Tuesday, July 28, 2009

calvinism: theology for the masses

Recently I was challenge with the reason there are so few book-learned Arminians, and so many book-learned Calvinists, is that there are so few books written for people from the Arminian perspective.

I've been thinking on this. I think there are lots of resources for Arminians to read...but most of them are pretty intense. They are written for intellectuals and not for the masses. Most of the books from Calvinists are not high theology books, they are written for the masses.

I think I know why.

Calvinism is content to live with the tension built into Scripture, going by the mantra: God is Sovereign; Man is responsible. We like passages like Ephesians 1 and Ephesians 4. And we like them smacked together like a big old bell and clapper. We like to sit on the promises of God's eternal decree and then work out our salvation with every once of energy we possess, returning all praise to our God and Father.

Arminians seem to want to make everything fit nice and neat. The tension needs explained. That Ephesians 1 passage needs the words chosen, adopted, predestined, plan and purpose of His will explained so that they make sense inside a free-will theology.

And so, I think the reason there are very few good books for the masses based in Arminian theology is that it is too complicated.

Therefore, I declare Calvinism to be the lowest of all theologies...because even a simpleton can read "...He chose us in Him before the creation of the world...In love, he predestined us to be adopted as sons.." and say "Hallelujah, Jesus loved me before the worlds began enough to grab hold of me for all eternity!" and then just a few chapters later read "...be completely humble; be patient, bearing one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the body..." and say "I will work with all my might so that God's church is unified and I am humble and patient with all people!"

The tension is real and Calvinism refuses to get high-minded. It's theology for the masses.


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