He came home from church with a missile launcher. (Now that's a sentence I've never typed before). For some reason, I find this hilariously ironic. How often do you see rocket launchers at church, even if they're only Nerf? I went to a church once where the nursery director wouldn't let my son walk in with a (mostly-empty) water gun, because it was such a non-Christian influence.
Our church gives out missile launchers. Interesting.
There is something in evangelical circles that makes people vaguely uncomfortable with women who are actually pretty sharp theologically. They don't know what to do with them, so they invite them to join committees. There seems to be an unwritten assumption that "serving in ministry" means you would love to do the flower arrangements for the ubiquitous "Ladies Luncheons". That is, when you're not busy homeschooling your kids and making pie crusts from scratch.
I am not that woman, not even a little bit. I guess that's okay since my husband doesn't really like pie anyway.
I received the following comment from a well-known Christian literary agency the other day:
"My colleagues and I agreed that your writing is absolutely refreshing. You have honed your craft to a level that most writers, unfortunately, do not reach. Marie, you also bring a unique perspective to a growing bookshelf of ideas about how Christians should view addiction recovery and counseling. Your perspective is extremely conservative, in a vein with which we would identify ourselves. We like your approach and we like your book idea."
I appreciated the feedback, and was pretty pumped.
Is it just me, or are some Reformed Christian authors just too darned Reformed for their own good? Don't get me wrong; the Reformers were the heroes of the faith who rescued biblical Christianity from the mysticism and superstition of the Dark Ages. Currently,the Reformed camp has and is producing FAR better quality writing than most of their brethren (the sort Phil Johnson labels "evangellybeans"), but sometimes in the quest for doctrinal precision and endless parsing, the relational aspect of Christ's love is lost. Taking an extreme position on the Doctrines of Grace can leave one scratching one's head.
For example, and I'm not naming names here, a couple of my favorite homeboys state that when sharing the Gospel with a potential convert, one should never tell him that "Christ died for [his] sins because you have no way of knowing if that individual is one of the elect or not." Um......alrighty then. So...what exactly should we tell him? "Hey! I have great news! Christ might have died for your sins!"
Doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?
Jesus looked at the Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:20-22), loved him, and bid him come and follow Him. And the guy still walked away (which I find staggering). Repeatedly, we see that the invitation is open to all...we all have a chance to be one of "the elect".
Some folks seek to be more Calvinistic than Calvin.
Or take my recent example, of how having a high view of God precludes focusing on our own "felt needs", and that it is blasphemous to think in terms of OUR own value. I get that we are totally depraved, and the Atonement speaks of HIS infinite worth, glory and value....but...several places in Scripture, God's Word indicates that we are precious to Him. If we were truly worthless to God, He never would have sent His Son. I can see where there's a danger to making the Cross all about us, rather than about God (and people do), but even the Puritans recognized Christ's love for the individual.
I agree God does not exist to meet our emotional needs, but whaddya do when you have a tough day? Or do Reformed peeps never have a tough day? I'd rather pour my heart out to God than post about it on Facebook, as some folks do. Sometimes, after reading about the proper view of God, I actually have a tough time praying. I find it intimidating and don't really know what to talk about....so I wind up on Blogger instead. The Reformers themselves were passionate, emotional, introspective people. Sometimes in today's literary Reformed camp, one can learn much but feel nothing. One believer I know wrote: "I loved Reformed people, but I loath their "We are the Christian Intellectual Elite" complex. When Christianity is all head and no heart... yep, the balance is lost."
Yep, indeed. Let's make sure it's Jesus Christ we're worshipping, and not John Calvin.