Sunday, August 9, 2015

"You made me wrong"

"You did this to me! All my made me WRONG!"
-The Master, screaming at Rassilon in Dr. Who's "The End of Time" Pt 2

Some context (and spoilers): In Dr. Who, one of the main villains of the series, The Master, is a constant thorn in the Doctor's side. In the two-part episode "The End of Time", it's revealed that rather than choosing to be evil, The Master was actually deliberately driven mad by his superior, who used a pivotal point in The Master's life to imprint a maddening drum-beat inside his head...a drum-beat designed to make him insane, violent, and power-hungry. (And did I mention this happened when he was about 8 years old?)

The Master had no choice in the matter. And while he did technically "choose" all the evil actions that he committed as The Master, he chose them under an influence that he had no control influence that was specifically designed to cause him to "choose" those evil actions.

And to me, that sounds exactly like the reprobate in Calvinism.

The reprobate in Calvinism are born into depravity...depravity that God specifically ordained and caused to happen, according to Calvin himself. God created Adam to need grace to resist temptation, and deliberately withheld that grace just when Adam needed it. To the Calvinist, nothing happens outside the direct will of God (even though they'll often downplay this in conversations with non-calvinists).

And as a result of Adam's divinely-decreed, irresistible fall, all humans are born into depravity. God willed for humans to be born into depravity, without any outside circumstance or necessity, and he so ordered the universe to accomplish it. And for the vast majority of humanity (the reprobate), it is God's will that they should remain in that depravity. He makes them the way they are...that is to say, in the words of the Master, he makes them "wrong."

In fact, the only difference between The Master and the reprobate is this: The Master wasn't corrupted until he was 8, and he retained enough goodness to recognize that he was, in fact, "wrong." But in Calvinism, people are corrupted from birth (technically before birth), and their corruption is so complete that they never even realize that they're wrong.

In the Calvinist system, God creates people so wrong and corrupted that they never even realize it...making them an even sadder case than the Master.

Of course, as a purely logical exercise, this is no argument against Calvinism. As the omnipotent creator of the universe, God has a right to do with his creation as he wills. The question, of course, is whether this depiction of God is in harmony with the image of God we see in Jesus Christ. And if you know me at all, you know that my answer to that question is "Not even a little bit."

Anyway, quick post, mostly just as a precursor to the post after this. See you then!

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