Monday, April 11, 2005

Theology or Life?

Again, I just had to come back to this topic, especially this gem of a comment by IMonk...

"...Calvinists seem offended at having to listen to someone talk about their LIFE and not just their THEOLOGY. It is the dehumanizing of theology that is turning me out of the Calvinist camp."

I can speak from experience on this, from my own days of argumentative Calvinism. To that type, a person's life is irrelevant. The TRUTH is the TRUTH, (and of course, the Calvinist formulation is that truth), so a person's life experience is irrelevant. One must bow to the TRUTH, and to hell with emotions or whatever.

You know, it would be GREAT if people actually functioned like that! Well, probably not, actually. The point is, we aren't. We're not computers. We're not Vulcans. We're humans. And fallen humans, at that. Our emotions and our backgrounds DO impact our theology, like it or not. And we Calvinists, of all people, ought to appreciate the necessity of divine action, above and beyond human comprehension, to make the truth ring true to our tone-deaf ears. The fact that so many Calvinists get so stirred up when someone commmits an "error" is - well, you'd almost assume that they thought that it actually lay in our power to understand everything about theology! That any error on someone's part is an indicator of willful sin and stubbornness on that person's part, making them a legitimate target of our divinely inspired ire.

To me, *that* is what smacks of stubbornness and arrogance. Not to mention a deep lack of charity and compassion.

I still believe in the main tenets of Calvinism. But I don't fight over them anymore. First, people's ideas about these things don't really change because of human arguments. Secondly, there's too many shrill Calvinists out there already - no need to add another to the mix. Third, Calvinism is a good (I'd still say the best) explanation of the Gospel - but *it is not the Gospel* itself. And THAT is what is the more important.

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