Sunday, May 07, 2006


This is the introductory post of my new weblog, Five Points. Welcome aboard!

The title reflects two fundamental philosophies in my life, as a Christian first and an American as well. Coincidentally, they both break down into five succinct headings; I don't believe the number is significant beyond that one correspondance.

As servant of the living God and a follower of Jesus Christ, I am joyfully walking in the pathway trod by the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, particularly the spiritual descendents of the Swiss Reformation. Obviously this refers to the so-called "Five Points of Calvinism", which I'm the first to say is a response to a particular and specific theological controversy of the 17th century. It's not a complete statement or creed at all. However, it's often referenced as shorthand for a much broader view of the relationship between man and his Maker, the interaction of that Creator and the world He subsequently redeemed, and the continuing role each play in the world today. With that, I concur, and praise the God who is Sovereign over the affairs of men.

For what it's worth, it's something of a family tradition, this Calvinistic bent. My ancestors include a Puritan clergyman in the Massachusetts Bay Colony; French Huguenots who landed in the South Carolina low country around 1690; and Scots and Scot-Irish Presbyterians who arrived after the unpleasantness of the 1770's. (For good measure, my gggg-grandfather Henry Young was one of the early Methodists in South Carolina; I don't know if he would have sided toward Wesley or Whitefield. There are some German Lutherans and near as I can tell, Swiss Zwinglians from Zurich mixed in ... so we return to the Swiss Reformation, eventually).

To make it more interesting, I'm of a Baptist persuasion, so my view of Reformed theology follows the London Baptist Confession of 1689 rather than the Westminster Confession a few years previous ... just like John Bunyan, William Carey, and Charles Spurgeon. I'll address this in later posts, and some already exists on my other weblog, The Inundated Calvinist.

The Other Five Points, though, are not recognized nearly so often as a list -- in fact, in some ways they are nearly ignored. These points are the continuing role of the federal government as delineated in the preamble to our Constitution. When the Articles of Confederation proved inadequate for the government of our wide-flung states, even in that early time, the new structure was enacted "to form a more perfect union" with five continuing purposes for that government -- to ...

establish justice,
ensure domestic tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare, and
secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity

Ronald Reagan said that our government is instituted to protect us from each other; it is hopeless to think that government should protect us from ourselves. I believe that much of the inefficiency and overreach of our present government has grown out of a willing ignorance of these five basic functions; I'll look forward to dealing with them in future posts, as well.

Thanks for visiting Five Points; I hope we'll meet again on a regular basis.


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