Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bottleneck theology

It’s very striking to juxtapose these two statements:

“After all, in their system, this same God is the one who, despite telling everyone through His Son that He loves the whole world and that the atoning sacrifice of His Son was for the sins of the whole world, turns right around and decides to create some people just so He can send them off to roast in Hell, while others, He determines to be in Heaven.”

“This blog discussion and debate over images and commandments has really helped me realize what a stark contrast there is between Biblical Christianity, and Calvinism and all derivations, or reactions, to it. To whatever extent Calvinism does teach and cling to the revealed Gospel in Sacred Scripture, I thank God, but to the extent that it does not, I, with Luther must say, ’They have a different spirit. They can expect no fellowship from me.’ Amen and Amen.”

On paper, McCain denies election and reprobation. Indeed, he reviles them as contrary to the universal love of God.

But, in practice, McCain has a functional version of election and reprobation. God loves everyone, but McCain only loves Lutherans. His creed consists in the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of Lutherans. Christ dies for everyone, but McCain will only fellowship with his own kind.

This is both broader and narrower than Calvinism. Unlimited atonement grafted onto a painfully provincial ecclesiology—a one-family church.

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