Journaling … A Day in the Life of a Humble Calvinist

Journaling > A Day in the Life of a Humble Calvinist

Calvinism is big. It’s a worldview that embraces God’s sovereignty over every event in world history. God is over the shifting of political powers, the immigration of people, the establishment of cultures, natural calamities, and even down to the fact that you are reading this right now. By nature, Calvinism is concerned with everything because God is concerned with everything. So how can we allow the biblical theology of Calvinism and the Cross to penetrate our daily living so that dry, stoic, intellectual Calvinism becomes living and breathing Humble Calvinism?

Well, one of my dear friends has helped me see what this looks like. Tom Fluharty is an tomflu.gifincredible artist. His talents are phenomenal. But even more phenomenal is God’s grace that allows him to focus his mind, will and affections on Gospel in his daily devotional times. I get to read some of these journal articles that he sends my way on occasion. I wanted to share a recent journal entry.

We’ve been talking recently about God’s abduction. Sinners like us don’t want God. We all naturally turn away from Him, fail to do anything to glorify Him, and thus we all become worthless to Him (Rom. 3:12). God must abduct us! He must chose for us something better than we’ve chosen for ourselves. This thought caught the attention and affections of Tom in his recent journal entry. This is what he wrote,

Kidnapped 1.20.07

I was abducted, snatched from a street corner one drunken Summer night. Snatched from the kingdom of darkness and immediately translated to the kingdom of the Most High King. A radical abduction that instantly changes or transforms the heart. Rather it’s a heartabducted.jpg transplant by the great heavenly heart surgeon. Won over not wooed. Not an invitation, an abduction. Life came down on 8th st 5th Ave N.Y.C. The glory of God came to Greenwich Village to fill a wretched man, turning him into a lover of God. Deal no more with unreality. You poor soul wallowing in unfulfilling lust and drunkenness. Glory has comes. I have seen a great light. I have beheld His glory. Thank you Lord. I am now the temple of the radical living God. Thank you Lord for the past 22 1/2 years!

“Won over not wooed. Not an invitation, an abduction.” That thought flows from a radical, Humble Calvinism. Tom encourages me through his example. Our communion with God should be saturated with the Cross, saturated with an awareness of our depravity, the personal election of God, God’s strength to uphold us and the glory of God’s sovereign majesty! This is a reminder that Humble Calvinism should transform every area of my life, and even show itself in my journal entries. We build off theology. But let’s not stop by saying “Isn’t it amazing that God elects sinners?” Let’s move beyond this and say, “Isn’t it amazing that God elected such a sinner as I when I was … ?” Humble Calvinism must penetrate our hearts and reveal itself in how we worship the Sovereign Lord and this will show itself in our daily journals.

UPDATE: I wrote this post Sunday morning only to find out that Tom and his precious family were invited over for the surprise birthday bash my wife pulled off that afternoon. Well, he shows up with a present. It was obvious that it was a painting he was giving me (that alone was and amazing). I open it to find one of my favorite paintings published on the cover of the Weekly Standard called Master & Commander.

I’m not really a political guy myself, more drawn to the phenomenal character and detail of the painting (like Condi’s pearl necklace). Because of these factors, this magazine cover sat above my desk for several months in Omaha — long before I ever met Tom. To know Tom and now to have the actual painting are both amazing gifts. You can see the painting here and you can read more about how he drew it here. But if you’re a friend, you can see it in person, featured at the Tony Reinke Museum of Art in Bloomington, MN. An amazing birthday gift from a very gracious man. Thank you Tom!

[You can watch Tom integrate art, Humble Calvinism and an amazing Cross-centered life here at his blog Amazed by Grace!]

4 thoughts on “Journaling … A Day in the Life of a Humble Calvinist

  1. Tony:
    Thanks for including this. Humble Calvinism needs Cross Centered application and Tom’s site does just that. WOW, God is really blessing your move to Minneapolis. Fun to watch God work!!!

  2. Soooooo, you are completely against catholicism, but you approve of Augustine??? If there were ever a great catholic, he was one. So why do you condone him and using his quotes for your own if you hate catholicism? Let me know Tony….Jason

  3. Jason, as always you use labels very loosely. I would not consider a man who understands total depravity to be a great roman catholic. He would then be a pretty poor one (remember his arguments against Pelagius?). In the pre-Trent I era, before RC showed itself to be a false religion, there is much of usefulness. Augustine is one of them. Scripture is the ultimate authority over Augustine. That’s greatly freeing! But not as freeing as being freed from the weight of my condemnation. God has taken His judgments from me in Christ and I stand perfect before Him in the righteousness of Christ! Now He sings over me! What grace and freedom. – Tony

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