Posts Tagged 'peace-making'

What to Do About Unrepentant Murderers in the Church?

For a few years, I was raised Calvinist. Even today I would consider myself “Reformed,” in certain idiosyncratic senses that pleases no Reformed people I know. But something that always bothered me about “Calvinist theology” was “Calvin the man,” and the fruit his life bore–namely, that he and his theocracy in Geneva killed people with whom they disagreed, over moral and theological matters. Hat-tip to my Presbymergent friend Adam Walker Cleaveland, “Jarrod McKenna has written a very interesting post entitled “Orthodoxy and heretics like Calvin?” which is worth your attention, especially if you claim the Reformed tradition as your tribe.” It is a great article. Whaddaya think?

I have a question for my many Presbyterian (and Reformed Baptist, et al) friends: Would Calvin be allowed to be an elder in one of your churches today? If not, how much (or, I should say “in what ways?”) can we learn from the notoriously, unrepentantly violent in our churches?

Of course Calvin and his followers weren’t the only killers-in-the-name-of-Jesus, and sure there were nuances. But bottom line, Servetus (among others, I’ve heard) was killed. What implications does this (and the contemporary verbally-violent character assassination that often characterizes contemporary Christendom) have for our witness as peace-makers?

Agree With Your Adversary Quickly: Getting Along with Those Different From Us

I recently got Myspace message from a young man (does that sound condescending when he’s 21 and I’m only 28? With marriage and a child later, I certainly don’t think so) who saw my Myspace profile and decided that I was apostate. Sigh. It happens. But this guy (despite his frequent use of exclamation points) didn’t seem as angry as some people who have “confronted” me, so I decided to write him a lengthy reply. I’ve withheld his name (’cause posting that here would be tacky) but here is our conversation. [Regular readers please note: I am in many respects ‘speaking his language’–I don’t normally talk like this!]

Hi brother,

Thank you for taking the time to send me such a lengthy email. You are obviously concerned for me, and I appreciate that. I’m sorry that my life (or at least, the version of it represented on Myspace) seems to be vexing you so. Let’s see if we can take your message point by point. You are in italics.  Continue reading ‘Agree With Your Adversary Quickly: Getting Along with Those Different From Us’


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  • Friend of Emergent Village

    My Writings: Varied and Sundry Pieces Online

    Illumination and Darkness: An Anne Rice Feature from Burnside Writer's Collective
    Shadows & Light: An Anne Rice Interview in MP3 format from Relevant Magazine
    God's Ultimate Passion: A Trinity of Frank Viola interview on Next Wave: Part I, Part II, Part III
    Review: Furious Pursuit by Tim King, from The Ooze
    Church Planting Chat from Next-Wave
    Review: Untold Story of the New Testament Church by Frank Viola, from Next-Wave

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