It finally arrived.
A few days ago the UPS guy lugged in two hefty boxes. Inside the boxes contained a treasure that I have been awaiting for months now. I honestly, have never been so excited about a Sunday school curriculum. I opened the box and with trembling hands pulled out the leaders guides to The Gospel Project.
In my feeble hands I was holding the most potent and subtle dose of Arminian/Traditionalist/non-Calvinistic kryptonite this world has ever seen. From various sources I have been informed that this Gospel Project thing was a subtle way to indoctrinate our churches in the ways of Calvin. As a Calvinist who desires everyone to unthinkingly bow their knee to the 16th century Reformer I was excited.
I have been dreaming for months about how this Gospel Project curriculum will teach our unsuspecting children the ins and outs of supralapsarianism. How they planned on doing it I was not certain. But I knew that the Calvinistic Illuminati, of which I’m merely a doting admirer, would be able to do it. I was ecstatic to think that our naive teachers would be raising up little Billy’s and Sally’s to be Calvinistic warriors by the time I got them in our High School Sunday school class.
So with a smile that could only be matched by that of the Grinch after destroying a Cindy Lou Who Christmas, I took my sword (because Calvinists don’t use paltry knives) and opened the package. I began pouring through the first few pages…
I was a little shocked to see a picture of Ed Stetzer and this Trevin Wax fella. I was hoping for Calvin and Beza…but I had to remind myself that this indoctrination was going to be subtle. Besides, who doesn’t trust Ed Stetzer? And who could stare in the face of this Trevin Wax chap and think that he has an agenda. He looks so innocent. Well played, guys, well played!
I continued flipping through the pages. On page 10 I see that they’ve quoted Helen Keller instead of Tim. A little disappointed but I move on…then I see a lengthy quote by Bob Bergen. Wait, a second! I had Dr. Bergen in college. I didn’t know he was a part of the Reformed conspiracy. Man! I should have hung out with him more. I remember him more as a guy that just faithfully taught the Scriptures, loved Jesus, but didn’t really state his position on the whole Calvinism thing. I had no idea he was part of the movement.
Then…oh the humanity…on page 15 I see a quote from C.S. Lewis. Don’t get me wrong C.S. Lewis is a pretty good chap but he’s not somebody that we want our people to be reading if they are going to become thoroughly Calvinistic. I mean they should have at least put a little disclaimer after his name letting them know not to read all of his stuff. We can’t risk people picking up Lewis and reading him on their own because that may unCalvinize them. I’m getting a little disappointed at this point and afraid that what I’ve got in my hands is more of a “gospel” type of thing than a Calvinistic agenda.
Tim Keller quote on page 17. Whew. Maybe they’re just getting us warmed up. You know getting their foot in the door and then they’re going to slam this Reformed theology home. I’m sure that as I keep going along I’ll be able to pick up some of the code words.
Session 2. Nothing to push our agenda. In fact they even say things that might make people think that God actually would want to save everybody. Like that God “wants to be known” by all of creation. Come on guys! You’re sounding a little less Calvinistic than I had hoped. And then another un-footnoted quote of C.S. Lewis. Yeah, I see recommendations to listen to Piper. That’s good. I love Piper. But I’m starting to feel a little cheated.
As I keep strolling through this curriculum I get more and more disenchanted. More quotes from non-Calvinists. A ton of dribble about God speaking, the gospel, creation, God revealing Himself. All well and good but this isn’t going to help me make my congregation unsuspecting Calvinists.
It’s filled with heart-probing questions.
Pleas to turn to Christ.
Encouragement to be more involved in the local church.
Exhortation to fulfill the Great Commission.
Theological discussions on the authority, inerrancy, and sufficiency of God’s Word.
Those are all well and good but they are not going to help me covertly make everyone a Calvinist. Okay maybe they’ll be more passionate followers of Jesus. Maybe they’ll have a deeper theological foundation that will help them be more equipped to engage some of these hard topics like sovereignty and free will. But I don’t want that! I want what I was promised; a subtle, sneaky, covert, indoctrination of little kids and adults in the ways of Calvinism.
So I will be sending back my Gospel Project to the folks at Lifeway. It’s obvious that they care very little about these deep and pressing issues that will define the SBC, like Calvinism. They can keep their gospel-centered, Jesus-focused, great-commission fulfilling agenda. I’ve got another movement that I want to see happen and it won’t happen by quoting Arminians and not even dealing with supralapsarianism.
Disappointed by the “Takeover”
P.S. If you Lifeway peeps can’t refund me money but need me to order some books or merchandise instead, I’ll take it in Al Mohler bobble-head dolls. Hopefully he’s still part of the conspiracy. But I’m not sure about much of anything right now. So, cancel that. Give me the Calvin bobble-heads. You do sell those, right?