Saturday, December 3, 2011

Worshipping Calvin. Or not.

One of this morning's blogs mentioned that the writer and a theologian met over breakfast "to discuss Calvinism." God has told us to think deeply about his ways in the world, but really... I got to thinking, why is their topic Calvin's doctrines? 

Why not meet to discuss Jesus? Or why not meet to discuss God? And see how the conversation unfolds?

Supper with Jess and Jeff, a couple of our friends, is grand. My husband and I eagerly anticipate time with them.We eat at nice places that feel like splurges because of great food. My senses of taste and texture, smell and seeing, feel heightened and we are fully sated when the evening is done. 

But it's not just that we all like good restaurants. It's not just the friendly company that stimulates us. W and I have talked this over many times before and after our visits. "We love spending time with Jess and Jeff. Isn't it fun to spend time with people when every conversation turns to God?"

Friends of W or me know we have broad areas of interest. When something takes our fancy, we read and read and read about it. We love research. For us, knowing is more than half the fun. Hence, those 30 books beside our bed... on Robert Gurney's contemporary architecture or 1 Corinthians or birch bark canoes.

Lately though, both of us are splashing through scripture, wading through the Word, and gorging ourselves on God's truth. I listen to the Bible read aloud a few times a day. W's read the Bible through many times since Spring, cover to cover. 

"What do you get out of it?"  I asked him, hopeful for a tidbit or tasty spiritual morsel. "What have you learned?"

"Ah, that's not a valid question, because that's not the point," he replied. "I read for immersion, not to learn or to look for answers or to prove a theology. I'm reading because God gave his Word to us."

Likewise, when we eat with Jess and Jeff, we're not just filling our stomachs. Without exception, talk turns to the wonders of God among us. The surprises in the world He has made. The whys and hows and wherefores that tantalize us from scripture. The riddles and mysteries and revelations that make serving Jesus an ongoing adventure!

It could be a crushing bore, except that God comes to meet us, time after time. We breathe in his presence, and adrenaline starts to flow in the lively exchanges. People at neighboring tables often lean in to listen. When we fold the napkins beside our plates, wave away desert, push the chairs in, and walk out through the foyer to the car, we're just bursting with fresh amazement at the goodness of God.

Do you cultivate friends like this? If you don't have a Jeff and Jess, get thee to church or a small group. Listen to find someone who loves God (so much that their whole life is a hunt to know Him better). It may take a while, years even, to search out those intentional and maturing disciples of Christ. Be someone like that, too. You'll rarely have a better time, or go to sleep more satiated, than after a physical and spiritual meal together! 

Read more:
*The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. Great is the LORD in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome namehe is holy. Psalm 99:1-3 NIV

*As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 

There is one body and one Spiritjust as you were called to one hope when you were calledone Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6 NIV

*Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:1-3 NIV 


  1. Oh...I like what I'm reading. Thank you for the encouragement.

  2. Very rich post, Rosemarie.

    I am tasked (by my wife and my church) to teach about Calvinism soon. We have moved to a Bible-centered denomination, and they are Calvinists. Ugh. The riches of theology and yet, the wading through deep waters. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy it. But, the idea is to find a place of communion with our new church.

    Remember "Doc" talking about "Calminianism?"