Archives For calvinism

R C Sproul jr. has written a wonderful short piece on what it means to be on the Reformed ‘team’. Too often it is easy to identify our walk by the shadow of another man. But all men are sinners, and all are fallen and finite. The only person we should seek to ultimately emulate and aspire to is Jesus Christ.

Calvinists should not be, as Sproul points out, simply followers of Calvin. But rather followers of truth, with the Bible as our guide and Jesus as our Lord. Calvin joins the ranks of others who think like this. We too, join alongside those gone before us in proclaiming the gospel and stand today marked by the same convicitions under the same Lord.

As Sproul also points out, we must never idolise our heroes by making them more than what they are: sinners saved by grace. No one is perfect, save one on this planet, and therin lies the distinction. In the light of that we can look to all the good that has been done by those that have walked before us, and also see the mistakes that have been made.

In closing, let me quote Sproul:

As we this year celebrate the 500th birthday of Calvin, let us not fall into a hagiography that he himself would not approve, turning heroes into sinless saints. Let us not, on the other hand, however, succumb to revisionist history that would turn heroes into monsters. Let us give thanks for that Biblical theology that we sometimes call Calvinism, and give thanks for Calvin.

I’ve just come across this post – Five Myths about Calvinism – and found more food for thought about the benefits of understanding many of Calvin’s principles. At the beginning of the article C. H. Spurgeon is quoted:

“There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer – I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin, I reply, I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it.”

Well said. And with that being said I thought the rest of article addresses several misconceptions of the label ‘Calvinism’ pretty well.

Find the article here.

New Calvinism

March 13, 2009 — 3 Comments

The current edition of Time magazine has yet to published, but already responses are being formed to #3 on their list of What’s Next – New Calvinism.

Mark Driscoll was quick off the mark with an immediate response which was shortly followed up by a lengthier piece.

I appreciate the observation and reaction to a piece which contains both factual accuracy and glaring errors. True, New Calvinism does seem to be gaining momentum and is behind a strong Reformed movement in Christianity which comes at the right time to counter watered-down versions of the gospel. But then we look at what Time actually say about this ‘movement’ we see a tainted view that sees the New Calvinists as nothing more than a rehash of the old movement, which among other things was known for being a little cruel from time to time.

With news media evolving to set trends, rather than merely report on them, it’s important to keep an eye on what comes from these outlets and employ a little critical thinking of our own.