Much to the consternation of some of my friends (and the glee of others) I persistently describe myself as a “Calviminian”, and since I don’t want this post to be about those two venerable Christian positions, I’ll leave it to your imagination to decide what I mean by that.

However, and this brings to my point, which is more about what we mean by words we use, as opposed to what others understand when they hear the same labels. I read an anecdote on Prof. John Stackhouse’s blog today that struck me as sort of funny and sort of sad, but definitely as an accurate commentary on the status of language and labels today.

The story went like this:

A Presbyterian scholar had finished a public lecture and a questioner then spoke up: β€œAre you a Calvinist, then?”

The scholar was about to reply affirmatively, but then wisely asked instead, β€œWell, what do you mean by β€˜Calvinist’?”

β€œI mean someone who worships a God who enjoys damning babies to hell.”

β€œO-o-o-kay,” he responded. β€œThen I’m not a Calvinist. But neither is John Calvin.”

I’d recommend the entire post, as it is a good reflection.

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