The New Calvinism: Areas of Weakness

The New Calvinism has become a worldwide movement of Christians who are looking to the past to recover and live out the precious truths of Reformed theology. Having introduced the movement and having identified some ways in which we see evidences of God’s grace in and through it, I am now suggesting some weaknesses it may do well to address. Here’s that video in Facebook and YouTube formats, followed by a transcript for those who prefer to read. Transcript It …

Evidences of God’s Grace in the New Calvinism

In yesterday’s video, “Where Did All these Calvinists Come From?,” I provided a brief introduction to the New Calvinism—the recent resurgence of Reformed theology. I described how, in my assessment, it came about at least in part as a response to the excesses of the church growth movement (and an alternative to the emerging church movement). Today, in a video for the watchers and a transcript for the readers, I want to point out some of the evidences of God’s …

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In some ways it seems like the New Calvinism has been around for a very long time. In other ways, it seems like it’s still a brand new thing. Whatever the case, it has lasted enough now that people are beginning to trace its roots, evaluate its accomplishments, and project its future. While this has mostly been done through books, blogs, and magazines, Les Lanphere has chosen to do it through film. His crowd-funded documentary Calvinist has just been released …

Preaching the Gospel with TULIP’s Tricky “L” in Mind

It’s a fair question for the Arminian to ask: How can you preach the free offer of the gospel when you believe in a limited atonement? How can you preach the “whosoever” of John 3:16 if you cannot be certain that Christ’s atonement was for every person? How can you say, “Turn to Christ and be saved all the ends of the earth” if Christ’s atoning sacrifice does not extend to all humanity? First, a brief theological refresher. The doctrines …

A Little Book on the Christian Life

There are far more Calvinists in the world than there are people who have actually read the works of John Calvin, or even dabbled in them, for that. Of course the latter is not a prerequisite to the former, but those who never read any of Calvin’s works are denying themselves a blessing and perhaps even a surprise. For while his name is attached to an expansive system of theology, he is a theologian who does not merely fill the …

The Rio Olympics and Calvin’s Mission

Did you know that the location of the 2016 Olympiad, watched over by the iconic Cristo Redentor, was also home to a little-known but early Calvinistic mission? My friend David Hall (whose church hosts the annual Reformation Worship conference) recently forwarded a fascinating article about it. I share it today so you can learn about a forgotten piece of history. Rio’s Guanabara Bay was the site of an early Genevan mission in the 1550s. As you watch this present Olympiad, …

Why I Am Not Arminian

Today I am continuing the series titled “Why I Am Not…” and in these articles I am telling what I do believe by looking at what I do not believe. So far I have told why I am not atheist, why I am not Roman Catholic, and why I am not liberal. Today I want to tell why I am not Arminian. (If you are uncertain of what I mean by Arminian, Theopedia has a brief but excellent article that …

Always Reforming: Diversity and the Reformed Resurgence

Whatever else is true about this modern-day Reformed resurgence, this much is indisputable: We love our conferences. We love the experience of gathering together and hearing from our favorite authors, pastors, and theologians as they lead us to God through his Word. Many of us can attest to the innumerable blessings we have received by participating in such events. I recently found myself asking this: When we go to conferences, who is it that we want to hear from? I …

8 Features of the Best Kind of Calvinism

I was interested to read through a new little booklet written by Ian Hamilton, pastor of Cambridge Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, England. In this work he means to show that Calvinism is both deeper and richer than the well-known 5 Points (a.k.a. TULIP). Calvinism at its best is also experiential, a word which Tom Nettles once helpfully described in this way: “An experiential theology, or experimental Calvinism, pursues the purposeful application of every doctrine to some area of life that …

How To Offend a Room Full of Calvinists

Do you want to know how to make a Calvinist angry? Do you want to know how to offend a whole room full of them? Just bring up the old line about Reformed theology being incompatible with evangelism. We have all heard it, we have all read it, we have all rejected it. It’s the word on the street, though, that Calvinists make poor evangelists. Many people are firmly convinced that there is a deep-rooted flaw embedded within Reformed theology that undermines evangelistic …