Calvin and Stuff and Calvin

Molly Worthen’s article has created quite a bit of discussion on the blogosphere, especially regarding new calvinism. Heres some stuff on it.

1. I emailed Molly Worthen who wrote last weekend’s New York Times article on Mark Driscoll, New Calvinism and WifeBeater Shirts . . or whatever it was called . . . hold on, here it is . . Who Would Jesus Smack Down? [PDF for non-members] . . . and she said . . responding to some of the comments on my blog [which she reads, of course, like any well-informed journalist] . . she said . .

“I wish very much that I could have droned on at length, with great historical detail and nuance, about Calvin’s Geneva and give a much more detailed explanation of Calvinism (and the difference between Mars Hill and the historical Reformed tradition), but as a magazine journalist one is forced (by word count and editorial fiat) to make a lot of sacrifices.”


2. John Calvin’s 500th birthday is July 10th. It only happens once a millennium! I already noticed Calvin500blog. Any there plans for the blogosphere that might prove a worthy distraction for me?

3. Yesterday, while watching House on TV, [it was Sunday] I was reading Giovanni’s Institution, most commonly known as John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion: Embracing almost the whole sum of piety, & whatever is necessary to know of the doctrine of salvation: A work most worthy to be read by all persons zealous for piety, and recently published, 1536 Edition, [did he say ALMOST?] and i stumbled on a most intriguing sentence on gluttony:

“Why? unless for them “their god is the belly” [Phil 3:9]; their kitchen their religion.”

From Plea for the Persecuted Evangelicals, Epistle Dedicatory to Francis

THEIR KICHEN IS THEIR RELIGION? Maybe a Calvin scholar can help me out here. By kitchen, did he mean the Geneva pubic bars/restaurants, or did he mean kitchens in homes [someone fire that translator], or was he referring to the refectories where Roman Catholic monks would eat too much for too long? And what equivalent idolatry in today’s world would get the same kind of rise from Calvin – addiction to restaurants? I ask because I think gluttony gets shoved under the carpet, and I am still feeling a little guilty about that big goose we ate for Christmas, but I would really like to know.

4. What is a Good Baptist to think of the rise of New Calvinism? An excellent resource came out last year – The Journal for Baptist Ministry and Theology [PDF] – which contains, as well as a worthy article by Ed Stetzer on the emerging church, a number of articles on how Baptists should or could or are responding to the new interest in Calvinism. Enjoy!

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • becky says:

    Andrew – I already have two Presbyterian news sources interested in material relating to Calvin’s 500th B-day – a lot of stuff happening. Hope to hit up some of the activities in Geneva, etc. when I’m overseas – we’ll be at Slot on his B-day. Maybe it’s predestined that we’re to be together on that day. Wonder if we’ll see any WWCJ (Who Would Calvin Justify) junk floating around. The possibilities abound.

  • Andrew Jones says:

    great idea. And that fact that you and I will be at an event in a Catholic monastery on that day will add a new flavor to the celebration.
    I was in Geneva a few years ago, btw, and did the Calvin tour. It was great!!!!

  • becky says:

    Andrew – there are really doing it up BIG time in Geneva. I’m in touch with various tourist boards and can keep you posted. There’s also some stuff starting to happen over in Germany this summer 2009 in preparations for 2017 – the 500th anniversary of the year Luther tacked the theses – and 2010 marks the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s ascension to the throne. So, this is a good summer for me to get my hiney over there and research.

  • becky says:

    Oh Andrew – this is a more comprehensive Calvin link.

  • Cathryn says:

    What no appropo Calvin and Hobbs cartoon…. SHAME!- I’ll have to drag you around Orkney and have you kneel in repentance at each corner!
    Oh- glad you had the energy to touch on it… i’m still cringing.
    ps….. I love “House”… imagine that.
    pss……. we have a new puppy in the house … 6 week old Australian Shepherd… i think we are gonna name her Joy for a prophetic utterance….. “come Joy, come Joy.”

  • David says:

    Peep game:
    A Year With the Institutes, and it is podcastable.

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