Thursday, April 14, 2011

Raising Tulips

"Can we all agree that we are saved and going to Heaven even if we disagree with how we got here?" my 15-year-old asked.
"Yes," her friends agreed.
"Then debate over," Eliza responded.

One of the most wonderful benefits of my children being involved in speech and debate is the social circle they have found themselves in. These young people, besides being budding communicators, are thinkers. And I love thinkers, especially Berean thinkers like them. It is refreshing to find that there is an up and coming generation of young people who are interested in making their faith their own.

So, two tournaments ago, Eliza found herself in a weekend long debate regarding Calvinism vs. Arminianism. When her friends wanted to debate the issue, Eliza declined to take the bait with the above response.

Smart girl, that Eliza. For to reduce this issue to an academic debate is to run the risk of stirring up contention, to risk offense, to impact healthy friendships. We love our Arminian friends, and as long as they are sola Scriptura, we can walk together with them. Theology as an academic debate might be fun; then again, it might not. And Eliza was probably right to walk away from it at that time.

Why then did I blog about Miracle Max?
...Because when I was growing up, I served a small god. He could save me, but only with my help--and He couldn't guarantee keeping me (a thought that terrorized me into my 30's).
...Because this is a conversation we have in our home, and we are NOT having this conversation to have an academic debate. We are after our children's hearts.
...Because I don't ever want my children to think they serve a small god.
...Because in our house, we are in relentless pursuit of Truth and Truth's God.

So, in our house, we teach the five points of Calvinism because our search for Truth compels us to go where Biblical reason and evidence lead us--regardless of how it makes us feel. And the evidence leads us right to "TULIP."

T: total depravity
U: unconditional elect
L: limited atonement
I: irresistible grace
P: perseverance of the saints

To admit that the effort is completely God's is to make me small and God big. A big God doesn't need my help; a small god does. A big God is sovereign; a small god is limited. A big God can save me and keep me; a small god can save me and lose me. A big God has an efficacious, irresistible grace; a small god has a small, insufficient grace.

And THAT is why I broach the topic here. For it is not merely an academic pursuit for parents to teach their children that they serve a truly omnipotent God. It is a Biblical pursuit.The God of the Bible is a BIG God, and my children must have a BIG theology.

When life gets hard, they know God is BIG.
When they have tough questions, they know God is BIG.
When they feel defeated by their sin, they know God is BIG.
When they are cast down by suffering, they know God is BIG.
When they stare evil in the face, they know God is BIG.

So, in our house, we are raising tulips.
And I couldn't be more pleased...
because life is far too big for a small god.

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