From the Inside

Last Sunday I preached on God Almighty, and explained our theological monergism: how salvation is of the Lord. It was at least stark, high Calvinism; man at the complete mercy of God. No invitation was given, of course, we don’t do that lest we give people the idea that they have a choice in the matter. There is no choice on their part, and the only hope of sinners is the hope of the Ninevites that perhaps God will have mercy on them if they cry out humbly.

Reading in Otto made me wonder about the sense of the Mysterium Tremendum. Some have their architecture to suggest it, some their liturgy and rites, but what about us Reformed types with plain worship? We do little to suggest it with our simple buildings, with our bare, stripped down and unvarying order, with our emphasis on preaching and rational theology.

And yet, don’t we have the aweful sense of the numinous in our terrible doctrines? I think the towering, cold majesty of the doctrines of Grace not warmed over and domesticated to flatter humankind are what reach the sober, serious hearts of these people and what makes them find reasons. And I wonder if the appeal the doctrine of reprobation many in these circles hold to doesn’t lie in their receiving in that a greater suggestion of the Mysterium Tremendum.

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5 thoughts on “From the Inside

  1. Well, it certainly wasn’t meaningful for me through the first 23 years of my life. But that, obviously, was a totally different culture.

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