nothin’ you can do about it

Posted in: theological rants- May 29, 2006 13 Comments

Usually when you say “nothin’ you can do about it”, it’s directed at someone on the other side of the philosophical fence. Oddly, this time, it’s directed at those that are, theoretically, on the same side of the fence as I am.

A few days ago, I pointed out an excellent post by Dan Edelen over at Cerulean Sanctum in which he decried the excess of heretic hunters in the Godblogosphere, and a lack of graciousness, logic, and overall Scriptural-ality among a vast majority of them.

In a move about as surprising as heat in Atlanta in late May, he got nailed for it. To his great credit, Dan said:

Jim’s a good guy and I like his blog because he contends for the Gospel …

Contending for the Gospel gets outweighed by personal attacks, in my book. I told him in the comment section, “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din”.

The thrust of the attack on Dan centered around — another big surprise — Arminianism vs Calvinism. Dan agrees with a lot of the tenets of Calvinism, but does not classify himself as a full-blown Calvinist, believing that there is some middle ground between Arminianism and Calvinism. (For what it’s worth, I agree with Dan on the existence of the middle ground. I just don’t find myself there, as he does.)

But from the attack on Dan and other posts around the Calvinist side of the Godblogosphere, here is what I have “learned” (with massive apologies to Jeff Foxworthy):

  1. If you think that there’s any middle ground between Arminianism and Calvinism, you might be are definitely an Arminian.
  2. If you aren’t willing to fight — viciously — for Calvinism, you might be are definitely an Arminian.
  3. If you ever question anything about Calvinism, you might be are definitely an Arminian.
  4. If your allegiance to Calvinism isn’t second only to your allegiance to Christianity, you might be are definitely an Arminian.
  5. If you don’t totally believe every tenet of Calvinism (particularly the “5 points”), you might be are definitely an Arminian.

I’m “guilty” of #1. I’m “guilty” of #2 (and hope that I am until the day I die). I have been “guilty” of #3. I’m “guilty” of #4 (and hope that I am until the day I die).

So, I’m looking at that list last night, seeing my score of 20%, and figuring that I must be an Arminian after all. But then I remembered something that I wrote some time ago:

… I left that church with the distinct feeling that some Arminians can be very nasty. Then I hit the blogosphere, and found out that they didn’t have the corner on nastiness. In fact, such was the vehemence on the part of some of those that identified themselves as Calvinists, that I totally forgot the anger which we had faced before, and began to question my belief in the tenets of Calvinism.

Those that know my background know that I grew up around a lot of legalism. One thing that God showed me in that experience (and bringing me through it) is that just because people who claim Him can be phenomenally stupid, doesn’t mean that His character changes any or that anything that He says is untrue. Had I not learned that lesson already, I have to seriously wonder if I wouldn’t have abandoned my faith in God entirely as a result of the anger I have viewed.

And so I realized that, despite having failed that “test” miserably, I’m still a Calvinist. (Not that I care that much, but I am.)

And to those others who claim to be Calvinists and yet believe that “test” to be accurate, there’s nothin’ you can do about it.

UPDATE: Apparently, I was too limiting in referring to the “Calvinist side of the Godblogosphere”. Nice to know that some Arminians are also wanting to divide the body.

13 Responses to “nothin’ you can do about it”

  1. Reply DLE says:

    Brendt,

    Thanks for the links and the topic expansion, although I must rebuke you on quoting anything remotely connected to Jeff Foxworthy. ;-) (Actually, I think he’s a hoot.)

    Thanks also for all your comments over at Cerulean Sanctum.

    Blessings on your blogging.

  2. Reply DLE says:

    BTW,

    What’s the deal with the Richard Marx image?

  3. Reply Brendt says:

    re: Foxworthy — Hey, I’m in Atlanta — I’m kinda obligated. ;-) Actually, before he was a comic, he worked for the same company that I do now. Although not at the same time, he and I worked on the same floor.

    re: Marx – Yay, someone half-got the reference (at least you identified the picture). The first track on *Repeat Offender* (from which that picture comes) is “Nothin’ You Can Do About It” (also title of this post). I don’t listen to much secular music anymore, but that album came out while I was in college, and it was a great aid for all-night coding binges. Cranked to 11, of course.

  4. Reply DLE says:

    I always liked the song “Hazard”.

  5. Reply schizophrenic says:

    Sweetly done. Guilty on all five charges, man am I in trouble. Heh.

  6. Reply Jungle Pop says:

    I Have a New Favorite Calvinist…

    Back on my Former Blog, I did a series on the five tenets of Calvinism (TULIP). I wasn’t sure where I stood on the whole Calvinism/Arminianism scale (you hardcore Calvinists and Arminians would say there is no scale), so I……

  7. Reply Musings from Two-Sheds Gomer » Blog Archive » a little less talk says:

    [...] This is a second in a series of posts in which I use a secular artist’s picture for no reason except that they have a song that matches the post title. Unlike Richard Marx, I’m not a fan of Toby Keith.   [link] [...]

  8. Reply Musings from Two-Sheds Gomer » Blog Archive » and this is why says:

    [...] Several months ago, I wrote a post stating that, while I am a Calvinist in my beliefs, I’m much busier being a Christian. I noted that such a perspective would probably label me as heretical among many of the Calvinists in the blogosphere, particularly those that iMonk refers to as TRs. (Or they might even get really nasty with their rhetoric, skip “heretic” and move all the way down the lexicon scale to “Arminian”, which for many of them is worse.) [...]

  9. Reply Brendt says:

    My apologies to anyone who wasted their time reading the recent comment exchange that I had with one reader. Here I thought we were having a rational discussion, and then I find that he claims that Arminian belief is from hell.

    I’ve encountered Calvinists before that questioned if Arminians were saved, but never one who blatantly stated that they weren’t, or that I wasn’t because I thought that they could be.

    More denial of the sovereignty of God. I’m sorry that this bilge was ever on my site.

  10. Reply Musings from Two-Sheds Gomer » Blog Archive » illogical conclusion #249 says:

    [...] (And yes, I realize that in the eyes of most QRs, not loving to fight with my brothers means that I’m not really a Calvinist. But I digress.) [...]

  11. Reply Musings from Two-Sheds Gomer » Blog Archive » giving the devil (more than) his due says:

    [...] a year ago was my one big comment debacle, in which some yahoo stated that not only are my Arminian friends not saved, but neither am I [...]

  12. Reply Musings from Two-Sheds Gomer » Blog Archive » much ado about nothing says:

    [...] Second, there’s the whole “baby with the bathwater / everything is black and white / there is no middle ground” mentality. Talked about that one here. [...]

  13. Reply A Piper Cub Lands in Philistia » Blog Archive » don’t lose sight says:

    [...] this book haven’t grabbed me the way they have others.  (Perhaps this is even more ammo for those who say that I’m not really a Calvinist. [...]

Leave a Reply