‘This Thing’, It Changed My Life …

I have really been feeling convicted lately—and I mean this—about getting back to something that I have somewhat abandoned over the last few years in my research and reading. And this something is the very thing that set me on the path, in the first place, to ever become The Evangelical Calvinist. This something, is something that I was really introduced to, for the first time, in seminary, by Ron Frost. It is something that is of utmost importance when working through theological alternatives, and it is the very thing that opened my eyes to the wonderful world of theology, in ways that I never knew were possible; that is until I was first introduced to this thing. It was introduction to this thing that allowed me to start understanding how Calvinism came to be, how it developed; and it was introduction to this thing that gave me a deep appreciation for the Reformed heritage that so many of us Protestants simply take for granted, even though we sup from its table in countless ways (without critically realizing that we do). It was introduction to this thing that kicked me out of the theological doldrums that I had brought from my undergrad training, in regard to systematic theology. If it wasn’t for this thing, I might have ended up becoming an analytical theologian, or philosopher of religion; but this thing kept me from that, and set me on a totally different trajectory—one I have yet to recover from, except for the fact that I have not been paying as close of attention to this thing as I should have been (but there is only so much time). Anyway, after I tell you what this thing is, you might feel let down, or that this build up ends in rather anti-climatic form. But for me it doesn’t; for me this thing is really important, and I will be seeking to recover this thing, once again, in a way that ought to provide me with the critical kind of distance that may have been lacking in some of my thinking over the past few years.

I will let you guess what this thing is. If you are unable to here; in my next post, I will reveal what this thing is, and discuss it further, and what it will mean for my studies moving forward.

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7 comments

  1. I think, Bobby, based on what you’ve relayed from Ron Frost and what I’ve read from him, that “this thing” is the Triune love of God that purposed creation from the beginning to “spread His love”, to come to us (as was the plan even without the fall) as a man to establish communion with us. Since the fall, He came as one us to secure us to Himself, to establish not only communion, but union with us, so that we could join Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit in eternity.
    What I suspected, I felt was confirmed when I saw you post on facebook this morning wishing to connect modern theologians (TFT, Barth) with the Puritans, and Calvin tracing all of the way back to the patriarchs, with Bernard of Clairvaux in the middle ages.
    I read a little about St Bernard, but I know him best through his “Passion Chorale”
    “O Sacred Head Now Wounded”
    V. 3: What language can I borrow
    to thank Thee dearest friend,
    For this Thy dying sorrow,
    thy pity without end?
    Oh make me thine forever
    and should I fainting be,
    Lord, let me never never
    outlive my love to Thee.

    Just typing this makes my eyes water up. And I blew up the post the 1st time I tried, so this is my second time typing it.
    I have wanted to sing this for Good Friday service for years, but they always want me to sing “Were You There?”

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  2. So I fire with both barrels, and then ya tell me I’m out in left field….
    Never bring a double barrel shotgun to a baseball game. :O)

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  3. Sorry, Duane :-)! Thanks for risking it. And you aren’t really wrong at all, Duane; at least not materially.

    Ha, Derek … hey, I’ve got to keep it lively, it’s a blog after all ;-).

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  4. That’s ok, as you say “materially”: I think we will find that the TFT- Sibbes- Calvin-Bernard-Augustine-Athenasias chain will cordone in left field. or something like that. There’s probably enough flexibility in their noses to harness the lot. Oy, metaphor cornucopiae. 😉

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