The above video spurred me to write this entry. It touched me deeply and reminded me of who God is creating me to be, where I have come from, and why I do what I do the way I do it. It is beautifully shot, and powerfully narrated by John Calvin. I encourage you to dim the lights, turn on the HD feed, and let it touch your heart.
Why Reformed Theology?
Over the last months I have used some intimation the words “I teach Reformed theology” or “I’m a Calvanist” about seventy-billion times. I don’t know why it keeps coming up (maybe it’s because it’s on my mind and I subconsciously steer the conversation — who knows?) but it seems to be ever-present. Perhaps the fact that yesterday was Reformation Day had something to do with it. How committed am I? Check out what I was handing out to the kids who came to the door for
Halloween Reformation Day candy.
Invariably, the next thing people ask me “why?”. Not in a “Please tell me more” kind of way, but with the same reaction one would give to someone who just said, “I blow my nose with saran-wrap”. What? Why? That’s weird. People don’t do that, do they?
Fundamentalists / Calvinists / Reformers don’t have the greatest reputation where I live. They are seen as closed minded, harsh, critical, judgmental, fear-mongering, and unloving (they’re not — at least the ones I know, read, and have met aren’t). So, why on earth would I ever associate myself with that group?
My answer is simply this: “Reformed theology answers my deepest questions in the most satisfying way that emphasizes Jesus and brings the most glory to God.” I take comfort in it and I believe it gives the most credit and praise to the person of Jesus Christ and the works He is doing and has done. It is around Him that my life and theology revolves. It is in Him I find the answers.
Yes, some of the concepts are so huge my mind can’t stretch enough to envelop them, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. I’ve learned to distrust folks who can’t live with paradox or seem to have all the answers.
I love the way that John Piper answered this question. He said,
“I am a lover of the Reformed faith….I speak of love for this legacy the way I speak of loving a cherished photo of my wife. I say, “I love that picture.” You won’t surprise me if you point out, “But that’s not your wife, that’s a picture.” Yes. Yes. I know it’s only a picture. I don’t love the picture instead of her, I love the picture because of her. She is precious in herself. The picture is precious not in itself, but because it reveals her. That’s the way theology is precious. God is valuable in himself. The theology is not valuable in itself. It is valuable as a picture. That’s what I mean when I say, “I love reformed theology.” It’s the best composite, Bible-distilled picture of God that I have.” (Link)
That’s where I’m at too. Reformed theology gives me the best picture of God I have seen.