It’s 0134 in the morning, and I can’t sleep because I stupidly tried to go to bed listening to a podcast I particularly enjoy. Usually, the soothing sounds of theological warfare ease me into sleep, but occasionally, the sound a particularly stupid statement, or a horrific example of narcissistic eisegesis keeps me wide awake.
Some of these statements are so bad, in fact, that they make me wonder if I shouldn’t grab my bail out bag and just head for the hills, since surely God won’t continue to delay His Second Coming with this much stupidity running wild in the church.Since these singularly vapid statements harried me out of my warm, comfortable bed (and caused me to wake my long-suffering wife), I thought I should point them out to my readers, as something of a public service and warning:
- If you call yourself a Protestant, then for the love of God, don’t tell people the Protestant Reformation was a conflict between Scripture and tradition; you should especially take pains not to say that “Catholics have tradition, Protestants have Scripture.” This is the sort of moronic “no creed but the Bible” lunacy that is killing evangelicalism. I dare you to find one Reformer who saw the conflict with Rome this way. The uniform testimony of the Reformers was that the conflict was over the sufficiency of Scripture, and whether Scripture was the norming norm over tradition –– not a single one implied that Protestant’s don’t have tradition. After all, the minute you use words like “Trinity” the concept tradition comes in along with language that isn’t found anywhere in Scripture. In short, shut up –– you’re making the rest of us look like fools.
- I have never been the guy who believes that Calvinism is beyond critique; all that I have ever claimed for Reformed/Calvinist theology is that I find that it makes the most sense out of the most data. Yet when I hear folks refer to Calvinism as “theological Nazism” it makes me want to scream. That sort of inflammatory language doesn’t help –– and it makes you look stupid.
- If there were ever two comments that illustrated that evangelicalism is on life support, it’s these––which came from the same person, I’ll have you note. “Jesus died to pay for all of the sins of every single person,” which less than 30-seconds later was followed by, “But if you die with unrepentant sin, you go to hell.” Huh?