We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Whatever be the kind of tribulation with which we are afflicted, we should always consider the end of it to be, that we may be trained to despise the present, and thereby stimulated to aspire to the future life. For since God well knows how strongly we are inclined by nature to a slavish love of this world, in order to prevent us from clinging too strongly to it, he employs the fittest reason for calling us back, and shaking off our lethargy.
2) My wishes have no effect on whether his birthday would be happy; if God predestined him to have a happy birthday today, then he will be happy, no matter what, and if God predestined it to be dour, austere, and a wee bit racked with guilt - quite likely for a Calvinist - then it will be the worst day ever and wishing him a happy birthday would be blasphemous as directly contrary to God's will...
Precisely what I've always thought about Calvin, "What's the point?". Of course I'm an ignorant bastard who's never bothered to read the buld of what he had to say other than what I've seen quoted and what Mark Sanford and I had beat into our skulls in school. I'm sure I would have a much more enlightened perspective if I pissed away a couple months of my life to fully purge my ignorance. But then again, maybe I'd still feel the same way...and I'd have wasted all that time bothering with his nonsense instead of immersing myself more deeply into St. Thom A. or Karl Marx or the Book of Mormon or shooting more pool. But I suppose that's how God intended it, so no harm not done.
Luther, I'm starting to see turtles everywhere. I swear I never did acid in college...Pass me a bottle, Mr. Jones.
"But I suppose that's how God intended it, so no harm not done.
Pretty smart there yourself KRW... no harm not done. I admit to missing that my first read. My brain inserting 'no harm done' as automatically as breathing.
But really, the post indicated that Calvin was a shaper, an influence, a mover, a groover... for what? A pious and conformed world. A world where one should guard against any loving connection with this world and place ones hopes entirely on the 'next one'. Foregoing any chance of grace or love in this one. As I remember the Roman Catholic church used to sell grace by the boat load. A few saw reason to insist on a cut of the pie and we ended up with Luther, Calvin, and only God knows how many other 'isms'.
I try to be fair and open minded. I swear I do. But some statements push me over the edge. Your mention of "shooting more pool." seems to make a hell of a lot more sense to me.
Thank you, Luther. I like to think of him as a post-Renaissance era St. Paul, albeit suffering from a bad bout of post-partum (his own partum) depression.
As a Catholic, I appreciate his faith, and wonder how he can love a God whom he thinks would so abandon him to hopelessness and unhappiness. I can accept there will be tough times but I see the challenge not as knuckling down and being grim about the tough times but as finding God's love and hope despite the tough times.
But to each his own - just keep yer black turtleneck party over on the other side of the coffee house, okay? Some of us are doing some fishing, drinking some beer and pondering the goodness and mercy of God in despite (rather ungratefully) questioning his wisdom in allowing us to freely chose to come live in this here vale of tears.
But I don't understand... "how he can love a God whom he thinks would so abandon him to hopelessness and unhappiness."
My take is that Calvin didn't feel he was abandoned or submerged in hopelessness or unhappiness. He merely thought his way was the right way. Despair of life on this earth... focus on the heavenly domain instead. Our time here wasted as honey on a turd.
But my black turtleneck on the other hand... not quite sure how to take that. But I will say that it is turtles, all turtles, all the way down.
Taking the tack of Calvin... yep, we're just honey on God's turd to have us submit to him. This life our challenge to deny and ignore.. in hopes of sitting next to him. The whole thing sounds very strange to me.
"For since God well knows how strongly we are inclined by nature to a slavish love of this world, in order to prevent us from clinging too strongly to it, he employs the fittest reason for calling us back, ..."
So a soldier in a fox hole, a trench, an armored vehicle exploded by a IED should not pray. That would be against God's wishes. Can't be having our soldiers clinging slavishly to life on this world. Sir. No, Sir! I wasn't praying. Call me back!