Monday, October 20, 2014

In defense of something I said at dinner last night

Dear Hannah,

Just recently my parents took your mom and I out to dinner, and everything was going fine until I opened my mouth.  I have a tendency to do this.  Sometimes I've been thinking about something for a long time, and when I end up speaking about it, I forget to explain it, and then I look like a monster.  I suppose next time I should make sure to explain it.  Better yet, I should keep my mouth shut.

Monday, October 13, 2014

How to safely be a heretic

Dear Hannah,

The other day I was accosted by the first militant Jew I've ever met.  I've heard of militant Jews for years now -- the ones in wide-brimmed hats and ridiculous curls who go around "shaming" people for turning on light switches and spitting on the Sabbath.  But I've lived long enough now to know that it's always better to meet religious people before making judgments about them. I heard terrible things about the Mormons for years, and then I found out they were some of the best people in the world (at least, they are in Seattle).  But anyone who thinks he's morally superior for not eating shrimp or wearing polyester is already too obnoxious for my taste. Thankfully, I'm not alone.  Jesus seems to have agreed with me. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

On Calvinism

Dear Hannah,

I don't remember ever directly encountering the 5 Points of Calvinism in Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, but here they are, in case you aren't sure you remember them.

Total Depravity
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints

They mean, in essence,
1) That from the second you're born, you're in a position of damnation
2) That God chose you to be saved regardless of anything you'd ever do
3) That God only chose some of us, and then damned the rest
4) That you don't have a choice in your salvation
5) That once you're saved, you'll always be saved