Tuesday, March 13, 2012

WTH on Suffering and New Calvinism

I wanted to add this into the mix before I move on to my own thoughts on suffering.

WTH emailed me his thoughts and apologized that he couldn't do/say more since he's up to his ears in another project.
He said:
"Monergistic soteriology isn't a uniquely Calvinist view as Lutherans also hold to it. Even branches of Christianity with utterly synergistic ideas about soteriology embrace the idea that Christian life will inevitably involve suffering (such as ascetism in Eastern Orthodoxy, which teaches that it is possible to be completely sinless at least in short spurts).

Attempts to define New Calvinism with respect to suffering are missing the forest for a few trees. It still gets back to Edwardsian micromanaging sovereignty, which not all Calvinists affirm. Orthodox Presbyterians I've met have explained that more traditional Reformed thought insists on monergistic soteriology ONLY for salvation itself, not at every point of Christian experience. God can choose to fix certain things and not others. That's about all i'm up to describing at this point."

One of the reasons that I bring up what he says is that when Paul explained how New Calvinists weren't motivated to help an abused woman very quickly because suffering was good, I went to look up Hinduism, Calcutta, and Mother Teresa. I had heard that the Hindus just sort of allowed suffering because of the Karma thing (as I mentioned in a previous post) but that Mother Teresa, motivated by Christian charity and what not, went to Calcutta to minister to the sick and dying. Well, I learned something in my research. I learned that Mother Teresa is also a bit guilty of this monergistic soteriology, at least according to some critics. In her ministries, although she honored the suffering and dying, her ministry didn't go to great lengths to alleviate suffering because she also thought that suffering was a good thing.

So when WTH gave me this info the other day, I knew what he was talking about.


As Paul has noted and others have attested to, New Calvinism has a harsh, withdrawn (from the human condition) side that makes this human tendency... how should we say it? Meaner?

At least this is what I get from it.
Anyone else have anything thoughts?


Paul said...

I wouldn't even know where to begin in sharing the accounts I know of New Calvinist meanness. Like the elder who shared with me how disgusted he was with his mother-in law who was terminally ill and very upset because she was going to miss her grandchildren. He maligned her for "loving her grandchildren more than Christ." Again, let me reiterate why they are so mean:
1.Denial of the new birth.
2. Total depravity of the saints. How will you relate to people if you think you are totally depraved?!
3. Antinomianism. The Bible clearly links "anomia" with coldheartedness (Matt 24:11,12 Ps 119:70).
4.Semper Reformanda. Arrogance, they are the new Reformers who found the lost gospel of the Reformation, and by golly, they are going to take the church back for Jesus!
5. An outside of us gospel that advocates a refusal to "identify with our suffering." Read the Mockingbird post again. Scary stuff.
If you want to check out the NC coldblooded attitude towards marriage-- http://wp.me/pmd7S-gZ

And then there is the NC infatuation with skeletons and what they symbolize for the movement: http://wp.me/pmd7S-mr

Lastly, lets not forget that synergism/monergism isn't even on the radar screen here. It's *the centrality of the objective gospel outside of us* and Mara's initial comments accordingly. Dead on, and then you read te mockingbird post and it just solidifies the point completely.

Mara Reid said...

Paul, I wish I could find an article on how a neo patriarch is supposed to get rid of a disobedient wife.
As you mention on your blog, New Calvinists and the patriarchal movement are closely linked.

Will get to skeleton article when I have more time.

Lin said...

I peruse Neo Reformed baptist pastor blogs a lot. The arrogance and meanness is astounding. They don't even realize it. And it is mainly the younger ones who believe they have truth and others don't. But it is also their leaders. They are simply emulating what they hear taught and put their 20 something biting sarcasm with it.

If you question them closely, they make no real sense and have completely left logic at the door. Most of them have gone or are in seminary so have been around group think. AS they stay in the church this solidifies because they do not really have to interact with anyone who has any financial influence in their life that might heartily disagree. This is especially true as most of them will insist on elder led congregations.

When you question their premises on things they make declarations about, they simply resort to ad hominem. As in, "You are a sinner for even asking". They are not "thinkers" but think they are brilliant. Nothing worse than arrogant ignorance.

We will not change them as many were set out for destruction long ago. But we can warn others.

Mara Reid said...

Lin, perhaps this is why I'm having a hard time grasping NC. I'm looking for logic and reason and trying to make sense.
You can't make sense out of something if there isn't any.

Hey, are you a member of Equality Central Forum? If so, can I message you there?