Friday, March 13, 2009

New Calvinism is changing the world. Yeah Right.

OK after writing this I may need to apologise to someone or repent of cynicism or some other such sin.

I picked up from Mark Driscoll's blog about Time magazine's 10 ideas that are changing the world RIGHT NOW (emphasis exaggerated) that has The New Calvinism in at no 3.

A few others have noted it too including Justin Taylor (who has a summary for those of you not bothered enough to follow all the other links). Tim Chester spotted it and also wryly pointed out that Time thinks Indulgences are also on the way back!

If you take a close look at the list it's a pretty narrow definition of the word - world. In fact you could argue that the definition of the world here has borders with Canada and Mexico. I'd make a case of that ten at least 7 are having no impact on the world right now and likely never will.

So if you by changing the world you mean getting some attention in America, then OK. If by changing the world, you mean 'changing the world' then the list has a lot left to be desired. Are the rejuvenation of America's suburbs have a big impact anywhere other than American suburbs? No. How about American interstates? No. Having a job? Very important I concede, not exactly a new idea or world changing though is it? Amortality? Please. Everyone dies, get used to it.

So to the New Calvinism, world changing because? Well, the article didn't really say except to suggest that the energy in evangelicalism is coming from there, which may be true enough but world changing? It could be, who am I to say otherwise. But right now? No, not world changing and not yet even city changing and certainly not culture changing. Keep going my New Calvinistic brothers and sisters but don't believe the hype.


Ted S. said...

Driscoll wrote: "Old Calvinism was fearful and suspicious of other Christians and burned bridges. New Calvinism loves all Christians and builds bridges between them."

Is that in theory or in practice?
See: Seeking Justice & Reconciliation at Mars Hill Church

Jeremy on 17 March 2009 at 16:23 said...

If there is a 'New Calvinism' (I hadn't noticed), what do you think has prompted it? These things don't spontaneously appear, but tend to form in reaction to culture.

Perhaps it's partly a response to an overly personal touchy-feely religion that's got mixed up in a gospel of self-help. Perhaps it's also a response to a world that it changing so fast, and faces such huge challenges, that a belief in sovereignty is something of a comfort again. Could things like climate change be a factor?

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