Before the real antics begin today, our friends at Triablogue have digitally-published a book called The Infidel Delusion to respond to John Loftus' cadre of sad-faced clowns' most recent book, the Christian Delusion -- because it's the Christians, you see, who slavishly follow the thoughts and edicts of their mentors and heroes.
Anyway, Peter Pike's announcement for the book is worth the read as well, and there you can download the PDF for your reading pleasure. Bring a Lunch.
The best way to ensure, by the providence of God, that I will have a full week at work is to promise to post something controversial which will require significant moderation and a lot of time disambiguating people regarding their own bum preconceptions.
So on Monday, I promised to write a blog post where hating on Calvinism would be on-topic. And here we are.
Back in February 2009, Challies made a post called A Portrayal of Calvinism in which he was reviewing two different books entitled Finding God in The Shack (ugh -- and he survived) where the authors of these books were taking pot-shots at Calvinism.
Before we get to the meat there, I just want to point something out: the real barking dogs of horrible theologically who want to still call themselves Christians always always always find it necessary to beat down on Calvinism in order to say, "see how much better my system of thinking about the Bible and Jesus and God and people is?" Why is that I wonder? Why is Calvinism the whipping boy for people who want to find God in the Shack, and the people who want to say God doesn't know the future, and the people who want to say all roads lead to the same God Almighty, and the ecumenicists, and the social gospelists, and so on?
Why is it that all these people hate Calvinism -- if it's such an obvious falsehood?
That's a thought to ponder if you want to fire up your vitriol in the comments -- in fact I insist: why do all the nut-jobs hate Calvinism most of all rather than, for example, the idea that God is the Eucharist, or that your soul will suffer in purgatory for your sin before you get to spend eternity with God and the Virgin Mary? Why is Calvinism the one they know they have to overcome?
OK -- back to Challies. In what may be the most strongly-worded statement Tim has ever made publicly, he had this to say about the way these books treated Calvinism:
My reaction when reading all of this was, if not anger, real frustration. I hate to think that thousands of people will read such an inaccurate, uninformed, fictitious view of Calvinism (and this by an author who has some credibility by virtue of his position as a Professor of Theology). Even where Rauser is correct, his words often lack the charitable nuance we might well hope for. But in so many ways he is really, really wrong. Not surprisingly, he does not quote any sources; I know of none that would support his statements.You know: Challies was almost angry. That's saying a lot.
But people hate calvinists, right? I mean, let's do some benchmarking here. I dropped this into Google, and look at the results I got:
About 557,000 sites which are decidedly not Arminian, yes? But when we put the competition into Google, check it out:
Wow! Like DOUBLE the number of sites! Seriously -- if the problem is that there's quite a lot of venom going around, check the internet, because clearly someone out there is wrong.
So what's your beef? You hate Calvinism? Really? Let's hear your beef - in comments which are neither vulgar nor insulting, si vous plait - with only one limiting factor: one comment of complaint per customer, limited by Blogger's new-found character limit of about 4,000 characters.
Have at it. You loyal Calvinists need to buck up for this because it's going to be instructive one way or the other. Stay away from brawling and responding to taunts. You have heard this all before, and all I'm asking is that you spend you time today thinking about why people will be glad to dump on Calvinists in the first place.
I'll moderate at will. Enjoy.