Son of a Son of a Sinner

Thoughts of a Christian…2000 years too late

About

Simply put, I’m a sinner saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to the Scriptures alone, and to God alone be the glory. I’m also a big Buffett fan, hence the title of this blog. Peruse the posts to find out more.

2 Comments»

  Linda Johnson wrote @

Hi, reformingparrothead,

I was going to write you earlier and include a comment about something in your parody, “Geneva,” to the tune of Kokomo. But although I read it around noon, I can’t find it again. The comment was along the lines of, doesn’t sound like any Calvin’s Geneva I’ve ever heard of. It was in response to something along the lines of, where they won’t jail ya. “They’ll” not only jail ya, they’ll kill ya–just like the Pope.

I’m pretty seriously anti-Calvinism, and I do recognize that the Bible teaches (the Bible’s, not Calvin’s) election, predestination, original sin, and I do not believe that a person can be saved by his/her own efforts, out of a self-made desire to be saved that comes from our own fallen hearts, or just any old time that I should decide of my own “willful” volition and self-inspiration that I suddenly want to be saved. That is what we supposedly believe who do not believe the teachings of the rich old ermine-robed persecuting burgermeister (only in French, I guess) of Geneva. It is not true; Jesus said no man comes to the God unless the Father calls him (what Calvinism leaves out is that he does, and he’s willing. It is not his will that any should perish. God gets no joy and you can infer by that, “glory,” when the wicked perish, but that they turn from their sin and be saved. And since Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever, that includes eternity past). I just believe that while God’s word teaches, for instance, an election of God (by foreknowledge), it certainly doesn’t teach Calvin’s election, and that applies to the rest of the “tulip.” So, while I really enjoyed “Lake City” and was thrilled to find out it was by a believer, I was disappointed to see the emphasis on Reformed Theology/Calvinism on yours, and the sites I linked to from your blog. Anyway, glad you are a believer, parodist, and, Calvin is just plain wrong, but it’s a tradition of men we’re stuck being orthodox to, unless we want to go by the scripture alone. But, if Calvinism is true and in the Bible, it is there without reference to Calvin at all. If it is in the Bible, we don’t really need Calvinism supplying a non-scriptural back story that explains what _really_ happens, the _rest_ of the story, when _you_ only _think_ _you_ receive his gift of salvation (in trusting obedience, by the way). Calvinism is one of the major philosophies corrupting the simplicity of our faith, and its god is just not in the character of Jesus (if you’ve seen him, you’ve seen the Father; no back story there), who wept over Jerusalem and said, I would…but ye would not). Anyway, funny parodist and hopefully, _real_ child of God, just commenting.

Linda Johnson
mcflystart1@gmail.com

  sosborne09 wrote @

Hi, Linda,

Thanks for the comment. I haven’t been following my WordPress account for a while since I lost my password. Out of sheer sloth, I never bothered to reset it. But I thought your comment deserved an honest response from me. So thanks for giving me the kick in pants I needed to get back to blogging.

You certainly are anti-Calvinism. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to express your opinion (what are blogs for after all?). If not Calvinism, which what Christian theological tradition do you identify? I’m assuming Arminian Baptist or Evangelical? If not, please correct me. Please don’t answer that you “just believe the Bible.” Those who say they have no presuppositions or tradition are the ones who are most enslaved by them. As one bright man once said (not Calvin, btw), ALL heretics quote Scripture. To preface, I’m NOT saying you’re a heretic; I take you at your word that you are a fellow believer and sister in Christ. I’m just saying, the best false teachings will be always be “supported” by proof texts. Who, as a Christian, would believe a teaching that said the Bible was totally wrong or untrue?

Let’s clear up a few historical errors first. “Calvin’s Geneva” is a misnomer. Calvin held no civil power in Geneva. In fact, the residents of Geneva weren’t all that fond of Calvin. He was harassed and forced to leave one time! People in the city named their dogs Calvin. He wasn’t a tyrannical Protestant Pope as you claim. To deny this just because you disagree however vehemently with his theology is to engage in ad hominem attacks which are not even true. Calvin gets a bad rap for burning Servetus at the stake, as if Calvin hunted him down, bound him, and lit the fire himself. This is simply untrue. Once again, don’t defame a guy just because you disagree with his theology. Calvin actually planned to meet Servetus at one point to discuss his errant teaching. Calvin risked his own life to meet Servetus (in Paris, I believe…somewhere where Calvin could have been captured for “heresy” himself). Servetus never showed. When Servetus eventually made it to Geneva, it was the city council who sentenced him to death, not Calvin (Calvin didn’t have such authority). Calvin pleaded with Servetus to repent. When he was sentenced, Calvin pleaded for a more humane death than burning at the stake.

Look, I’m not saying such an act was right (we are all sinners, after all, even Calvin). However, we must see Calvin as a creature of his time, just like we are of ours. It was assumed that the civil magistrate would enforce the first table of the Law and put heretics to death. Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Protestants all agreed on that. Calvin’s theological descendants in America amended their statements of faith to reflect a Biblical view concerning the civil magistrate. I am a believer in much of what Calvin taught (not because he taught it, but because he simply exegeted the text of plain Scripture) but I still value religious liberty in society (just not in the church). Also, I don’t believe churches should make it a point to burn disobedient members at the stake!

Also, “Calvinism” wasn’t a “philosophy” invented by Calvin. It’s ideas of human depravity, original sin, divine grace, and God’s sovereignty extend back to Augustine. Augustine opposed the teachings of Pelagius which said man was fully capable of saving himself: Christ as moral example instead of divine savior. Augustine rightly taught that men were helpless apart from God’s intervening grace. And Augustine didn’t make up his teaching, he got it from Scripture. David says in the Psalms that in sin did his mother conceive him. Paul’s epistles are shot through with “Calvinism.” Romans 9 is pretty clear. Pelagianism was condemned by the church numerous times.

Where does it say that man is willing in Scripture? Just because the Bible commands us to love God and neighbor doesn’t mean we have the ability to do so. It’s when we realize our inability and flee to Christ in faith (not a work or an action, btw) that we are saved. You are assuming that humans have the innate ability to choose God; that’s a philosophical assumption, not a Scriptural proof. You read Scripture through that lens. One of the reasons I do confess the doctrines of grace is because they are so counter-intuitive. No person would have made these things up. They seem so unfair (trust me, I still struggle with the implications). But, I have to let the Scripture speak and interpret itself. We both agree that Scripture is God’s Word and can not contradict itself. However, I can deal with your proof texts. I’m not sure you can deal with Romans 9 (among other places in the Gospels and in the Epistles).

Also, just because I confess divine election and predestination, that doesn’t mean I understand it. We both confess the Trinity (I assume) but we will never understand that divine mystery. God says that the revealed things (Scripture) are for us and our children to learn. The hidden things (divine will, election, why did he let humanity fall) those things belong to God. How can God condemn Judas for betraying Jesus and the Pharisees and Romans for killing Jesus but make sure that the crucifixion happened for the sake of saving sinners? God brought the most good from an very evil act! How can God have orchestrated history to culminate in His own Son getting killed but condemn the actors who made it happen by choosing to oppose Jesus? And if they all had free will, did God just get lucky that everyone did what he hoped they would so Christ would fulfill every prophecy and be raised from the dead? Or is God in control of all history and events in the universe AND man is still free and responsible for his actions. Man can freely do anything he wants on an earthly level (live here, marry this person, buy this car, vote for this candidate). I’ll agree with you there; I’m no fatalist. However, on a vertical level, man is helpless to choose God apart from God changing his heart first. If man could choose God, why does man need the second birth? It is only out of the second birth that man is able to choose and to love God at all.

My response is lacking, I know. I just need to know from where your coming and what else you may believe and confess before I respond further. Thanks for the watching the videos, Linda, I’m glad you liked the Lake City one. I’m just glad to engage a fellow believer who shares a passion for wrestling with the truths of God’s Word!


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