Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I don't understand...

The other day I ventured over to Phillips Theological Seminary and planned on attending chapel and eating lunch with some of the students. But I had arrived too early. Classes didn't start for another week so there was no chapel and no lunch to be had today. I walked around the halls and talked to a few of my former professors. On my way out the front door I stopped at the reception desk to sign out and turn in my alumni badge and something very interesting happened.

The receptionist asked me if perhaps I could help the man standing at the counter. He wanted to speak with one of the professors. He pointed to something he was carrying and began talking to me. He had a self-published book in his hand, bound with spiral plastic, obviously a Kinko's job. He told me he was an author and had already sold two hundred fifty copies of his book, the title of which I couldn't make out since it was printed with Microsoft Word Art.

He began to explain to me that the thesis of his book was that Calvinism was the Antichrist incarnate. He began to share some of his "proof" and directed me to a website where he posts his anti-Calvinist rhetoric. I asked him why he wanted to speak to a professor. He said, "I'm taking this very seriously. And if I'm wrong, which I'm not, I want to be proven wrong." I directed him to Joseph Bessler-Northcutt, the professor of theology. Joe was absent that day, which unnerved the man. The whole time he spoked to me there was a strangely high level of intensity. You could hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes. It was as if he would explode in rage at any moment.

The receptionist agreed to pass the book along to Joe, and finally, the man left. The receptionist confirmed to me that she sensed the same things I did. She even seemed a bit frightened.

I wonder what possesses people.

I mean, I'm not a Calvinist. And I know Joe's not a Calvinist. But (at risk of speaking for Joe) neither of us feel the need to set out to prove that John Calvin's theology is the embodiment of the Antichrist.

Come on...

Who taught this guy that such a cause was so important?
And why is he so angry about it?
If he convinces anyone of his argument, what does he accomplish?
Is his work doing anything good for the kingdom of God?
And again, why is he so angry about it?

I just don't understand people like this.

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