Brad’s a Lousy Calvinist (#579)

Brad's been spending a lot of time trying to understand the Calvinist reaction to THE SHACK, and why it is that they demonstrate so much angst about the movie. It has led him into some musings about God's control and the universe, the blending of God's justice and his mercy, and why humans get caught up in theological principles that simply don't lead to the relationship God designed with us. That leads to a conversation with Wayne about how God giving us dominion over the creation line up with the idea that God is in control of everything and his will always happens? To what degree does God make a volitional choice to allow hurtful things to happen in our lives and how he can't possibly make this decisions with the same criteria by which we often judge him?

Podcast Notes:
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  1. Haha! Well I just have this one comment, it is said that Calvin was suffering from kidney stones when he came up with his theology, that explains a lot! };-)

  2. I don’t know that Brad will ever totally understand, “the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy” and thats what he is doing with the movie and book. There has only been a few books that have ever touched my life in a profound life changing way. The Shack was one of them. It opened up such a deep intimate relationship with ABBA, Jesus I knew but my heavenly Father seamed so far away. Ever thankful to my mother for the gift. To answer Brad’s Question the best though the enemy (satan) and religion. For me the only problem I had with the movie was I wanted more dialect from the book,so many eye opening beautiful conversations ect. in it. have a most blessed day in the Lord, Kim

  3. Thanks Wayne and Brad for this conversation. Having been raised in “Calvinism”, seeing the “fruit” or impact in the lives of some family members…finding there’s a lot for me to think about and also to have conversations with Jesus about. The long process of coming to know God as He is (rather than as He’s been presented to me) has taken longer than I expected. Even when very painful, I know that this process is a healthy one. Hoping someday to be “gratefully disillusioned”.

  4. I am a 5 point Calvinist, and I loved The Shack. Better theology than I hear in most churches on Sunday.

  5. There is a false sense of peace which ensues when we think or believe we have meaningful understanding; whereas the writ speaks of a peace which surpasses understanding. Much like the medical professionals, we tend to see our ability in naming something as a moral victory, even when the disease isn’t curable from man’s standpoint. This was my due course for many years:steering clear of devils and demons, evil persons, haunted places, proclaiming and blaming religiously, etc. What a complete waste of time! Today, I live loved, walking in the light which has been shed within, in the inward man, the heart. What do we really “understand”? We only believe we do… It isn’t really a question of God’s sovereignty, but of man’s fallen humanity and identity. He told us the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the road we did not want, and that it led to death, not life. Man is ultimately responsible for so much more than he wants to take credit for… And that is also part of the equation of rejection and shame which transpired as a result of the fall. Our part is to live loved and love from out of that… The place to start is with our neighbors and relax into his bosom. What happens is so much more organic than manufactured.

  6. Enjoyed this episode. I was having a conversation with a few friends recently about this topic of God controlling everything. Later that day I was thinking about our conversation and this thought popped into my head…

    If God controls everything, then Jesus died for God’s sins.

    I thought this summed it up pretty well as to how I’d understand it. Thought I’d share.

  7. It wasn’t until a new pastor began to teach Calvinism full tilt at the congregation I attended, that I felt like I was beginning a tumble down a black hole of fatalism. The 2010 Haitian earthquake had just occurred, and what was I hearing from the pulpit? The earthquake was “God’s judgement”. Where was the concern and compassion for the people trying to climb out of the rubble? I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I almost stood up and said, “What? Did I hear that wrong?” A later one-on-one with this pastor revealed that he truly believed that God was doing *all* things, and if I’d take his “Sovereignty of God” class I’d better understand everything. Uhhh… No thanks. Painfully walked away from “the building” the next Sunday, yet knowing somehow that I was taking a step closer to Jesus.

    I’d later learn of what John Calvin did to Michael Servetus when he visited Calvin’s church, and it’s made me wonder how messed up we can become when we become convinced that “we know the answer!” and “everyone else is wrong!”. Back in 1553, Calvin spots Servetus from the pulpit, and, well you can Google his name for the rest of the horrible, sad tale. Talk about a hostile church environment!

    I’ve been away from Calvinistic teaching for seven years now, but strangely still feel damaged by it. How I’d love for His love to sink in me deeply once more and the fatalism to fade away. I was trusting Jesus when I stepped away, and I’m sure in His timing He’ll restore His glorious joy once more.

    Wayne and Brad, thanks for your podcasts. I don’t depend on them, but sure do enjoy it!

  8. Thank you Wayne and Brad and the freedom to ask “weird” questions. Wayne you are the first person I’ve heard mention how it’s not accurate to say “God allowed”…..I have always not liked that as like you said it’s like a voluntary thing. It portrays God as saying yes by allowing like a parent who allows their kid to do something…they say yes okay. Well God doesn’t say yes to rape, holocost, etc….He says no to that and I haven’t been to articulate it yet but it’s like He restrains Himself to align with His character to not force but to allow voluntary Love as Brad spoke of voluntary love.

    On another note my name is Victoria and believe He had given me vision for Victory in my life and I am one of those people who do pray for protection everyday and believe Him to spare us from unecessary bad things in our lives….He had given me a gift of faith to believe for this yet I do learn from you to rest that His presence is abiding in me and near me always through everything even when I don’t “feel” His presence as strong. The prayers of protection are based on His victory on the cross and ressurection and not on my works at least I hope it’s not based on my works I guess people could say “well you thinking your prayer protects you is works” but Idk I am still trusting in His Victory to pray that way.

    I went to a service on Sunday’s for a couple of years and my faith suffered do to all the Calvinist talk that well the LORD willed such and such to help us be humble etc. it pisses me off when people attribute abuse and rape and disease to Gods doing….The Truth is He did not want those things but will work for greater good. Fatalism sucks.

    I repent and am so sad that when hurricane Katrina happened I was in the camp of believing it was Gods doing to wake up people:(!!!!! So sad and I wish and maybe I should email all the people I said that to that I was wrong!


  9. God enters into all things including the bad to work His good,that seems to be the one thing a Calvinist overlooks. Satan has done a great job getting everyone to blame God for everything. I don’t think we have any idea how much the Lord is intervening in both our daily lives and also in the big picture events around the world.We live in a fallen messed up world that he didn’t create.No wonder all of creation is groaning waiting for our redemption.

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