SANTA FE, NM—A local man is recovering at home after allegedly being bitten on the arm by James Scoover, 20, in what authorities are calling one of the worst cases of Cage‐Stage Calvinism they’ve seen this year.
“It was a scary situation and we’re all glad it’s over,” said Santa Fe Animal Control Officer Lyman Parkhurst in a press conference Wednesday. “We see bites by Dobermans, Boxers, Pit Bulls—you name it—but nothing will take your hand off quicker than a newly‐minted Calvinist.”
Scoover’s parents told reporters that his Cage Stage symptoms started surfacing recently after he began to see the full extent of God’s sovereignty over everything, including salvation, and he undertook reading Reformed authors like R.C. Sproul, John Piper, John MacArthur, and a shadowy group of figures known as “the Westminster Divines.”
“We’re devastated,” said Reginald Scoover, James Scoover’s father, as he consoled his weeping wife at the press conference. “You try to raise your kids in a mainstream, relaxed church, and then they come home one day talking about election, sovereignty, and the Doctrines of Grace. The next thing I know, James is chewing up his mother’s Joyce Meyer devotionals and leaving copies of The Holiness of God around the house. He also started talking about “Five Points” all the time, which I think is a pretty clear gang reference.”
These symptoms reportedly continued to materialize into a full-blown case of Cage-Stage Calvinism, leading to the biting incident.
“We’re still figuring out all the details of the confrontation,” noted Parkhurst, on behalf of Santa Fe Animal Control. “Apparently, according to witnesses, an acquaintance of [Scoover’s] said he was a little unsure about Limited Atonement, and questioned its validity as a biblical doctrine. This allegedly enraged Scoover, who then latched onto the man’s arm with his teeth while growling ferociously, with bystanders unable to pry his jaws open despite repeated attempts.”
He continued, “After multiple pepper spray blasts and three rounds of tranquilizers failed to get him to relax his clench, we contacted his parents, who arrived at the scene and were able to lure him off the victim and into a cage with a copy of John Owen’s The Death of Death in the Death of Christ.
According to Parkhurst, Cage-Stage Calvinism usually appears in the first year of one’s wholehearted adoption of Reformed theology, and lasts anywhere from several months to several years.
“All you can do is have faith and wait it out. They get through it eventually,” he said. “You just watch—a couple years from now Scoover will be just as Reformed theologically but will also exhibit grace and peace to boot.”