“Help, Mom! There Are Calvinists under My Bed!” Some Ideas for a New Book

“Help, Mom! There Are Calvinists under My Bed!” Some Ideas for a New Book June 6, 2013

Help, Mom! There Are Calvinists under My Bed! Some Ideas for a New Book

Have you seen the new book published by Cross Books (apparently a division of LifeWay) entitled Help, Mom! There Are Arminians under My Bed!? I haven’t read it; I’ve just seen the “cover.” (I put cover in scare quotes because it is apparently only available in e-form. Can you really call a digital image a “cover?”)

So here are some of my suggestions of what a book entitled Help, Mom! There are Calvinists under My Bed! might include:

Mom (if she’s also a Calvinist) to frightened son: “Don’t worry honey, they can’t hurt you. Whatever they do to you is for the glory of God and therefore for your own good. Take it like a man, uh, I mean, like a true believer.”


Mom to frightened son: “Honey, just get down Against Calvinism and read it for a while; that will frighten them away. If it doesn’t, just throw it under the bed at them and they’ll disappear.”


Mom to frightened son: “Son, just quote John 3:16 repeatedly. At first they’ll mutter something about ‘world’ meaning ‘the elect,’ but eventually they’ll fade away.”


Mom to frightened son: “Sweetheart, whatever you do, don’t argue with them. Using reason on them just makes them more mysterious.”


Mom to frightened son: “Dear, here’s John Piper’s latest book. It was just published and I don’t think they have copies yet. Throw it out the window and they’ll leave your room and jump after it. Then close your window.”


Mom to frightened son: “Don’t be afraid son, they’re not monsters. They’re just confused souls who’ve lost their way. Just pray for them.”


Mom to frightened son: “I know, honey. Here are some tulips for your room. They like the smell of these and they’ll think you’re one of them if you keep these in your room. Then they’ll go bother someone else.”


Mom (if she’s a Southerner) to frightened son: “Sweetie pie, bless their little ol’ hearts, they mean well. Just lie there and listen to them. Maybe you’ll learn something from them. But be sure to test everything they say by Bible.”


Mom to frightened son: “Here, I’ll sit beside your bed and we’ll sing this song and hopefully it will either calm their troubled breasts or drive them away. Let’s sing ‘The Love of God’.”

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  • Matt

    Thank you for this entertaining post!

  • David Rogers

    CrossBooks is the self-publishing imprint of B & H Publishing (LifeWay Christian Resources). The company provides a so-called doctrinal review, general editing, and formatting services.

  • J.E. Edwards

    Haha. I guess I’ve seen it all….

    • BruceS

      Bookfinder.com has a second hand copy available for $424! Now I have seen it all!

      • Roger Olson

        I saw one copy advertised for around a thousand dollars. I think there is some fake advertising out there (about books). So far as I know or can tell, the book only exists in electronic format.

  • Daniel Wilcox

    LOL:-) Just what I needed this morning.

    I’ve been very down the last few days because so many churches in my area are following the Pied Piper of Minnesota.

    Yet I thought I had found a safe and secure Bible study at an Assembly of God church, but last week a new study was announced…and it’s by a Calvinist! Whew…

    Put a heavy duty fan by your bed and turn it on full blast. They’ll think it is another
    tornado that Jesus has sent:-( (Last year when 38 people were killed by 90 tornadoes, John Piper immediately wrote “Jesus rules the winds. The tornadoes were his.,” before their loved ones even got a chance to grieve.

    Would you like to start a church out here;-)?

    • Roger Olson

      Where’s “out here?” 🙂 I know the AG HQ folks are concerned about the influence of Piper and Calvinism among AG members. Five point Calvinism is virtually foreign to Pentecostal tradition, but it is creeping in there as everywhere.

      • I see this happening in other historically Weslyan churches like the Nazarene and the C&MA. I had a student tell me that after a brief flirtation with the Emerging Church, that “Concerned Nazarenes” formed to push a neo-Reformed agenda. Grrrr.

        • Roger Olson

          I wonder what they are “concerned” about? Their own denomination’s theology? Why don’t they go join a Calvinist denomination?

      • Daniel Wilcox

        Out on the central coast of California where Calvinism seems to have seeped into all Protestant churches to one degree or another.

        By the way, a question on John Wesley. Yesterday, a Calvinist claimed to me that Wesley believed all unbaptized babies are eternally damned!

        I’ve never read that before in all my years reading Wesley and Wesleyan theology!

        I did a google search but have been unable to find any such documentation one way or the other. I, of course, know that Wesley did believe in infant baptism, but I didn’t think he thought unbaptized babies were damned eternally.

        Do you have a book you could recommend to me on this?



        • Roger Olson

          That’s like saying Wesley believed the moon is made of green cheese. He wrote so much over such a long period of time and in so many contexts of conflict that it’s impossible to falsify a claim that he “claimed” something. However, I am confident Wesley did not believe that. I would simply ask the person who made the claim to prove it. I’ve read a lot of Wesley and many books about Wesley’s theology and never come across any such thing. IF Wesley claimed that, I’m certain it was before his Aldersgate Street experience. He changed dramatically after that and his mature thought comes after that. Before that he was a pretty standard Anglican divine and (in Georgia anyway) extremely strict about the sacraments.

          • Daniel Wilcox

            Thanks Roger.
            I had never come across such a claim, but I thought I would go to a professor and double check.
            Thanks for taking time out from your busy schedule to answer.
            Much appreciated.

  • jon bartlett

    The Amazon comments are almost as funny….

  • Tony Springer

    Roger, you need to get the sequel: Help! Arminians are giving me nightmares again!

    • Roger Olson

      I hope we are! 🙂

  • david carlson

    Cross is a self publishing division of Lifeway. They are fairly loose in what they will publish

  • John A.

    What is funny is our Baptist pastor gave us some Calvinist material for a Bible study about predestination. He got sick and the group had the study without him. Everyone who showed up agreed that the material put too much emphasis on predestination. That if we have no free will then Church is pointless and God is not any better than Satan.

    • Roger Olson

      Sometimes intuition is better than “theology.” 🙂

    • curious

      I find it interesting that people would say it had too much emphasis on predestination. Was there Biblical references to this topical study? If so, I would suggest to read them, study them, pray about them, in a open-minded way. To many people write off “Calvinism” because they personally don’t like it, and develop a theology off of there emotional beliefs of who they want God to be rather than the God of the scriptures. If you are a student of the Scriptures than two things are inevitable, 1. God is sovereign 2. Man is responsible, We have a capacity of freewill that allows us to do what we desire the most. Some have a hard time logically wrapping there mind around the fact that the two of those are compatible. Just because a finite brain can’t grasp something does not make it any less true (Deuteronomy 29:29). If that was the case then we should deny the trinity as well, considering its never gonna be understood. I also find it immature on both sides of the theological parties, to sit around and joke, ridicule, and belittle the other. How will we ever thrive as the body, on The Mission, if we are bitter and hateful toward one another?

  • Anonymous

    That’s it….I’m out. This book proves that the human race is doomed…and deservedly so.

  • Aaron

    I thought this book was a joke until I looked it up on Amazon. Good grief how ridiculous can these guys get? – However, there is a fantastic satirical comment in the customer reviews section entitled “Best indoctrination $4 can buy that made looking the book up worth while!

  • Evelyn

    You’re frighteningly good at that. Now once more for “Help Mom, there are theologians under my bed!”… I see a weekly column emerging… wait, I’ve got another one: “Help Mom, there are emergent Christians under my bed!”

    • Jerrine Regan

      The “emergent-types” would never STAY under the bed! 😉

  • Jon Altman

    Clearly, I don’t intend to buy the “Arminians under the bed” book, but I keep wondering if it’s an INTENTIONAL or UNINTENTIONAL parody.

    • Roger Olson

      I take it the title is based on an earlier book(let) entitled “Help! Mom! There Are Liberals under My Bed!” My impression is it’s not a parody but an attempt at putting some humor into anti-Arminian literature. The author seems to be a Calvinist pastor in Montana.

      • Jon Altman

        My grandfather (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, BD, 1925) has been spinning in his grave so much over the past 30 years, he must have dug his way to China by now.

    • Julie Anne

      I did a blog article on this book and invited the author to join in the discussion. He stopped by briefly (might have been scared away because of the pushback). He said the cover was an attempt at humor, but the content inside is definitely intentional. He thinks children should be well-versed doctrinally – even on big words like propitiation, etc. I was not at all amused with the cover nor his tone in dealing with me.

  • Don

    Oh, Roger! I did laugh out loud! Loved the “throw a Piper book out the window” and the tulips, and John 3:16…and…and. Thanks for this.

  • Len Hjalmarson

    Roger, theologians who are also comedians give me hope that we are really escaping the hyper-rationalism of modernity. I think Jamie Smith would approve! And the laughs generated reading this have raised my endorphins, so maybe I can skip that high-calorie coffee I was going to have 😉

  • Any grown man hiding under a childs bed is a creep, regardless of his religious views…

    • Roger Olson

      Maybe they’re not “grown men,” maybe they’re “young, restless, Reformed.” 🙂

  • Curt Day

    There are also Calvinists on the internet

  • Matthew

    Dear Roger,

    Could you write a post on New Testament Commentaries that are from Arminian perspective? or at least “Arminian friendly”? or some authors to look out for?


    • Roger Olson

      This comes up often. I recommend people to to the web site of the Society of Evangelical Arminians (SEA) at http://www.evangelicalarminians.org and look there for the list of Arminian Bible commentaries.

  • res2

    Hillarious 🙂