Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Christian faith: Calvinism is back

This is somewhat unexpected. I'm thinking that it may be a push back to the extreme relativism that permeates so much of our western ethic. I would like to find out if this is an over all cultural shift or if it's localized.

Christian faith: Calvinism is back / The Christian Science Monitor - "What newcomers at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC) hear is hardly 'Christianity for Dummies.' Nor is it 'Extreme Makeover: Born-Again Edition.' Instead, a young woman named Kasey Gurley describes her disobedience and suffering in Old Testament terms.

'I worship my own comfort, my own opinion of myself,' she confesses. 'Like the idolatrous people of Judah, we deserve the full wrath of God.' She warns the women that 'we'll never be safe in good intentions,' but assures them that 'Christ died for us so we wouldn't have to.' Her closing prayer is both frank and transcendent: 'Our comfort in suffering is this: that through Christ you provide eternal life.'

It is so quiet you can hear an oatmeal cookie crumble.

Welcome to the austere – and increasingly embraced – message of Calvinism. Five centuries ago, John Calvin's teachings reconceived Christianity; midwifed Western ideas about capitalism, democracy, and religious liberty; and nursed the Puritan values that later cast the character of America."

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