Here. Read it.
Calvinism is a bleak, oppressive form of Christianity.” The sentiment is a common one. Finding quotations like this one from John Calvin’s letter to the Catholic Cardinal Sadoleto may seem to confirm it. “Whenever I descended into myself or turned my eyes to you, extreme terror seized me, which no expiations or satisfactions could cure.” Here, we surmise, is the rotten heart of Calvinism: the lost soul searching for some kind of mercy only finds endless self-examination compounded by a terrifying vision of a merciless Creator. Powerful pieces of literature like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and John Updike’s In the Beauty of the Lilies have helped to perpetuate this negative image, inserting it firmly into the modern consciousness.