Old Razormouth article, but still a good read: Why I Left Calvinism. (Not Really.) “I heard George Grant say one time that every new Calvinist should be locked in a cage for the first two years of ‘Reformed Enlightenment.’ He called those two years the ‘cage stage.'”
I think a lot of us go through a “cage stage” — not necessarily a Calvinist one — at the point of switching from one belief system to another. I was a cage-stager in my first few years after leaving Roman Catholicism to become a bible-thumping fundamentalist evangelical Protestant (“Oh, that poor cult of Mary-worshipping traditionalist cannibals!”), and I went through a cage-stage-Lite when I discovered Calvinism (“But the ‘L’ in TULIP is asbolutely crucial!“). I’ve seen converts to Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Buddhism, Amillenialism, Atheism, Christian Hedonism, Old-Earth Creationism, Poststructuralism, and other -ism’s, go through conniptions of righteousness, flush with the joy of discovering The Truth, and quick to denounce all ideological threats to its Glorious Wonder — which usually covers just about everything from Disney movies and Chicken Soup to Jabez and the Rapture. Some believers and unbelievers never outgrow the phase, and go on to become pastors, writers, activists, and bloggers.
On the other hand, I don’t want to turn into a cage-stage anti-cage-stager, and fall into the trap of undiscerning ecumenical relativism. I will never cease to affirm the central truths of the Word: faith in Christ alone, and love for God and neighbor; and my spirit stays on guard against the legion of errors and stumbling blocks the enemy has laid for the believer. Yet it bears knowing that sometimes my own pride and passion for the truth can be one of those stumbling blocks, especially when my ears do not listen.
More good stuff: “Faith Alone in Faith Alone?”