Celebrating Calvin with panentheistic heresy?
The gathering of Presbyterian women, began with a presentation of a panentheist. Cynthia Rigby wrote an article in 1996 in Theology Today titled, Free to Be Human: Limits, Possibilities and the Sovereignty of God. In that article she even claimed that “God cannot choose to become human” in reference to the freedom of God, denying the virgin birth of Christ and the incarnation. She also writes “in the panentheistic model proposed here, God is related to the world not because God chose to be but because to be related to the world is who God is, and the sovereign God is perfectly free to be who God is.” So it is with continued sadness that we find Dr. Rigby “kicking off” this major gathering of Presbyterian Women, and doing so “celebrating Calvin’s birthday.” Here is a revealing portion of this report on the presentation:
For Calvin, there were two major truths that are irreconcilable: how does God hold the all of creation in God’s hand while also being the shepherd who goes after the lone sheep?
“God is all in all, and calls us one by one,” Rigby said.
That gap of God being everything and caring for the individual creates a tension, and that tension is where Calvin often worked, Rigby said. In looking at God’s sovereignty, we are both challenged and assured. We realize that we are not God, and that God has to do with everything.
Ms. Rigby answers her own question in her 1996 Theology Today article. She believes that the solution is that all of the universe is ‘in God” or part of God. And in a fascinating twisting of Paul’s statement that comes from 1Corinthians 15, she alludes to her panentheistic worldview. She takes a verse out of the chapter that defends the physical bodily resurrection, the sovereignty of the God the Father, and Christ’s subordination at the end, and twists it to mean that creation is a part of God. This kind of nonsense is reprehensible, for a teacher of theology. Instead of taking the opportunity to celebrate Calvin’s birthday with a speaker whose worldview resembles Calvin’s, rather Presbyterian Women begin their gathering by twisting Calvin’s biblical views of the sovereignty of God into panentheistic, heretical nonsense. Is anyone surprised?
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