Monday, October 25, 2010

Calvinism as Anti-Romance (as argued by an Original Orthodox Rebel)

I do not agree with Calvinism, but neither do I agree with Arminianism. I feel like they are two opposite extremes that have lost the considerations of the other and have thus gone mad. Not that Calvinists are mad. On the contrary, my church is staunchly Calvinist, yet they are neither rabid nor arrogant, and I would not trade them for anything. However, just as the Arminian has failed to convince me of his position, so too has the Calvinist. Thus, the following excerpt (from pp. 129-30 of Chesterton's book What's Wrong With the World) caught my eye. I will not call it an argument as much as a  statement expressing a sentiment, a sentiment that I share.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2010

The difference between Puritanism and Catholicism is not about whether some priestly word or gesture is significant and sacred. It is about whether any word or gesture is significant and sacred. To the Catholic every other daily act is a dramatic dedication to the service of good or of evil. To the Calvinist, no act can have that sort of solemnity, because the person doing it has been dedicated from eternity, and is merely filling up his time until the crack of doom.

The difference is something subtler than plum-puddings or private theatricals; the difference is that to a Christian of my kind this short earthly life is intensely thrilling and precious; to a Calvinist...it is confessedly automatic and uninteresting. To me these threescore years and ten are the battle. To the...Calvinist (by his own confession) they are only a long procession of the victors in laurels and the vanquished in chains. To me earthly life is the drama; to him it is the epilogue. [Calvinists] think about the embryo; Spiritualists about the ghost; Christians about the man. It is as well to have these things clear.


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