A sad word association: "Reformed" = angry men

What has happened to me? I have always had a great respect for the Reformed tradition (and, when I am thinking clearly, I still do). But one's feel for a word can be affected by the associations one makes with it.

I was just reading a assertive theological spiel that, while polite, expressed a suppressed anger, which made me immediately think, "I bet he's Reformed."

And when I reversed the idea in my head and just said the word "Reformed pastor" I immediately pictured an angry man launching theological rockets at his enemies both within and without the faith.

Now I am very well aware that most Reformed pastors, theologians, and ordinary folk are not like this. (Some of my best friends are Reformed, as they say.) I also know that the tradition has many riches to offer the church — I myself have often drawn from it. So how have I got to the point that when I hear the words, "he's Reformed" I groan and brace myself for a "manly" biblical bombardment all in the name of defending God's honour against Christians who wander from the narrow line of doctrinal purity?

So thank God for all those good Reformed folk who give the lie to the caricature. May their tribe grow and may the ranks of the angry men diminish.

Comments

laymandad said…
Sadly I believe your post is accurate. It begs the question: why is there so much pent-up anger among dogmatic reformed theologians?

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