What is neo-Calvinism?

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Ajay

Puritan Board Freshman
I am hearing first time about neo-Calvinism? How to identify it. New Calvinism and Neo Calvinism are same? Is there any difference

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Shanny01

Puritan Board Freshman
Neo-Calvinism is the school of thought that originated with Abraham Kuyper in the early 1900's stressing pietism (in a Reformed way), Christ's sovereignty over all of life, engaging the public, among other things.
New Calvinism is the resurgent predestinarianism among evangelicals especially in the United States. Think John Piper, Matt Chandler, Albert Mohler, Tim Keller, DA Carson, Gospel Coalition, and such. Open to continuing gifts and other ideas historically not associated within reformed orthodoxy.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
New Calvinism is the set S of [beer, beards, and Spurgeon].

Neo-Calvinism is the Dutch theological response to modernity which includes disparate figures such as Kuyper, Bavinck, and Schilder.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Neo-Calvinism is the school of thought that originated with Abraham Kuyper in the early 1900's stressing pietism (in a Reformed way), Christ's sovereignty over all of life, engaging the public, among other things.
New Calvinism is the resurgent predestinarianism among evangelicals especially in the United States. Think John Piper, Matt Chandler, Albert Mohler, Tim Keller, DA Carson, Gospel Coalition, and such. Open to continuing gifts and other ideas historically not associated within reformed orthodoxy.
Yes, many of those espousing this are open to current Charismatic gifts still operating, contemporary worship songs and styles, and more into be open towards culture and other Christian groups. Not so much as into practicing separation.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The main difficulty with that article is that Young collapses all of Neo-Calvinism, not only into Kuyper, but into Kuyper's more bizarre beliefs. On his reading, it's hard to see how Klaas Schilder could be a neo-calvinist, which he clearly was.
Would neo-calvinism be the system that wanted to have culture transformed also, in addition to individual salvation?
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
One can positively affect a sub-culture yet the larger world still go to hell.
I realize that both Amil and preMil would affirm that, but doesn't aggressive PostMil hold for the culture/society itself experience a radical transformation before the Second Coming of Christ?
 

R. Andrew Compton

Puritan Board Freshman
One thing to keep in mind that within the Kuyperian tradition, there are various strands. Though the term "neo-Calvinism" is often one used of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck, there is considerable debate about how closely they relate to later figures like Herman Dooyewerd and Dirk Vollenhoven and those who follow them.

David VanDrunen, for example, posits more discontinuity between Kuyper and Neo-Calvinism than continuity (see his Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms: A Study in the Development of Reformed Social Thought [Eerdmans, 2010], 348-85). Others however within the Kuyperian tradition who identify as "Neo-Calvinists" posit more continuity. (See, for example, Albert M. Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview, 2d ed [Eerdmans, 2005]; Craig G. Bartholomew, Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction [IVP Academic, 2017]; James K.A. Smith, Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology [Baker Academic, 2017].)

All this to say, the label "Neo-Calvinism" is somewhat ambiguous. Some use it simply to identify with Kuyper and Bavinck, though they do not follow the further developments of Dooyewerd, Vollenhoven, et al. Others use it as a term that encomapsses Kuyper and all those who work in his trajectory. What can be said with certainty, however, is that the label does traffic specifically in Kuyperian circles.

My colleague, Cornel Venema, has written on some of these topics of late, and though he speaks appreciatevly of the label "Neo Calvinism," even affirming some of the positive developments achieved among some of the Dooyewerdians, he articulates a number of places where the two-kingdoms approach as articulated by Van Drunen is very useful. (For these points of overlap, see Cornelis P. Venema, "One Kingdom or Two? An Evaluation of the 'Two-Kingdoms' Doctrine as an Alternative to Neo-Calvinism," Mid-America Journal of Theology 23 [2012]: 93-101. While this article is largely critical of the two-kingdom approach, I do think these pages in particular model a type of Neo-Calvinism that is oriented around common grace and not overly triumphalistic.) This helps to show some of the theological dynamics at play and hopefully helps to show some of the breadth of the labels.

I hope this helps a bit!
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
One thing to keep in mind that within the Kuyperian tradition, there are various strands. Though the term "neo-Calvinism" is often one used of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck, there is considerable debate about how closely they relate to later figures like Herman Dooyewerd and Dirk Vollenhoven and those who follow them.

David VanDrunen, for example, posits more discontinuity between Kuyper and Neo-Calvinism than continuity (see his Natural Law and the Two Kingdoms: A Study in the Development of Reformed Social Thought [Eerdmans, 2010], 348-85). Others however within the Kuyperian tradition who identify as "Neo-Calvinists" posit more continuity. (See, for example, Albert M. Wolters, Creation Regained: Biblical Basics for a Reformational Worldview, 2d ed [Eerdmans, 2005]; Craig G. Bartholomew, Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition: A Systematic Introduction [IVP Academic, 2017]; James K.A. Smith, Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology [Baker Academic, 2017].)

All this to say, the label "Neo-Calvinism" is somewhat ambiguous. Some use it simply to identify with Kuyper and Bavinck, though they do not follow the further developments of Dooyewerd, Vollenhoven, et al. Others use it as a term that encomapsses Kuyper and all those who work in his trajectory. What can be said with certainty, however, is that the label does traffic specifically in Kuyperian circles.

My colleague, Cornel Venema, has written on some of these topics of late, and though he speaks appreciatevly of the label "Neo Calvinism," even affirming some of the positive developments achieved among some of the Dooyewerdians, he articulates a number of places where the two-kingdoms approach as articulated by Van Drunen is very useful. (For these points of overlap, see Cornelis P. Venema, "One Kingdom or Two? An Evaluation of the 'Two-Kingdoms' Doctrine as an Alternative to Neo-Calvinism," Mid-America Journal of Theology 23 [2012]: 93-101. While this article is largely critical of the two-kingdom approach, I do think these pages in particular model a type of Neo-Calvinism that is oriented around common grace and not overly triumphalistic.) This helps to show some of the theological dynamics at play and hopefully helps to show some of the breadth of the labels.

I hope this helps a bit!
Is the 2 Kingdom approach something akin to the Kingdom being here, and yet not here in its fullest extant, as that awaits the Second Coming proper?
 

R. Andrew Compton

Puritan Board Freshman
Is the 2 Kingdom approach something akin to the Kingdom being here, and yet not here in its fullest extant, as that awaits the Second Coming proper?
I believe that is how a two-kingdoms advocate would articulate it. The adherents that I know do hold to the already/not-yet dynamic.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I realize that both Amil and preMil would affirm that, but doesn't aggressive PostMil hold for the culture/society itself experience a radical transformation before the Second Coming of Christ?
Perhaps, perhaps not. But none of these guys are postmil, so that's red herring.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Two Kingdom Approach:

1. King Jesus rules his church by word and spirit.
2. The magistrate rules the civil sphere.

That's standard biblical theology, but the danger is when the R2K guys draw further inferences
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I believe that is how a two-kingdoms advocate would articulate it. The adherents that I know do hold to the already/not-yet dynamic.
This position is what I was taught while in School, as our text book was the NT theology of GE Ladd, and he made popular the Here, but not yet here in full reasoning.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Two Kingdom Approach:

1. King Jesus rules his church by word and spirit.
2. The magistrate rules the civil sphere.

That's standard biblical theology, but the danger is when the R2K guys draw further inferences
Pardon my dunce cap being put on, but what is R2K?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Pardon my dunce cap being put on, but what is R2K?
Radical two kingdoms. It takes the original truth behind 2 Kingdoms and says we shouldn't try to have Christian influence in govt. Everything is common grace ethic. Applied consistently it means:

1. No Christian opposite to abortion, LGBT, etc.
2. No need for Christian education.
3. No need for Christian politicians.

All of this because we don't see the Apostle Paul trying to "Christianize" the world.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Radical two kingdoms. It takes the original truth behind 2 Kingdoms and says we shouldn't try to have Christian influence in govt. Everything is common grace ethic. Applied consistently it means:

1. No Christian opposite to abortion, LGBT, etc.
2. No need for Christian education.
3. No need for Christian politicians.

All of this because we don't see the Apostle Paul trying to "Christianize" the world.
That makes little sense to me though, for did not Jesus Himself tell us to be lights and salt, to spread his grace in and among society?
 
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