Wherever you are, find a Calvinist to hug in celebration of John Calvin’s 500th birthday and all to the glory of God.
My online experiences with Calvinists left me feeling that they were perhaps not so nice. A few visits to the former EmergentNo and to TeamPyro were more than enough for me. (They are purposely not hyper-linked.) Then there was the “poster war” set off by producing my series of “emergent” posters. None of that created a desire to further my understanding of Calvinism.
When my husband started attending Men’s Group, he frequently came home with stories about John – stories about heated arguments involving John that occurred at the meetings. Not knowing his last name, we referred to him as John the Calvinist.
I was a little disappointed the first few times I attended Men’s Group and the infamous John wasn’t there. When I finally met John, I liked him and he seemed to like me. At first I didn’t witness any of the arguments John was known for. In fact, he seemed to restrain himself around me.
Eventually, the gloves came off. His first attempt at enlightening me was a set of copied notes from his Scofield Bible. Because of John, I wanted to understand Calvinism enough to be able to converse with a basic understanding of his positions. This was one of the reasons that I was pondering the Doctrines of Grace.
It is pretty much a given that John and I won’t agree about much, but now we laugh and celebrate the moments when we discover things that we do agree on. I know that he will furrow his brow when I talk about the kingdom, and I probably furrow mine when he goes off on dispensations. But he has a twinkle in his eye when he refers to me as his “favorite combatant.”
So Friday I will hug my favorite Calvinist, a kind, white-haired gentleman named John.