Does Calvinism Make God a Moral Monster?

One day, at the end of a class session on Calvinism’s doctrine of God’s sovereignty, a student asked me a question I had put off considering. He asked: “If it was revealed to you in a way you couldn’t question or deny that the true God actually is as Calvinism says and rules as Calvinism affirms, would you still worship him?” I knew the only possible answer without a moment’s thought, even though I knew it would shock many people. I said no, that I would not because I could not. Such a God would be a moral monster.

Roger Olsen, Against Calvinism

This quote concerns me on so many levels.

Does Calvinism make God a moral monster?

What justification does Dr. Olsen have to define “morality” apart from God and then judge God by that definition?

And if God unmistakably revealed himself to Dr. Olsen as the Sovereign God of Calvinism, Dr. Olsen would reject him outright?

That seems to turn the argument that “Calvinists worship a theological system over the Bible” on its head, doesn’t it?

And is it surprising that this arrogance would develop out of an outright rejection of Biblical inerrancy?


  1. calvinists are stuck on the merry-go round of circular logic for the simple reason that they FAIL to recognize the difference between redemption and salvation. redemption speaks to grace, while salvation speaks to faith. all the faith in the world could NEVER bring about redemption. it is a gift. salvation on the other hand is the outcome of faith 1 pet. 1:9 once you understand that reality, everything falls into place, but for the calvinist it’s a constant struggle because they simply do not perceive this simple truth. they also have a faulty understanding of sovereignty.

  2. Gods sovereign will is to save all, though, and unite all things in Christ. That’s why the atonement is expressed in universal terms. As for morality, the issue is that the Calvinist God violates the morality that Jesus taught – not just some arbitrary man-made morality that we are trying to impose on God. Jesus taught to forgive 70×7, while Calvinist god has no intention of forgiving many. And with penal substitutionary atonement, God actually forgives no one, as he made Jesus pay the debt of sin. If you require a debt to be paid, then there is no forgiveness involved. Jesus taught us to have mercy, but God never plans to have mercy on many. The Calvinist god is like the priest who walks by the victim in the Good Samaritan parable, again operating differently than Jesus taught. And if God withholds faith from people, then sends them to hell for not believing, that’s akin to me sending my 5 year-old son to a permanent torture chamber for not being able to dunk a basketball. That would make me a moral monster. Or put another way, a fireman that can save 10 people from a burning building, but chooses to save only four, is worthy of derision, not worship.

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