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#47486 Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:49 PM
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I know that about a year ago we discussed this subject when a article authored by Dr. Peter Masters was posted.I only bring it up again because while reading an article today I was shocked to see "New Calvinism" listed third as to ideas that are changing the world.It lists John Piper,Mark Driscoll,Al Mohler and others among the flag bearers for this arm of evangelicalism.
Driscoll is quoted as saying that there four main differences between old and new Calvinism;1-Old Calvinism was fundammental or liberal and separated from or syncretized with culture.New Calvinism is missional and seeks to redeem culture.2- Old Calvinism fled from cities.New Calvinism is flooding to cities.3- Old Calvinism was fearful of the Holy Spirit and generally cessationist.New Calvinism delights in the Spirit and is generally continuationist.4- Old Calvinism was fearful and suspicious of other Christians New Calvinism loves all Christians.
R. Scott Clark,professor of church history and historical theology from Westminster Seminary argues that New Calvinists like Driscoll should not be called Calvinists merely because they believe in the five points of Calvinism,but rather he suggests that adherence to other Reformed confessions of faith is what qualifies one a Calvinist.
My question is,"Are these people making headway in established churches or are they forming new churches or is all this just smoke and mirrors?"


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Driscoll by his own admission isn't a 5 point Calvinist.

What I find very strange is the fact that many such as Mohler would completely disagree with the 4 points that Driscoll wrote concerning New Calvinism.

I think R. Scott Clark makes a very good point, at least that way some of the things that New Calvinists are promoting in the name of Calvinism, couldn't legitamately be done in the name of Calvinism.

By the way, some are saying that John MacArthur is a New Calvinist. However, all one needs to do look at his writing concerning the movement and although he isn't as critical as Peter Masters. What he says is certainly not flattering.
One thing that really stands out is his writing against Driscoll.
I thought I would also add that I don’t think the movement will last all that long. There is a lot of disunity among the ranks between the more conservative and the more liberal.

Not sure that answers your question, but...

Tom

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Originally Posted by sojourner
My question is,"Are these people making headway in established churches or are they forming new churches or is all this just smoke and mirrors?"
I'm definitely unqualified to speak on how successful this movement is. I haven't taken nor read any Polls that would indicate if this is true or not. What I do see is new churches being formed vs. established churches throwing away biblical Calvinism and adopting the counterfeit New Calvinism, although doubtless there are certainly some that have and will. I also suspect that the appeal of New Calvinism is generally with younger (20-35) individuals with exceptions acknowledged.

Actually, the New Calvinism movement has only become popular lately but it has been around for more than 30 years. When I was at WTS (Philly) in the late 70s early 80s already C. John Miller was promoting this type of thing and established "New Life Presbyterian Church". It claimed to be Calvinist in its soteriology but contemporary in worship, etc. However, the literature that came from out of that church and from the pen of C. John Miller was not true Calvinism. His "gospel" tracts were nothing more than a re-write of Bill Bright's "Four Spiritual Laws".

As with all of these counterfeit movements, definitions of words are changed without making it known up front. Calvinism has a historic and long-standing definition both in literature but also as clearly understood in the Confessions, Catechisms and other church documents. These people think they can simply ignore that history and re-write definitions to suit their fanciful ideas of what Calvinism should be. Most basic is their assimilation with worldly philosophies and Calvinism. Put a drop of poison in a bucket of water and it becomes changed; so much so that it is deadly and proves to be fatal to anyone who drinks it (cf. Gal 5:7-9).

Lastly, Tom mentioned MacArthur and so did Peter Masters but from two different opinions. The problem I have with MacArthur is that there are people under his authority, working for his ministry who are openly embracing and promoting New Calvinism. Yet, one would be hard-pressed to find any indication that those individuals have been disciplined and/or dismissed from their positions. Then, there are those men who have been given MDiv degrees from The Masters Seminary who take positions as pastors in established churches and/or start new ones who are very open about their theological views, i.e., they are full-fledge promoters of the New Calvinism. A new church opened very close to me called Crossroads Church. The pastor is a graduate of The Masters Seminary. They state that they are Calvinists but subscribe to no Reformed confession. Additionally, they revel in their contemporary worship and state that the Bible has nothing to say about regulating worship. They have a statement on salvation which puts faith before regeneration, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Granted, John MacArthur cannot be held directly responsible for this 'pastor' and those like him that come out of The Masters Seminary. But, it would seem prudent to me that MacArthur should take a close look at what is being taught at that school. Are these men taught historic, conservative, confessional Calvinism; in their case the Baptist London Confession of Faith 1689? Or, is their a co-mingling of biblical truth with worldly ideas and practices being taught?

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Pilgrim #47505 Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:46 PM
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Though I have read material written by MacArthur that is critical of New Calvinism. Like you, there are things such as what you mentioned that just don't add up; especially considering the fact that MacArthur isn't one to show the fear of man.

Tom

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How do people distinguish Calvinism from Reformed, or are they the same? Calvinism as talked about is mostly about soteriology wheres Reformed is the theology as seen in WCF.


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John_C #47514 Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by John_C
How do people distinguish Calvinism from Reformed, or are they the same? Calvinism as talked about is mostly about soteriology wheres Reformed is the theology as seen in WCF.
Oh boy!! Calvinism is defined by people according what they want it to mean... seriously! For many (most?), if asked, they would say it has to do with the infamous "Five Points". In truth, Calvinism is a complete cosmology; world and life view. It is the application of the Scriptures to all of life. The undergirding truth or principle is the absolute sovereignty of God.

Reformed is more a historical term which goes back to the Protestant Reformation and the Protestant churches which emerged from it, both Continental (Dutch mainly) and others (English, Scot, Irish, etc.) But often the two terms are used interchangeably.

Here are some salient articles on the meaning of Calvinism/Reformed:

"The Fundamental Principle of Calvinism" - H. Henry Meeter
"The Practical Implications of Calvinism" - Albert N. Martin
"What is the Reformed Faith"
"A Brief and Untechnical Statement of the Reformed Faith" - B.B. Warfield
"How Many Points?" - Richard A. Muller


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I was really surprised to find a lot of disdain of "the Reformed" while reading Lutheran literature (commentaries on the Ausburg Confession). My first thought was, "Waitaminute, I thought Lutherans were Reformed. Wasn't Luther one of the original reformers?" Lutherans reject Calvinism, and perhaps the terms "Calvinist" and "Reformed" are synonymous to Lutherans as well.

I encountered a bit of the "new Calvinism" in the Christian and Missionary Alliance. I don't know if that is their "official" stance, but it seems to be in the denominations summaries of their doctrine.


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I'm probably completely off base here, but Lutherans reject Luther in his theology. There's some guy name Melan.. . . that they follow.


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John_C #47519 Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by John_C
I'm probably completely off base here, but Lutherans reject Luther in his theology. There's some guy name Melan.. . . that they follow.
Well... that's quite a B R O A D statement to make; perhaps just a bit too all incompassing? evilgrin

However, there is some truth to it and in perhaps not a few cases much truth concerning particular doctrines. One of those doctrines which Luther held to firmly but which is generally disregarded or even repudiated is predestination.

Here's a great article that deals with this issue: Lutherans vs. Luther

Clicky here: Double or Nothing: Martin Luther's Doctrine of Predestination.

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Great article.
Another example is Luther's book 'Bondage of the Will'. I have yet to read it myself, but I am told by a few people who have read it, that it supports what we now know as Calvinism more than it does modern Lutheran doctrine.

Have you read it?

Tom

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Superb book by Doctor Luther! His writings aren't quite what one might expect from a theologian. His language is earthy, and he freely uses sarcasm and wit in his argument with Erasmus on the issue of "free will." Brilliant stuff.

Have you ever heard Luther's own original version of his great hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God?" Syncopated, lively, militant. Not at all like the metronomic, toned-down version I grew up hearing in church. I hope the Lutherans haven't dismissed Luther's style of hymnody as they have so much of his teachings!


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Originally Posted by Tom
Have you read it?
Quite a number of times, actually. I used to read it through once a year, around late October... sort of my way of remembering "Reformation Day".

You REALLY should read it, Tom. It will warm your heart and bless your soul.

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Tom #47523 Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:05 AM
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Can someone point me to something that Dr. Mohler has said/done that would be a reason for him to be included in the group mentioned in my original post.I'm sure there is some evidence somewhere,I'd just like to read it.
I just finished listening to a one hour interview with him in which I heard nothing that would brand him a "New Calvinist".Also, my pastor seems to regard him rather highly and says that he brought Southern Seminary back to it's roots when he came there.


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I'm not so sure that Mohler is directly participatory in the New Calvinism movement. But in This Interview he openly defends it and implictly promotes it. I also read a statement he made where he promotes "mission cooperation" with non-Calvinists. Here is the quote:

Quote
2) If Calvinists and non-Calvinists do not find a way to coexist enthusiastically and and partner in missions, the splintering will divide Southern Baptists to the point that we can no longer sustain the program of Cooperative Missions that has marked our existence. If we don’t learn to get along and walk together, the SBC is in a lot of trouble! (source: HERE)
I don't know any possible way to "partner in missions", i.e., the bringing forth the gospel to the world, with non-Calvnists for they believe in a different God, different Jesus, different Spirit and a different gospel. shrug See an antidote to this claim here: Cooperation in Evangelism, by John Murray.

He has also appeared at New Calvinist conventions along with other speakers who are an integral part of the New Calvinism movement, e.g., John Piper, C.J. Mahaney and Mark Driscoll. This could be construed as "guilt by association" which may or may not have any substance to it.


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Pilgrim #47543 Tue Jan 24, 2012 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilgrim
Originally Posted by Tom
Have you read it?
Quite a number of times, actually. I used to read it through once a year, around late October... sort of my way of remembering "Reformation Day".

You REALLY should read it, Tom. It will warm your heart and bless your soul.

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I certainly plan on reading it. However, I have learned something about myself in the last few years. It is a bad habit of mine to have too many irons in the fire and as a result, I actually accomplish less.
I am trying to finish books I already have, before I buy more. Your recommendation of Luther's book pushed it higher up on my wish list. bravo

Tom

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