Compellingly Beautiful

"We cannot love God apart from the revelation of Jesus who changes our hearts to know God so that we see him as compellingly beautiful. . .
"The reason I use the phrase "compellingly beautiful" is to stress two things. One is that loving God is not a mere decision. You cannot merely decide to love classical music or country western music, much less God. The music must become compelling. If you don't love it, something must change inside you. That change makes it possible for the mind to experience the music with a compelling sense of its attractiveness. So it is with God. You do not merely decide to love him. Something changes inside you, and as a result he becomes compellingly attractive. His glory--his beauty--compels your admiration and delight." -John Piper, What Jesus Demands From the World p 77-78

This is a major reason I am a Calvinist. I don't believe anyone can choose to change their desires from hating God to loving God. They can merely convert, having an intellectual understanding of God, even an appreciation of his works, and living an outwardly changed life. This is very similar to how I can listen to the Beatles and appreciate all they did for rock music, sing along with songs, even say they were a fantastic band, yet I still don't truly like them.

What is required to become a true Christian, however, is not conversion but transformation. This is an internal thing that cannot be forced by our own will. No matter how hard I try, I cannot make myself become a Beatles fan. On the other hand, there are other bands that I like, deep down, without any effort on my part, I just plain like them--like Toad the Wet Sprocket. I heard a CD and said "Yes! I like it."

(Hmmm, I'm thinking a reading of Green Eggs and Ham is in order....)

I think there's a lot more to say...I haven't been very clear. But it's time to go to work, so that's all folks.

1 comment:

M-Dogg said...

I can see things within Calvinism that I agree with. But I guess I'm scared off by the extremes that strict adherence to all 5 points of Calvinism can lead one to. Seriously, the FAQ for Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist "Church" is a horrifying but fascinating read. It shows you how strict adherence to 5 points Calvinism can lead to some radically perverted conclusions about people. Certainly I'm not accusing you of anything close to this interpretation, nor do I believe that Calvin himself had anything such as this in mind. But while Phelps is way off base in comparison to the Bible, he actually has a theology, and it is deeply rooted in Calvinism. Anyway, just food for thought. Give it a read when you have some time, then clear your cookies so he doesn't find you :)