From what I heard, Calvinism is based on the idea that God would be able (being omniscient) to know who will be saved and who will not. The elect and the reprobates.
This appeals to me greatly, since I feel like I am surrounded by reprobates everywhere, and of course, being blessed with the sacred light of the Master (Straight Dope Master, that is), I am (of) the elect.
- But then, what do I do? How does one actually become a Calvinist? I’ve never heard anyone describe themselves as one, or mention the term elect or reprobates (I’ve only read it). Aren’t the Presbyterians Calvinist? Do I have to join them or are there other churchs who believe this? If you join one of them can you say you are one of the elect?
- What are the responses from non-Calvinistic churches to Calvin’s doctrine? (Such as the Roman Catholic dogma which appears to consider it a heresy called Fatalism; but I dont know the details behind this claim). Calvin’s argument that an omniscient God would therefore know who will be saved seems solid to me, but I am gullible, having no theological training, and having not even studied for the priesthood.
Please explain, lest we all be reprobates . . . (unless we can’t avoid it)