What is the “New Calvinism”? . . . And Are You a Part of It?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by mandym, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. mandym

    mandym
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    http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2010/04/what-is-the-new-calvinism-and-are-you-a-part-of-it/
     
  2. Greektim

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    If "new calvinism" is simply "a designation given for the 21st century resurgence of Calvinism among Evangelicals and conservative Christians" as you quoted, then I are one. I admit I am a part of the reformed resurgence. But I also admit that I am not one b/c of the trend or fad (don't we all like to boast of that). I arrived there through an interesting journey that led me away from my theological heritage of fundamentalism.
     
  3. Van

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    Based on this criteria, it would be surprising to find very many of the Calvinists that post on this forum in the "New Calvinism" camp. They are very proud of their "high view" and "pure doctrine."

    If others reject the TULI of the Tulip, they are persona non grata.
     
  4. jonathan.borland

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    Let the definition wars over what a "new Calvinist" is begin!
     
  5. preachinjesus

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    Someone asked me about this the other day and I basically pointed out these main ideas about New Calvinism:

    - Cultural contextualization, the New Calvinism (hereafter NC) readily accepts highly contextualized models for ministry that seek to communicate the Gospel and execute ministry in a method that connects best with the immediate cultural environs of their hearers.

    - Progressive Worship, NC churches use progressive worship styles almost exclusively (though how they do this varies.)

    - Dedication to a Free Church Ecclesiology, for all the talk of elders and presbyterian style church government each NC still sees themselves as essentially autonmous from external control and influence.

    - Commitment to Missions/Evangelism, there is a high level commitment to missions and evangelism amongst almost all NC churches. If someone tries to bring up the strawman of people will be reached regardless of whether we go/tell that gets resoundingly defeated.

    - Biblicist model, NC churches tend to be highly committed to being under the authority of an inspired (most would say inerrant) text of Scripture. They are bound to it for their theology and exposition.

    - Fervent theological proselytizing, this is not the finest point, but many NCs are very outgoing in their desire to spread their theology to other people. It almost eclipses their passion for missions and evangelism of the Gospel.

    - Church planting priority, several of the NC networks that exist are prioritizing starting new churches or developing satellite campuses which will become new churches. This is a highly motivated group who desire to advance the Gospel and Church.

    - Dogmatic about theology but loose about convictions, one area in particular is that many NCs don't see drinking as a problem (neither do I but this isn't about me) and will indulge from time to time. There are other areas of practice where this flows over including appearance, associations, etc.

    - Missional, probably better than any other group NCs get missional and incarnational living. They recognize the Gospel is best communicated by friends and through life. They are highly committed to living in and among the lost and having conversations that lead to presentations of the Gospel. FWIW, NCs get that we live in a post-Christian society.

    - Theological vapidity, from my conversations with NCs I've found that once you get past their exterior theological points they, as a group, can't defend their actual theology well. This might just be generational (since most a young) but most haven't actually read the documents which make up the foundations of their theological convictions (i.e. Calvin, Bavinck, Augustine, Grudem, etc)

    - Youth Centered Movement, most NCs are under 40 and there is a HUGE contigent moving through seminaries right now to become pastors. I'd be willing to bet that across the SBC big 6 seminaries 50% of students under 35 are NC. Also, for lay people NC is finding a high point of connection with evangelicals in their 20s.

    - Neo-Fundamentalist in vigor, finally they mimick the passionate fundamentalism of yesteryear. Maybe this is the working out of the cycle, but NCs are evangelicals who tend to be extremely passionate about their faith and church.

    There might be other points but this is a characterization of where they are. I respect a lot of my NC peers and friends. I think they belong at the table of the conversation and leadership within the SBC. So long as they remain fiercely committed to missions and evangelism and don't make those of us who aren't NC to be apostates (an idiotic characterization) I'm fine with them.

    Soteriology is important. I am proud to have many NCs as friends. :)
     
  6. OldRegular

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    I believe the Doctrine of Grace because they are Biblical. However, I have a problem with the I of TULIP because the term "irresistible grace" gives "freewillers" the opportunity to say that we believe "sinners are dragged kicking and screaming to salvation." [I have seen some young children dragged to the front during the invitation but not to salvation!]

    In reality God regenerates, New Births, His elect just as He said through the prophet Ezekiel.

    Ezekiel 36:26, KJV
    26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.


    As a former pastor used to say: "Ain't God good!":godisgood::jesus:
     
  7. jonathan.borland

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    Thanks for the statement, preachinjesus. I think that among the new generation there's a holy dissatisfaction about almost everything in general. I thought at first to blame the hyper-pessimism of the Foxnews channel but they don't watch TV. They are super hyped about Jesus and despise everything superficial. They want to go deep, aspire to find answers to deep mysteries, and to them part of escaping superficialism is probing and embracing Calvinism. They build their confidence and sence of gravitas and seem somehow less superficial by doing so.
     
  8. 12strings

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    It is interesting that this article, and the one posted here:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=79250


    ...have very different views of the "new Calvinism." Admittedly, one of the authors is a supporter of it, and the other isn't.

    What stood out to me, is that according to this "new Calvinist" blogger, calvinism is NOT the #1 thing on his agenda, which seems to be a different representation of the "NC's" than the other article, which seems to say that the New calvinist's main goal is to push calvinism.

    I admit that I am biased, but I tend to see the former rather than the latter...With the exception of the Baptist-Board, that is...
     
  9. humblethinker

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    Greektim and Harold don't strike me as such... maybe there's a couple of exceptions... ;-)

    One problem I see is the 'Fundamentalist attitude resurging' in the 'calvinist resurgence'.

    "I will say it straight out: something cultic is appearing among the young, restless, Reformed Christian followers of Piper, Driscoll, et al. Evangelical leaders need to speak up about it and express real caution to them about being overly enthusiastic about any doctrine outside of the basics of Christian orthodoxy and especially any person other than Jesus Christ himself. Instead, what I am reading is evangelical leaders saying why the young, restless, Reformed movement is good for the churches. In some ways it is; in other ways it is not."
    -Roger E. Olson

    Also this:
    Young, Restless, and Fundamentalist:
    Neo-fundamentalism among American Evangelicals
     
  10. humblethinker

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  11. Iconoclast

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    This is pretty good. This group of men use the five points, but go away from mainstream historic teaching trying to compromise to be more seeker friendly. There is a group who try to work together which sounds good up front, but in the long run they undermine the truth to some extent.
    While overall I am not supportive of these ideas, I know God will use some of these people for His purposes.
    Many are critical of piper, mahaney, driscoll, dever, and a few others.they are sort of loose cannons, who oppose key elements of the historic confessions. They are dangerous because they have a level of popularity that many blindly follow.
     
  12. preachinjesus

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    I thought about including the "holy dissatisfaction" point (which is a good articulation of it btw) but figured the Neo-Fundamentalist point might be more inclusive. Maybe it is a generational thing but I doo see a disquieted rebellion in some of my friends who are NC. Of course I also see that in too many of my friends in the 20s who have a general attitude of dissatisifaction about everything...some just happen to be NC. :)
     
  13. preachinjesus

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    One of the things I'm thankful for in the NC group is this return to a historically grounded faith that informs our worship and methodology. That is important to a lot of us and the blind seeker mentality doesn't at all help in this way.

    Also, and its worth mentioning here, I am also encouraged by the movement in the NC group to recast old hymns and songs of the faith from several generations ago. They are digging deep into Stamps Baxter hymnals and old songbooks to find theologically robust worship. I love that! :thumbs:

    In addition to this is the reengagement of expository preaching that begins in, stays in, and ends in the Bible. This is another blessing from the group. :)
     
  14. Yeshua1

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  15. Luke2427

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    I don't see that at all and I am pretty active in the New Calvinism movement.

    Most of the New Calvinists are amil in my experience.

    Some are post mil.

    A few are historic premil.

    Very few would be where MacArthur is as a pretrib, premil I would imagine.
     
  16. Yeshua1

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    was just saying that what seems to be going is that baptists are rediscovering cal roots regarding salvation, but still staying dispy or his pre mil!

    Not going reformed so to speak!

    NOT addressing the "new cal" that is formal, but the informal thing that seems to be going on!
     
  17. Herald

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    "New Calvinism" (or neo-Calvinism), as some have already pointed out, has embraced contextualization as a methodology. This is different than historic Reformed Christianity. Mark Driscoll is a perfect example of someone who has bought into the DoG but shunned the Reformed faith. One of the good things that seems to be practiced by the New Calvinism is an emphasis on evangelism. I'm concerned about anyone who claims to believe in the DoG but has an aversion for evangelism.

    Personally I think New Calvinism will die the death of a fad. The DoG permeate for than just a soteriological view. The DoG effects worship, ecclesiology, eschatology, the nature of God etc. That is why the Reformed faith and the DoG are inseparable It's only a matter of time before contextualization and pragmatism will pressure New Calvinism churches to compromise on their soteriology.
     
  18. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    Where are these New Calvinist Churches, I dont see any. how can you die when your not yet born....Heady questions right? LOL

    Next question...Is the guy down the block from me with his New New Testament Theology & no connections to any confessions....is he considered a NEW Calvinist. He has already admitted he cant plant NEW Churches cause there isnt enough people that could make it happen.
     
    #19 Earth Wind and Fire, Jun 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2012
  20. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Or maybe they dont give a hoot altogether. Maybe speculation isnt their concern.
     

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