A singsonging polemic against the impious poem “The Calvinist” [Vimeo] by John Piper.

Truly, he is no poet
but clearly he doesn’t know it
and his tedious rhymes
line after line after line.

His particular vices
he thinks shared by all else
but universal virtues
he thinks
unique to himself.

And of beliefs he dislikes
he calls by the name
of theologians
he’s not read
but has deemed profane.


He justifies misery
in the name
of the Trinity
but does he open his hands
to the hands of the suffering?

Unconstrained and thus “free,”
his God surges like the sea,
and like abuse,
his God’s love
is unpredictable and arbitrary.

Now listen to him stutter
as he explains to others
what he does not understand,
praising illogic as revelation
from God’s almighty hand.

Calm and collected,
he claims to be saved
but wait—a moment of truth!—
he describes himself
as “totally depraved.”

Yet his patron saint has been disgraced
by the madness preached
in his name
as divine mysteries are violated
with neither fear nor shame.

It is but the will worship
of one long dead—
for he glorifies
not in the name “Christian”
but in that of this Frenchman!

About The Author

Dr. Benjamin Guyer is a lecturer in the department of History and Philosophy at the University of Tennessee Martin. At present, he is working on two projects: first, transforming his dissertation,”The Semantics of Reformation: Discourses of Religious Change in England, 1414-1688,”  into a monograph; second, preparing a collection of essays on the Lambeth Conference, which he is co-editing with Paul Avis (forthcoming, T&T Clark Bloomsbury).

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