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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Arminians and Calvinists "battle" over Christmas carol


Christian philosopher and Arminian theologian Jerry Walls has rewritten a certain well-known carol to enable Calvinists to sing it without the stress of mental reservations. Here is Jerry's version.


Joy to the chosen! their Lord has come;
Let them receive their King;
Only their hearts prepare him room
For the others cannot sing
For the others cannot sing
For the others, the others cannot sing.

Note to the world: the Sovereign reigns
And men he does employ
Like fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Controls them as his toys
Controls them as his toys
Controls them, controls them as his toys!

So long let sin and sorrows grow
As murderers shall kill;
For he ordaineth everything
By his secret, hidden will
By his secret, hidden will
By his secret, his secret hidden will.

He rules the world by sovereign might
And makes the nations prove
The glories of omnipotence
And wonders of his wrath
And wonders of his wrath
And wonder, and wonder how this is love. 

Ho ho ho.


Jason Huff, a pastor from Greenwood, Indiana, has responded with a Calvinist rewrite for Arminians. Here is Jason's hymn.



Joy to the world . . . the Western world
The rest? Eh . . . not so much.
‘Cause everybody here
Gets several times to hear
But not those in Nepal
Because we dropped the ball
Our free will has stopped God from coming near.

Joy to the ones who get to choose
The Prime Directive states
To interfere
With free will is not dear
In fact, it’s really mean
For God to intervene
Except when we really, really want Him to.

Joy to the world, the choice is yours
God waits and waits and waits
He cannot do a thing
A puppet on a string
Until you make the call
Then He’ll give you it all
Unless you waver, then all bets are off.

Maybe each side has thoughtful points
Perhaps some truth to both
We do not understand
All bits of our God’s plan
Let’s not tie all our fate
To cantankerous debate
Join hands over Christ’s birth and celebrate!

Very funny.


I suggest that we draw from the insights of both and just stick with the universalist version:


Joy to the world! The Lord is come

Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing 

Joy to the world! The Saviour reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy 

No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make
His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found
Far as the curse is found
Far as, far as the curse is found

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
And wonders of His love
And wonders and wonders of His love

7 comments:

Christine H said...

Brilliant!

Michael W said...

I love it. I'll stick to the original :D

Matthew Distefano said...

Thanks for this. Awesome!

Glenn said...

Imagine a Calvinist singing this hymn without mental reservation. Impossible! Unthinkable! Especially if the one singing it is Isaac Watts, the Calvinist. Oh, what? He wrote the hymn?

Please disregard the above.

Robin Parry said...

Glenn

Ha! Sweet!

Maybe he was having an off day.

:-)

Tom N. said...

Nice take!

Unknown said...

Came back to find this post again today and stated doing some research on Watts. Sounds like though he styled himself a Calvinist, he had quite a strong universalistic leaning. Food for thought:

http://www.americanpresbyterianchurch.org/?page_id=893