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So we had a very active and stimulating meeting last night and discussed a whole range of topics; a lot of it focused on the nature of God and how He relates with us.
Virtually all of us agreed that a theocracy was not the best form of government and disagreed that the Kingdom of God that Jesus talked about would not fall under the category of a theocracy; strains of Manichean beliefs or at least dualism within not only charismatic and fundamentalist sects of Christianity but also Catholicism; struggling to define what a ‘spirit’ actually is and what it means that God is ‘spirit’, and whether or not it differs with the concept of a soul; the eternal question of free will and God’s sovereignty (i.e. Does God have a predetermined plan for everyone’s lives or are we responsible for our own actions) and whether or not the universe might be free and open; and discussions on whether or not God suffers and if that is the case, does that mean He can change his mind or plan on things.
Here are our essays.
For our next meeting next Sunday, May 18, we’ll focus on the theology of John Calvin.
Please write a one page summary of one doctrine of Calvinism or Reformed Theology that you are familiar with and state your reasons for or against that particular doctrine (or one that you might have strong questions about).
In your summary, see if you spot any logical, philosophical, or even biblical inconsistencies or contradictions within Reformed theology. Or defend your position against any criticisms against Reformed theology- do you agree with a particular Reformed doctrine and state your reasons as to why.
You may go into the historical background and development of a particular doctrine as well.
Since the group will be encountering John Calvin very soon in MacCulloch’s book, I thought I’d get a head start and write about one of the most famous and also controversial doctrines of the Protestant/Reformed theology – predestination or election.
It’s definitely a hot potato topic and if you want to rile up a bunch of Christians and see some heated conversations, just introduce the topic of predestination, sit back, enjoy, and watch the sparks fly.
Well, here’s my entry into this eternal theological boxing ring for all its worth.
Also, as you’ll see, it’s listed on a new sub-menu called “Reformed Theology” under “Theology” at the top menu bar.
Though I know what I present won’t be a novel position by any means, it did give me pause to think when I first read it in Eugene Boring and Fred Cradock’s The People’s New Testament Commentary (Westminster John Knox Press, 2004).
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this topic as well, so please do share if you have any.