Saturday, September 23, 2006

The resurgence of Calvnism

Well here I am in Grand Rapids, which is, apparently, the headquarters of the Christian Reformed Church, the bastion of Calvinism. Catholics are 20% in the metropolitan area and about 8-10% in the Diocese. Wow, who'da thunk! Especially since we're like 2 hours from the Catholic stronghold of Detroit ...

Anyway, given my current whereabouts, this piece in Christianity Today caught the eye: Young Restless and Reformed: Calvinism is making a comeback, and shaking up the church. Interesting reading! I've heard the TULIP thing before ... but that total depravity thing (no matter how many times I might feel that way, especially as I line up for Confession, or when I read the news) just doesn't seem right.
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Jennifer said...

I was in kindergarten the first time I was told I was going to hell for worshipping Mary. All of my neighbors were Christian Reformed so we sort of stuck out like a bleeding thumb. They were always asking my parents to borrow things, but their children where never allowed to play with us. It really made me upset that my parents allowed themselves to be "used" in that way. Now I see that they were acting as true Christians.

Grand Rapids is the place to be if you want an in-depth immersion into Calvinism. I don't have much nice to say. Pretty much, you are treated like street debris if you don't belong to their church and they let you know it. Not to say that Catholics or people of other faiths are perfect, but I can't believe they walk around with WWJD bracelets, etc. Jesus would have been hangin with me, that's what.

Thank you so much for blogging about your trip to GR. It makes me happy to read about it - even though I'm a few days behind. I didn't get a chance to check my blogs over the weekend.

Gashwin said...

Sounds like what a friend of mine describes growing up in eastern Idaho was like, in an area dominated by the Mormons. Or what many parts of the rural South are still.

One would hope that in areas dominated by Catholics, we would treat religious minorities differently (such as in the northeast, say). I don't know if that's always the case though.

Jennifer said...

I'm not terribly familiar with Mormons, but there's more to it with Calvinists. Believing for whatever reason that you are the only group of people who will be accepted into heaven due to predestination seems to make people haughtier than your average "saved" person. They don't try to convert you. They don't want to associate with you unless they have a need. What I would like to say is - if I'm destined to hell, what in the world is my point of even existing in the first place? At least with my experience in VA, Southern Baptists try to convert you to save you from hell.

I agree with your hope that Catholics are truly Christian and live as an example to others.

Anyway, South Christian High School was a big rival to Catholic Central. When that game came up, you heard everyone predicting that one side or the other would win because "God is on our side." From my experience, God was pretty even handed. It was a sweet feeling when the Cougars came out victorious over the Sailors! :)