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:: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 ::

A Hymn For The Reformed Child

This satirical poem was posted recently on the Evangelical-Orthodox discussion group and I still, weeks later, find it amusing. While obviously simplistic and not quite fair to classic Reformed soteriology, it still strikes me as illuminating.

(Sung to the tune of "Jesus Love Me." Sing it out loud--it is even funnier that way).

1. Jesus loves me, this I think,
If I'm wrong, to hell I�ll sink,
Little ones to Him belong,
To save or damn, for He is strong!


Yes, He may love me,
And has elected,
Or else rejected,
Me ere the world began.

3. Though it would have cost no more
If all men came through the door,
He who paid the highest price,
Just for some gained Paradise. (Chorus)

4. Little ones with souls pre-damned
Into praising Him are scammed,
Taught to call Him their dear Friend,
Who their souls to hell will send. (Chorus)

2. Art Thou Friend or Enemy?
Hast already condemned me?
Mercy but to some Hell show,
I interpret Scripture so.(Chorus)

5. And if mercy is for me,
�Justice� first appeased must be.
Jesus dies upon the tree,
God kills Him and maybe me. (Chorus)

6. And if Thou has chosen me,
And if godlike I would be,
Must I only love the ones
Predestined to by Thy sons? (Chorus)

7. Dread Lord, sure none could love Thee,
Unless supernaturally.
Draw me irresistibly,
Force me, Jesus, to love Thee! (Chorus)

I've always hated false dichotomies and the Reformed position on salvation has always struck me as one. This spoof seems to beg the eternal question: Does human free will exist, or doesn't it?

Someone in the group pointed out that "if the item at issue is: "Choosing daily to make Jesus Christ the Lord of my life," then the Reformed say that *God* is the one doing that, and that I have absolutely no say in the matter--if I were not elect, then that desire would not even be in my heart. My will is in bondage; God's grace is irresistible, and I cannot but respond to Him in obedience when *He* chooses to draw me.

But when the item at issue is: "Choosing to think that Christianity is complete and utter nonsense," all of a sudden, the Reformed turn their opinion around 180-degrees and say that *I* am the one doing that, and that I indeed do have a say in the matter. God does not make anyone reject Him. *I* chose to sin, to disbelieve, etc. Here my will seems free, and the lack of God's irresistible grace is somehow made to be *my* responsibility.

Yet, if God's sovereignty trumps everything else one-hundred percent of the time, then how can this be? Surely, I could respond, it is not *I* who chose to think that "Christianity is complete and utter nonsense." *God* is the one Who chose not to extend His irresistible grace to me, even though, since He is omnipotent, sovereign, and in control of all things, He could have--had He wanted to save me." So the problem do I *know* I am saved/being saved/will be saved? The Reformed can only *think* they are saved.

There is a world of difference between a paradox and logical contradiction. It strikes me that classical Reformed teaching falls into the latter group. In the end, it attempts to solve a problem which isn't a problem to begin with. Hence, the philosohpical schizophernia with which it usually defends itself.
The answer is found in one Greek word: Synergy.

Fr. Georges Florovsky has written that Reformed Christology is Monoenergistic at its core. In other words, at a very fundamental level it denies the free will of human nature. Is that a fair critique?

:: Karl :: 3:25:00 PM [Link] ::

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