Mongerism: A Reformed Christian Database

This website, monergism.com (the link isn’t working so you’ll have to paste it in the browser), provides a huge database for articles, ebooks, audio and video files, and several other media formats of material relating to “historic Christianity”. While this may sound like an odd theme for an online database, a quick look into the doctrinal statement of the website reveals the reformed Christian ideology (evident from adherence to Calvinistic doctrines such as predestination, the inherrency of scripture, and Lordship Salvation) that yields the theme and guides what materials find their way onto the database. Because of this doctrinal distinctive, a great amount of curating must be employed to ensure that whatever works end up being on the database fall in line with the doctrinal position of the website. To test this further, I entered in a series of non-reformed Christian leaders and writers from the past and present (for example, modern individuals such as Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Rob Bell, and historic figures Jacob Arminius, Charles Finney, and John Wesley). Without exception, none of the modern leaders and writers’ works were present on the site, but solely commentaries by reformed Christians on their works. Historic leaders and writers’ works were present, though presumably only for the sake of studying their doctrines.  Reformed writers and teachers (such as John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, and John Piper) and their commentaries have a significant presence on the database however. Since the subject of the curated database is Christian doctrine, I was reminded of the protected library in Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose”. The chief difference between the two databases (other than the fact that one is physical and one is online) is that Monergism isn’t trying to keep any works away from the public to maintain a worldview, but instead to provide a reformed Christian response to works that aren’t in agreement with it’s ideology.

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1 Comment

  1. Definitely connections to Eco. Any curated database potentially has its “doctrinal” viewpoint and selects based on that, it’s just that religious ones may often make that viewpoint explicit. The notion of “reformed” is interesting too, since in the historical Reformation sense, pretty much everyone you listed is reformed, but not in the more technical sense used here.

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