A Protestant Axiom

“Some staunch Protestants may be distressed by the fact that, at the beginning of Mere Christianity, Lewis grants the Roman Catholics ‘a room’ in the great house of our faith, wondering why the Catholics get a room. But we shouldn’t forget that this conception of the house is a Protestant conception” (From The Romantic Rationalist, p. 70).

But Only If This Kind of Thing Reassures You

“Am I Reformed? Am I a Calvinist? This is a point upon which I understand there has been some discussion. Well, in brief, I wish there were seven points so I could hold to the Calvinistic extras. You may count me a devotee of crawl-over-broken-glass Calvinism, jet-fuel Calvinism, black-coffee Calvinism. Or, as my friend Peter Hitchens had it, weapons-grade Calvinism. No yellowcake uranium semi-Pelagianism for me. I buy my Calvinism in fifty-gallon drums with the skull and crossbones stenciled on the sdie, with little dribbles of white paint running down from the corners. I get my Calvinism delivered on those forklift plats at Costco. I trust this reassures everyone, and I am glad we had this little chat” (From The Romantic Rationalist, p. 66).

Do You Believe in Magic?

Okay, so it is a bit disturbing when the head transubstantiationist says that we need not believe in magic.

Now I grant that his subject was not the Lord’s Supper, but rather creation and evolution, but still. His subject was God’s relationship to the world, which is relevant in all things. We must keep in mind that the pontiff’s remarks were run through the interpretive grid of journalism, which has an enormous capacity to muddle things, but even so, we also have to admit that these comments, taken at face value, are what analytic logicians are wont to call a “dog’s breakfast.”

In their scramble to stay away from boo! words and phrases, respectable theologians can talk almost perfect nonsense about creation and intelligent design. “No, no, I am not a creationist. Well, yes, God did create everything . . .” “No, no, not intelligent design. All the designing occurred earlier.”

What it boils down to is that accomodationist Christians, who are in a state of low tension with the surrounding environment of unbelief, want to keep it that way. Low tension is the way to go, and you can still be in with the right crowd, you can still get invited to the right parties. This results in the constant efforts of accommodationist Christians to figure out ways of getting their unbelief to look like belief. The unbelievers outside can smell the aroma of a shared disbelief, and the believers inside can be fooled by the words — or, at any rate, not know how to respond to them. They know something is wrong, but are not quite sure how to take it apart.

And of course, the low tension johnnies are all about missional outreach — they say we have to lower barriers for unbelievers so that they are not “put off.” What they are really about is not being put off themselves. Because — when it comes to the growth of religious groups, and to speak as a sociologist would — high tension groups are the ones that grow.

So, to cut to the chase, God created the world, the heavens and the earth. He did it by the blam! method. First there wasn’t anything, and just a few days later, there were fruit trees all over the place. The fruit was just hanging there, like it had been ripening for months, and the tree growing for years, but it had actually been ripening for just a few minutes. A few days later, Adam and Eve, just like in the Sunday School coloring books, came walking through the Garden, hand in hand.

God did this thing. He had a design in it, and He is also intelligent. Put these things together — now follow me closely here — and the result can be called intelligent design. Since it was created, we can also say — unless we want to be intellectually respectable — that it was created.