Do Calvinists rejoice in the destruction of sinners?

The question quotes one Calvinist, and then uses that quote to extrapolate behavior for the entire faith.

I think this is a rant disguised as a question.

What do you think?

  • 1
    I think it comes dangerously close to being a refute-this question. I can also tell you that if there's a rant, it's in the answer. I'm curious what other folks have to say about it. Sep 24, 2012 at 23:26

2 Answers 2


I don't think it's a rant. From both the text and Jon's comments it sounds like it's a question he's genuinely struggled with, making it meet the "practical answerable question you actually face" criteria in every FAQ, moreso than many other questions we get.

I'll confess to bias here, I like Jon, I like both Edwards and Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, and I'm a Calvinist(this is likely a bigger factor of why I like this question than any personal opinions on Jon). However, this is a common misconception of Calvinists, and Jon does a very thorough job of both setting up the misconception using a pretty darn good source, and also providing a very extensive, clear and well thought out answer.

Like most self answers, the question could use a bit more work (another paragraph or so to set up the answer would have helped IMO), but the answer more than makes up for any failings of the question. However, compared to many self answers I've seen here an elsewhere this one might actually be one of the best questions I've seen written (most of them are little more than setting the ball on the tee so the answerer can hit a homerun).

You are free to make your own judgments, you're always welcome to cast your downvote, your close vote (when you earn one) and your delete vote (if the question becomes closed, and you have 2-4k rep). You're also free to raise support for your opinion on this matter both in chat and on meta (like you're doing). If the community disagrees with me and agrees with you they'll downvote this answer and vote to close Jon's post. That's the system working how it should.

  • 1
    +1: I disagree with you, but you stated your opinion well.
    – Jim G.
    Sep 25, 2012 at 1:12
  • 3
    @JimG. if you disagree, downvote, it's meta. faq
    – wax eagle
    Sep 25, 2012 at 12:11

I would suggest that it differs from most "ranty" questions we see in at least one significant way: It is directed at a specific theological tradition and is therefore answerable using concrete, verifiable references from authoritative sources. Also, uncharacteristic of rants in sheeps' clothing, it doesn't actually preload the answer in the question. Sure, it sets the question up as a mis-conception, but rather than doing this in a way that you know the OP isn't going to take "your wrong, actually it's like this" for an answer Jon has managed to setup a scenario that clearly defines the problem faced in the question but sets the stage for a clear factual set of answers that set the record straight without needing to attack the personal views of the OP as would be the case in most ranty-questions.

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