My guess is; not much. He’s a bright young man, married to “the most beautiful and talented girl in the world”, studying philosophy while being “trained up for ministry” in the Presbyterian church. He’s intelligent, educated and, I’m certain, extremely well-read in all matters which mean anything to him whatsoever, particularly Reformed Theology. You really ought to visit his blog. When you do, I think it’ll be obvious that between us, his opinion is better researched and informed than my own. For his opinion about what I think is wrong with Calvinism, read this.
For my considered response to his comment, read on:
I took some time to read your comment slowly and check your biblical references. I seriously considered what you said and I also took some time to look at your blog to get an idea of who you present yourself to be. Honestly, I’ve come away from your comment feeling a bit like a fly being swatted with a Buick. I’m okay with that though. I can take it.
I’m also okay with much of what I said. There are some things that I would alter but mostly I don’t feel the need to recant my core beliefs (even if they are badly expressed). My point is/was that it is better to try to understand Scripture from the perspectives of the author and the audience than it is to try and understand Scripture from the perspective of another interpreter. When reading Paul (the Jew and the Pharisee), it is better to try to understand his writings from an Eastern/Jewish/Pharisee perspective as opposed to a Western/Gentile/Christian perspective of early church fathers (Origen, Augustine) and previous theologians (Calvin, Luther, et al.). This still makes sense to me.
My miserably expressed belief is that Calvin (but actually, I confess that in my mind I was thinking “present day Calvinists”) came to certain theological conclusions because he (they weren’t) wasn’t attempting to view Scripture in light of Paul’s Jewish worldview and Pharisaical education. Granted, if I presented myself as anything more than an “armchair theologian”, I would be remiss not to support this accusation through scholarship. However, as I do not present myself to be anything greater than a blogger who likes to read think and write about theology, I don’t feel compelled to commit myself to the serious work of research and referencing at the same level of a student and future pastor like yourself. Again, you need to consider the author of this blog (“armchair theologian”) and his audience (realistically speaking, mostly himself…oh, and that nice guy Wonders for Oyarsa).
Of course, I realize that sounds like I’m advocating poor reasoning/scholarship but I’m not. I’m advocating that you and other readers of this blog use some discernment and adjust your expectations according to who I represent myself to be.
Nothing that you referenced in your comment indicates beyond question that Paul’s Jewishness and Pharisaical education was vaporized that day he met Jesus on his way to Damascus, nevermore to influence his writings. So, for now I’m content to believe that Paul, the Jew and former Pharisee, would not necessarily recognize his own beliefs regarding predestination in the theology of Calvin’s current disciples (and possibly even Calvin himself).
You were right to point out that I invite criticism by posting my (ill-conceived) opinions for all to read. Additionally, you’re right to suggest some serious scholars for me to read and learn from. You have given me precisely those things which I had hoped would come from writing this blog. However Kyle, what you have not given me is “grace”. There is nothing gracious in the tone of your comment or the style of your prose. You did not attempt a gentle correction and so your invocation of “Grace” at the close of your comment rings hollow and leaves me cold.
I chose “What’s Wrong with Kyle?” as the title of this post because it neatly refers back to my previous post “What’s Wrong with Calvinism?” I didn’t choose it to be vindictive, although I certainly understand why someone might choose to read it that way. Yet, I’m sure that Kyle would tell you that there are plenty of things wrong about him which the blood of Jesus covers by the grace of God…and, like his observation that my post is “flawed in multiple ways”, he’d be absolutely right.