According to Burk Parsons of Ligonier Ministries, those who are truly Reformed will find it impossible “to remain a ‘closet Calvinist,'” and “impossible to remain Reformed without anyone knowing it—it will inevitably come out.” Parsons states his reason for saying this in a piece he wrote for Tabletalk magazine. He writes:
When we come to grasp Reformed theology, it’s not only our understanding of salvation that changes, but our understanding of everything. It’s for this reason that when people wrestle through the rudimentary doctrines of Reformed theology and come to comprehend them, they often feel like they have been converted a second time. In fact, as many have admitted to me, the reality is that some have been converted for the very first time. It was through their examination of Reformed theology that they came face-to-face with the stark reality of their radical corruption and deadness in sin, God’s unconditional election of His own and condemnation of others, Christ’s actual accomplishment of redemption for His people, the Holy Spirit’s effectual grace, the reason they persevere by God’s preserving grace, and God’s covenantal way of working in all of history for His glory. When people realize that ultimately, they didn’t choose God, but He chose them, they naturally come to a point of humble admission of the amazing grace of God toward them. … It’s only then, when we recognize what wretches we really are, that we can truly sing “Amazing Grace.” And that is precisely what Reformed theology does: it transforms us from the inside out and leads us to sing—it leads us to worship our sovereign and triune, gracious, and loving God in all of life, not just on Sundays but every day and in all of life. Reformed theology isn’t just a badge we wear when being Reformed is popular and cool, it’s a theology that we live and breathe, confess, and defend even when it’s under attack.