"new" calvinism

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by presbyterianintexas, Apr 30, 2010.

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  1. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    The Dutch church in Indonesia made new Javanese believers take on a "Christian name" and cut their hair and wear dutch clothes to church, where they entered in and sang translated songs from the dutch to the tune of the pipe organ instead of local instrumentation. I.e., they became dutch to become Christian.

    While some New Calvies over-contextualize, the tendency among the "Truly Reformed" has been to Under-contextualize the Gospel and to transplant Western culture and think it is all Gospel.

    I think being fed up with the Churchianity and the 1950's cultural forms of church are one reason people are flocking to New Calvinism
  2. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Oh dear, that would be funny if it wasn't so sad.
  3. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Correction: My characterization is a generalization. I can cite my sources. It may not reflect some from the dutch church that accompanied the East India Company. Also, it reflects missions at the time of the East India Company..but it does prove that under-contextualization is also bad.
  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    Reformed theology includes an all-of-scripture summary, a confession.

    It took me a longer time to understand covenant theology and even that there might be a link between it and a "doctrines of grace" (Calvinist) soteriology- but there is.

    Read John Gerstner, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth for this.

    Also, understand, the whole of biblical theology fits together- all doctrines are somehow related to our doctrine of God. It is not merely one doctrine among many, but something to which all other doctrines are in some way related.

    These truths are invaluably summarized in a confession of faith.
  5. alhembd

    alhembd Puritan Board Freshman

    Very well said. The historic Calvinist stance for order, and specifically, for the regulative principle and the means of grace as set forth in the Word, is little known today. The historic Calvinist stance, I might add, is culture-neutral. It does not seek to be culturally-relevant; it seeks to be Scriptural.

    Al Hembd

    ---------- Post added at 08:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:11 AM ----------

    Excellent quotes from Calvin's Theological Treatises! Yes, Calvin did indeed believe in particular redemption. Some of Calvin's doctrines, however, were not fully fleshed out by himself, yet he did indeed believe in them. For example: Sabbath-keeping. James Dennison's book on Market Day of the Soul does an excellent job of proving that Calvin was a Sabbatarian. However, some of his comments in the Institutes on the Sabbath are rather vague, because he hadn't yet fully fleshed out his doctrine. But Market Day of the Soul proves that Calvin believed in Sabbath observance, and it quotes his Sermons 34 and 35 on the book of Deuteronomy to well prove it.

    Thanks so much for these choice quotes.

    ---------- Post added at 08:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:15 AM ----------


    I have a question: where are these "New Calvinists" with respect to Sabbath-keeping. You know that John MacArthur doesn't even believe in the Sabbath.
  6. alhembd

    alhembd Puritan Board Freshman


    A lot depends how how one defines the thirty-nine articles. In the times of Archbishop Laude, the doctrine of the thirty-nine articles was redefined to allow or promote Arminianism. However, that was not the original intent of those articles.

    I have a friend, an excellent man, and a true Calvinist - the Reverend Brian Felce. He is a member of the Board of the Trinitarian Bible Society. He is a member of the Church of England Continuing.

    CofEC | The Church of England (Continuing)

    It is a fully Calvinist denomination. They subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles in accordance with their original intent. If one is an "original intent" subscriber to the Thirty-Nine Articles (as was Bishop Ryle) then one is an Old-School Calvinist.

    ---------- Post added at 06:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:47 PM ----------


    I cannot think of a better explanation of what constitutes "Neo-Calvinism" than this excellent paper by Reverend Sherman Ishbell of the Free Church Continuing.


    It's entitled "Recovering Experimental Religion." Reverend Ishbell proves that experimental religion was at the heart of the old Calvinism, but that cultural Calvinism became, under Kuiper and Bavinck, the driving force of the new, that is, Neo-Calvinism. Secularism was a big problem in Holland in the late 1800s, and Kuiper, himself a politician, began to promote a Calvinist outlook on culture. However, sadly, Kuiper also promoted the false doctrine now called "presumptive regeneration," in which he assumed that, normally, the infant was to be regarded as already regenerated when brought to the baptismal laver. He presumed that, by virtue of the covenant, the child would already be regenerate.

    Consequently, the preaching of the Christian Reformed Church then changed from being a preaching to address the unconverted in the congregation, and to imploring the covenant children to come to Christ, to a preaching to the whole congregation, children and infants included, as already converted. And if the children memorised the catechism, and continued in Church membership, they were assumed regenerate. The preaching then focussed, not on regeneration, but on changing the culture. Interestingly, Herman Bavinck, a scholastic Reformed theologian, became a leader in this movement, but he himself had been raised as a child in an experimental community. He lamented the loss of experimental religion in his day.

    Interestingly, also, the same Kuiper who promoted the doctrine of presumed regeneration, himself entered the pulpit an unconverted man, by his own confession. Through the exhortations of the Lord's people in his own congregation, he came to see his own unconverted state, sought the Lord, and then professed to be experimentally converted. But sadly, he then later set aside all experimental preaching from the pulpit.

    Again, I think you will find the above paper most enlightening. Neo-Calvinism, quite frankly, pervades the whole Christian Reconstructionist movement, as Reverend Ishbell proves. Sad to say, many of the modern Reconstructionists are inimical to experimental religion. They condemn Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Boston, George Whitefield, and others, as being "pietists." But Calvin himself was fully experimental. Just read Book III of the Institutes, where he vividly describes what true regeneration is.
  7. reformed trucker

    reformed trucker Puritan Board Sophomore

    :worms: You stinker...:D
  8. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    Appreciating Mark Driscoll and Theo-Cultural Blindness | Think! – Wrestlin’ With Wordz-N-Ideaz
  9. Kiffin

    Kiffin Puritan Board Freshman

  10. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

  11. sonlight

    sonlight Puritan Board Freshman

    At this point, the dummy here would like to say something. :lol: Feel free to drop kick me in the head and tell me to go sit in the corner and I won't get offended. I do a customer service related job for a living. I talk to a lot of people all over the country. Sad to say, but most of these folks are NOT what I would consider to be overly bright. I am not exactly an Einstein myself. Now if you take one of these un-churched people and drop them in a church, they are going to be expecting a show. Think? They are not going to want to think. They won't want to learn a whole new set of rules, but they will have a desire and be led by the Spirit to a church. People under the age of 40, for the most part, have been brought up with no rules and not much discipline. They were raised with a TV and everything is all about instant gratification. If you were born after 1980, you would not have known a life without cable or MTV. When I was a kid, we had a black and white set and an antenna that got four channels.
    The point I am trying to make is to first consider the audience you have to work with. Why do you think Warren and Osteen can jam 20k + into a service? They serve up the feel good stuff hot and fresh and instant. No thought needed here. It's a spiritual bag of Doritos. But Doritos don't fill you up for long. And you get tired of eating Doritos. You think to yourself, I'd like a nice steak dinner with a baked tater with some sour cream and...
    So some of these people figure out that there has to be more and go out to find it. Like me, they find the five points. This is good stuff. After a while, you find out that this is only the beginning. Here is some more good stuff and off it goes.
    I've been attending a Landmark Sovereign Grace Baptist church. I know from talking to the pastor that they are premill. He believes in the rapture. As for me, I am not completely sure what I believe yet on that. I'm still learning. I think there has to be more of me out there that are learning.
    It was stated that the five points needs the whole package of reformed theology and the confessions and church government to survive. This might turn out to be quite right but let's not be so hasty to condemn anything that is leading people into a good direction.
    There are lots of dummies out there like me that have no clue where Dort is or half of the other things of theological nature that were stated in this thread. For those brought up in a reformed church that have all this stuff wired down solid, they probably can't see what is so hard about it all. There are times when I feel like I was dropped in a forest with a pen knife and two matches and told to find my way home. In seconds I am wishing I had Bear Grylls and MacGuyver with me to get me out of this mess.
    The average Joe's impression of a church these days is where you sit for an hour and listen to a rock band do some songs and then some guy read something out of the Bible and then talk on it for a half hour or so and then you go home. If they are wanting this to be a meaningful thing, they say the prayer at the altar call and that works for them. In most churches out there, that's about it. There isn't much organization and there is a lot of people coming and going. Sometimes the salvation sticks and they develop a walk with the Lord but more often, they think.. I said the prayer, it's all good.
    Sure, I can see that the whole system of reformed theology is needed to make it all work for any extended period of time. Maybe you could think of the New Calvinist churches like Denny's. They are getting fed better than over at Osteen's Mickey D's. Hopefully they will see that there is much more and maybe step up to a five star restaurant some day.
  12. Michael Doyle

    Michael Doyle Puritan Board Junior

    This is all fine with respect to the novice lay-person, the new convert if you will. I believe however, the beef is not with people gradually coming to know the truth but in those foxes who are trying historical revision and the rewriting of the orthodox theological texts. They start these movements because they are sure they have discovered a still better way and it waters down the soup. This is at least my beef and my objection. It is certainly not the people off the streets of Seattle or name the city coming in and hearing the word of God in a fresh culturally relevant way that are the culprits (at least not in lieu of this post)

    I dont find myself so much as a hater here but the Reformed model has been mis-characterized by the new Calvinists and it is good to bring it to light and expose their error
  13. alhembd

    alhembd Puritan Board Freshman


    When one holds to the regulative principle as taught by the Westminster Divines, one practices exclusive psalmody without musical instruments. That right there restricts cultural differences. It tends to make the worship culture-neutral. It makes it Scriptural.

    This should be the model, really. The worship of God is God's worship; He has sovereignty over it. The worship is for Him, not for us, properly speaking. He comes down with His Spirit when we honour Him in it, and not ourselves.

    Colossians 2.23 speaks of "will worship." That means "worship that is self-willed, done after man's standards, and not God's."

    "...Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh..."

    Many things which have a show, even, of mortifying the flesh, such as the extraScriptural ascetiscms of Rome, are will worship. But certainly, modern entertainment in Church is also will worship.

    We need to have the worship that God wills, not what man wills.

    ---------- Post added at 11:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:11 AM ----------

    To be specific, Jonathan Edwards states very expressly the cessationist position in his wonderful book /Charity and its Fruits, which is a commentary on 1 Corinthians 13. In his comment on vs 8, he clearly articulates the cessationist position.
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