Monday, March 7, 2016

Who are you anyway?!

I again heard the comment from a respected friend, “I just don’t like labels”.  So I’d like to say a word about the use of terms, definitions, and labels.  The context of their comment to me was in respect of the historical prevalence of Calvinists in early American Baptist churches.  I do understand the reluctance to take the term Calvinist, as it refers to a man.   Interesting to note, however, that Calvinism as it is now taught was formulated after John Calvin had passed on to glory.  I prefer the title Reformed - but you can call me a Calvinist!

In dealing with history, labels are absolutely required.  To say otherwise is to deny the facts.  I do understand the sentiment, however.  Too many ascribe to the title much more than really is.  People are a mixed -bag.  Stereo-typing isn't right - I think we all admit that. 

But the fact of the practice doesn't mean we give up all semblance of definitions.  We are more than a word.  Certainly, I am more than a fundamentalist, for example.  But such a term better describes me, than if I were to say I am a Biblicist.  What defines a 'Biblicist' anyway? (Kind of reminds me of the liberal battle cry, “The Bible is my creed” – which really says nothing!)  

And while I may not hold to all the tenets of fundamentalism, or to all of them equally, at least you have a starting place to know something of the man, Dave Cox. 
I think many don't like titles because they are afraid of being stereo-typed.  I wouldn't worry about that.  Those who stereo-type, are too narrow minded to begin with.  Take a look at my stand in reference to fundamentalism, here.

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