Saturday, December 10, 2011

Kind of a Calvinist

A couple days ago when I told a local brother that I attended a reformed church, he asked if I was a Calvinist myself. Perhaps there are others who would like to know: is Robin Phillips also among the Calvinists?

The short answer is kind of

The reformed tradition has many strengths, ranging everywhere from its emphasis on the importance of loving God with all our minds, to a robust appreciation for God's sovereignty, to an understanding of the totality of Christ's Lordship. Moreover, it avoids the errors inherent in competing traditions like Roman Catholicism, modern evangelicalism, Lutheranism, and the list could go on. And I have written a positive review of R.C. Sproul's Chosen by God. So why the "kind of"?

The reason for the qualification is because the reformed tradition, even at its best, does seem to be characterized by a subtle Gnosticism, specifically in its approach to the material world and to instrumental means. This reached fruition in the Puritan movement though the Gnostic tincture is by no means limited to the Puritan strain. I have talked about this in more detail in my post 'Are Calvinists Also Among the Gnostics?' (recently updated to take into account recent reading).

(I also have questions about the Calvinist approach to grace, which seems to be tinged with a zero-sum mentality. But that is a subject of another article.)

Anyway, check out my updated post 'Are Calvinists Also Among the Gnostics?



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