Adult Onset Calvinism

Adult Onset Calvinism October 11, 2015

OK, I’m not so sure this is “Calvinism” per se but it is a kind of popular Calvinism. But the article’s listing of early warning signs of adult onset Calvinism gets to common experiences (I’ve deleted a few). My experience with this sort of young theologian was an argumentativeness, a desire to turn every conversation to these issues and to get argumentative, and the development of a harsh critical attitude toward all who don’t think this way.

Anyway, this is funny more than anything else. Enjoy.

By Stephen Altrogge:

To help you navigate the treacherous waters of AOC, I’ve listed the possible symptoms you may encounter.

  • A sudden urge to correct everything and everyone all the time about every possible thing.
  • A growing conviction that every worship song you’ve ever sung is heretical and should be excised from the church catalog, including the Nicene Creed, Doxology, and most of the Psalms.
  • A strange and inexplicable ability to listen to 300 John Piper sermons in a single day.
  • A burning passion to convert everyone, especially your extremely godly parents WHO TAUGHT YOU THE BIBLE, to Calvinism.
  • Deep suspicion of anything that might cause the slightest bit of emotion in church, especially those awful worship songs noted above.
  • Deep-seated cynicism toward anyone who doesn’t take a hard stance on an issue, including but not limited to: free will, Calvinism, sports, coffee, the Trinity, capitalism, child schooling, and dating.
  • An unshakeable conviction that Tim Keller is too theologically soft.
  • The ability to bring every conversation full circle to Romans 9.
  • Frustration that guys like Piper and Sproul don’t draw more lines in the sand.
  • Inevitably arriving at the conclusion that John Calvin was not that strong of a Calvinist. At least, not as strong as you are.

  • Growing a beard, but not in a hipster way! This beard is WAY DIFFERENT from hipster beards, because it tapers to a point somewhere between the nipples, just like Calvin’s beard did.

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  • Hesed S.

    Nailed it!

  • Karin Isbell

    Allegations are grossly exaggerated. Example to the contrary: Our church’s Calvinist Pastor just presented us with one of Timothy Keller’s finest works. While I am certain that there are some what one would call Calvinist hardliners, pouring out the baby with the bath is eminently unfair.

  • I love this article. I linked to it the other day on my Facebook page. A friend of mine wrote “if Calvinism theology is biblical (and it is) bring on the disorder.” For a long time I happily referred to myself as a Calvinist, and sadly, I probably would have said that same quote a few years ago. If a theology leads one to arrogance, I am pretty sure something is amiss. Fortunately, I have met some Calvinists who are deeply joyful, humble, biblical, and who are willing to listen. Too many of the younger folks–and some of the older folks–are not (cage stage Calvinism).

    I would love to put Randy Alcorn’s book hand in Hand in the hands of many believers.

  • Annie

    I’m a 5 point Calvinist and took no offense. Sometimes it’s good to lighten up.

  • HamburgerHelper

    It is odd that I haven’t meet anyone as obsessed with Arminianism as I have those obsessed with Calvinism. I’m sure they’re out there I just don’t know where.

  • dew

    Young adult extremism seems to manifest itself all over the place now-a-days. I have seen a variant of this emerging in AA.

  • Andy

    I encourage you to study the Bible more deeply, Annie.