Archives For Calvinism

We Americans enjoy celebrating a lot of stuff.

There are literally millions of images like this on a Google search.

There are literally millions of images like this on a Google search.

Those of us who consider ourselves Christians like to talk about and celebrate God. That goes without saying.

We like to celebrate family too.

Some of us like to celebrate freedom.

Or even America itself. Many of us will celebrate America in just a couple of weeks…on Flag Day, the most important and widely celebrated holiday of national patriotism. Well, maybe not. Most of us will celebrate a lot of “American” stuff a couple of weeks after that. I don’t really know what Flag Day is for.

Here’s what’s happening though, and it might be something to think about the next time we come to a holiday or other celebration.

People can celebrate anything they want. Americans celebrate a lot of diverse values. But those of us who celebrate God, had better be extra careful.

Because God is sharing space with a lot of other things that seem to get equal billing.

Here’s what I mean.

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A week ago, the Christian internet broke.

A week ago, I said I wanted to be a universalist.  (Which doesn’t make me a universalist.  Just a wannabe.)  And the flow of visitors and comments continues.  Lots of high fives, and lots of people questioning my sanity.

I’m not going to rehash what I said last week, or comment again on universalism, Rob Bell, or anyone else.

But, in the space of a blog post, few people can write a theological masterpiece, and I need to set something straight today.  Because even though I want to be a Universalist, I’m also partly a Calvinist.  Not a whole one.  More like a two and a half point Calvinist.  The kind of Calvinist that would be burned at the stake by John Calvin.  But you already know my feelings about him.  I believe the word I used to describe him was “wang.”

A lot of the universalism-bashing has been done by self-described “Calvinists” or “Reformed” Christians.  They’re the guardians of the “elect” aren’t they?  The thing is, if Calvinists really believed the five points of Calvinism, we still wouldn’t agree on universalism, but we’d have a lot less to argue about when it comes to universalism.

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I doubt I can break the internet as much as Justin Taylor and John Piper have in commenting on a yet-to-be-released book by Rob Bell.  But I can try.

Now, not 48 hours ago, I told you that I’m so over Rob Bell, and I don’t intend to eat my words.  This post isn’t about him.  But if you haven’t heard the ruckus, his new book is called Love Wins, and by its cover description, it’s about how a loving God wouldn’t cast most of his creation into hell.

A few days ago, influential blogger, Justin Taylor admittedly judged the book by it’s cover, and labeled Bell a universalist, a false teacher, a deciever, and an opposer to the gospel, and perinneal know-it-all, John Piper chimed in with such memorable tweets as “Farewell, Rob Bell.”  Since then, a bunch of other bloggers have been blog shouting, all while the book remains still unreleased.  It’s been a big brouhaha.

And that’s where I come in.  Continue Reading…