Calvinist Heresy Hunters

Well, some heresy hunters are at it again!  Calvinist Justin Taylor wrote a judicious and diplomatic explanation of Calvinism on Rachel Held Evans’ blog (see here).  But, on Justin’s own blog, some Calvinists are saying that Justin used poor judgment by promoting Rachel as a Christian teacher, for they do not consider her to be a Christian (see here).  One of the commenters says, “Rachel Held Evans makes a mockery of the Scriptures, which 5 minutes on her blog will make clear, and I am opposed to granting her views any legitimacy or insinuating that she is a Bible-believing Christian; she is not.”  He then presents a list of quotes from Rachel’s blog that he deems to be objectionable.  One of them is:

“But even our notion of what constitutes ‘biblical principles’ is selective and profoundly affected by our culture, our tradition, our projections, our experience, and our biases…Let’s not forget that, technically speaking, it is biblical for a woman to be sold by her father to pay off debt, biblical for her to be forced to marry her rapist, biblical for her to remain silent in church, biblical for her to cover her head in prayer, and biblical for her to be one of many wives…There is no single ‘biblical’ lifestyle, and we must regard any claims to such a thing as inherently selective.”

This commenter does not respond to Rachel’s point, however.  Instead, her Calvinist critics accuse her of picking and choosing from the Bible, but (as far as I could see) they do not address her point that they themselves pick and choose.  It’s apparently easier to call someone a non-Christian, than to wrestle with the points that the alleged non-Christian is making.

The commenter later says, “Ms. Evans, whether I consider you a ‘sister’ depends on what definition of ‘sister’ we’re using. If sister means someone who I would feel comfortable being in fellowship with, then the answer is no…”  Personally, I wouldn’t fellowship with this guy unless my life absolutely depended on it, and even then I’d be reluctant.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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