catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 4, Num 14 :: 2005.07.15 — 2005.07.28


The end of the tunnel

My introduction to Eastern State Penitentiary, now a national
historic site, tourist destination and home to a critically acclaimed
art installation program, came through sociologist Tony Campolo. It was
on a tour of Philadelphia highlighting many of the sociologically
significant sites that have helped shape the city that I've called home
for the last four years.

Now, Brother Campolo (along with the Quaker) is no fan of Calvinist
theology. He'll tell you so, and I respect him for that. However, based
on a few of his comments, he seems to favor an interpretation of the
doctrine of total depravity that ends up looking a lot more like the
doctrine of total human worthlessness when he's done, and he speaks as
if that's the rule among Calvinists. I don't tend to favor his
imaginative interpretation. I do believe an unwavering and consuming
tendency to disobey our creator permeates every layer of the person. I
don't see the theological connection between that, and the worth of a
clearly beloved creation.

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