More (YRR) Calvinism in TIME

Apparently the YRR version of “Calvinism” is #3 with a bullet.

Compare this story with the story from TIME in 1947 (HT: Justin Taylor).

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  1. Well, I can’t say that I’m surprised by Driscoll’s inane, unhistorical, ignorant and simplistic analysis of “Old Calvinism.” I’m tempted to reply by characterizing his “new” (quasi-) Calvinism as Marcionite, biblicistic, unhistorical, and narcissistic but I’ll refrain. More evidence that adopting some version of predestination does not make one a “Calvinist.”

    I also thought it was interesting that the 1947 TIME story was stimulated by Clarence Bouma, an actual Calvinist—CB was one of the founders of the Calvin Forum and was president of the ETS in its early days—someone who could have joined Calvin’s congregation in Geneva, who actually shared Calvin’s view of the sacraments.

  2. ps. a “non-cessationist Calvinist” is an oxymoron.

    To CALVIN, the original Calvinist, non-cessationists were known as Anabaptists and he regarded them as “fanatics.”

    Since when did urban gentrification become a mark the true church? Was it right for middle-class Reformed congregations to flee the city? Well, I wonder what Mark would have done had he seen the riots of 1968? I lived through them in Omaha (yes, Virginia, Omaha had riots that left the near-north side a burnt out shell for decades) as a child (we actually found ourselves in the midst of it for a time. It’s a long story).

  3. Dr Clark,

    What would you classify guys like CJ Mahaney, Driscoll, Piper, Grudem, Sam Storms etc. as? They are all predestinarian. Is that the label you think it would be fair for them to carry? They all seem to believe they are reformed and / or Calvinists.

    I used to say I am soteriologically reformed, but baptistic. What do you call a guy like me who is predestinarian, baptistic, and a cessationist? Am I a “particular baptist.” If I am, I am not a terribly well convinced one:)

    • Hi Chad,

      Here are a series of posts that I’ve gathered under the category: Defining “Reformed” that seek to answer your questions.

      The other place I would send you is to Recovering the Reformed Confession. There’s a link on the top left of this page. The whole book seeks to answer this question.

  4. One last question:

    I understand your historical definitions for these categories and appreciate them. However, I am wondering if there is a point at which these kinds of terms change so much that they are often unhelpful? What I mean is that guys I know use Calvinist or reformed as short hand for predestinarian. I realize these may be the wrong terms, but what is to be done about the fact that they are so popularly used…especially with the “new calvinists” that they are unrecognizable with regard to your position?

  5. Dr. Clark,

    I am currently reading RRC. I am enjoying it very much. I have been looking more for how to define myself and some of my friends. I will read the links as well.


  6. Is there anything existing today that is traceable to the “resurgence” reported in 1947? Being completely forgotten in less than 50 years doesn’t bode well for the longevity or legacy of the current one. Made some comments on my never-updated blog at xanga.

    Heh, was quite disappointed with Driscoll’s bumper-sticker analysis of Old Calvinism. I was blinking at how he asserts that Old Calvinism was syncretistic, then says, “New Calvinism is missional and seeks to create and redeem culture.” And that’s not syncretistic?

    • Darren,

      I understand that Driscoll is given to plain (even vulgar) speech. Someone should tell him that his comments are thoughtless and insulting. They are also ignorant.

      One wonders whether, as part of his extensive education, what reading informs his interpretation of American church history. He should start with Hart and Muether.

  7. “I’m tempted to reply by characterizing his “new” (quasi-) Calvinism as Marcionite”

    With all due respect, don’t you mean Montanist?

  8. Chad,

    The problem is that Mark doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s not that one shouldn’t criticize the “old Calvinists.” I appreciate this attempt to make nice but but the dichotomies he set up in the earlier post reflect what he thinks. He’s not alone. A lot of folks think this way.

    What irks me is the arrogance of the scheme he set up.

    How exactly is he a “Calvinist”?

    Mark is a good entrepreneurial, American, evangelical. He’s got a market. He’s got a message. He’s got a medium. Fine. Whatever but that doesn’t qualify him to be lecturing “old Calvinists” and posing as the new, improved version.

  9. I am also known to utter vulgarities, but only on the fairway in kept company, and I’m really buttoned down about sex talk. Some take me for a prude, but that’s only because they don’t golf with me or help me try to fix things I have no buisness trying to fix like cars and computers.

    The only thing I seem to have in common with Driscoll is the exact same birth date (really!). We’re both Libras. I can’t decide what to send him for our 40th coming up.

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