From: “Squirmtrap” Squirmtrap@wormneverdies.org
To: “Bitternell” Bitternell@wormneverdies.org
Date: April 21, 2008
Subject: Re: Calvinist Question
My Dear Bitternell,
I note with some amusement your alarm over your patient’s new-found friendship with a young, fervent servant of the Enemy–a Calvinist, I believe he calls himself. You fear that your patient’s theological knowledge and maturity may flourish under such an association. While there is a possibility of the first, the second seems rather unlikely.
Maturity, indeed! What do we know of this particular friend? That he is arrogant, close-minded, and zealously opposed to all traditions outside his own rather narrow one. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all, or even most, of those who claim the tradition of the late Jean Cauvin, that formidable opponent of our Father Below.
I cringe whenever I recall Grimewad’s rather severe chastisement after he failed to keep Monseiur Cauvin from taking on pastoral duties at Geneva, a position he was at first reluctant to accept. As a matter of fact, Grimewad thought he had the matter well in hand and decided to take a brief holiday to attend the Annual Temptor’s Convention. That was a grievous mistake. During Grimewad’s absence, Cauvin (or Calvin, as your patient’s friend knows him) received a visit from one William Farel, whose entreaties convinced him to stay in Geneva. Calvin’s skills were then put directly to use in the Enemy’s camp, rather than confined to a secluded scholar’s retreat where they would likely have caused little harm.
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Homo sapiens. Thinking man. That is, of course, the Latin phrase often used to describe and classify the human race. But does this description reflect a biblical way of thinking? Jim Jordan says no.
In “The Case against Western Civilization,” Jordan argues that man should be described, first and foremost, as homo adorans. Says Jordan:
“Human beings are not, as the Greco-Roman tradition teaches, homo sapiens, ‘thinking man.’ Rather, we are homo adorans, ‘worshipping man,’ something the Bible teaches and which the older pagans had not yet forgotten. Sadly, the Greek assumption seems to underlie most Christian education. Worship is basically left outside, and if included at all, is not foundational. As a result, education winds up being contextualized along a Greek, ‘thinking man,’ model.”
That doesn’t mean that learning to think and reason has no value; nor does it suggest that our worldly callings are simply what we do to kill time when not engaged in more “spiritual” things such as worship. Not at all.
The problem arises when we think of worship (whether consciously or subconsciously) as something extra tacked on to our regular lives, like pin the tail on the donkey. As Christians, we start the week gathered as the body of Christ to offer to him our praise and worship, where we are strengthened and fed. Then we go out to continue our labors. “Homo adorans” reminds us of who we are, and of the reason we can and should pursue our callings with zeal and joy, in service to the Lord who created us for himself.
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