Brain Ache
Brain Ache

March 26, 2010

Dear friends,

    My mind is presently somewhat addled and I have only but myself to blame for this cranial disorder.
I share this with you en route to partaking of some much needed medication for this painful condition.

    Much against my better nature, and the advice of my good lady wife I will admit, I have been reading up on the rival teachings of Arminianism (the notion that people possess free will to accept or reject salvation) and Calvinism (that God sovereignly chooses those whom he will bring to himself) in attempt to impress the
theologically stunted of St Cliffs.

    My good lady wife considers it the height of foolishness on my part to over tax an intellect which, to my shame, saw me having to re-sit my Cub Scout Astronomer badge on account of not knowing the difference between the subject in hand and its more dubious cousin, namely astrology.

  The net result of this unfortunate error on my part was that I informed our all-too-easily influenced (some would say gullible) Akela that the present alignment of Ursa Minor and Saturn suggested that it was a good time to find himself a wife.

What the young Derek did not know was that his esteemed leader not only had ‘another half’ already but that the fruit of this sacred amalgamation was about to break into double figures.

    If it had not been for the timely intervention of Baloo (a fervent born again Christian who even went so far as to remove the horoscope page from his daily newspaper before his wife had the chance to indulge herself in this “dangerous dalliance” as he called it) who knows what terrible marital calamity might have ensued. That Akela did not forsake his wife and children in pursuit of pastures new on the basis of my misguided celestial ‘heads up’ is something for which I will be eternally grateful and for which Baloo (even to this day I know him as nothing but this childish moniker) must surely take the full credit.

    Anyway, here is the conundrum that is vexing me.

    Into the much-debated doctrinal dispute (forgive me but a penchant for all things alliterative is a particular weakness of mine) of Arminianism v Calvinism, which has polarised the opinions of theologians into these two opposing camps, I am considering dropping a ‘pebble’ in the hope of seeing what ripples ensue.

My rather clever (and somewhat cheeky, though I say it myself) conundrum is this.

    Do the supporters of Arminianism have the liberty as to what they believe only because God has
sovereignly chosen them to think like that in the first place?

I am calling this Calvanistic Arminianism (patent pending).

    And do proponents of Calvinism hold their beliefs in sovereign election only because God has given them freewill to make such a choice?

I am calling the Arminian Calvinism (ditto).

    Onward and upward.


Post Scriptum. I fear that this brief foray into the realms of higher theology will rebound on me and my good lady wife will be proved right. Onward to the medicine cupboard before my head explodes.