Sunday, July 06, 2014

Calvinists Fear the World Less

This is a follow-on to yesterday's post, "The More You Know, The Less You Fear."

Calvinists famously insists that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Therefore, it is reasonable to fear the consequences that God would, in all justice, give each of us.  The harder edges of the Calvinist family grow eloquent in describing how awful that just consequence might be (though one doesn't hear many hellfire sermons from Presbyterian pulpits anymore).

A lesser known consequence, though, of fearing God's justice is that it puts into proportion the world's problems and dangers.  The whole story of Creation has a happy ending.  The universe lasts a long time.  We have much work to do, to be sure.  But the possible bad things we could do have limits, and the promised help that Providence will give does not.

Fearing things truly worth fearing can make us calmer, more deliberate, and more reasonable about the lesser fears that beset us if we only see the little picture.

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