I don’t know how long I’d been what’s popularly called a “Calvinist” before I realized some people were afraid of me for being one. I was bouncing along through the Bible enjoying what I was learning there about God, about myself, about His grace in salvation, and then somewhere along the way someone described me as a “Calvinist.” I remember asking one brother what he thought about election and predestination; I was just discovering what the Bible taught about those things. He responded, “Doctor… that’s that Reformed theology stuff. I don’t mess around with that, man.” His tone of voice made it sound stinky… or at least sticky and ickey.
Well… I’m happily a “Calvinist,” though I’m pretty sure I’m not what many people afraid of Calvinism think of when they hear the term. That’s why I really enjoyed Phil Ryken’s piece called, “Hearts Aflame: Reformed Piety.” In short compass, I think he effectively addresses some common misconceptions and shows why a proper biblical understanding of some key themes should work itself out in vibrant zeal and love for God. It’s a great short read.