'Calvinism & Purity of Atonement'

Wed 01 August 2012

While searching for something else I randomly hit on these two video presentations of one very fighting Calvinist. It felt to me like from the different world: it sounded most of all like the Chesterton’s lunatic who was perfectly rational. This guy is sitting in front of tons and tons of what I believe are deep Biblical thoughts, which people spent their whole lives thinking about and writing, and yet he doesn’t understand (and I am afraid doesn’t want to understand) a word of what is going on in the John 3:16 Conference.

In the conference, another man comes and describes in a bit of emotional confusion his personal experience about how he met Jesus personally. He goes quite overboard, rejected all his past theology, and probably truly in his testimony suggests that God doesn’t accept Calvinists or something of that sort. Such revelation of sudden meaning of known words certainly exists. I can certainly testify to my similar experience when I found that things I happened to actually even teach were suddenly for me revealed as very personal and existential experience. I think I was very strongly warned by God, that I shouldn’t reject everything I believe before (although of course, that was tempting) and that I should rather work on better understanding of my experience and Scripture. Now, usually when one describes how she found purely rational understanding of Bible to be insufficient for her relationship with God, she don’t use many Biblical verses to support her thesis. Kind of makes sense to me. However, not to the Calvinist: existence of a personal revelation and a life-changing experience seems to be suspicious to the Chesterton’s madman.

And yet, I cannot exclude a possibility that the only mistake this man did was to mistake highly sophisticated academic discussion with the popular conference. Is this just misdirected legitimate theological discussion which is presented as a public show instead in the Journal of Theology? Or is whole Reformed theology just a Christian version of pilpul, deep, complicated and mostly useless discussion about the Bible? Not sure.

Category: faith Tagged: Bible Calvinism

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