According to Dr. Curt Daniel the 19th-century Southern Presbyterian Calvinist, John Lafayette Girardeau (1825-1898)
” … was another Confederate chaplain. He taught at Columbia from 1875 till 1895. Among his several books, two are of special note: Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism (which deals mainly with election and reprobation) and Discussions of Theological Questions (mainly on theological method and Scripture). Girardeau was pro-slavery, but was by no means a racist. He pastored a black church for 8 years and ardently worked for more evangelization of the blacks, both before and after the Civil War” (Curt Daniel, The History And Theology Of Calvinism, p. 117).
Curt Daniel had written this about Girardeau:
“Girardeau was pro-slavery, but was by no means a racist” (Curt Daniel, The History and Theology of Calvinism, p. 117).
And Curt Daniel had written this about R.L. Dabney:
“Like many other ‘gentleman theologians,’ he defended slavery — and even owned several slaves himself. This was a regretable [sic] weakness (great men have great weaknesses). Even after the Civil War, Dabney protested allowing blacks to be equal church officers in Presbyterian churches” (Curt Daniel, The History and Theology of Calvinism, p. 116).
Evidently the repugnant racist Dabney was a “greater man” than Girardeau was.
Curt Daniel on 19th-century Southern Presybterianism and “southern culture”:
“Southern culture was somewhat different than in the North, which is reflected in the churches and in the theologians. E. Brooks Holifield well describes these theologians as ‘Gentleman Theologians’ — a mint julip [sic] in one hand and a Bible in the other. They were of the middle and upper classes with a desire to maintain the old ways against the influx of new liberalism. Most tended to be of the Scotch-Irish ancestry predominant in the Carolinas and Virginia, the heart of Southern Presbyterianism” (Curt Daniel, The History and Theology of Calvinism, p. 115).
It seems that the epithet of “Gentleman Theologians” is a kind of euphemism for “white-supremacist common-grace tolerant-Calvinist God-haters” (cf. http://www.outsidethecamp.org/efl174.htm). These “Gentlemen” were so besotted with their (supposed) superiority that they violently shoehorned their virulent racism into the text of Scripture.
The following are some excerpts from Girardeau’s Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism:
“God did not create men in order that they should sin and be damned and so glorify his justice; for he is not the author of sin, but man, in the first instance, sinned and fell by the free and unavoidable decision of his own will. … Unless, therefore, the Calvinistic doctrine could be fairly charged with teaching that God causes the sinful principle, it cannot be held to teach that he causes the sinful acts which it naturally produces. On the contrary, it maintains that the principle of sin in the nature of man is self-originated. Its consequences are obviously referred to the same origin: all sin, original and actual is affirmed to be caused by man himself. God, in reprobating the sinner for his sins, cannot be said to cause his sins” (Girardeau, Calvinism & Evangelical Arminianism, p. 167, 189; underlining mine–CD).
Clearly this is Girardeau’s enunciation that when it comes to the Fall and the origination of sinful actions man IS God — for it is NOT God’s decision (decree) that makes things “unavoidable” but man’s “free and unavoidable decision” that does. Girardeau’s gumption accords with Satan’s lie: “You shall be as God.” Evidently another “creator” is needed in order to explain (or explain away) the true origin of sin.
“The apostle Peter in his great sermon on the day of Pentecost enounced this fact when he said: ‘Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.’ The apostles, said in a prayer: ‘For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.’ Assuredly the death of Christ and the form in which it was inflicted were pre-determined. Consequently, the means and agencies involved must likewise have been foreordained. The sinful principle of which the atrocious act of the crucifixion was the expression was not produced by the divine efficiency. God is not the author of sin. The sinner is himself the author of it. The Scribes and Pharisees, the priests and rulers, and the contemporary generation of their countrymen were not made the malicious and incorrigible sinners they were by the divine causality; but being what they were by virtue of their own election, God determined to shut them up to the specific expression of wickedness which resulted in the crucifixion of Christ. They were not, by the divine decree, obliged to be sinners or to sin, but they were, by it, obliged to vent their own wickedness in such a way as to fulfil the eternal counsel of God touching that event which is the pivot upon which the whole scheme of redemption turns. In a word they with wicked hands crucified and slew the Saviour, but God decretively willed that they should crucify and slay him” (Girardeau, Calvinism & Evangelical Arminianism, pp. 345-346; underlining mine–CD).
The atrocious sin expressed in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ WAS produced by the “divine efficiency.” You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault, for who resists His will? As for this “efficiency” making God the “author of sin.” For God to “efficiently” and actively CAUSE a person to write a book does not mean that God Himself is the one who put pen to paper. Girardeau bandies about the ambiguous phrase “author of sin” as a bugaboo to frighten people from acknowledging the Biblical fact that God IS God and they are NOT.
Ironically Girardeau is NOT the least bit frightened to deny (like Assyria did before him) that God is the One controlling him (cf. Isaiah 10). Girardeau and Assyria effervesce with extreme arrogance and pride. But Girardeau would probably object with a gurgle of discontent:
If this sinful principle of arrogance and pride being expressed by me is due to Divine efficiency, then the arrogance and pride is NOT mine but His.
Or, in other words Giradeau’s objection is Why does He yet find fault, for who can resist His will? As we’ve seen over and over and over again — the history and theology of Calvinism is just one long line of tumultuous teapots, short and stout, shaking their handles, and emitting seditious steam from their spouts.