Saturday, March 10, 2012

Note on Some Comments

As I pursue understanding of New Calvinism, I'm getting some great comments that I'd like to highlight for those who don't make it to my comment section.
(To those who have either btdt or who just don't care and wish I'd move onto juicier stuff, all I can say is that I will soon. But I have to do this now. I have to gain understanding of NC while I have this kind of help.)

All these comments appear under the "Piper Guilty of Christian Vulcanism?" thread.

Paul said concerning the video I featured in the previous post, John Piper: woman submit to abuse?:
"As in all of life--New Calvinists see everything through 'the gospel.'
So, being abused by your husband is a good thing because it enables the wife to partake in the sufferings of Christ. It's not about us, it's about making the cross bigger, and what better way to do that than to suffer?! It makes counseling as easy as 1,2,3. Everything is about making the cross bigger. Um, and these comments are based on data by the way."

I find this to be very interesting and it adds to my NC = Christian Vulcanism theory. I've heard that one of (or one part of) the Eastern Religions, either Buddhism or Hinduism, believes in reincarnation and Karma and has a similar attitude.
Because of Karma, if they see someone suffering, they are less likely to help because they see it as getting what they deserve or living out suffering to learn something. Even in death, when a person suffers, others are not inclined to help because they believe that the suffering one will be reincarnated into something(0ne) else and will either have a better or worse life depending on what they did in this life. Someone else messing with it, like trying to ease the pain, is messing with Karma and they are doing wrong. (understand I'm not saying this is true of all Buddhists or Hindus, it's just a way of thinking among some of them.)
So in this instance, NC is like Christian Hinduism (or Buddhism, wish I could remember which).

WTH said concerning Piper:
"As I've been discovering since becoming Presbyterian there are Reformed thinkers in America who considered Jonathan Edwards to introduce a lot of bad elements into Reformed thought, whether his endorsing revivalist techniques that have been assimilated into the emotional manipulation bag of tricks used by American preachers or by his front-loading sovereignty at the expense of other considerations about the character of God.

At least according to the now passed Internet Monk Piper stopped being the "Christian hedonist" he was famous for and took on an Edwardsian approach to super-sovereignty that not all Calvinists endorse but that, apparently, New Calvinists are happy with .."

Italics added by me.
This also opens up and clarifies Calvinism and NC. The phrases, "Front-loading sovereignty at the expense of other considerations about the character of God" and "Super-sovereignty" help me to define NC and distinguish it from traditional Calvinism.

Lynne said:
" I actually was stuck in healing from major abuse issues in my life until I said goodbye to Calvinism. It left me paralyzed in a paradigm that said that the horrible things that had been said and done were part of God's perfect will for me. It also left me with such a distorted and confused picture of what God's love and character were truly like that I felt totally abandoned in the universe, and nearly went under. it was only when I studied more deeply, and discovered that there were alternative ways of putting together one's theology that I was released to experience the God who truly loved me and mourned with me in my pain, and whose justice will ultimately triumph."

And this, my friends, has given me an understanding of the practical implications of what Calvinism does in real life. A sort of, "What does it really look like," as opposed to what a Calvinist wants it to look like.
Note: I've asked Lynne whether the Calvinists she's dealt with were traditional or NC. I suspect they were traditional but am not sure. I'm waiting for her response.

Edited to add that Lynne has responded and that actually the Calvinists she knows are embracing NC, hook, line, and sinker. She's noticed an increasing harshness to them among other things. To see her full comment look under "Piper Guilty of Christian Vulcanism?"

1 comment:

Lin said...

I highly recommend George Marsden's bio of Edwards. I was starting to really get into Calvinism a while back because I thought it the answer to the cheap shallow teaching of the seekers. (Who do the same as Neo Calvinists with sin but using cheap grace and lots of legalism)

The bio was a wake up call that something might not be right. So I did some more digging on their favorite Puritans, etc, and found it was even worse.

Marsden records the suicides that occured with Edward's Awakening and they are bizarre. These were the "Born again", too!

There is a darkness to Calvinism that is inexplicable. I saw it in reading about Calvin and others. I could discuss what I saw for days on end. It is chilling. Now, I am running into people who were totally immersed in it a few years back that are now athiests!

Who would call the Gospel by a man's name, anyway? That is the first clue.