Calvin and Christian Shrillness

There is an impulse in many of us that emerges in our public engagement, especially on social media – the preferred method for discourse currently.

The impulse: call out sin or injustice or immorality whenever we see it. It is often done with a shrillness that is, quite frankly, unbecoming (and lest you think I’m wagging a finger, I am the pot calling the kettle black).

Against this impulse Calvin writes, “[Christians are not bid] to assert and proclaim what has been given us by the Lord everywhere, and always and among all indiscriminately, for the Lord gives his people the spirit of discretion, so that they may know when and how far and to whom it is expedient to speak” (Commentary on 1 Peter 3:15).

51zgzlu3qsl._sx331_bo1204203200_Reflecting on this, Dr. Tuininga writes, “Calvin agreed that Christians need not always publicly reprove vice. There are times for silence, even before magistrates, and silence does not always constitute cowardice.”

A good word. Join us for more of this and exploration of how Calvin’s two-kingdom theology offers a way forward for Christians to faithfully engage in today’s democratic, pluralistic societies.

“Christian Politics: a Political Theology of Hope,” with Dr. Matthew Tuininga. A Trinity Fellowship event at ECC (503 S High Street, Bloomington). Thursday night, February 20th. 7:00 pm. A time of Q&A will follow the lecture.

New Creation: A Primer on Living in the Time between the Times (Rodney Clapp)

71bznuj-0rl“We are storied creatures, and everything happens because we lean toward endings. These endings are the goals, the pursuits, the destinies, the termination points that mark and animate our lives. Without endings we could never begin anything. We would lack plots and our lives would be without purpose, devoid of meaning.” So begins Clapp’s book which explores how eschatology, or our vision of ‘last things’, shapes our living in the now. The now is the ‘time between the times’, when this age and the age to come overlap.

In his exploration of how eschatology shapes practical Christian living – from politics to sex, creation care to prayer – Clapp is, in the words of one reviewer, an ‘equal opportunity offender’.  Everyone will be challenged and convicted at some point.

rodneyclappJoin us on Saturday, February 2nd at 10:00am for a ‘fireside chat’ with Rodney Clapp. The informal conversation is hosted at Evangelical Community Church, Bloomington (and no, there isn’t a real fireplace).  It’ll be a good time to think together, talk with Rodney about his ideas, and hopefully leave encouraged to bring the end into the present as much as possible.

Rodney Clapp is a former editor at Christianity Today, editor and columnist for the Christian Century, and author of numerous books, including A Peculiar People: The Church as Culture in a Post-Christian Society.