"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Controversy, anyone?

          Robin Parrish, in his INFUSE Newsletter, said, "Some tv shows, movies, books, and other mediums build compelling stories out of blurring the line between dark and light, reveling in the world of gray." And that is true. Such blurring creates conflict, which is the stuff fiction--and history--is made of. Has there ever been a fictional story that didn't create conflict by the characters blurring that line? The difference in fiction between the temporal and the eternal worldviews is what message is left with the reader when such conflict is resolved.
          Robin also said, "My own novel asks how long one can be good who has been destined to be bad." I don't know if he was referring to Calvinist-style predestined, but that's the only context in which I can imagine one having been destined to be bad, and ones' goodness or badness isn't even part of that package.
          Whenever I hear teachers proclaiming five-point Calvinist, my mind starts doing weird things. They say I have nothing to do with my election for eternal life. My question is, how can I know that I am one of the elect?
          They say that by obeying the gospel I will receive the witness of the Spirit. My question is, after I obey the gospel, how can I know that the hope I feel is indeed of the Holy Spirit? The problem is, if I have never felt such witness, how can I know if a feeling is authentic?
          They say I will also know by the fruit I bear. My question is, since fruit can be counterfeited, how can I know if even that is authentic? Since God is faithful, wouldn't a Christian bear true Holy Spirit-fruit consistently? What I call the "fruit" of my life certainly isn't consistent, and most people with whom I've spoken claim a similar lack of consistency. Isn't it possible, then, that any or all of us are self-deluded, false believers?
          They say God's grace, through Jesus' blood, covers our human imperfections. That sounds like an excuse anyone, elect of God or not, could make.
          The whole TULIP thing assumes any human goodness is relative, and has no bearing on ones' election. But I'm not going to resolve that centuries-old controversy in this blog. If I come up with any answers to the above questions I'll blogg'em.

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