The Curmudgeon on Calvinist Piety V. Spiritual Treadmills

children in revival

And especially the second one that owes particularly to the relative (ahem) victory of revivalism in American-made religion:

This treadmill can be particularly damaging to covenant children and young people. What do we expect to happen with those born within the covenant? We expect that, as they hear of Christ, they will believe in Christ, as they learn of Christ, they will trust in Christ. We expect this because we believe that as we, who are parents, use “all the means of God’s appointment,” God’s Holy Spirit will make these effective to the salvation of our children. We do not expect them to have a distinct or memorable experience. Indeed we believe that the normal pattern will be that they will, so far as they can remember, always have believed in Christ, or not be able to remember a time when they did not believe in Christ. 

Which brings to mind more distinctions.

Bill Clinton was once asked to distinguish between a Republican and a Democrat and replied to the effect that if you think the 60s were mostly a good thing, you’re probably a Democrat. If you think they were mostly a bad thing, probably a Republican.

Regardless of what one thinks of Clinton’s political thumbnail, one must admit it is fairly workable, at least to those of us who prefer to paint in broad strokes. When one wants to know what the difference is between a confessionalist and an evangelical it might be that, instead of the 60s, Billy Graham could be employed: If you think Billy Graham is mostly a good thing, you’re probably an evangelical. If you think Billy Graham is mostly a bad thing, probably a confessionalist. And more specifically, if you claim him but also think accounts of Calvin as marked out in the link to OldLife are mostly causes for stumbling and hesitation, you’re probably evangelically Reformed. If you find them edifying, however, you’re probably confessionally Reformed.

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