Thursday, January 30, 2014

Confessions of an à la carte Calvinist

I suppose that if I'm hosting a blog titled à la carte Calvinist and have confessions to make as a Calvinist, most real Calvinists wouldn't call me a Calvinist at all.

The idea for this blog comes from an essay by Rea Nolan Martin on the Huffington Post, "Proud to be a Cafeteria Catholic." I found it fascinating and realized she expresses so profoundly the situation in my Calvinist circles. In fact, when I bring up a particular matter of church doctrine or practice, my husband often responds with Oh, they don't really believe that---at least my colleagues at Calvin College. He taught music at that school for some 35 years. I taught missions and church history for 6 years (before I was fired) at Calvin Theological Seminary. My response to my husband is Oh, yes they do---or at least they pretend to at the seminary.

Rea begins with these words:

I know, I know. Shame on me for ordering my doctrine off the a la carte menu when the prix fixe would buy me so much more salvation, right? If only my conscience weren't so lax, my lifestyle so self-serving, and my spiritual practice so undisciplined. If only I weren't so lazy, ignorant and uneducated about my religion, I might understand the benefits I'm missing when I refuse to order the items that stick in my throat.

Another very interesting post titled "5 Reasons Why Calvinism Makes Me Want To Gouge My Eyes Out" can be found here.

A Reflection on Theology

Theology is the study of god and his ways. For all we know, dung beetles may study us and our ways and call it humanology. If so, we would probably be more touched and amused than irritated. One hopes that god feels likewise.”

Frederick Buechner

A Thought-provoking Book

Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed: Black Holes, Love, and a Journey In and Out of Calvinism by Austin Fischer