Monday, 14 September 2009

The allure of alliteration awry

When a TV programme on Calvin's influence on the Scottish psyche started with a pronouncement that Calvin's theology was, "Dark, dour, and all about discipline," I knew the programme wouldn't be worth watching. You'd think that they'd have read some Calvin for their research!
Joy and thanksgiving expressed in prayer and praise according to the Word of God are the heart of the Church's worship.

Christians rejoice even while they truly sorrow - because their rejoicing is in the hope of heaven... While joy overcomes sorrow, it does not put an end to it.

However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts." [Commentary on Ephesians 3.]

Christianity is not a matter of the tongue but of the inmost
heart. [The gospel] is not apprehended by the understanding and memory alone, as other disciplines are,
but it is received only when it possesses the whole soul and finds a seat and resting place in the inmost affection of the heart. Institutes
Dark, dour and all about discipline, my foot. That probably just comes from a lack of sunshine.


Chris said...

you should write in. I'd love to hear their response!

where does the image of calvinism being dark, dour and disciplined come from? its got to be rooted in some experience. I myself when I was 18, 19, I knew Calvin was bad news, despite having (to my knowledge) never asked anyone, or even been told so...let alone read him.

Paul said...

I have written in. I've got through the first 30 minutes and you're right, it doesn't improve.

To be fair, an awful lot of it could be true of much of Scottish Presbyterianism but Calvin himself?

My favourite is that Calvin gets the blame for Sabbatarianism; and then they go on to have a go at Calvin and Knox for never giving anyone time off!

Anonymous said...

I had a real shock when I first read Calvin - I thought it was going to be heavy-going! How wrong I was!