Given that he regularly prayed “not to be too tied to this world,” was Calvin really the fount of all things transformational? Can he really be claimed for the sunny projects of modernity that seek to make life, every day and in every way, better and better?
But I wonder, speaking of transformers and life, given that Jesus will replace the sun with himself, dissolve our marriages and re-name us (three things I really like—well, I wish my folks had gone with something like “Wolf,” as in “Wolf Blitzer.” I bet that guy never pays for a drink with that name), what do transformational Calvinists make of biblical data that suggests we are to hate not only our dads and daughters should they get between us and Jesus, but our very lives should they do the same? Not only does this put a crimp in the family-values stuff, but it makes me seriously wonder yet again what stake conservative Calvinists have in the culture-of life-festivities. If natural life itself is finally to be despised because only super-natural life yields the intentions of our original design, and if the implication of becoming human at conception is to join the ranks of sinners born to die instead of privileged creatures entitled to rigorous protection against the ordinary pains and injuries of this mortal coil, then shouldn’t traditionalists who claim both the culture-of-life and Calvin (and Augustine) check their math?
It’s one thing for the culture-of-lifers to get one’s vote (depending heavily on the particulars), but it seems another to also make a grab for the Calvinist’s soul. After all, if conservative Calvinists can be rightfully skeptical about western notions of human goodness, freedom and the will, it routinely escapes me how the same folks mayn’t cast the same dim light on notions of this passing life and instead opt for brighter assumptions about what it means to put on flesh.