Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Arminian marionettes

Jerry Walls got wind of a post I did:

For most internet Arminians I know, there's a chasm between their self-image and reality. 

i) To begin with, they claim to be oh-so loving, but if they dislike your theology, they instantly impute the worst possible motives to you. 

They aren't loving at all. It's just a flattering self-image. An acid test of love is how you treat people you disagree with, people you naturally dislike. In my extensive experience, internet Arminians almost uniformly fail that test. They turn John 3:16 into "For we so loved ourselves." 

They assume a maternal disapproving tone, like a first grade teacher berating a child and trying to make him feel bad. "Now Tommy, you should be ashamed! What would Mommy think!" 

ii) In addition, their behavior falsifies their claim to be libertarian free agents. All that Walls had to do was introduce the post by mentioning that it was written by a Calvinist, and their conditioned reflexes spring right into action. Arminians are so predictable, so Pavlovian in that regard. 

They have a preexisting narrative about Calvinists. All that's required to trigger the desired reaction is to begin with the word "Calvinist" or "Calvinism." That pushes their buttons. Once you begin with that word, everything else they read is filtered through their jaundiced lens. It's funny to see people who pride themselves on libertarian free agency who are so easily and irresistibly led by the nose. 

iii) I also see that annihilationists like Glenn Peoples and Peter Grice pile on. That's fine. Tells you something about the theological center of gravity over there. 

iv) Then you have the hypocritical reaction to satire. Yet Jerry himself posts satires of Calvinism. Take his "Joy to the World" satire a while back. Likewise, the Society of Evangelical Arminians posts many satires of Calvinism. 

But once again, that demonstrates the chasm between their self-image and reality. Their theological protestations notwithstanding, they don't believe in equal treatment. They say that because it makes them feel morally superior, but in reality they are pure partisans.

v) Then you have the faux outrage over a satire about hell. Do they feel the same way about movies like Drag me to Hell, or TV shows like Reaper, Brimestone, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer

vi) Notice how the whole conversation revolves around Calvinism. That's not because my post had anything to do with Calvinism or Arminianism. It didn't spoof his Arminianism, but his views on Purgatory and hell.

So why does their reaction fixate on Calvinism? That's because Jerry gratuitously recast the topic in terms of Calvinism, so when they read the post, they have "Calvinism" etched on their spectacles. They see it everywhere in the post even though it's nowhere to be found in the post. They are so suggestible. 

Just like puppets. That's their favorite metaphor for Calvinism (along with robots), yet they themselves act just like puppets. They are so easily manipulated. Jerry pulls their strings and they dance to his tune. 

vii) Apropos (vi), they are unable to draw an elementary distinction between fiction and real life. If I write a fictional story about someone going to hell, that must be because I think he's hellbound in real life.

Would any reasonable person draw that inference? No. 

But their Arminian programming has primed them to assume the worst. Their reaction is so…dare I say…robotic! 

One of them whined:

That little story made a lot of smoke but no fire. If you're going to do satire, the least you can do is make a point. All this does is arbitrarily say "Jerry Walls"—you know, that guy who's wrong about hell and purgatory. End of story. Rather disappointing.

That's because it never focussed on Walls. My little story parodies many things: ethnic stereotypes, the high school caste system, male adolescent fantasies, horror tropes (e.g. The Omen), &c. Walls was just a part of that.

Moreover, it was written for fun. Anyone who knows much about creative writing knows that it has its own momentum. A writer may just go with the flow. One thing leads to another. 

viii) Then you have the groupies who complain that if I wish to critique him, I should write something serious instead of satirical fiction. Of course, I've posted extensive of his material. But they make these uninformed attacks because they live in the bubble of internet Arminianism. 

ix) With rare exception, internet Arminians never disappoint my low expectations. 

1 comment:

  1. Walls asked on his page what Catholics will think when he publishes "Why I'm not a Catholic". The same thing Calvinist think. This guy doesn't have a clue.