Thursday, 18 March 2010

Calvinism, Arminianism, Books, Computers

Here is a question: when you feel grumpy and know that all you are going to blog about are your complaints, should you still blog? I've felt this way for the past two days and I don't know. It'd be kind of unprofessional to complain about work I suppose. I mean, it's not THAT bad, but tonight I was there thinking about how happy I would be to leave because the shelves were so messy. I don't even have plans to leave though (because I need money for VidCon), so it's a stupid way to think, but that's what I was thinking.

No, rather than endanger my professional future by venting online I will briefly talk about:

  • Calvinism vs Arminianism (thanks Colleen)
  • Books
  • How I got my computer back
So in the comments on my last post, Colleen said:
It's funny you mention Calvinism and Arminianism. I'd been thinking about asking you about that on Formspring. So which parts of which do you believe? I've always considered myself a bit of an in-betweener because, I mean, free will is kind of a huge deal, but on the other hand there are so many instances in the Bible where it's said that God chose us. I can't decide if it's something I can straddle the fence on. Thoughts?
I am a weird case on this subject because I come from a church that actually supports both, fully. Like, not in-between, but actually both are completely right even though they seemingly contradict each other. This is because the Uniting Church is an amalgamation of the Methodist and Congregationalist churches (who tend to support Arminianism) and the Presbyterian church (which tends to be Calvinist).

For me, the two ideas are actually in tension with each other, like two balls on the ends of a string, being pulled taught. Are we free to do whatever we like, including accepting or rejecting Christ? Yes. Are we the chosen people of God, known before we were even conceived, and are all things provided by Him? Yes. They are two halves of something mysterious and true. They each tell half of the whole story.

I feel almost the same way about the question, "Are we saved by works, or by faith?" Yes, we are saved by faith alone, and that is from where our good works flow, but without works was there any faith in the first place?

Answers like this are very unsatisfying to many people. They feel I/we are trying to dodge the question, or we haven't thought about it hard enough, or we can't make up our minds. I object to that. Things are never simple. I guess it's similar to how we believe that God is both three people and one person at the same time. Is God one and only one? Yes. But what of Jesus? He is God. But what of the one Jesus called Father? That is also God. And what of the Spirit that was given to us on Pentecost? That is God also. God is three. God is one.

Books

I just finished reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - the second in the Hunger Games Trilogy. It is amazing. Suzanne lets you fall in love with the characters knowing they are going to die, and when they do you feel a genuine sense of injustice and loss. You want to see the Capitol crumble. You cheer when a ragtag bunch of alcoholics, fashion designers, teenagers and proles use the instruments of the Capitol's oppression against itself. You genuinely can't decide if you're Team Gale or Team Peeta. I can't wait for the third one. Oh my word. It's going to be like V for Vendetta all over again.

Computer

I got my computer back yesterday! They replaced the trackpad and now it's working beautifully. It feels good having all my usual bits and pieces available to me again. The best thing is going to be making videos again. I'll start my usual schedule back up next week!

3 comments:

  1. 1. Agree with you. I believe that humans have free will. And I believe that God, being omnipotent, knows who is going to follow him and who isn't. But He isn't going to force anyone to make the choice. He just knows which choice they're going to make.
    It's kind of weird, but I just grew up believing that. I never knew there were labels to it or anything. Maybe that's what happens when you go to a non-denominational church?

    2. What?! Someone dies?! I was going to read it, but now I don't know if I will. I'll be spending too much time wondering WHO IS GOING TO DIE!

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  2. Team Peeta for sure. But you're right, it's an excellent book and I'm super stoked for the third book to come out.

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  3. Ahh, once again you have fairly well stated what I believe, but which I find so difficult to put into words. It's so reaffirming to see that someone on the completely opposite side of the world (west coast of America to Australia is pretty opposite, yeah?) has a faith that lines up so closely to my own. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and helping me to think through my own.

    Also, I think after that amazing description, I might have to take a look at the Hunger Games Trilogy. You're very convincing, you know. :)

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