The New York Times has a fascinating article by Berkeley history professor Jonathan Sheehan about how he teaches John Calvin in his secular classroom. Specifically, he uses the scary stuff in Calvin–particularly, double predestination–to blow the minds of his students and to teach them their limits. Read the article and a response to what he says from someone else who teaches Calvin to secular students (linked and excerpted after the jump).
We Lutherans believe in predestination, though not Calvin’s double predestination. But we certainly believe in the limits of human beings, a message considered salutary today. Maybe teaching Luther’s Bondage of the Will would have a similar effect.
What do you think of this use of Calvin? Is it really accurate to his thought? Do we take away from this that it’s okay to teach Law to secular students, just not the Gospel? (The emphasis here is on those who are not chosen to salvation, I guess a group the secularists identify with. But what about those who are?) [Read more…]