The Calvinist by NOT John Piper

Most of you have probably heard about John Piper’s odd little poem “The Calvinist” that hit the interwebs last week. The general consensus of anyone who’s not a Calvinist has been confusion (after all, it doesn’t seem that… Calvinist).

I wasn’t going to comment – mostly because bad art has a tendency to disappear on its own (except, for some reason, if you’re Justin Timberlake). But a friend of mine wrote this up and sent it to me. It’s a fun, funny parody of Piper’s poem, and a fascinating study of how differently those of us outside the tradition perceive Calvinism from those inside.

I enjoyed this enough I asked my friend if I could publish it and they agreed. So: if you thought “The Calvinist” was as silly as I did, enjoy. And if you liked it, then 1) read more poetry and 2) consider that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Or maybe skip it, if it’s just going to make you cranky.

The Calvinist

by NOT John Piper

See him read his ESV Bible,
The text by footnotes rivaled!
Commentaries at his side,
To keep him in line.

See him on the ‘Net
In an argument:
“In Hell thou may burn
If Calvin thou dost spurn”

See his consternation
When discussing predestination.
A slight difference in terms
Causes him to squirm.

See him adopt positions
Based on cultural traditions.
Like his thoughts on women’s roles:
To “be like Martha” and clean up at home.

See him watch his child
Live a life too wild,
“Should God choose thee for hell,
I still shall trust his will.”

See his stark confusion
To hear others shout DELUSION
When he blames a town’s sin
For a tornado stopping in.

See his little smirk
When he is called a jerk,
“God is wise and just and sovereign, too.
He made me smarter and more chosen and more theological than you.”

See him sneer with upturned lip
At Christians who doubt TULIP
(The Calvin-ish theology
Popularized in 1963).

See him on his deathbed,
About to enter Heaven,
Realize he’s been fighting brothers
When he could have been loving others.

See him pass beyond this life,
No more tears or crying or strife.
Into our Father’s arms he falls,
The Calvinist a sinner like us all.

Jesus invites him into Heaven,
Delighted by his presence,
He holds him close to his chest,
Says, “I’m glad you chose to join us.”

“Yes, I’m glad for that, and happy, too,
That before I made the world, I chose you.”
Then Jesus escorts him to the feast,
Where he presents to him his seat.

John Wesley is on his right.
And, oh, a glorious sight,
Arminius on his other side,
A part of Christ’s beloved bride.

And so it goes for centuries sweet,
Brothers and sisters at Jesus’s feet.
No more arguments about the faith,
For then we shall see him face to face.

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