Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Second Crusade

The (un)holy wars have started at Internet Monk again. A post on the self-appointed gatekeepers of the True Reformed Faith begain drawing the ususal assortment of trolls and calvinayeen, and it got yanked. (Edit - the article has been restored, with an explanation as to the reasons for the whole episode.)

Every time I think IMonk may be going a little too far in his critiques, these bozos show up and unwittingly prove his points. In real life, what these guys are doing would be called "stalking", wouldn't it?

One of the tenured beer-swillers at Boar's Head Tavern linked to an article on why some personality types are drawn to some churches and theologies. Fascinating stuff. The full article is here. I post here only a taste...

Presbyterian / Reformed churches are sometimes not marked by sweetness but harshness, especially in those branches that have not jettisoned their historical theological base. Doctrine is the big thing, approached with the precision of an engineer. Here is what I mean. Let’s say that an engineer is going to build a bridge across the Mississippi River. He cannot afford to care what people think of him or how he comes across. “Hang it all, Man, we must be correct. I don’t care what you think. I’ll not have this bridge collapse because of your idiotic opinion. I have a moral obligation to ignore your ignorance.”

That is the one vital thing when it comes to building bridges of steel and concrete; it is different when it comes to the bridge between a holy God and sinful man. The gospel ministry is not only a science, it is an art, and the cure of souls is its great work. Knowing the Queen of the Sciences, theology, is vital, but kindness and gentleness are prerequisites, too. Augustine’s motto must ever be our own: “Fortiter in re, suaviter in modo.” (Strongly in deed, gently in manner.) Or, as Saint Paul put it, “Speaking the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15.) Tragically, all too few Reformed / Presbyterian churches are characterized by being suaviter in modo; instead of being sweet in their approach, they are too often harsh.

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