This post is an excerpt from a hilarious book that I love and would highly recommend, called Younger, Restlesser, Reformeder: A Good-Natured Roast. If you want an easy and fun read about the new Reformed movement, pick this up here.
Who Gets to be Called Reformed?
Before we get to specifics, there is the not-small question of who gets to be called reformed. This is a tough one. If you don’t sprinkle babies, are you really reformed? And without the “Reformed,” you’re just the Young & Restless, which sounds exceedingly worldly. Hmmm.
John Piper and Collin Hansen are both Baptists, just saying. For what it’s worth, Zach pastors a Baptist church and Ted (the authors) goes to a Reformed church – but neither of us sprinkle babies. However, Zach is Dutch, which gives him added cache. Ted, on the other hand, is German (his ancestral name is Von Kluck, not Van Kluck or even Vander Klucksma)…aaargh! This is all so complicated. And while we’re being honest, we both still read the NIV from time to time.
An easy out is to continually make the distinction between reformed and Reformed, but do you really want to walk around, saying, “I’m lowercase-r reformed?” Neither do we (so we’ll just stick with the lowercase to keep things simple).
At the end of the day, we needed a concrete formula. We needed certainty. We’re not postmodern, after all. So just grab a pencil and paper, and work through this simple equation:
CW + Ch(Rf) + RCL + CCC + @ – 10(TV) – 20(RW) – ($TBN/10) – (xWB) – 10Em = RQ
The Equation Explained
Number of Crossway books in your collection; plus number of children; times number of children named after reformed personalities; plus number of reformed conference badges/lanyards (T4G, Desiring God, Next, Gospel Coalition); plus Number of Confessions, Catechisms, and Creeds you subscribe to; plus number of hours weekly spent on challies.com, Deyoung’s blog, or any other Gospel Coalition blog; minus 10 if you have cable; minus 20 if you un-ironically have a Rick Warren or Joel Osteen book on your shelf; minus number of dollars pledged to TBN (divided by 10); minus number of times you’ve been watchblogged; minus number of years spent in your emergent phase (times 10); equals your reformed quotient.
Ben’s Note: This is a pretty harsh standard, so if you need to curve your number, add in the beard modifier (your appreciation for beards on a scale of 1-100, divided by 2).
Go ahead and figure out your number. Remember, God is watching…alllllways watching.
Once you have your number, here are the ranges where you might fall:
<0 If you’re elect, that’s news to God
1-5 You’re reading this book to trash it in your emergent blog.
6-20 Enjoy the climbing wall and gourmet coffee bar at your megachurch. You’re fooling no one.
21-50 There’s potential here, but we suggest that you stop coaching your kids’ Little League team, stop surfing ESPN.com, and start spending all of your free time (when you’re not spending time with your Proverbs 31 wife), trolling the YRR blogosphere. We also suggest spending a little bit more of your debt-free expendable income at the Monergism bookstore. Oh, and it’s time to at the “L” to your TULIP. You know who you are.
51-100 What do you think of someone who just does the bare minimum? Seriously, what do you think? Minus ten more points if you get that reference.
100-200 You’ve probably spoken or led a breakout session at a regional reformed conference. Congratulations! Things are looking up for you. Have you considered submitting a book proposal? We know you’ve got 50,000 words stashed away somewhere that you’ve never told anyone about. Maybe you can recycle some old blog posts.