Reflection from December 15, 2006 As everyone knows, for the past two years, all I could talk or think

about was theology. But not just any type of theology; I boasted a theology that proclaims the Sovereignty of GodCalvinism. I was a good Calvinist, too. I argued day and night for the 5 points, and TULIP-Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perserverance of the Saints, as well as the inerrancy of Scripture. In every single one of my seminary papers my first 2 semesters, I emphasized either one of the 5 points or God's eternal predestination. Even when I talked to friends on AIM, the Genevan Reformer's teachings somehow seemed to enter the conversation. Over the summer, something different happened. I began to discover my true self as a person who loves the Triune God, relationships, friendships, and I started to read alot of books on Trinitarian theology. This was the theological system for me; I was free to think within a certain framework and give my imput from my experience. I decided over the summer to remain both a Calvinist and a Trinitarian. I struggled to express myself in my work early on this semester with my new outlook. However, as the semester went along as I grew in my relationship with God and others, I began to articulate clearly and effectively what The Trinity is whether the paper was about worship or politics. I have gained a reputation for using alot of Trinitarian language in my prayers for meals. My professors are curious about why I am obsessed with such a confusing and illogical doctrine (as that great slavemaster Thomas Jefferson once commented). My response: It is just who I am. A person who loves the God-incommunion and community.

Now, up until Wednesday night I was still an avid Calvinist also, but I began having discussions with a certain 5 point calvinist who one 3 different occasions felt if necessary to degrade my intelligence, imply that the L in tulip should be a source of joy for me, and that questioned how I knew God, I began to think back on all the conversations I had had as a calvinian. How I had defended indefensible positions from the 16th century in the 21st! How I had defended a Swiss/French brand of protestantism as an African American, and I questioned how could I have become so passionate about one ideology, but then come to realize it just was not for me. I decided, in part because of my own self reflection and, partly because of my antagonist, that I desired to be free from a systematic theology that solely focused on God's sovereignty. There is more to the Triune God than God's omnis. I felt it necessary to leave the calvinist camp even though I still believe in God's eternal (and single) predestination and 4 points of the tulip.

Copyright. Rodney A. Thomas, Jr., 2009.

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