Friday, February 6, 2009

Calvin's "Spiritualized" Salvation History

I find it quite amusing to read Calvinistic theology nowadays. Why? because it is a big mythological way to understand "salvation", "God", and "history".

There is always "something special" in Calvinistic thought; the elect, salvation-history, the divine Christ, the penal substitutionary death atonement, the exclusivist claims, the Canon itself, Israel, the Church, a special call, etc. It is as if there is no real reality, if one is a person of faith. This understanding seems to me to be absolute aburdity. It is looking at everything with "spiritual eyes", as the 'natural man does not accept the things of the spirit".

I think that there are those who have an agenda for the Church to maintain its "identity with Calvin". Others are truly duped. The social organization is no less "special", if one has eyes to see and believe. The government is no less a place to be a "minister". The Church is a social organism and a social structure, which is useful for certain purposes, nothing more and nothing less.There is no separation of secular and sacred, as all of life is about giftedness and gifting.

Jesus life was mythologized by the early believers and Church. His "story" is one narrative among many narratives. Many have made use of his identity and lacked the ability to come to their own identity.

There is really no "God's salvation history". There is only ancient history and ancient texts. These are the ways of coming into mature and responsible behavior, where one does not seek another's "help" to avoid the responsibilities before them. One starts to own his own identity. He no longer identifies himself primarily as a Christian, but as a person. This is where the individual finds their own identity and "life focus" and creates their story, within the narrative of history.


atimetorend said...

This is exactly what I see in Calvinist authors and in friends influenced by these authors. I picked up a John Piper book recently and was amazed leafing through it at how imaginary it all seemed. There really was next to nothing that wasn't lived only in the imagination. And to attach such importance and significance to things imagined seemed absurd. It is a fine line between "imagined" and "made up."

The Calvinist authors do seem especially intent to systematize the imaginary realm of faith. Is this the content of their theology, or just the fact that they are more prone to systematize their theology perhaps than other modern evangelicals?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

atimetorend, how did you come upon my blog, and since this entry was in Febuary, how did you happen to read it? Are you eapecially interested in "calvinism"?

atimetorend said...

I think I may have found your blog clicking through from a comment you left on James McGrath's "Exploring Our Matrix." but that is a guess. I just browsed around your blog and found this post. I have been deconstructing a faith largely underpinned by Calvinist reformed theology, and have had a lot to learn. Thus my interest. I appreciate your musings on how people see truth in the church.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Thank you, for your response. Good journey!!