Grace For All, Unless You're a Calvinist

micahcoate Dec 04, 2023


This is a public call to repentance for Micah Coate. Additionally, I believe that the ministries who support him, who choose to continue to do so after having been made aware of these issues, also need to repent.

Expanded statement: My conclusion, based on the below research and evidence, and more forthcoming pending Micah’s repentance, it that there is overwhelming evidence that Micah Coate, of the Salvation and Stuff Ministry, author of A Cultish Side of Calvinism, needs to repent of “wreaking havoc within the Christian family ― breaking up churches, stirring up hate among fellow believers, and bashing people who disagree with their views as “heretic”.”* The problems are so severe that I believe the charge to repent also applies to anyone who continues to support or serve in his ministry after being made aware of these issues. Indeed, some of these issues are so overt that anyone who has read his book could not have missed them unless their intent was to never question Micah.


Herein lies Micah's true quandary: to obey Scripture or to obey his book. If Calvinists are heretical, as Micah asserts, then to obey Scripture requires having nothing further to do with Calvinists in any ministerial or faith-based context, along the lines of Galatians 1, 1 Corinthians 5-6, and Matthew 18. Yet Micah also insists they are not "outside of the house of faith." This means they aren't heretical, and therefore we shouldn't divide from them.


The evidence appears to be so overwhelming that it implicates anyone who supports Micah and his book, which includes the following:


Among these, I have personally spoken with, or at least tried to, the following individuals:

  • Robby Lashua (Salvation and Stuff staff)
    • Robby appears to have taken it seriously, but as of yet there is no indication Micah has repented. I last spoke with Robby on November 10th, with no indication that further conversation would be fruitful.
  • Eyriche Cortez (Grace for all Coalition leadership)
    • Eyriche unfriended me and has chosen to ignore me after I brought some, but not the worst, of the concerns to him. My last conversation with him was sometime mid-October.
  • Michael Carino (Grace for all Coalition leadership)
    • Michael has blocked me, both personally and from the Grace for All Coalition Facebook group, after I asked him about Micah's plagiarism. However, he never talked with me about the issues I highlighted.

This tells me that Micah's supporters are unwilling to hold him accountable. This is, ironically, a sign of cultic behavior.


In this article, I will be breaking down some of the issues with Micah Coate's book: A Cultish Side of Calvinism. I have chosen to address three issues:

  •  Does Micah believe Calvinism is in the household of faith?
  • Micah’s age
  • One example of plagiarism


To be clear, I am not a Calvinist. At present, I am closer to Molinism than any other position.

I want to provide some clarity regarding my views about division within the Body of Christ. I don't like to get involved, especially publicly, with in-house Christian debates. My focus is predominantly on areas that are either foundational to the faith, such as the Resurrection of Jesus, or are a direct threat to unity in the essentials of the faith, such as Progressive Christianity. To that end, the issues I will be addressing here are not about whether Calvinism is true or not, for that really doesn't bother me: most soteriological issues are within the house of faith, and if others want to argue over that, feel free, though I don't believe we should be dividing over secondary or even tertiary issues.

What does bother me is outright false information and creating division within the church. And that is what Micah provides in his book and through his ministry by tying his qualifications for ministry (his bio) to this book.

I want to be clear that this is not a reactionary article I have scribbled down, but instead the work of checking and rechecking and primary source research, so allow me to describe some of what I’ve been doing.

[All of my following work happened this year; 2023] I first heard of this book sometime in August or September. I bought this book on October 6th. I started posting about it on my personal profile October 24th. At that time, I had read about 38% of the book. Over the subsequent three weeks, I finished it.

In Kindle, I am currently at 802 highlights and 278 notes. The highlights vary from points of interest to something I plan on addressing, but the notes are the important side. Several are markings for future fact-checking, several are posts I've made on my Facebook profile, but most are additional commentary, questions, corrections, or challenges, which could easily result in several more articles.

All told, I made 46 Facebook posts consisting of over 7,000 words, since October 24th. Much of that has been consolidated into the article you are reading now.

Here is my own interest for why I'm so focused on this:

I first encountered Micah and his book when Eyriche Cortez endorsed the book and hosted Micah for a Grace for All Coalition webinar. I was concerned because it sounded anti-Calvinist (as opposed to merely disagreeing with and rebutting Calvinism) but, because I do research, I bought the book and read it. It confirmed, over and over, my initial concerns. Eyriche unfriended me when I confronted him with evidence of the problems. That made it a bit personal, as did seeing Robby Lashua support Micah's ministry, knowing my love of and support for Stand to Reason. As I continued my investigations, things got noticeably worse, including seeing how many others support Micah and his ministry.

Micah started writing this book approximately 15 years ago and published it 13 years ago (2011). In that book, he repeatedly, overtly, explicitly calls Calvinists cultists, and even says it's a biblical mandate to separate from them. Many years have passed; people change: not Micah. I attended the webinar on 23OCT23, where Micah taught the same book without change. And on Micah's blog from last year (24SEP22), he outright called Calvinism heretical.  This is NOT a case of being less mature when he was younger: he maintains and teaches the same beliefs.


This leaves a few options:

  1. He knows of his problems and is unrepentant.
  2. He doesn't know of his problems, but his network does and they haven't told him.
  3. Neither he nor his network knows of these problems.

The last is particularly concerning, because, for example, I found the case for plagiarism within literally minutes. I read it on the first pass, was slightly concerned, checked the source, and immediately saw the problem. It did not take 2-3 hours of research and buying several books to do; it took about 5 minutes.

Which means one of the following:

  1. He knows he is unrepentant.
  2. His network knows he is unrepentant and hasn't confronted him.
  3. His network hasn't questioned his teachings.

And all of those over 15 years. We're not talking about a recent development or something happening behind closed doors; we're talking about something that he has been publicly teaching for at least a decade.

In the interest of time and clarity, I’ve decided to structure this over several articles. So this first article will only deal with a few issues, with more articles forthcoming pending Micah’s repentance.


Does Micah believe Calvinism is in the household of faith?

While Micah starts the book by claiming that he does not see Calvinists as “members of a cult” or “outside the household of faith”, it is overwhelmingly clear that Micah:

  • Wants his readers to associate Calvinists/Calvinism with cults
  • Assumes Calvin’s motives based on identifying him as a cult leader
  • Believes Calvinists are heretical (which is outside of the “household of faith”)
  • Believes we have a biblical mandate to separate from Calvinists

The introduction, as written, cannot be reconciled with everything written before and after. Additionally, Micah was writing this during his time at Phoenix Seminary (published 2011, graduated 2012), so we can conclude that he was aware of the weight and reception of his words prior to publishing. This all but excludes any other possibility than that there is some measure of dishonesty happening. Whether it is dishonesty because he published something he doesn’t believe (that Calvinists are outside of the household of faith) or that he tried to exonerate his other statements with a false introduction, or something else entirely, I’m not yet ready to speculate on. Given that he specifically said that Calvinism is heretical within the last few years, however, the evidence seems clear that he doesn’t treat Calvinists as Christians, even if he says the words occasionally.


Let’s look at some, though by no means all, of the comments Micah made:

In the introduction:

"This book is not claiming that those who believe the theology of Calvinism are members of a cult, nor is it claiming that Calvinism in and of itself is a cult…it is not claiming that Calvinists are outside the household of faith as is true with many Christian cult members." (Kindle Location 70)

This seems to be the only time Michael definitely says they are not a cult and that they are just as much Christian as he is.


In the endorsements:

“Like so many cults, Calvinism attracts people with the sweet candy on the apple (the glory of God), usually without ever exposing them to the rottenness inside the apple itself (double predestination).”

Dave Anderson

Grace School of Theology,

The Woodlands, Texas

And here is Micah throughout the book:

  • "Although we cannot know the true intentions of John Calvin’s pursuit in evangelism, for several reasons it seems unlikely that he aimed only to proclaim salvation in Christ. First, his theological view clearly makes evangelism ultimately useless. Second, cult leaders usually seek their own desires, as opposed to the desires of God as revealed in Scripture."
    • Kindle Location 4359
  • "Calvinists, as with all cultists, are not straightforward about their message."
    • Kindle Location 4466
  • "of all cults claiming to be Christian, only Calvinism has so maligned the truth and meaning of the world’s most well-known verse."
    • Kindle Location 5066
  • "How absurd would it be if Mormons were pressing their doctrines in a Baptist Church, or if Jehovah’s Witnesses were pressing their teaching of Jesus in a Lutheran Church? Many leading Calvinists, however, aggressively promote their doctrines in Christian churches of any denomination."
    • Kindle Location 4073

Perhaps worst of all:

"The doctrines of Calvinism and Reformed Theology are, by their very nature, a threat to the body of Christ, and separation from such a theology would be more than a “last resort”—it would be a biblical mandate."

Kindle Location 4797

And from a recent blog post:

To be clear with the above article, Micah also says:

“Two men that I’ve quoted and affectionately praised on a few Salvation and Stuff episodes are Voddie Baucham and John Piper. Both pastors are men of God, gifted in teaching, and passionate about the gospel.”

But how does this mesh with calling Calvinism heretical? Incorrect on soteriology? Sure, if we assume Calvinism is wrong (I’m not taking sides on that in this article). But issues of heresy are mutually exclusive with someone being a “man of God” or “passionate about the gospel”: one can’t be both heretical and godly.

Micah’s Age

One of the most overt examples of a double standard that Micah presents regards a point he made not once, but twice:

  • "In light of the fact that he spent the remainder of his life revising the Institutes, Dave Hunt writes that they:

    'could not possibly have come from a deep and fully developed evangelical understanding of Scripture. Instead they came from the energetic enthusiasm of a recent law graduate and fervent student of philosophy and religion, a young zealot devoted to Augustine and a newly adopted cause.'”
    • Kindle Location: 347


  • "He wrote the first edition of his Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536 at the age of twenty-seven. Because Calvin was so young, some scholars question his credibility. Dave Hunt states that the Institutes:

    ' . . . could not possibly have come from a deep and fully developed evangelical understanding of Scripture. Instead, they came from an energetic enthusiasm of a recent law graduate and a fervent study of philosophy and religion, a young genius devoted to Augustine and a newly adopted cause.'"
    • Location: 3,343

Now, on the surface, this is simply an ad hominem argument. While the question of developing a "deep and fully developed evangelical understanding of Scripture" is important, his age has little to do with it. Indeed, it's even antithetical to Scripture:

1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV) -Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

To be clear, I'm not defending Calvin. I've never read the Institutes myself, so I can't comment on their quality, though I find it difficult to believe they are as bad as described given how they’ve lasted through history. But attacking their quality on the basis of the age of the author is not addressing the arguments themselves, it's an ad hominem.


What makes this even worse, though, is this: Micah was the same age, at the same stage in life (a recent graduate) when he was writing A Cultish Side of Calvinism. And if we want to take Dave’s description at face value, it’s equally fair to read Micah as a young zealot himself.

I find it difficult to imagine that, referencing this same passage twice, Micah was ignorant of the similarity. I find it much harder to imagine that all of the endorsers of the book, or his ministry team assuming they’ve read the book, also missed it.

This is, however, made much worse when we consider the nature of Micah's book. Whereas it's supposed to be enough to dismiss Calvin's "understanding of Scripture" on account of his age, we're expected to believe that Micah has a "deep and fully developed" understanding of not only Scripture, but also:

  • Church history
  • Reformed History
  • Reformed Theology
  • The sociopolitical factors surrounding 1500's Geneva

Five different areas, each a separate field of study, and Micah, at Calvin's age and stage of life, mastered all five better than Calvin mastered only one of them?

If Micah is justified to condemn Calvin at such an age, then Micah stands under the same condemnation, and yet he continues to rely on his book to boost his bio. If this were the only issue of the book, it might be enough to overlook. But it isn’t. Indeed, seeing such blatant double standards only serves to highlight how bad the rest is.



"Patchwork or mosaic plagiarism involves copying sentences from an author (or several authors) but replacing a few words with synonyms without changing the actual structure of the sentences. Nice work using a thesaurus, but you’re still stealing someone else’s ideas as your own."

Quote and plagiarism graphic from:

This is by far one of the biggest problems in the book, for bound up in one paragraph are not one, not two, not three, but four substantial problems, of which plagiarism is the anchor. I’m going to lay out some facts and then, after presenting them all, assess them.

Micah’s original paragraph:

  • "Again, knowing that the message of John 3:16 does away with Calvin’s third point of TULIP, Calvinists twist the Scripture at all cost. Leading Calvinist James White says that “whosoever believeth on him should not perish” actually means “in order that everyone believing on him should not perish.”[17] With the addition of a few words, White defends Calvinism by saying that the elect alone believe and thus Christ died for them only." (Kindle location 3556)
  • Footnote 17:
    • "James White, “Blinded By Tradition: An Open Letter to Dave Hunt Regarding His Newly Published Attack Upon the Reformation, What Love Is This? Calvin’s Misrepresentation of God” [online]; accessed 13 July 2007; available from; Internet.

That link is no longer valid, though it appears to have been when Micah published his book (see here). Here is what appears to be the correct link:

Here is the original text from that link plus some surrounding context:

  • [Dave Hunt] wrote on page 270,
    • But White, realizing that such an admission does away with Limited Atonement, manages a desperate end run around John 3:16.  He suggests that sound exegesis requires “that whosoever believeth on him should not perish” actually means “in order that everyone believing in him should not perish….”  That slight twist allows White to suggest that Calvinism’s elect alone believe and thus Christ died only for them.
  • First, it is again improper of you to call an exegetically sound, reasoned explanation of the Greek text (something you did not offer in your own book) a “desperate end run” nor to call it a “slight twist.”  I am not desperate, Dave.  I can quote my opponents correctly, for example, and I don’t have to turn Arminius into a monster just to disagree with his theological conclusions.

Here is Dave Hunt’s original text that James quoted plus some surrounding context:

  • Calvin himself, in his commentary on John 3:16, stated that “world” included “all men without exception.” Luther also said it meant “the entire human race.” But White, realizing that such an admission does away with Limited Atonement, manages a desperate end run around John 3:16. He suggests that sound exegesis requires “that whosoever believeth on him should not perish” actually means “in order that everyone believing in him should not perish....”30 That slight twist allows White to suggest that Calvinism’s elect alone believe (God having caused them to do so), and thus Christ died only for them.
    • What love is this?, Third Edition (2006), page 404
    • Footnote 30: “White, Potter’s, 194.”

And here is James White’s original text that Dave quoted plus surrounding context:

  • "John 3:16 is cited by CBF over and over again as indication that there is no particularity to God’s work of salvation. The idea that the term “world” could possibly mean anything other than every single individual (despite the fact that all serious exegetes recognize a wide variety of uses of this term in the New Testament and especially in John’s writings, for example, John 17:9 and 1 John 2:15) is simply dismissed by CBF on numerous occasions. Furthermore, the common misconception that John 3:16 uses an indefinite phrase, “whosoever,” is presented as evidence against the particularity of God’s work of redemption. However, anyone familiar with the text as it was written knows that the literal rendering of the passage is “in order that every one believing in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The verse teaches that the giving of the Son guarantees the salvation of all the believing ones. Sound exegetical practice requires us to then ask, “Does Jesus speak to who will, and who will not, believe?” The answer is yes, He does, in such passages as John 6:37-45."
    • The Potter's Freedom, New Revised Edition (2009), page 194

I haven’t been able to buy all of the editions cited by each location (James White references a version of What Love is This? published before 2002, for example), but all of the quotes seem to be unchanged as I walk through them.

Herein are the four problems:

  • Micah lied about what source he used.
  • Micah plagiarized the actual source he used.
  • Micah’s actual source, and thus Micah himself, strawmanned the original source.
  • Micah and his actual source’s argument was incorrect independent of the strawman.

Source Attribution

As you can see, whereas Micah cited James White’s letter, the text he quoted didn’t originate there; it originated in James’ book “The Potter’s Freedom.” As we will see under Plagiarism, it is clear that Micah never read the original text, for he repeats the exact same problems that Dave did.

My theory is that he might have encountered this in What Love is This?, which he does cite, and then Googled to find James saying it online which he could cite as from James. This, obviously, fails to be credible research. But it continues to get worse.



This will be best presented by bolding parts of the two quotes and then explaining what happened. Bracket numbers have been added to map the pieces together:


"Again, knowing that the message of John 3:16 does away with[1] Calvin’s third point of TULIP[2], Calvinists twist[3] the Scripture at all cost. Leading Calvinist James White says that “whosoever believeth on him should not perish” actually means[4] “in order that everyone believing on him should not perish.” With the addition of a few words, White defends Calvinism by saying that the elect alone believe and thus Christ died for them only.[5]"


“But White, realizing that such an admission does away with[1] Limited Atonement[2], manages a desperate end run around John 3:16.  He suggests that sound exegesis requires “that whosoever believeth on him should not perish” actually means[4] “in order that everyone believing in him should not perish….”  That slight twist[3] allows White to suggest that Calvinism’s elect alone believe and thus Christ died only for them.[5]

So, it’s clear that Micah took Dave’s assessment of James’s words, rearranged (and in some limited cases rewrote - [2]) them, and then, this is where it is plagiarism: passed off the assessment as his own. Had he cited Dave, or even referenced that is where he was getting his conclusion, this wouldn’t be plagiarism. But he didn’t.

In fact, the specific way that Micah changes specific word order makes it clear that he knows he has to in order to avoid being charged with plagiarism, which reinforces that he failed by not attributing this to Dave in the first place.



As you can see from James’ original text, James didn’t say that exegesis leads to “in order that everyone believing in him should not perish….” but instead that a literal translation does. That’s a substantial difference: interpretation and translation are not the same thing. So Dave actually strawmans James’ argument, with Micah following along without question.

This is more notable because immediately after James appears to call out Dave for misquoting him, which is mostly true: Dave got the literal text right, but mixed up James’ presentation of exegesis with his claim of translation. Micah seemingly didn’t read James’s letter or question that comment to see if there was any credibility to the question of quoting.


Literal Translations

Lastly, even if they had managed to not strawman, I don't think they are right on this anyway. To be clear, I’m no expert on the original languages, but I did do a little bit of research, and James’ comment seems to check out.

Here is James’ proffered translation:

“in order that every one believing in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Here are some other translations:

John 3:16 (LSV): for God so loved the world that He gave the only begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him may not perish, but may have continuous life.

John 3:16 (YLT): for God did so love the world, that His Son—the only begotten—He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during.

John 3:16: (JSB) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only born Son, that every one believing in him perish not, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (CLV) For thus God loves the world, so that He gives His only-begotten Son, that everyone who is believing in Him should not be perishing, but may be having life eonian.

I can’t say whether one or any of these are right, but it is not just James’ word for this. If they are going to challenge this, they must do it on the basis of the original languages, not on the basis of interpretation.



As I mentioned, I had initially published around 7,000 words on this. I have chosen to limit this article to only a few points, but I still have at least four other issues to bring up, around universalism, Pharoah, faulty citations, and inconsistency with his own standards. And those are only the issues I initially published. I have many more critiques on the book to cull from for more articles.

Additionally, I have a working theory (based on three separate instances in the book), that Micah didn’t read at least several, if not any, of the Calvinist material he cited, but instead only read anti-Calvinist writings, stealing their citations and as presenting them as though he had read the primary sources his footnotes name. That is, however, only a working theory, and not a charge I am making. I hope to be proven wrong on that. Pending Micah's repentance, I intend to publish additional articles detailing these and further issues with his book.

With that presented evidence, I will repeat my call: that Micah Coate repent, and that his staff and supporters repent of supporting him.