Stuff Young Calvinists Like (Satire)

[Update: If you enjoy this post, check out the following as well: Stuff Liberal Christians Like]

The following is an attempt at satire about stuff young Calvinists like. The idea came from this blog (which is funny but crass). Hopefully you will find this in good taste. :)

In most cases there is an obvious Arminian corollary. These are listed in italics.

The ESV translation: Young Calvinists (YCs) love the ESV. In certain circles its use is mandatory. The translation can easily be identified by the prominent circle on the front and/or on the binder. Since every YC uses the ESV, the “circle” has the nice side benefit of allowing them to easily identify each other when in unfamiliar environments.

The easiest way to explain why the ESV is preferred is by pointing out out the problems with all other Bible translations. The KJV is archaic. The NKJV is too much like the KJV. No one uses the NASB. The NIV and NLT are thought for thought translations (bad). The Living and The Message are paraphrases (really bad). The NRSV and TNIV use gender neutral language (really really bad). Special note: people who prefer the NRSV are invariably liberal (keep in mind that “liberal” and “Arminian” are synonymous term in the Calvinist mind). When in the presence of YCs it is wise to avoid all reference to the NRSV for reasons of safety.

The ESV is generally the only permitted translation for Calvinists; however, there is one notable exception: The NASB is considered acceptable if one is buying a MacArthur study Bible. In all other cases the NASB should be avoided in order to maintain conformity. It is a matter of great consternation among YCs that there is currently no ESV MacArthur study Bible.

Arminian Corollary: All Arminians use the NIV. If you catch an Arminian using a translation other than the NIV, this indicates that he intends to convert to another branch of Christianity. You can determine what branch based on the translation used. A few years ago there was an Arminian movement to migrate to the TNIV. This was singlehandedly shot down by James

Mars Hill Church:
YCs like Mars Hill because it is contemporary, hip, and Reformed. The first rule when discussing Mars Hill is to be aware that there are actually two of them. One is very cool. One is evil. To mix them up is a sign of terrible ignorance and is considered almost as bad as reading the NRSV. The cool Mars Hill is pastored by Mark Driscoll, and is located in Seattle. The evil Mars Hill is located near Grand Rapids. It is pastored by Rob Bell (The Emergent who produces the NOOMA series). It is excessively irritating to YCs that there is a successful Emergent mega-church in Mecca (Grand Rapids).

Arminian Corollary: Arminians like the evil Mars Hill.

All YCs drink alcohol. Other Christians drink too, but alcohol has special significance among YCs. Most of them grew up in churches where drinking was frowned upon. Since YCs are invariably fundamentalists, it is important for them to be able to point to something that indisputably proves that they have thrown off the legalistic chains of their youth. Alcohol fills the role nicely.

Arminian Corollary: Young Arminians drink too, and for the same reasons.

Old Theologians:
YCs love old theologians. Their favorites include: Edwards, Owen, and Spurgeon (primarily because their works are written in English). All YCs own works from old theologians. They love to display them in their library. A special note of precaution here: It is better to not ask the YC specific questions about the classic works that he owns. This can create an embarrassing moment, because there is a good chance that he hasn’t read them. This is not intentional. When the YC bought the works he fully intended to read them, but then realized that wading through Owen and Edwards is quite difficult. Though rare, it is worse to ask a question to a YC who has actually read the classics. In that case you will get more than you bargained for, such as a dissertation on the merits of John Owen’s insight into penal substitution theory. It is always safer to merely notice the YC’s large library, and to comment on his excellent tastes.

Arminian Corollary: Arminians don’t know the names of any old theologians. If you ask an Arminian to name one, he will say “Billy Graham”. Like YCs, Arminians rarely read the books that they own.

John Piper:
John Piper is the “holy grail” of Calvinist authors. YCs own all of his books. In many cases his work is actually preferred over scripture (of course you will never get a YC to admit this). Unlike “old theologians”, YCs actually read Piper. In fact it is common to find YCs who have memorized large portions of his work. If you attempt to argue with a YC, there is a 100% chance that he will refer you to something written by Piper. If you have a good friendship with a YC, you have an excellent chance of receiving a Piper book for Christmas.

There is no Arminian corollary to John Piper. Arminians do own and memorize the “Left Behind” books.

Caedmon’s Call:
Caedmon’s Call is the preferred music group for all YCs. This is not because Caedmon’s Call has particularly outstanding music, but because the lyrics of their songs are discernibly Calvinist in nature. If you have a good friendship with a YC and don’t get a Piper book for Christmas, it is near certain that you will receive a Cadmon’s Call CD instead.

LACRAE: Caedmon’s call is very 08. Lacrae is now the preferred artist for all YCs. This is not because he has particularly outstanding music, but because the lyrics of his songs are discernibly Calvinist in nature. For white YC’s he is also the only rap artist that they can name, although they’ll be offended if you point this out. And no, DC Talk doesn’t count. If you have a good friendship with a YC and don’t get a Piper book for Christmas, it is near certain that you will receive a Lacrae CD instead.

Arminian Corollary: Arminians like Michael W Smith, because he sings about love and endorses books like “The Shack”. White Arminians can’t name any rap artists.

Second Generation Calvinists: Second generation Calvinists are highly esteemed because there are so few of them. Most children of Calvinists become either non-Calvinists (the Schaeffer route) or hyper-Calvinists (the Sproul route). If you happen to be a level headed second generation Calvinist, there are lots of YCs who want to pepper you with questions about how exciting it must have been growing up in a Reformed Church. You get extra points if you are from Michigan, have a Dutch sounding last name, or have spent time at L’Abri. If you happen to be a Calvinist of South African descent, you present a special situation. In this case the YC still desires to question you; however, he will be very discreet about it when in the presence of minorities.

There are no second generation Arminians. They invariably become liberal, or convert to another branch of Christianity.

The Word “Reformed”: YCs actually hate to be called Calvinists, due to the negative connotations associated with the word. They instead prefer to use the word “Reformed”. The term is less recognized, and when in mixed company it allows the YC to maintain the illusion that he is on the sly. If someone comments in passing that he enjoys “Reformed Theology”, this is code to tell you that he is a Calvinist. This is quite similar to a Mormon casually mentioning where he served his mission, and it is done with identical motives. The YC will be closely watching your response. Appropriate responses include: “That’s cool, what is your favorite John Piper book?” or “I am a huge fan of Caedmon’s Call.” If you ask what Reformed theology is, you will immediately be put on the YC’s list of Arminians to convert.

Arminian Corollary: Arminians hate to be called fundamentalist. They will spend 10 minutes explaining to you why they are not fundamentalist, even though they are. Arminians also will never admit that they are Arminians.

The Five Solas:
Among educated brethren YCs refer to themselves as adherents of the five solas. YCs prefer not to use the term TULIP. However, references to TULIP become necessary when indoctrinating non-Calvinists, as the unique distinctives of Calvinism are not readily apparent from the five solas. YCs always say the solas in the original Latin. This makes them feel smarter. When a YC is losing an argument, he will often shout out “SOLI DEO GLORIA!” YCs rarely refer to “sola fide” or “solus Christus” because they sound too Arminian. Much like the word “Reformed”, YCs frequently refer to the solas as part of an elaborate code language in an attempt to vet out other Christian’s knowledge of Calvinism.

Arminian Corollary: Arminians agree with the five solas, but usually don’t know what they are. Arminians sometimes refer to themselves as adherents of John 3:16, and will often hold entire conferences based on the verse.

Small Groups:
All YCs attend a small group. While small groups are by no means unique to Calvinism, YCs have particular reasons for attending them. Calvinist small groups have much in common with military boot camps. They are intended to indoctrinate and promote conformity. In mixed denominations where Calvinism is taught on the sly, small groups present the unique opportunity to indoctrinate with minimal oversight. It is also the desire of every YC to work for Desiring God or Crossway. Since this is not always a realistic goal, it is considered an acceptable fall back to lead a small group.

Arminian Corollary: Arminians host small groups primarily as a motivation to clean up their messy house. They rarely discuss theology, unless a YC has infiltrated the group. Typically the purpose of Arminian small groups is to discuss politics, watch football, and eat food.



Filed under Arminianism, Calvinism, satire

31 responses to “Stuff Young Calvinists Like (Satire)

  1. Kev,I don’t which was more funny: the YC truths or the Arminian Corollary. Great post!Billy

  2. Thanks Billy, I loved your Santa post too. Merry Christmas.

  3. This was priceless. Thank you!

  4. Thanks Keith, I had a lot of fun writing this one. :)

  5. Hey Kevin,Right on Bro! ESV, Driscoll, alcohol, Edwards and others, Piper, Reformed, and the Solas are all point on. This has been my experience through and through.But Caedmon’s Call? I guess my “Reformed” friend didn’t think me worthy. I received a Piper book and a Newsboys cd.When discussing theology with my friend, I also am provided with a bank of Sproul quotes. UGH!Great post. BTW, thanks for the drop down audios. Are you aware of any good Arminian podcasts?Happy New Year!m

  6. Thanks Mike, happy new year to you too! A Newsboy’s CD? He must be a moderate Calvinist. ;)Here are a couple of links to check out for audio:(scroll down to the audio links section)

  7. Only just read this. Most amusing.As an Arminian I like alcohol, Driscoll, Newsboys, ESV. Perhaps I am closet reformed :)

  8. Hi bethyada, I like most of them too. ;)

  9. Wow! I did not know I was a YC until I read this…lol!

  10. Rob, acceptance is the first step to recovery. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

  11. I really appreciate this post because it is so funny. But I am curious, why do you consider Sproul a hyper Calvinist? I didn't quite get that.

  12. Also, I can name a handful of Reformed rap artists. Just saying:)

  13. Hi New Christina, Thanks for stopping by.The Sproul reference is to the son, not the father. I like Sproul Sr (and Schaeffer too). But unfortunately their kids are a little wacky. Here's an article about Sproul Jr, written from someone who is friendly to the Calvinist view: Taking Calvinism Too Far: R.C. Sproul Jr.’s Evil-Creating Deity

  14. stumbled upon this poste in my internet searches. Good writing, and because I am "armenian taught for the past 44 years and looking into calvinism for the past year" I can identify with both and can tell you that every statement (except the alcohol one but I am of SBC descent) is absolutely true of both armenians and calvinists. I enjoyed your post and the chuckle this morning.

  15. Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. Everything has at least a grain of truth. :)

  16. Wow I laughed so hard at this, primary because I am 21 and a self proclaimed YC. Every single one of these things were spot on for me and my friends! So true and so funny! I'm glad that we can poke fun at ourselves (at least I hope!)

  17. Thanks Andrew, glad you enjoyed it. :)

  18. I am a YC. This blog post was amazing. I needed a good laugh at myself.

  19. Pingback: Stuff Liberal Christians Like (Satire) « Wesleyan Arminian

  20. This is not so much satire as it is a pretty accurate description of most Reformed people that I know (well, I’d have to add “horribly obnoxious and theological vitriolic” to the list to make it complete).

    Also, you should put “old theologians” in quotes…there are much older theologians than the ones you mentioned. Of course, the YC’s don’t bother with them (save Augustine), for obvious reasons.

    • Thanks for the comment existdissolve.

      Some of the stuff is more accurate than others. Including the Arminian Corollaries. :) Good point on the “old theologians”, it’s a relative term. Generally C’s don’t back any further than Luther. :)

  21. Kenneth

    This is hilarious! I guess I would be a YC, though I just prefer to think of myself as an adherent to New Covenant Theology. This does not describe me at all, but I know lot’s of people just like this. I was reading some of these off for my parents, and they really enjoyed these. (P.S. Lecrae isn’t the only one. You have Trip Lee, Tedashi, Thi’sl, and all the others on Reach Records. And my dad likes the Caedmon’s Call song “Thankful”!)

    • Thanks for the comment Kenneth, I’m glad that you (and your folks) enjoyed it! Your knowledge of artists is more extensive than mine. ;)

      • Kenneth

        You’re welcome. With music, I come from a fundamentalist background (my family isn’t, but that’s a long story), so I wasn’t exposed to music until a friend got me listening to DC Talk I think in ’06 or ’07. I think I over compensated, and now I’ve kind of made researching music a hobby. You might find it interesting that there is a really good heavy metal band that’s Reformed Theology, but they’re not as big as Lecrae. (Well not yet anyway, and the screaming and growling doesn’t help!)

        Anyway, thanks again, and in exploring the rest of your site I’ve found a lot to challenge me and force me to rethink my theology.

  22. Emilee

    Very well done. I consider myself to be somewhat of a Calvinist, though not in the strict sense of the word. I frequently use an ESV Bible, but I also have an NIV Bible that I sometimes use (it was my first Bible that I got when I was little). For all of you who ‘worship’ John Piper, I thought you would like to know that I go to his church, Bethlehem Baptist. GREAT church! But he will tell you again and again that he does not want you to worship him and love his books more than the Bible. We are saved by God’s grace, not by singing the praises of other humans. One last note, I do not drink! And if you are truly one of God’s chosen, then you won’t do that either, or think that it’s ‘cool’ to drink. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and drinking is really bad for your health. Remember to turn your eyes upon Jesus and don’t worry about all of these none important details. If your heart is in the right place with God, then that’s what truly matters :)

  23. Romeo Santiago

    Calvinists’ love for the invading “refugees” to America is essentially suicidal; I recently left a YC-led sermon on how we need to love these fellow men and women, bombs, guns, trucks and all. I doubt this YC pastor would have a similar attitude if one of these Muslim refugees blew up his two toddlers in the Mall next week.

  24. Christian Teegardin

    I am a Reformed Calvinist (first of all, a Christian) and can testify to this to a degree. We commonly are big Piper-heads and love some good ol’ Calvin alongside it. I find that to be somewhat problematic as I’ve found the Bible to be much more interesting than any words that man speak. I’ve been going through the Pauline epistles and it’s obviously much better than anything Piper, Sproul, MacArthur, Owen, Packer, Calvin, etc. could’ve ever said in a million lifetimes. Also, I read the MacArthur Study Bible in the NKJV. God bless all genuine Christians if they be Calvinist, Arminian, or anywhere in between.

    • Christian Teegardin

      I consider myself an Old Calvinist. I do not listen to Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Matt Chandler, etc. I prefer, if I want to listen to any man at all, to listen to John MacArthur, R. C. Sproul, and Puritan literature. The Bible is always first, though.

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