Archive for the ‘NSFW’ Category

wrong side of the argument #2

Posted: March 10, 2013 in NSFE, NSFW

Rob BellThe next two paragraphs are a repeat of an earlier post. If you read that post recently, you can skip them and go to “Now, Calvinists are …”

While there are many who are critical of Rob Bell, no camp is louder in their criticism than the neo-Reformed crowd. And their loudest criticism — at least since the release of the “Love Wins” promo video (they didn’t wait for the book) — is that Bell is a universalist.

Now, having not read the book, I don’t have enough information yet to form an opinion one way or the other. But I know and respect too many people who have read the book who have said, “How anyone can read this and come to the conclusion that Bell is a universalist is beyond me.” But let’s assume that my friends and others of similar beliefs are all wrong and the neo-Refs are right. In other words, let’s assume that Bell is a universalist.

Now, Calvinists are really big into the sovereignty of God. It’s the foundation upon which a lot of TULIP rests.

(I’m big into God’s sovereignty, too, but I don’t have a theological construct surrounding it. And seeing as how many Calvinists seem to think they have the corner on a belief in God’s sovereignty, let’s assume that this pathetic little Arminian  doesn’t prize it.)

One of the ramifications of God’s sovereignty  is illustrated several times in the Bible, but perhaps no more clearly than in the parable of the vineyard workers. In case you arem’t familiar with the parable, here’s a modern-day retelling:

A landowner goes to the Home Depot at 6 AM to get parts for a DIY project back at the house. While there, he sees some day laborers standing off to the side. He tells them that he’ll give them $100 to work in his vineyard until 6 that night. (I wonder if he asked to see their green cards?) They agree and pile in the back of his pickup.

At 9:00 AM, he goes back to the Home Depot because they sold him the wrong part. As he’s leaving, he sees more day laborers there. He tells them that he has work, and that if they’ll work his vineyard until 6:00, that he’ll do right by them. Despite the vagueness of the terms, they agree and pile in. At noon, he goes out to lunch. He sees more workers, says the same thing, and they agree. Then at 3:00 and 5:00 he goes back to the Home Depot (no one ever goes there only once in a day) and each time he hires more workers.

The end of the day rolls around and it’s pay time. The landowner hands his foreman a wad of bills and tells him to work backwards (starting with the guys that started at 5:00 and ending with the guys that worked all day). The guys who started at 5:00 each get $100. One of the all-day guys sees this and gets excited. “We’re gonna be rolling in it,” he tells his buddies. “That guy just got $100 for one hour of work!”

Ten minutes later, the all-day guys get paid. And they each get $100. “No fair,” they complain. “We busted it all day in the sweltering heat and get the same pay as these clowns that wandered in at the last minute. Besides, that guy over there spent half the time texting with his girlfriend!”

And what was the landowner’s response?

Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for [$100]? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?

As Revelation 7:10 says, “Salvation belongs to our God”. It is one of his “own things”. Or look at Romans 9:15:

For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

The all-day guys struck a deal ($100 for 12 hours’ work) with the landowner. When the landowner gave others a different deal, the all-day guys had no right whatsoever to complain.

Do you get the point? Because of his sovereignty, God can damn well do whatever he wants.

Bell’s looking more like a Calvinist every day.

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Much e-ink has been spilled over Owen Strachan’s rant about the destruction of gender roles by Sesame Street. I’ll not cover the same ground as the rebuttals as (1) that would be redundant and (2) the problems with Strachan’s thought process are just too obvious. Fish, barrels, etc.

I will note a couple of brilliant rebuttals and then I’ll move on to the part that stuck out to me (but appears to have been largely overlooked by others).

Although Murray alludes to it a bit, neither article (nor several others that I read) addresses one of the issues that jumped out at me. While bemoaning the end of an era where Biblicity gets confused with “Protestant America in the 1950′s according to Norman Rockwell” (Murray’s brilliant words), Strachan says:

I grew up watching Sesame Street. That was in an era when it was largely, like much of American culture, compatible with a basically traditional outlook on the world. In other words, you could predict as a Christian parent that many cultural outlets would support, in a general sense, a Protestant worldview. Boys were boys; girls were girls; right and wrong exists; authority figures are good; and so on.

Wow! Really, Owen? Those concepts in your last sentence — those are Protestant values? Not Judeo-Christian. Not even just narrowed down to Christian. But specifically Protestant.

(I won’t even go into the fact that Islam makes most complementarians look like Dr Frank-N-Furter.)

Now, while I strongly disagree with John MacArthur’s hatred for all-things-Roman-Catholic, at least he has the stones to go around calling Catholics “the enemy” and writing blog series to better equip his sheeple to tell Catholics how much they suck.

But Strachan’s attitude is much more insidious. He’s not merely proud to be a Protestant — it’s woven into his very self-definition: these are my values, I am a Protestant; ergo, these are Protestant values. And it’s not even like he goes through that line of “reasoning”; it’s in his very fiber. Strachan uses “Protestant” as an adjective with all the thoughtlessness of a Quentin Tarantino character using “fucking” as an adjective.

Scary stuff.