The Authenticity Jive

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Carl Trueman recently had a podcast conversation with Todd Pruitt on “Coolvinism,” which you can listen to here. Thanks to those who helped me find it. I agreed with all the concerns they were discussing — about potential abuses and so on — and I am not writing here to take issue with anything they said. Amen to it. I have myself had a long-standing antipathy with every form of the authenticity jive

But there was one thing I wanted to add to the mix. I think we should actually be grateful that we have gotten to the point where this particular temptation has become a real possibility. It is a temptation, and we have to fight it off, but it is one that was part of the mix in the Reformation era as well. That, at least as far as it goes, is a good sign.

“Unless we can imagine the freshness, the audacity, and (soon) the fashionableness of Calvinism, we shall get our whole picture wrong. It was the creed of progressives, even of revolutionaries . . . The fierce young don, the learned lady, the courtier with intellectual leanings, were likely to be Calvinists. When hard rocks of Predestination outcrop in the flowery soil of the Arcadia or the Faerie Queene, we are apt to think them anomalous, but we are wrong. The Calvinism is as modish as the shepherds and goddesses” (C.S. Lewis, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, p. 43).

Whenever God raises up reformers who are doing the right thing for the right reasons, to the extent that they make any progress at all, there will soon enough be clusters of followers wearing their hats in the same way, including the plumes and cockades, and mimicking the hand gestures. Or buying torn jeans and Oakley sunglasses and mimicking the hand gestures. What can you do? It’s a people thing.

Well, one thing you can do is point it out. Do a little dance. Make a little fun.

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