I awoke this morning to a veritable explosion of anti-Calvinism, and the relationship of the various sources of these outbursts is somewhat educational.
   
Last night I was directed to the blog of Paul McCain, a Lutheran who writes for World Magazine. Specifically, I was directed first to a poem he posted, then unposted, then posted again. I likewise read an article on the “Fruits of Calvinism” and scanned through the comments. I was surprised not only at the vitriol of the rhetoric, but at some of the fairly well known individuals who were cheering him on in the comments.
   
You would expect the poem to come from the likes of Dave Hunt’s camp (he’s back at it again, demonstrating repeatedly his utter lack of concern for accuracy and truth in exegesis), but what makes it worse is the attempt made by McCain to defend it through reference to Phil Johnson’s discussion of polemics in defense of truth. As I’m sure Phil will note himself, his comments would require the highest, strictest standard of truthfulness in the representation of even those with whom you disagree, and this poem shows no such concern. I quote from here:

Is there room for polemics like this in the church today? As we reflect on the Apostle Paul’s harsh words against false teaching in Galatians and elsewhere, and our Lord’s firm rebukes and sharp words against error in his day, is there room anymore in the church for such polemics? Why, or why not?

Jesus loves me! This I know
Predestination tells me so
Sovereign God loves me so well,
But He may want you in hell!

Yes, Jesus loves me
Well, maybe He loves me
I sure hope He loves me
I guess I’ll never know!

Jesus loves me, I will win!
Can not fall away by sin.
Can’t resist His grace, it’s true,
Died for me but not for you.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Well, maybe He loves me
I sure hope He loves me
I guess I’ll never know!

Jesus gives just bread and wine,
Spiritualizing is just fine.
His body’s trapped at God’s right hand,
Way far off Christ takes His stand.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Well, maybe He loves me
I sure hope He loves me
I guess I’ll never know!

Jesus loves me! Where is He?
Up in heaven, can’t you see?
Can’t be sure where I will go
Jesus little lamb, or no?

Yes, Jesus loves me
Well, maybe He loves me
I sure hope He loves me
I guess I’ll never know!

Never pictures will I see,
No vain images for me!
Tear the paintings off the wall,
Trash them, kick them down the hall.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Well, maybe He loves me
I sure hope He loves me
I guess I’ll never know!

Principles that regulate,
All our worship, ain’t they great?
Even if we aren’t too sure,
Which points really are secure.

Yes, Jesus loves me
Well, maybe He loves me
I sure hope He loves me
I guess I’ll never know!

So, mocking Calvinism without the first bit of concern for accuracy, truth, etc., is parallel to Paul’s anathematizing of false teachers? Yes, it seems McCain does hold that view, for elsewhere he had written, “Luther is not merely ‘one of the reformers.’ He is the reformer. Zwingli and Calvin were not reformers, they were destroyers and distorters of Biblical truth.” Now there is only one Reformer (so sorry, Wycliffe, Hus, and all the others who gave their lives)! Having ministered in Italy this year, and learning of the steady stream of martyr-missionaries who came from Calvin’s Geneva to Italy to seal their testimony of the gospel with their blood, you will have to forgive me for not finding such inane rhetoric edifying.
   
I truly wonder what Luther—at least the Luther who wrote The Bondage of the Will—would have thought of such mockery of divine predestination, mockery fitting only for the screeds of atheists, surely not for any person who confesses the inspiration of Ephesians 1 or Romans 8-9. The author of this mockery obviously cares nothing about truthfulness: how often have Reformed writers spoken of the issue of the testimony of the Spirit? Are we to seriously exchange the testimony of the Spirit and growth in godliness for infant baptism as our surety before God? This is what the Reformation was for? Note this absurd portion:

Jesus loves me, I will win!
Can not fall away by sin.
Can’t resist His grace, it’s true,
Died for me but not for you.

Note the man-centeredness of this writing. I will win? No, but my Savior (you know, the “Jesus” who allegedly Calvinists never speak of?) will win, and all those joined to Him will share in His victory. Can not fall away by sin? Well, my Savior, to whom the Father has entrusted me, will not fail to save every single one of those thusly given to Him (John 6:38-39), so, all praise and glory goes to Him for being a perfect Savior. Does this author believe Jesus tries to save, but fails? Is this the glorious truth he wishes us to embrace? Can’t resist His grace…in regeneration, yes, of course. God raises His people to life without their cooperation or assistance. Does the author wish us to become synergists through mockery, perhaps? And finally, maybe this author should read just a few of the tremendous works wherein serious Calvinists have discussed the utter contradiction of pride in one who believes in election? Maybe this author would like to tell us which Calvinists know who the elect are so as to make such an absurd statement? Never mind, I’m asking for the impossible, I know.
   
I expect this kind of ridiculous rhetoric from those lacking in sincerity, training, and a concern for truth. I did not expect it in the context in which I found it. It is sad, and simply reprehensible. I would like to invite Mr. McCain to a higher level of dialogue. If he wishes to attack Calvinism, do so where Calvinism lives and has its essence: exegesis. The inspired text. The divine Word. Let’s debate the exegesis of John 6:35-45, Mr. McCain. You and I, on our respective blogs. Let’s leave the mockery to the Dave Hunt types. It is simply beneath you, and your readers.

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