Saturday, March 14, 2009

Time Magazine and the "New Calvinism"

Time magazine has listed its "Top 10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now". Who would have ever thought that making the list, at number 3 no less, was the "New Calvinism!" The entire list is as follows:
1. Jobs are the New Assets
2. Recycling the Suburbs
3. The New Calvinism
4. Reinstating the Interstate
5. Amortality
6. Africa, Business Destination
7. The Rent-A-Country
8. Biobanks
9. Survival Stores
10. Ecological Intelligence
Those included in the category of new Calvinists will come as no surprise to many: John Piper, Mark Driscoll and Albert Mohler. Other things noted are the ESV Study Bible and the Reformed blog Between Two Worlds. While Calvinism is certainly enjoying a resurgence (especially in the United States), I'm not sure what they are using to determine it's changing the world. The article concludes "Calvin's 500th birthday will be this July. It will be interesting to see whether Calvin's latest legacy will be classic Protestant backbiting or whether, during these hard times, more Christians searching for security will submit their wills to the austerely demanding God of their country's infancy." The description of Calvin's God as "austerely demanding" is common among those who are more interested in propagating long-discredited notions rather than read for themselves Calvin's works and find a God much more compassionate and glorious than most would recognize as coming from his pen. Just this past week I read, "Yet whatever earthly miseries and calamities await those whom God has embraced in his love, these cannot hinder his benevolence from being their full happiness." (Institutes III.2. 28) Quotes like this could be multiplied into the hundreds and then we could move to his sermons not to mention his letters. But, like I said, far too many who scorn Calvin have seldom read him. The loss is theirs. May God indeed change the world through the gospel which Calvin preached with a sincere heart.

1 comment:

inchristus said...

That God's will is "austerely demanding" would be a burden if God's love were not so large. Precisely what is so distasteful about submitting to the uncompromising will of One who has only my best interests in mind? If someone is going to be rigid in their demands on my life, I pray they would love me beyond measure, just as God in Christ has done through the cross. And so, lean hard on my, O' God!