A critique of the New Calvinism

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by JonathanHunt, Jun 9, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    One thing I have been thinking about: Is there a difference between worship styles and worship principles?

    I have some thoughts, but no time to post them. What about y'all?
  2. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    I suppose there might be if the Psalms were sung to tunes that were substantially different from the tunes of today's Psalters -- e.g., singing a Psalm to the melody of "How Great Is Our God" (a praise song). Otherwise, if the RPW entails EP (which I believe), then I see no difference.
  3. Oecolampadius

    Oecolampadius Puritan Board Sophomore

    I believe that R. Scott Clark provides a better critique of New Calvinism on his Heidelblog:

    Calvinism Old and "New"

    I would recommend this instead of Peter Masters' critique.
  4. JonathanHunt

    JonathanHunt Puritan Board Senior

    Phil Johnson has responded (awesomely graciously) to Greg Linscott who asked him for his opinion of the article:

  5. jogri17

    jogri17 Puritan Board Junior

    I got the quote wrong: He would permit a visitor to partake but not on a regular basis according to AW: adrianwarnock.com: Sam Storms Feels Mark Dever is Confusing on the Lord's Supper

    I was correct on Mohler: Credo-Baptists, Paedo-Baptists and The Lord’s Supper Reformation Faith Today You can search albertmohler.com with the matching show dated (1-2 day difference between the blog and the show). I do specifically remember him saying that.

    And I would agree with baptists: Both baptism and a clear profession of Faith that evidences regeneration are necessary for partaking in the Lord's Supper. I just don't believe scripture commands an order in those two requirements. If my close charismtic friend came to my church on the first sunday of the month I would ask her not to partake in it even though I am sure she is a christian she has not been baptized.
  6. christianyouth

    christianyouth Puritan Board Senior

    This is really interesting, and it would be a good topic to explore more sometime. Thanks for the post!
  7. jogri17

    jogri17 Puritan Board Junior

    If you do not believe one of the Reformed confessions and are held under its authority as the truth interpretation of scripture you have no right to claim to be in the Reformation or Calvinistic tradition. You may be in its protestant heritage but you are not Reformed and not one of the historic Reformed folk would recognize most of the major players in the Young, restless and Reformed movement. To see the ballance to this harsh statement please see my long post.
  8. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    Thank you..That is exactly what I meant. And you read me right so I think I communicated myself clearly in my opinion.

    Yes their worship STYLE is outdated and we cannot formulate a doctrine on a cultural practice but soley on biblical principle.

    -----Added 6/10/2009 at 10:55:34 EST-----

    Sorry for the confusion.....
  9. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    Roldan, might I sincerely ask what aspects of Puritan worship you find outdated?
  10. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    ANd for the record, there is no "New Calvinism" to critique in the first place :doh:

    We teach and preach the same Calvinism that has been taught since the Reformation and even would venture to say that we have brought to light true Reformed thought and Calvinism by engaging culture and the arts :cool:
  11. Oecolampadius

    Oecolampadius Puritan Board Sophomore

    Does this mean that what Mark Driscoll says about "New Calvinism" in the Resurgence blog, which is that primarily it is different from "Old Calvinism", is just a product of his imagination?

    Here is what Driscoll says:
  12. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    Sounds like good ol regular Calvinism to me......

    1. Calvinism was always to engage culture, some did and some didn't just like we do today.

    2. "Old Calvinism" fled from persecution in those cities (not because of culture ) and flooded other cities in the process.

    3. Calvinism is still cessationistic but never fearful, this is an assumption forced into this description by the author for we always were til this day joyful in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

    4. Again another forced assumption, Calvinism has always defended itself from error and in the process those who disagreed took away their bridges and burned them themselves, just because we have always been confident in our doctrine does not equal being fearful by any means, Calvinism has ALWAYS loved other Christians, its the other Christians who feared us not vise versa, example...PURITANS

    Just because Calvinist are finally starting to be more consistent in their Theology does not make it anything "New" I would rather call it TRUE CALVINISM....Que Dios te bendiga

    So yes Driscoll is wrong on many counts....
  13. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    One thing's for sure; Driscoll wasn't biased in describing so-called "Old Calvinism"! (Speaking of burning bridges...)
  14. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    Beautifully said my sista....Folks better get on board for God is doing glorious things in our culture and very rapidly redeeming and reforming a genre and culture that noone thought possible LOL God is so awesome when He brings confusion to those who thought they were God's gift to the Church...Love it!!!!
  15. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    Gloria and I wanted to share this email with you guys sent to Masters...The person who sent this email is a member of another board and a sound brotha and good friend..

    Hopefully he will get a response.......:popcorn:
  16. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior


    I'm not sure about Owen or Spurgeon, but I'm fairly certain that Gill was historic premil.
  17. The Author of my Faith

    The Author of my Faith Puritan Board Freshman



    Some think any music that has a beat is of the devil. I have a neighbor that boasts that there Baptist Church only has a piano and someone suggested an electric keyboad and drums and they were rebuked. "those are tools of the devil". So I guess to some if you listen to Rap you are a SINNER. Funny, I know some who refuse to show any emotion towards Jesus yet act like a lunatic at a Football game. I like Christian Rap (Shia Linne, Cross Movement, LaCrae, and I look soft intrumental music and I like hymns and whatever else falls under Ephesians 5:19 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;")

    Some like to worship to Bach, other to Billy Jo Jim Bob and a Banjo, some to Contemporary Worship, some to Rap. As long as it is (making melody in your heart to the Lord) and not to entertain man I say Knock yourself out. It is all a matter of personal preference. So bust out a rhyme and praise Jesus!! :lol:
  18. dbroyles

    dbroyles Puritan Board Freshman

    Owen Quoted

    I love this quotation by Owen. I just looked it up online -- BOOK 3, Chapter 1 on the "Work of the Holy Spirit in the New Creation by Regeneration." It's found near the end of the chapter where Owen expounds on Ephesians 4:19 - "Being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness with greediness."

    And also, thanks for the rest of your comments in this post. I found them helpful.
  19. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Well, the regulative principle of worship demands only that elements prescribed in Scripture are permitted in worship -- and not only permitted, but required. All elements not prescribed are forbidden. As a result, it's not all a matter of personal preference.

    However, it is entirely a matter of personal preference regarding one's own music tastes outside of worship. For instance, I enjoy metal, though I would never advocate its inclusion in a worship service (per the RPW, not per the majority opinion on metal). This would mean that keyboards are excluded by the witness of Scripture, not because they are inherently "of the devil."
  20. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    And thats a whole other subject that a plethora of threads on this board is dedicated to. But you raise a good point, noone ever said that Christian rappers are going to rap in worship service (though some do and that is where I draw the line) not only is it a form of CLEAN entertainment but also a means of teaching.
  21. Jie-Huli

    Jie-Huli Puritan Board Freshman

    I really do not wish to enter into a long discussion about music at the moment - again, the article that is the subject of this discussion is about much more than music, as large an issue as that is. I am glad to see the article itself being read by many people, and I just hope that many people will read the article with an open mind and not reflexively dismiss it because it seems "fundamentalistic" compared to the circles they are used to travelling in.

    The only thing I would like to add, very briefly - because I think this is a most important matter that Christians need to be clear on - is that I do not believe it is at all proper to make such a sharp distinction between what is done during formal public worship and what is done outside of public worship - as though the regulative principle had relevance only to public worship.

    I would agree that, in the strictest sense, the RPW regulates primarily stated times of worship - public, private and family. But at the same time, we must recognise that much of what is contained in these principles must surely apply whenever we are singing about the things of the Lord. If we agree that styles such as rap are not appropriate in public worship, we must be clear on why that is. Is the RPW simply an arbitrary rule which we just follow in public because we are following what is written in a systematic theology, or are we actually appreciating the spiritual reasons behind the RPW? Why is it that God does not want us to worship Him in ways that He has not prescribed? To put it another way, there are reasons why everything that is excluded from public worship by the RPW is excluded - the reasons are not arbitrary. And if we truly appreciate these spiritual reasons, it is difficult to see why we would just put them in a box as applying only during the formal worship services (which would seem at base a most legalistic approach) and not apply these principles at any other time that we are singing about the things of God. The RPW is surely normative for the whole of life.

    It is useful to remind ourselves that the RPW is closely connected with the 2nd Commandment, which forbids us from making graven images of God. But throughout reformed history, it has been clearly understood that it is not just forbidden to make graven images of God to use in worship services; it is forbidden to make graven images at all, whether for "private" use or otherwise. The same must surely apply to music. If a worship style is not appropriate for public worship, surely it is not appropriate for private worship either? For the God who is being addressed in worship is the same whether we are alone, together with the body of Christ for stated worship, or in some other sort of gathering. If our singing/music is truly for the purpose of worshipping God, the question must be asked why the musical enjoyments of the worshippers would enter into the discussion at all.

    Perhaps some will say that what is going on in Christian rap is not actually "worship" at all, but this raises other serious difficulties. Is it possible or appropriate to sing/make music about the things of God without worshipping Him? I cannot see that the Scriptures ever mention singing other than in the context of worship. Singing/music is not, for example, mentioned in the Bible as a means of evangelism, so there is no Scriptural warrant for viewing it as such. And I cannot imagine how the things of Christ can be put to song and regarded simply as a matter of "entertainment".

    I do not write the above in a censorious spirit, but I do think these issues deserve serious contemplation by everyone professing the name of Christ.


  22. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    Its for worship only brother......to extend it further than that is to be totally irrelevant to culture and to peoples. Further, to extend the RP and I can't emphasis enough the W, is to take away any form of music to listen to at all for that matter, especially those who hold to the EP principle. We are not considering the consequences of our ideas when we exaggerate principles.

    To all, like it or not the bottom line is this, God is being Glorified through this music and thousands are coming to the Reformed Faith because of it. Are any of the Strict RPW or EP folks going into the ghettos and hoods to communicate this faith? I sure don't see it and I've been in Urban missions for 13yrs now and have seen rapid growth in our culture in respects to sound doctrine because of this music and its teachings, so go figure.....
  23. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    He does make a good point, however, in pointing out that the RPW applies to non-corporate worship, including family and private.

    Furthermore, as Jie-Huli noted, I'm not sure how I understand exactly the demarcation between corporate worship and rapping about Jesus publicly. There certainly seems to be a difference (otherwise it would seem to be a censorship on mentioning Jesus, because "that counts as worship!"), but I can't put my finger on it. If there is no difference, however, then the RPW applies.

  24. Jie-Huli

    Jie-Huli Puritan Board Freshman

    All right.

    To be clear, I am, at the moment, speaking only about music/singing in relation to the things of the Lord.

    I would like to ask you, on the basis of your response above, the following questions:

    1) When you say that the RPW is "for worship", what do you mean by worship? Do you mean that the RPW applies only to the public services held by the church, or do you mean that it applies to all worship whenever and wherever it occurs, whether in the church, at home or at other gatherings of believers?

    2) Do you believe it is possible to ever sing/make music about the things of God without there being an element of worship in it?

    3) Is there any Scriptural warrant for using music in relation to the things of God in any way other than in worship?

    4) Given that the RPW is derived largely from the 2nd Commandment, if the RPW can be reduced to applying to the things of God only in certain settings, does this mean that you would be allowed to have little statues representing the three members of the trinity in your house as long as you did not bring them to the stated times of worship?

    Kind regards,


    -----Added 6/11/2009 at 01:25:20 EST-----

    Just to be clear, the Metropolitan Tabernacle (Dr Masters' church) is itself situated in what has become one of the roughest parts of London - surrounded by gigantic low income housing estates and with crime and gang activity rife in the area. Most of the members purposely live in this area specifically in order to be intimately involved in the ministry of the church, and there are evangelistic teams out constantly on the streets and in the parks reaching out to people of every possible description in witness. And people from every background are being saved continually, by the Lord's grace, through the preaching of the Word. Whatever else may be said, it is certainly possible to do this work without rap and pop music.
  25. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    Super, that still doesn't negate the use of music by any means. God can use whatever means He wants to communicate His Word, if He used a jackass/donkey to communicate I think him using human beings and their poetry on beats to do so as well.

    -----Added 6/11/2009 at 01:40:34 EST-----

    Says who? The bible sure doesn't.....you mean to tell me that on my family nigh with my kids that I can't even play a board game that teaches the gospel and talks about Jesus without it being called "worship"? This is just silly to be quit frank. The RPW is for corporate worship only, again to exaggerate the principle beyond its limits is to make basic entertainment of no effect and basically we must live in the 17th-18th centuries. We can't everytime we disagree with something or don't like something right away pull the RPW card...frustrating
  26. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    Where does the Bible restrict it to corporate worship? I am fairly sure that the men who originally deduced the RPW from Scripture also applied it to family and private worship, although I admittedly am ignorant of the specific Scriptural warrant for such an application.

    But the question you raise about board games brings up a point that can assist us in understanding what I asked before? How is it possible for Jesus to be involved in an event (e.g. as a rapper's lyrics) without necessitating that the event be worship? I for one think that it is, but I don't know how.
  27. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    Where in the bible does it extend the principle beyond corporate worship? I would reccomend John Frames book of RPW.

    So according to your reservation then, playing a board game is also considered worship since Jesus is involved or anything that involves speaking of Jesus is worship....you see my brotha this is the logical conclusion that one must lead to in order to hold to extending the RPW to anything that mentions Jesus....I for one think that its a silly exaggeration to say the least.
  28. Confessor

    Confessor Puritan Board Senior

    John Frame's view of the RPW is unconfessional, essentially a NPW, because he defines worship so broadly as to be inclusive of pretty much anything. He makes no real distinction between church on Sunday mornings and work during the week.

    I'm sorry that I was unclear. I said I think there is some way to distinguish between events that mention Christ and worship events that are under the purview of the RPW. However, I don't know what that distinction is.

    That is what Jie-Huli was asking above; he was asking how rapping about Jesus is substantially different from corporate worship. As I said, I believe that it is without knowing how it is at the moment.
  29. Jie-Huli

    Jie-Huli Puritan Board Freshman

    Well, you have implied or asserted many times in this discussion that people who adhere strictly to the RPW and traditional worship principles are not interested in witnessing to people who live in urban sub-cultures (i.e., "Are any of the Strict RPW or EP folks going into the ghettos and hoods to communicate this faith? I sure don't see it . . .") and I was simply pointing out that this is unfair and untrue. Come to Elephant & Castle, London, and you will certainly see what you say you've never seen.
  30. Roldan

    Roldan Puritan Board Junior

    Well that would be pretty sad that I would actually have to fly to another continent to actually see this......that furthers my point
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page