Since my short interaction with Teampyro and centuriOn I’ve had quite a few more visitors to my log. In an effort to keep some of them I’d like to try to think about some of the issues that have been brought up in that log. They will be short pieces, a little bit at random, but I hope they will give you a better idea of some of the issues I am dealing with, and perhaps stimulate some constructive discussion.
I grew up a Calivinist (TULIP and all that). I remember in my Christian High School vigorously promoting the doctrine of double predestination (probably from the not-so-accurate perspective of the teenager who saw everything in black and white). Original sin and total depravity were, as they say in Dutch, “fed to us with the oatmeal spoon”.
All my studies and training did not prepare me for the question a young Dutch lady asked me a little more than 10 years ago. She was a young woman struggling to find psychological stability in her life and world. I don’t know all that had happened to her, but a lot of it was not good.
At one point in our discussions of the Gospel she asked this question:
Imagine I find a stray cat on the street, feel compassion for it and take it home. I feed it, give it a bed and a home. I provide for it and help it get better.
Do I expect the cat to be thankful? Do I demand that the cat be thankful? And if he is not thankful, do I punish him? And if he still refuses to be thankful, do I banish him from my house?
What would you do? What is your theological answer, and how would you bring it in a way that really helps this woman?
(Please remember - this is a hurting, wounded woman. Her question is serious, coming from her experience. And we want to win her heart for Christ.)