“Evangel” is the relatively new First Things blog written by evangelicals about evangelicalism. Its writers are mostly young evangelicals who I am not familiar with. This is clearly an “insiders” blog designed for those who know something about the evangelical sub-culture It is worth a look if you are interested in what thoughtful evangelicals (not an oxymoron) are thinking about today.
One of Evangel’s more prolific writers, John Mark Reynolds, has an entertaining piece on American Calvinists and the celebration of Christmas. He makes some references to Calvinist theologians and leaders that some of my non-Calvinist or non-evangelical readers may not recognize, but the post is still worth reading. Reynolds divides Calvinists between what he calls “Couric (as in Katie) Calvinists,” “cool Calvinists,” and “dour Calvinists.” His explanation of these categories are quite revealing and funny, but the real hilarity begins when Reynolds focuses on the so-called “dour Calvinists” and tries to bring them some Christmas cheer.
Reasons for Dour Calvinist Cheer:
I. . . . because God may not have chosen you for the team, but He did choose Al Mohler and John Piper and both guys are smarter individually than John Spong and the whole Anglican communion collectively . . . at least since the death of C.S. Lewis taken by God in the knowledge that John Piper and Al Mohler were on the horizon.
II . . . because Calvinists no longer have to ban Christmas
III . . .because Oliver Cromwell is still dead, but the Second Coming is one day closer.
IV . . . because the Pythons had heard of the Inquisition but ignored Servetus.
V. . . because you need only memorize TULIP and not something like POINSETTIA.
VI . . . . given her birthplace, there is a better than a fifty percent chance the Swiss Miss is a Calvinist.
VII . . . because you can have alcohol in your wassail and smoke cigars while reading Edwards.
VIII . . . because Wesleyan-types take the risks and make the converts, but when the converts hit middle-age Calvinists acquire them and their tithe.
IX . . . Rembrandt was Calvinist and El Greco wasn’t.
X . . . Francis Schaeffer may have worn knickers, but he never dressed like Benny Hinn.