Pastor Ed Young’s rant against Reformed theology

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.


11 thoughts on “Pastor Ed Young’s rant against Reformed theology”

  1. One more attempt… It’s good to know that Calvinism is “sexy, cool, skinny jeaned” people with “v-neck shirts!” Which helps me to understand what is wrong with my Reformed Theology. I don’t own any skinny jeans.


  2. I am one who am a non-calvinist for many reasons. And I have seen SOME Calvinists who fit his descriptions – as well as SOME non-calvinists.

    But I agree with your analysis of his speech. I don’t know ANY Calvinist which preaches the social gospel. This is a guy who I consider a heretic because of his praise and associations with T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen – who he virtually drools over. Many other teachings of his being all about sex and other worldly issues, and downright apostasy, which demonstrate his own lack of Biblical knowledge, give him NO room to challenge Calvinist teachings


  3. Ed Young Jr. had the original Video pulled due to a “Copyright Claim”
    I had a copy of it and uploaded to my YouTube account under the rights of the “Fair Use Act.” I’m sure he’ll still end up having this one removed as well.


  4. I am a classical Arminian (not today’s so-called Arminians that are nothing more than semi-Pelagians), and I am applaud by his attack on my Reformed brothers. I believe that this man is showing his true colors by slandering believers in Jesus Christ. By their fruit you shall know them. This man is showing the “wolf-side” of himself. Beware.


  5. I am a bit new to ‘Reformed Theology’, but my cursory assessment leaves me quite COLD! IF the god of ‘RT’ only saves the ‘ELECT’, DAMNING the rest thru ‘PREDESTINATION’ — to me the ‘RT’ god is INFINITEly WORSE than the DEVIL!!!!!!!!!!!!! And in my humble opinion, since “GOD so Loved the WORLD that HE gave HIS only begotten SON”, and since “Whoever Calls On The NAME of the LORD Shall BE SAVED”!!!! ——– to ME it is SO VERY OBVIOUS that ‘RT’ has ABSOLUTELY NOOOOO GOSPEL to PREACH


    1. Hi Mark — I encourage you to do some more research. Even Arminians concede that God knew before He created people whether they would go to Heaven or Hell. Quoting John 3:16 doesn’t refute RT. We believe that verse, too!


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