08 February 2011

Especially in the Calvinist Life

Timothy George:
There is no place for arrogance or one-upmanship in the Christian life and especially in the Calvinist life. Of all people, Calvinists should know that whatever understanding we have obtained into the mystery of divine grace, we have received it the same way we have received salvation itself--as a sheer gift (1 Cor 4:7). This means that we should be patient and gentle with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are where we once were in our journey toward a fuller understanding.

I once participated in a theological seminar at Cambridge University. One of the speakers had given a paper that was simply terrible, and there had been several brutal exchanges in the discussion that followed. When we retired for tea, several of us were quite upset by what we had heard from this speaker and his unyieldedness in defending what seemed to us a very misguided point of view. One of us turned to Dr. Ronald Wallace, a great Scottish theologian, and asked with some exasperation, 'What shall we say now? What are we going to do?' With great wisdom, Professor Wallace replied, 'Young men, you must pray, "O Lord, open his eyes, that he may see."' At the end of the day, it is not our brilliant arguments, nor our great learnings or quick wit that can bring anyone to believe in the doctrines of grace. It is the Lord who must open all of our eyes.
--Timothy George, Amazing Grace: God's Pursuit, Our Response (Crossway, 2011; 2d ed.), 13-14

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