Video from Soteriology101
Dr Leighton Flowers, Director of Evangelism and Apologetics for Texas Baptists, breaks down an interview between Ben Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, and Allie Beth Stuckey, a Calvinist. from video introduction.
What is Calvinism?
Calvin believed that salvation is only possible through the grace of God. Even before creation, God chose some people to be saved. This is the bone most people choke on: predestination. Curiously, it isn't particularly a Calvinist idea. Augustine taught it centuries earlier, and Luther believed it, as did most of the other Reformers. Yet Calvin stated it so forcefully that the teaching is forever identified with him. Calvin said it was clearly taught in the Bible.
"We say, then, that Scripture clearly proves this much, that God by his eternal and immutable counsel determined once for all those whom it was his pleasure one day to admit to salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, it was his pleasure to doom to destruction. We maintain that this counsel, as regards the elect, is founded on his free mercy, without any respect to human worth, while those whom he dooms to destruction are excluded from access to life by a just and blameless, but at the same time incomprehensible judgment."
Calvinism is controversial in evangelical circles. There is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding about the beliefs held by the Calvinists. Just like with many denominations, there can be some variation between churches. There are extreme versions of Calvinism (called Hyper Calvinism) to which regular Calvinists would vehemently disagree with.
John Calvin was gifted writer, theologian, and preacher. One of his greatest accomplishments was the division that he created within the church to help it move away from the government. This division helped to separate the church from the political corruption of the era. John Calvin also founded Geneva Academy, which was the first Protestant college.