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What is "Personalism"?
Vine & Fig Treedefends personalism. This is the view that God is personally moving every molecule of the universe toward the Kingdom of God, yet each of us as persons has a profound obligation to take personal responsibility and action to bring the Kingdom about. When I see something that needs doing, I am responsible to do it, and I must personally take action to bring completion, healing, resolution, harmony. I can't say "it's not my job." I can't assume "someone else will take care of it." God has placed me in this moment to be the means to the end. It depends on me, but it's all of God.
Human beings have value because human beings are created in the Image of God, the God who creates their environment and oversees every molecule of their existence, the God Who is there and Who is not silent, and the God Who is Love.
The anti-Christian, evolutionary perspective holds that the universe is ultimately meaningless (the only "meaning" coming from the mind of man), and is the impersonal product of time + random chance. Human beings are the chemical product of mindless mutations.
In both views, man is the product of his environment; man is determined by his environment. One view is personalist, the other impersonalist.
In the chapter on "God's Eternal Decree," the Westminster Confession of Faith declares that
The Prophet Micah says "it shall come to pass." Swords shall be beaten into plowshares. It is inevitable. It is predestined.
But not just the end, the means to the end have also been predestined.
Personalism means that I must take personal responsibility.
Personalism also means that people count more than patriotism. Our goal is to bring about the Kingdom of God, not the prosperity of any "New World Order" or any nation-state.
The Kingdom of God is extended as the Image of God is restored in people, one person at a time.
Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker, stressed "personalism" as a component of his plan for the "Reconstruction" of a Christian society. He was influenced in this regard by Emmanuel Mounier. Personalism is opposed to hyper-Calvinism, without affirming Arminianism. It stresses in a practical way the reality of "secondary causes." Thus, while God has predestined the triumph of His Kingdom, it is vitally important for human beings created in His Image to act. The "elect" must assume their roles as priests and kings, and put God's Commands into practice.
Personal Responsibility is the by-word.
This is why Calvinists are characterized by dedication and hard-work. This is why Calvinists have changed history.
Vine & Fig Tree
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