Sunday, July 17, 2011

Reading late on Calvinism

When I was up late reading last night it was this gentleman, I started reading.

He has gone from Calvinism to Saddleback, which I don't know if that's much of a change.

I thought this statement was revealing:

Only a few years ago, I would have proudly labeled myself a Calvinist and I had my arguments in tact to defend my position. I found myself teaching these truths in my pulpit ministry, unwilling to give a universal invitation to anyone who would want to be saved. Rather I qualified my invitations with such phrases as, “If God is dealing with you, then come…” My intent was to avoid “casting my pearls before swine.” I had two basic approaches to defending my incorrect theology. One approach was to run to the familiar proof texts such as Ephesians 1:3-14, John 6:43-46, and Romans 8:28-30. The other was to twist my opponents’ words using human logic. In fact, my first confession would be that Calvinism had a strong appeal to my own appetite for that which was intellectually challenging.

This is what we keep on saying, and is the elephant in the room and no Calvinist I am talking to addresses this:  --the invitation to believe is ALWAYS qualified!

To pride oneself on one's intellect in all this discussion is likely a temptation for all involved.  I thought about it myself.  Why am I always drawn into this.  Is it pride?

I am not sure.  To be honest, blogging is both easy for me (my replies come to me quickly, easily and passionately) but also hard.  After I have written something, this is what goes around in my head:  "You are so stupid.  You have to quit writing.  This is all dumb.  You must stop.  I will stop.  Stop, stop, stop."    This seems pretty schizophrenic.  I don't know what to do with that except to try and cool it at times.

Anyhow, it does seem to me that some Calvinists take joy and pride in simply arguing and I don't have the sense that they are always listening or honest about their answers.  It's like you are some kind of test.  Let's see if we can win this argument against this person.  It comes across very unreal.

Now, this gentleman linked above also has a video with Piper defending having Rick Warren speak at his conference.   I am no real student of either one of these gentlemen, so this is a bit of a tempest in a tea pot for me.  What does strike me is that Piper is not expecting people to have a clear confession of TULIP.  Yea, this is really important, but you know we all have trouble with this.

Sorry, this is not how I make my confession.  I am very certain of what I am saying.    And both asserting and not really asserting is just playing with people.  It's like when the Heidelberg Catechism says:  Yes, the Lord's supper is as if it were real.

Ahem.  What the "h" is that?

Here, I also read this:

In keeping with this view, Calvin sees no need for a common confession of faith for all the Reformed churches. It belongs to the authority of each individual church to formulate its doctrine and order its life according to biblical precepts. In his view the universal church is a kind of federation of confessions. However much the churches have to agree in the essential affirmations of the faith, the confession of each individual church nonetheless retains its specific emphasis.24 Exchange remains an urgent task, as genuine consentire in diversity will only be possible if churches are open to one another and prepared to give account of their affirmations.

Sorry, that is not a confession to me.

Now, I've also read Stuart Wood's article.  It read like a decent summary to me and a valid warning.  Thank you, Stuart.

Why I am doing this on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, beats me, (I am a total idiot), but I won't come back to this until it's late and dark, the soonest.  :)

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