Christians, showing love, kindness, and patience, even in the face of disagreement or opposition.
Gentle Calvinists are steadfast in their adherence to central Christian doctrines while advocating for respectful dialogue with other Christian perspectives. However, they firmly distinguish themselves from those who diverge on what they consider essential tenets of Christian faith:
Belief in the Trinity: Gentle Calvinists adhere strictly to the doctrine of the Trinity, which teaches that God is one Being existing in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. This is a central and non-negotiable doctrine in Christianity.
Belief in Jesus Christ as Both God and Man: Gentle Calvinists affirm the hypostatic union, a fundamental doctrine of Christianity which professes that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully Man, two natures in one person. This belief is essential and foundational, and any deviation from this doctrine is rejected.
Gentle Calvinists believe in Jesus Christ as preached in the Bible and reject any heresy that portrays a different Jesus. Some of the heresy includes Jehovah’s Witness, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) , Eastern Lightning，Shincheonji church of Jesus(the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony). Any deviation from the Jesus Christ of the Bible is rejected.
Belief in the Scriptures as Infallible and Inerrant: Gentle Calvinists assert that the Scriptures are divinely inspired, fully truthful, and serve as the ultimate authority for faith and life. They unequivocally reject any alteration to the Bible and any beliefs that don’t acknowledge it as the inspired Word of God. They denounce heresy and uphold the Bible’s completeness and sufficiency in guiding Christian faith.
Salvation by Grace Through Faith alone in Jesus Christ: Gentle Calvinists maintain that salvation is achieved solely through God’s grace and faith in Jesus Christ, rather than by human efforts or merits. They firmly reject any negation of this fundamental Christian belief, asserting that justification is unequivocally through faith alone, as per the gospel.
Engaging yet Uncompromising: While Gentle Calvinists champion understanding, humility, and tolerance towards diverse Christian theological perspectives, they staunchly oppose heresies, defined as beliefs or opinions significantly deviating from established core Christian doctrines. Their approachability should not be misconstrued as a compromise on these fundamental beliefs. Despite their openness to dialogue, they steadfastly uphold these cornerstone Christian truths, and distinguish themselves from those who reject these principles.