Note: This isn’t about the pros and cons of Reformed theology, so save those comments. This is about using proper arguments.
Ed Young, a mega-church pastor, gave a rant against Reformed theology in this clip. This is a classic example of straw-man (putting words in the mouth of your opponents) and ad hominem (attacking the person instead of the argument) fallacies.
This was bad on many levels. There wasn’t one biblical argument made and no examples of refuting anything Reformed people actually claim.
The “You’re putting God in a box” line could by used by both sides, which means it proves nothing. He pretends that people actually say they have “God in a box.” He makes plenty of claims about God, so it seems hypocritical of him to make this claim. And God has revealed at least part of himself in scripture. If he thinks we’ve misinterpreted it, then he should explain why. But by Young’s definition, anyone claiming to know anything about God would be guilty of “putting him in a box.”
Young’s practices are so bad that he regularly shows up on anti-heresy sights. I’ve seen clips of him using creepy high-pressure giving tactics. He promoted his sex book by being on a bed on the roof of his church with his wife (does he even know the rooftop story about David’s son Absolam?).
He says Reformed people are mean-spirited?! Has he listened to his own message?
He makes nonsensical statements about the Reformed people being focused on fashion when he is the one who put on a fashion show.
He says the Reformed folks are pushing the social gospel?! In my experience, I haven’t come across one Reformed person guilty of that. They are usually the first to criticize it.
Despite what he says, we don’t claim to know who the elect are and we certainly don’t ignore the non-elect. From one of the YouTube comments:
Calvinists never reach people with the Gospel? Tell that to Edwards, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Sproul, Pink, Packer, Carey, Bunyan, Owen, and others like them.
Ed says he baptized lots of people. So what? Ed thinks he is reaching people, but how can he be sure he isn’t just making false converts?
He says his critics are pajama-wearing basement bloggers? Sure. Then he says he doesn’t have time to call names.
If you have time, listen to James White’s analysis here. Young is obviously feeling very threatened. White concedes that perhaps Young was offended by some inexperienced Reformed people who should be “caged” until they mature. But even then Young’s comments were still fact-free.
People like him make me even more Reformed.