I just watched this video John Piper made advertizing Calvinism. When I first read the poem titled ‘The Calvinist’ on which the video is based, I initially thought it was a satire against Calvinists. You know, the idea of drinking at books until they bear fruit, repenting for the sake of one’s fame, heaping up a pyre for burning, dying with the words “gain!” on your lips, and everything else in the poem – it seemed like something that could only have come from the cynical imagination of an ex-Calvinist. But then I found that Desiring God ministries actually produced this expensive video and got voice-overs from R.C. Sproul, D.A. Carson, Matt Chandler, Sinclair Ferguson and others.
I have to hand this one to Piper. In a world where Calvinists are often accused of being hard and cerebral (kind of like Calvin himself), Piper does a good job of adding in a pretty generous dose of sentimentalism to the mix. Of course, the scenes of “the Calvinist” debating could have been counter-balanced by at least one scene of him practicing corporate worship. Apart from that, and apart from the really bad poetry (can we get any worse than “Unrelenting sleuth / On the scent of truth”?), this is a great advertizement for Calvinism: after all, those who need a little nudge to fully accept the doctrines of grace theology may be persuaded by the nice house, good food, pretty wife, good trade and so much leisure time.
Now I want someone to write a mushy Clerihew for my theology, which is kind of Eastern Orthodox neoCalvinism without the Calvinism (oh, and without the presuppositionalism as well). Any takers?
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