Calvinists Dancing in Church?

Calvin DancingAs you know, most of our Reformed brethren frown on the more expressive forms of worship in church, clinging to something called the “Regulative Principle“, of which I am clearly no fan, which limits, in my view, the believers’ liberty to worship God like King David (all through the Psalms), and to enjoy the full array and variety of worship expression.  Which brings me to an article I read in Christianity Today yesterday by James K.A. Smith titled, “Teaching a Calvinist to Dance“.  Is it really possible to be a Reformed Calvinist AND worship like a pentecostal or a charismatic?

This has been a topic of debate over in Daniel’s Den , on Blogorrhea, and, at some length on Who Owes Me Three Dollars? (although comments were closed after discussion got too tough), which caused me to read Smith’s article with interest.  Here are some excerpts:

I think most Reformed folk have learned habits of worship that effectively constrain the sovereignty of God by adopting highly defined and narrow expectations of the Spirit’s operations. I long for a kind of “Pentecostalized” Reformed spirituality that expects the sovereign Lord to show up in ways that might surprise us.

But that’s precisely why I’ve always found it a bit strange that Reformed worship so often treats human beings as if we’re brains-on-a-stick. All week long we talk about how good creation is, how good embodiment is. But then we have habits of worship that merely deposit great ideas in our heads, making us rather cerebral disciples. Despite all our talk about the goodness of creation and embodiment, in Reformed worship the body doesn’t show up that much.

Because Pentecostals live out the Reformed affirmation of both the sovereignty of God and the goodness of embodiment, I don’t experience much tension between these core aspects of Reformed identity and Pentecostal spirituality.

What do you think?

37 Responses to Calvinists Dancing in Church?

  1. Jess Thompson says:

    I agree. Our church is reformed in it doctrine and charasmatic in its worship. You should read up on our website. I have never been in more heartfelt expressive worship. Gratitude overflows! I will admit we do have a couple restrictions — no animal noises🙂 and when someone has a word of encouragement they go to the pastor (in the front row) and first explain to him what they feel the Lord is leading them to say. Than the pastor either hands them the mic or tells them that they don’t think now is the time for that word. This stops people from getting up and talking about “sucking at the mother’s breast”. We regularaly dance, shout, kneel, cry, etc.

    Often in the middle of sermons, there is an expression of gratitude in the form of clapping or shouting praise. I believe reformed doctrine or theology should cultivate expressive gratefulness and love. My church does not believe in the cessastion of the gifts — we practice them regularly. That is the only way we differ from the Reformers. What do you think of them apples?🙂

  2. Jess Thompson says:

    Oh, one more way we differ — we do believers baptism, instead of infant.

  3. Wow. You guys are not at all in line with the majority of Reformed readers of my blog. I’m gobsmacked. Good for you. Now let’s talk about unloading the “limited atonement” petal and we will be one step closer to Albinianism.

  4. danielbalc says:

    I’ll beat Echo to the punch on this comment…

    which I am clearly no fan, which limits, in my view, the believers’ liberty to worship God like King David

    You mean you want to worship God by sacrificing a bull and a calf every six steps? (II Samuel 6:13)

  5. danielbalc says:

    Of course you know that’s not a serious argument, but I thought it would be nice to throw it out there just for kicks…

    Now in my post on dancing hidden deep within the 270+ comment thread was this little “teaching” on the use of the expression “praise the Lord”.

    comment#133

    I think it strange that both echo and now rube have ignored the fact that at the end of the last supper Jesus, along with the disciples sang a hymn (Matthew 26:30). You both have rightly emphasized the value of the Lords Supper as a sacrament that directs the people to Christ. But what is often neglected is that the conclusion of the passover meal (the last supper and our model for communion) was the singing of a hymn. Actually a series of Psalms. The Hallel Psalms. hallel, from which we get the word “halleujah” Hallel = Praise. Jah = Jahovah or “the LORD”.
    There are surprisingly few instances of the word “hallelujah” in the Bible (especially considering how often we hear the word in Christian circles). The two general areas of scripture and how and when they were used in early church custom is quite interesting.
    First of all there were the Hallel Psalms. 15 chapters of Psalms use the word “hallelujah” or “praise the Lord”: Psalm 104-106; 111-113; 115-118; 146-150
    The “egyptian hallel” (Psalms 113-118 ) were the Psalms sung at the end of the passover meal. These songs are the songs that Jesus sang just before his death! They were a reminder of the passover, the deliverance of the people from Egyptian tyranny. This is the same event that was marked by the singing and dancing of Miriam (Exodus 15).
    and then there is Revelation 19: 1-10. No where in scripture outside of the previously mentioned Psalms do we see the expression “praise the Lord” and then all of a sudden we have this incredible glimpse of Revelation 19. Now your eschatology matters. Some might consider this an event to take place in the future. That’s fine by me, but usually those same people have no problem saying “praise the Lord” or “hallelujah”. How dare they? If it’s future, only AFTER Christ has returned in glory then we should not rejoice in victory, we should not “rejoice and be glad” until we are participating in the wedding supper of the Lamb. After all it isn’t until “salvation and glory and power belong to our God” and until “our Lord God Almighty reigns”, and we recognize his judgments and his vengeance that we would be rightly echoing the refrains of Revelation 19.
    Or we could suppose that Revelation 19 isn’t just about the future, but about a present attitude of victorious praise that can be offered to God due to the victory of Jesus Christ on the cross.
    If you hold the latter view then you should be able to sing the Hallel psalms understanding that deliverance wasn’t by the blood of the lambs in Exodus but by the blood of the lamb at the cross. You should be able to say…
    Psalm 149

    1 Praise the Lord. 2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. 3 Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp. 4 For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. 5 Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds.
    6 May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, 7 to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, 8 to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, 9 to carry out the sentence written against them. This is the glory of all his saints.
    and
    Psalm 150
    1 Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. 2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. 3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, 4 praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, 5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

    it’s too bad that we don’t get any steak, but I guess I’ll have to settle for rejoicing in the salvation, glory and power of our God by praising him according to his word.

    That comment has still never been interacted with seriously just dismissed as “even though they might have sung this in the early church it doesn’t PROVE that they danced in the early church.

    ok. But I’m not looking to prove they danced in the early church, I’m looking to prove that dancing is an acceptable way to “praise the LORD” in today’s church. I think it’s just as acceptable or unacceptable as uttering the phrase “praise the Lord”. That is, it’s a matter of faith.

  6. I would extend this invitation to all born-again believers in Jesus Christ: “Magnify the Lord with me. Let us exalt His Name together.”

  7. Brad says:

    Hi Jim

    First, since you’ve taught us to eschew labels except the ones we choose for ourselves, I am responding as a Baostinian.

    Secondly, I don’t support the Regulative Principle as it has been applied to worship by stricter reformers. Among other problems with the doctrine, I believe, is just the incident you seem to be referring to. Michal is punished by God for being snotty about how David was worshiping. That would seem to me to indicate that God, at the very least, was not forbidding David’s ecstatic worship.

    Oh, Baostinians don’t support child baptism either. 🙂

    But Baostinians love that LA.🙂

    Brad

  8. WesleyG says:

    Quite the interesting conversation. I recall back in my ministry days in the mid-to-late 90s with my previous home church, our vision was three-fold: 1. Reformed Doctrine, 2. Charismatic Liturgy, 3. Optimistic Eschatology (Post-Mil, optimistic amil at least). Don’t think it was all that successful because you end up twisting systematic theologies to fit together.

    I always loved when someone said they were a “4-Point” Calvinist (of which, of course, you really can’t be – besides, the 5th point is where the power is).

    Since then, of course, I’ve evolved in my theology and do not embrace Calvinism at all (though I love the emphasis on grace). I leaned more towards Karl Barth (a Calvinist’s nemesis and an Armenian’s nightmare) before fulling falling into a progressive Christianity that, in my opinion, is highest on the grace meter and feels the most free from any sort of ‘fear of punishment’ personal eschatology.

  9. fully falling into a progressive Christianity…

    Yes. You do realize that we would consider that to be literally “falling”. Would you care to elaborate on where you stand now? Do you still believe that Jesus died and rose again for your sins and that you must be born again to be saved?

  10. Speaking of Karl Barth, my favorite of his quotes comes from this anecdote:

    Once a young student asked Barth if he could sum up what was most important about his life’s work and theology in just a few words. The question was posed even with gasps from the audience. Barth just thought for a moment and then smiled, “Yes, in the words of a song my mother used to sing me, ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

  11. Albino,

    It’s kind of sad that Word, Sacrament and prayer is not enough for you guys. Guess what Jesus’ response was to the “practical ingenuity” employed in the worship practices of His day?:

    http://msamudio.wordpress.com/2008/03/10/why-does-jesus-cleanse-the-temple-lesson-6-question-2-answer/

    S2C

  12. Echo_ohcE says:

    Sorry, had a little hiccup there…

  13. Standing,

    What did you think of the article? Do you accept this guy’s claim to be a Reformed Calvinist and also a pentecostal/charismatic style worshiper?

    Um, also….”Word, Sacrament and Prayer” — You guys also “sing”, right? Even if it is just out of a hymnal, you still “sing”?

  14. Albino,

    The only part of the article that I read was the portion you cited. I admit it looks interesting, but it also seems to be fundamentally flawed. Also, it seems like it is caricaturing the worship practices of a “Reformed,” “confessional,” Christian Church.

    Just having read the excerpt you cited of this guy, I would not accept his claim. But, who am I. The guy could claim to be whatever he wants. He just wouldn’t be consistent with any standard Reformed confession or the Scriptures.

    And yes we sing. I think that could be categorized under the Word portion of the statement. Since our singing is a response to God’s Word with songs that are comprised primarily of the word’s of Scripture. And yes it is definitely not happy clappy or Jesus is my boyfriend music.

    S2C

  15. Standing,

    You say that the article is “caricaturing the worship practices of a “Reformed Confessional” Christian church, then you caricature the worship to God in other churches as “happy clappy Jesus is my boyfriend music.” Huh?

    So let me get this straight. Your singing is exclusively “Word”. You never sing any hymns that aren’t direct quotes from Scripture? And it is ALWAYS a response to hearing the Word, meaning that you never sing before the sermon or Scripture reading?

    Do you consider Jess’s church to be a legitimate “Reformed Confessional” church? Do you think King David was “happy clappy” when he told us “clap your hands all you people, shout to God with a voice of triumph.”? Are you uncomfortable when the NT calls the church the “bride of Christ”? Would you force all nations and all ethnicities of the world to worship just like your church in San Diego? Would you allow for any cultural differences in music style or rhythm? Good luck with that.

  16. Answer to you questions:

    1. No. They are happy clappy, etc.
    2. No. Some are Psalms, some are not.
    3. No. God’s Word begins the services in the invocation. God’s Word is read in many places more than just the sermon.
    4. Does he subscribe to the WCF or BC?
    5. No.
    6. No.
    7. It depends.
    8. It depends.

    I need to study for my Hebrew final for the next several hours. See you later.

  17. danielbalc says:

    Albino, Here’s the dancing that our reformed friend do.
    (Try not to clap)

    The Comfort Doctrine Dosey Doe
    round and round and round we go…

    So your friend he wants to dance
    Lets see how he deals with Calvin’s pants

    Grab your partner by the the throat
    show them why their boat won’t float

    They say, “scriptures what we read”
    Appeal unto your higher creed

    They claim, “the Spirit’s what we feel”
    Remind them that it isn’t real

    The Spirit’s in the word, blood and bread
    You can’t sense the Spirit, but it isn’t dead

    Those silly, wild, unlearned fools
    We will tell them of the rules

    Who cares if their churches are growing
    We have the truth and it’s in knowing

    knowing, knowing it’s what we do
    The Greek, Aramaic and even Hebrew

    And we know their worship is nothing but funny
    ‘Cause seminary costs lots of money

    So we’ll be the ones to put them straight
    Even though our words often sound like hate

    They must stop their corporate praise session
    Make them recite the westminster confession

    la, la, la, la, la, la, la

  18. DBalc,

    I have a better one:

    I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses;

    And the voice I hear, falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses.

    And he walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own,

    And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.

    I didn’t even have to make mine up…I sang it before in a church I used to attend.

  19. ExPresbyterian says:

    Hey Standing… Your song sounds like “Jesus is your boyfriend too” — What’s the difference?

    I used to attend one of your churches that idolized Wesminster Seminary. I got tired of the arrogance, the boring music, the dry sermons and the fear of the Holy Spirit. Thank God we escaped before my mind became one with the liturgical pod.

    “I am free to run, I am free to dance, I am free to lift my voice, I am free”

  20. Expres,

    How embarrasing! You actually proved my point. The song quoted was from my pre-Reformed days. Look’s like I/you nailed it on the head. It is precisely Jesus is your boyfriend music.

    Your experience sounds alot like Israel when they “rose up to play” when Moses was on Mount Sinai.

    S2C

  21. danielbalc says:

    Actually Expres disproved your point. The fact is that he doesn’t get your joke because he doesn’t sing that song. Nor do I. And that you make it out to be a song you sang with some sort of regularity in your pre-reformed days makes me wonder what church you were attending.

  22. Well DBalc, I believe it is a church that you know very well.

    Albino,

    After answering all your questions, I have a couple for you. Do you have incense in your service? Do you have animal sacrifices in your service? If not, why not?

    S2C

  23. Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice, offered up, once and for all for the sins of the world. Now we worship in Spirit and in truth. We worship with our mouths, our hands and our feet in adoration and love for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

    A few follow-ups You admitted that you sing in church. Do you clap? Do you use musical instruments? Which ones? Are all those instruments that you use explicitly mentioned in the NT? Are you aware that even you guys who buy into RPW can’t even agree amongst yourselves and what it permits and what it doesn’t? Hmmmm…

  24. Expres,

    Don’t tease us. To which church did you belong? Did you grow up in that church?

  25. Albino,

    Alot of your questions really are inconsequential to the point of the discussion. The point of the discussion is what does the minister and elders have authority to bind the conscience of the member in the pew with.

    In the middle ages the Church began to take the liberty to bind the conscience of the worshipper way beyond what the NT authorized them to. For example, incense, elaborate vestments for the priests and re-sacrificing Christ on an altar were incorporated into the worship service.

    Today many evangelical churches may not commit the egregious violations of the middle ages, however they do this all the time as well. One of the main violations is when ministers from the pulpit begin exegeting the constitution or the current political race.

    As fallen sons of Adam we have an innate tendancy to fashion idols even with things intended to glorify God. Those who think they are immune to this tendancy are naive and are just fooling themselves, since it is more often than not the very things they set out to glorify God with have become idols that violate the second commandment. This is why we in our polity we are honest with our own weaknesses and are cautious to introduce new innovations that are not explicitly commanded in Scripture.

    This is really not to be taken lightly when you are binding the consciences of men with innovations that are not commanded in Scripture.

    So to answer your question about instruments authorized in the NT, there are none. That is why churches must be sober minded in deciding to implement these means in their worship services.

    S2C

  26. Ok, Standing, let’s stick to the thread topic here, which is whether someone can be a reformed Calvinist and worship like a pentecostal or charismatic. You admitted that there are no instruments mentioned in the NT. Good. Then you said we must be “sober minded” in deciding to implement these means in worship services. Ok. So you are admitting that each individual church decides which instruments they will use, because the NT doesn’t have any listed. Now to get to your “happy clappy” comments. Does the NT talk about any accepted rhythm of music or any forbidding of clapping in a worship service? I think you can see where we are going here.

    Again, I think it is really informative that even you RPW fans can’t agree on what is allowed in a worship service.

  27. Zrim says:

    I say let the confessionalists be true to their tradition and revivalists be true to theirs. I know that is hard in an age that seems unable to conceive of itself or show an iota of meta-cognition, and thus blame others for not being what they aren’t (i.e. “Why are you Reformed behaving like Reformed and not Pentecostal revivalists,” or vice versa), but it would help discussions like these immensely.

  28. Zrim,

    What is your reaction to the original article. The perspective of a reformed Calvinist who worships like a charismatic? And what is your reaction to Jess’ church, where they also are Reformed Calvinists, but don’t baptize babies, worship like charismatics, and are not cessationists. Would you cut them off as “not real” Reformed Calvinists? And even more to the point, what do you, as an RPW guy, think when so many of your fellow adherents of the RPW concept, interpret it in wildly different ways? Some only sing Psalms, some use contemporary instruments, etc. Who is right and who is wrong? It’s tough to be dogmatic, when so many wildly different interpretations of that dogma exist, isn’t it?

  29. Zrim says:

    Al,

    I think it is really pretty simple: those who call themselves Reformed but behave like anything but are inconsistent at best and ripe for discipline at worst. I take “cut them off” to be shorthand for discipline. Your term is obviously quite loaded and meant mostly to get me to admit to being an entrenched meanie-head bent on finding devils under every doily. But you must remember that in the best of the confessional tradition nobody is in the habit of turning over inward stones in order to pronounce who is “real” and who isn’t. We simply go by behaviors, as it were.

    I realize Penties don’t place much value on something like the third mark of the church (i.e. discipline), but what would a common penty make of his Penty church if he were to walk in one Lord’s Day and experience something like the Genevan liturgy, psalm-singing, no instruments and a general regard that was sober, reverent and without much fanfare at all? He’d probably wonder if he was in the right place, and for good reason–that is NOT good Pentecostal worship. What if he came back in subsequent Lord’s Day’s and found the same? Chances would be he’d be a bit upset that what he expects as Pentecostal worship isn’t what he gets. Chances would be he’d be on the phone to the powers that be and making his mind known. That is, if he’s a good Penty.

    My point has been that folks should stay consistent with the tradition they are in. What do you do with a Baptist parent who approaches the pastor wanting his child baptized? You probably tell him that isn’t what Baptists do. That is a good answer. What do you do with a Roman Catholic who resists papal authority? You tell him that good RCs don’t do that. What do you do with a Republican who wants more government and higher taxes? You tell him that is not Republican.

    Why are there diverse interpretations of the RPW? (“Wildly different” is likely overstating things for affect, now isn’t it?) I’m certianly no expert to ask on the various complications that surround the RPW, etc.

    But try this on for size with regard too distinguishing between circumstances and elements:

    http://heidelblog.wordpress.com/2008/05/11/on-elements-and-circumstances/#more-801

    While I think the case can be well made to psalms-only and no choirs, I am no fundie about it. I think there is wiggle room. I have no problem with raised hands in worship, as long as we are all doing it and in the same manner; same with kneeling. I realize you want to paint us out per your own comfortable caricatures, Al, but it really is more complicated than you want to make it.

  30. danielbalc says:

    I realize you want to paint us out per your own comfortable caricatures, Al, but it really is more complicated than you want to make it.

    Why is it that these conversations always hinge upon the “caricature” topics?

    Everyone on this thread has drawn a caricature. On both sides of the coin. And Everyone in this conversation ultimately does what is most comfortable to their conscience and their understanding of the biblical principles of worship.

    The question I think the Charismatics want answered from the anti-charismatics is “when can we have fellowship?” In other words, what degree of doctrinal conformity must we share for you to consider us brothers in Christ?

    The original topic and Jess’s church agrees 80% (completely manufactured numbers for arguments sake) with Zrim’s church and 70% with Echo’s and 60% with Dbalcs. Can these churches now have fellowship together? Which church will accept the other? Is anyone going to not accept another church?

    I think that’s the crux of the issue and the motivation of that article. Actually I think the motivation of the article is the tremendous growth of the “charismatic/Calvinists” churches over the past couple of years but I digress.

  31. Zrim says:

    Daniel,

    Caricature is short-hand for a less-than-honest characterization for someone. I think when you say “caricature” you might mean “interpretation,” which is a good thing. In other words, my word is meant to convey something negative, that’s all.

    Why would Charismatics want non-Charismatics to to give them an answer as to what is worthy of fellowship? (Probably because they have a tradition that emphasizes the invisible church, whereas we have on that emphasizes the visible.) But the very question is getting at what we Reformed confessionalists are doing in our doctrine of the visible church, in our quest for orthodoxy (!). This is why we have our articles of faith, confessions, creeds and catechisms. We are trying to define as much as we can to maximize fellowship. I know it’s read as a way to keep people out, but this is stilted read on the project of confessional orthodoxy. Good orthodoxy wants to both define what’s right and what’s wrong, painful as that may be. (For Xians so worried about “truth” in the culture over against the cult, I would think this might make a bit of sense, yes?)

    We want 100% agreement, Daniel, not 80% here, 60% there and 40% over there. Why would you settle for least common denominator truth? It seems like you want fellowship…that’s what we are doing!

  32. danielbalc says:

    zrim, I know what caricature means. My complaint is that these debates always hinge on them and NOT on interpretation.

    Standing accuses us of sining “Jesus is my boyfriend” music.
    Albino accuses you of holding to “1950’s style worship”
    I accuse fundamentalist of being harsh and unyielding. etc

    It’s stupid. It’s annoying.

    But what you’ve said about want 100% agreement is what’s so interesting to me.

    100% agreement on what? on worship principles or on doctrinal positions. You admit that even within the confessionalist camp there are differences. So there isn’t 100%. All you have to do is read Rube’s site for a couple of month to see just how many things you guys can come up with to fight over. And you call that an attempt “maximize fellowship”?

    creation, baptism, redemption, singing, hermeneutics, eschatology, even parenting. These aren’t topics brought up to “maximize fellowship” they are brought up to squabble about.

    I don’t want to sound like Rodney King here but when does it end? When is a subject brought up and listened to as an exchange of idea and attempt to understand rather than as a theological pinata?

  33. Echo_ohcE says:

    I think Zrim’s point is that the confessions define the acceptable limits of orthodoxy. I know you guys think the confessions seem to speak to everything, but they really don’t. They leave a lot of room for diversity of opinion. So Zrim is talking about 100% agreement with the confession, and you’re talking about 100% agreement on everything. Zrim’s 100% agreement on the confession isn’t 100% agreement on every last thing, but agreement on the main things.

    Anyway, you can’t be “reformed” or “Calvinistic” and still have Charismatic type worship. Charismatic type worship, as I have argued on countless occasions, is fundamentally at odds with OUR understanding of the gospel.

    Now you guys (Albino, Dbalc, etc) can feel free to disagree with that if you want, but the fact is, you’re not qualified to disagree with it or agree with it.

    You don’t understand the gospel in the same way that I do. Perhaps we agree on some basic points, but the fullness of it we have vast differences on.

    So understand this: I’m not saying Pentecostal or Charismatic worship is fundamentally at odds with YOUR understanding of the gospel. I’m sure you have some interesting way of reconciling the two. But it is at odds with the classic reformed or Calvinist understanding of the gospel.

    Since the classic reformed understanding of the gospel is not what you believe (even if you agree with it on some points), how could you say what is in agreement with it and what isn’t?

    You guys don’t even understand or know what the reformed/Calvinist understanding of the gospel even is!

    Pentecostal worship is at odds with the gospel we confess. It may not be at odds with the gospel you confess, and that’s fine.

    The question is, is our gospel the gospel of Scripture, or is your gospel the gospel of Scripture? If ours is that of Scripture, then Pentecostal worship is wrong and not biblical. If YOUR gospel is the true gospel, then WE are wrong.

    Since I have said more than enough to expound and explain the gospel WE confess, and to defend it from Scripture, and since you still reject it, then there’s nothing left to say.

    Judgment Day is coming, one will be right and the other wrong.

  34. Zrim says:

    Dan,

    Re caricature: well, I guess we just have to learn to live with imperfection. Caricature will happen. I know I am guilty of doing it. Oh well.

    But you do raise some good points about where does good discussion begins and bad discussion ends. I feel your pain. But I can’t help but wonder if your suggesting that just because the lines can get fuzzy we should probably shelve the whole project and sing Kumbaya (probably some more caricature there, sorry).

    I have made the point before, for example, and to very little acclaim, that I do not quite understand what is to be gained by certain Calvinists running around blaming Ariminians for not being Calvinists and being Arminians. It’s actually when Calvinists speak and behave like Revivalists, or when Revivalists speak/behave like Calvinists that there is a problem. Indofar as I am a Calvinist it’s the former example that chaffs me. So I am actually trying to protect someone like Albino from being unduly chastized for not behvaing or speaking according to his tradition (Actually, good Arminians want nothing to do with so-called “Calminians,” but that is another point altogether!).

    Echo gets at it well, I think. It really does come down to understanding our respective traditions. Again, what does one do with a Baptist who wants his child baptized? He is told, “We don’t do that; we’re Baptsists.” That is a good answer. Do I blame him for acting in accord with his tradition? No.

    I think the squabbling might end, Daniel, when folks understand better the nature of acting in accord with their tradition. Trying to get confessionalists and revivalists to speak/behave like the other one is a fundamentally flawed project. And everyone gets frustrtaed over all the squabbling. But I learned a long time ago when I discovered the Reformation that running to my Bible church pastor about grace and expecting him to see it was futile because he was in a whole different tradition. The sooner we all get that the more sane I think we’ll get.

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