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youth

July 26, 2011

John MacArthur is in the midst of penning a series of articles that will address (and encourage and scold) the Young, Restless, Reformed movement—this thing they call the New Calvinism. I have one great concern about this. I will tell you what it is, but only after I give a brief overview of what MacArthur has said so far.

MacArthur’s series will extend to four parts (after which there will be a couple of follow-ups by other writers). In the first article, which serves as an introduction, MacArthur showed the direction he intends to take the series: He will tell this Young, Restless, Reformed movement (YRR) to “Grow Up. Settle Down. Keep Reforming.” After showing that the allure of postmodernism, best exemplified by the Emerging Church, has largely proven futile, Dr. MacArthur says:

But young, restless, Reformed students (YRRs) still seem to be multiplying and gaining influence. I’m very glad for most of what this movement represents. It seems to be a more biblically-oriented, gospel-centered, theologically-grounded approach to Christian discipleship than this generation’s parents typically favored—and that is most certainly to be applauded.

YRRs have by and large eschewed the selfishness and shallowness (though not all the pragmatism) of seeker-sensitive religion. They are generally aware of the dangers posed by postmodernity, political correctness, and moral relativism (even if they don’t always approach such dangers with sufficient caution). And while they sometimes seem to struggle to show discernment, they do seem to understand that truth is different from falsehood; sound doctrine is opposed to heresy; and true faith distinct from mere religious pretense.

But it isn’t all good. MacArthur has some concerns.

April 25, 2008

Do Hard ThingsI’ve often reflected on an experience I had when I was studying in college. With a busy semester ahead of me, I decided to take “Death and Dying,” an elective that had the reputation of being an exceptionally easy course (a “bird course” we called it back then). On the first day we arrived in the lecture hall, the professor handed out a reading list and what he assured us were the lecture notes for the entire course. With these in hand, we were told, there was little use in showing up for the rest of the year unless we were really and truly interested in the subject matter. It was not a difficult course, he said, and we could probably do fine if we just turned in the assignments and showed up to write the exam. Needless to say, most of us took this as an opportunity to have an evening to ourselves each week rather than actually sitting through long and boring lectures on a subject that was of little interest. Also needless to say, most of us earned very poor grades.