by Kenneth Justice
~ Growing up in Christian culture during the 1990’s I had a front row seat to the rebirth of Reformed Theology throughout Western Culture.
You see, Reformed Theology was intricately connected to the Protestants of the 16th century who contributed to the massive split throughout Christendom; men like Martin Luther and John Calvin postulated the idea that man has no free will, that we are powerless to believe in god or believe in atheism, that god determines everything.
There are many things I really appreciate about Reformed Theology, and on the same token there are many things I DO NOT appreciate about Reformed Theology.
During much of the 19th and 20th century, Reformed Theology simmered down and slowly disappeared as the main view of the Protestants, that is until the rebirth of Reformed Theology during the latter part of the 20th century when it became a massive movement throughout Evangelicalism once again.
Men like the now disgraced Mark Driscoll in Seattle, led mega churches in which they preached that men and women have no free will and that everything is predetermined by god. Like all doctrines and religious belief systems, the great travesty of Reformed Theology is that it creates an “us and them” mentality. The people in the Reformed camp believe they have a special window on revelation and truth, and the rest of the world are a bunch of nebbishes.
Of course, this “us and them” mentality reaches into so many philosophies;
—) Atheists believe they have a corner on the truth and everyone else are a bunch of nebbishes
—) Scientists believe they have a corner on the truth and anyone who disagrees is an idiot
—) Religious fundamentalists of all stripes believe they are right and everyone else is wrong
The wise philosopher is always ready to listen. Isn’t that the true hallmark of wisdom; listening. Perhaps I’m wrong, but any time someone get’s really defensive and upset in relation to their belief system; it usually tells me that the person is uncertain and a really bad listener.
Shouldn’t we always be open to being wrong? Shouldn’t we be open to new ideas and new perspectives?
Tonight I have the pleasure of having fellow blogger Chandler Klebbs on my Live Streaming show. Although Chandler is not a Christian, oddly enough he prescribes to the idea that none of us have free will. Apparently Reformed Christians are not the only ones who do not believe in free will.
Ultimately, if you and I are serious about community and connecting with each other, then doesn’t that mean we should always be open to listening to others and engaging in positive dialogue?
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society