Hear ye hear ye, the Calvinista court is now in session to seek out and convict all "witches" (heretics) who would deviate from the path of the one true and living playbook, Five Point Calvinism++++ in all of its glorious, 100%, blessed assurance of theological correctness!! (Hope you have read our series on the Puritans.)
What do we mean by “jump the shark?” In keeping with the spirit, TWW’s policy of offering linguistic remediation to those pastors stuck in the day-to-day rut of boring insult words, we offer the history and meaning of said phrase with the help of Wikipedia.
How many of us remember the following episode from “Happy Days”? Probably not the YRR crowd. Fonzie and his friends visit Los Angeles. "The Fonz", who is wearing swim trunks and his trademark leather jacket, jumps over a confined shark on water skis, answering a challenge to demonstrate his bravery.
The expression was popularized in 1985 by John Hein,who would later create the web site jumptheshark.com, which now redirects to TVGuide.com. Hein explained the concept as follows:
"It's a moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. The instant that you know from now on…it's all downhill. Some call it the climax. We call it 'Jumping the Shark.' From that moment on, the program will simply never be the same.”
TWW has written about the arrogance found within the ranks of the Calvinistas who claim to know the exact meaning of every little word and punctuation mark in the Bible. That's why they have come up with their own superior translation — the English Standard Version (ESV). Although their dedication to Scriptural integrity appears commendable on the surface, we can’t help but wonder whether their motives are a bit mixed. In fact, according to one of my pastors, we can state categorically that their motives are mixed since all of us are burdened with an uncanny ability to express our own peculiar worldview.
On another occasion, my pastor commented that some of these Calvinista types reduce the Bible to a simplistic algebraic function and cannot accept that there may be several ways to interpret passages. To assuage the fears of the rabid ignorant, we are not talking about the beliefs of Scripture that are well outlined in many congregational statements of faith and in some of the historic creeds. We are instead focusing on toeing the line on secondary and even tertiary issues, which this crowd has elevated to primo importance. We have discussed such issues as age of the earth and eschatology in the past.
In our opinion it was inevitable that this restrictive group would turn inward and start devouring one another. Once Calvinistas have eliminated all the rest of us who are not five pointers, they must continue to hone their doctrine in such a way that they begin to eliminate some of the inner crowd.
Before you know it, they will have the set speakers (looks like that may have already happened) and loyal attendees (the wannabees) for all future conferences. No longer will they need to rent convention halls because SGM will likely have facilities large enough to accommodate these gatherings — for a rental fee of course! And, SGM will do all the conference planning. According to Josh Harris, "Sovereign Grace Ministries has the privilege of organizing and running the conference." http://www.covlife.org/blog/category/pastors
Plus, when one of these leaders writes a book, all they have to do is mass distribute it to all the small groups in the Calvinista network. This distribution system will be highly efficient, cutting out the middle man. Of course, the price of the books will be full retail for this captive market.
The predicted buzz at T4G 2010 involves John Piper, who recently disappointed the Calvinistas with his announcement that he is taking an eight month leave of absence to reexamine his heart. A few days after his surprising news, Piper once again stunned many Neo-Calvinists by announcing he has invited none other than the arch heretic, Rick Warren, to speak at the next Desiring God Conference.
Yes, yes, we know all about the complaints. Warren cavorts with Muslims and Mormons, doesn’t explain the Gospel in depth in The Purpose Driven Life, is not a five pointer, has authoritarian issues (just like his five point friends), doesn’t emphasize sin and repentance, uses various Bible translations, and cherry picks Scripture (and the Calvinistas don’t?)!
Yet, at the same time, millions are getting an introduction to Christianity by reading Warren’s book. How many of these lost souls would pick up and read Mahaney’s Living the Cross Centered Life, which promotes a "deficient" Gospel? Check out our book review of Mahaney's masterpiece:
Let’s talk about “becoming a Christian”. I was raised in a non-Christian home and became a believer at the age of 17 during an episode on Star Trek, along with an article in LIFE Magazine called, “The Groovy Christian of Rye, New York". The only thing I knew when I became a Christian was that I am loved by my Creator and that this was made possible through Jesus Christ. I didn't know the depths of my sin; I merely knew that I believed in Jesus. Suddenly, I began to read the Scriptures and FINALLY understood them! As the weeks went by, I became increasingly aware of darkness and sin, and I would pray for forgiveness. As I have matured in the faith, I have become more cognizant of the role of sin in my life as well as of the glorious forgiveness and the new life I have found in Jesus Christ.
For many of us, conversion happens without a comprehensive picture of systematic theology. This week I remembered a Swedish friend who became a Christian through reading Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth, hardly a theologically acceptable treatise. Yet, this man went on to live a remarkable Christian life with a deep understanding of the Bible that he developed over the years. Lindsey’s book was merely the beginning to this man’s life in the Lord.
The reformed blogs are all abuzz over Piper’s "indiscretion". A few bloggers are muttering the heresy word, while some are calling for Piper's resignation. Others are expressing dismay while still supporting Piper. One blog had the audacity to claim it was the women who were making the worst comments, which just goes to show that Calvinistas never waste a minute putting "gullible and easily deceived" women in their place.
Here's the link. Please read the second paragraph under “The Critics.”
Both of us learned a very important lesson while pursuing our MBAs. We were admonished to first figure out why a company is successful before focusing on all of its faults. There is a reason why Apple, for example, became profitable. Too many young MBAs have gone into companies believing they know what's wrong and what needs to be fixed. Such arrogance has been the demise of many a surprised young businessman.
This post is not meant to be a defense of Rick Warren. TWW has issues with some of his actions. However, we believe Piper, with whom we also have some disagreements, knows exactly what Warren believes and would never share the platform with a man whom he believed to be a “heretic.” In other words, in our MBA programs we would have been told to figure out why Piper's decision is smart before criticizing it. One thing is for certain, John Piper, perhaps more than any other reformed leader, knows his brand of theology and could run circles around the YRR crowd in a theological debate.
Perhaps Piper is tiring of the theological hit men who are narrowing the parameters to such an extent that only C.J. Mahaney will be left standing (and that's because everyone is afraid that he will "de-gift" and disqualify them like he did Tomczak). As this Calvinista controversy continues, Deb and I plan to sit back and watch the fireworks. Arrogance is a hallmark of the T4G crowd and that may be the ruination of them all.
TWW was saddened to learn of the passing of Meinhardt Raabe at the age of 94. Don't know who he is? Raabe uttered one of the more memorable lines in show biz history. As the Munchkin coroner in the movie, The Wizard of Oz, he pronounced the Wicked Witch of the East dead when Dorothy’s farmhouse landed on top of her. You probably have his line memorized, just as we do.
"As coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her, and she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead."
If the Calvinistas keep up this nonsense, they'll likely be singing these lyrics (sung to the tune of "Ding dong the witch Is dead") when they force John Piper out of their camp due to his unfortunate and ill-advised association:
“Ding dong, the Piper’s fled,
Yes he has
He has fled,
Ding dong the heretic has fled…”
After reading the opinions of Calvinista bloggers regarding John Piper's newfound association with Rick Warren, maybe they aren't so different from those who accused the "so-called" witches of Salem. Truly, there is absolutely nothing new under the sun…