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When critics charged him with forcing a Calvinist theological agenda on SBTS, he responded: “All Southern Baptists are Calvinists of one sort or another” and that Baptist doctrinal statements like the OLD NEW CALVINISM New Calvinists maintain the core beliefs of Reformed theology; however, there are subtle differences.
Identifying himself as one of the Emerging Reformers on a four-lane emergent highway, Driscoll understands the postmodern mindset of his flock and preaches an authentic Christian message in a way that reaches many with the gospel.
He is charismatic in gifts and worship, aggressive in church planting, and committed to the Reformed theological tradition.
Signs of this Reformed revival include the first printings of the Calvinist-flavored ESV Study Bible—completely sold out— and the increased popularity of Calvinist blogs such as “Between Two Worlds.” The following will offer a general definition of terms and reasons behind the resurgence of Calvinism among today’s Christian youth.
CALVIN, CALVINISM, AND REFORMED THEOLOGY Reformed theology emphasizes the teachings of John Calvin (1509–1564) and Ulrich Zwingli (1484–1531).
), and philosophy (does an internally coherent theological system— Calvinist, Arminian, or a mediating position—correspond to ultimate truth? ), and volumes can be written on each of these questions.
Reformed theology in general as well as its particular view of divine election and salvation are within the pale of biblical orthodoxy.
New Calvinism loves all Christians and builds bridges between them.
Driscoll recognizes the existence of a small but loud bunch of “Cruel Calvinists,” and he admonishes “Christians in general, and Reformed Christians in particular,” to demonstrate “the kind of love and humility that our theology requires.” “Cruel, flame-thrown half-truths and misquotes between Christians,” he says, “do not speak well to the watching world of the love we are supposed to share.” Driscoll also admits that the New and Old Calvinist dichotomy is not entirely accurate, for the New Calvinists are only attempting to “speak the same truths in fresh and passionate ways,” which is something Calvinists of all generations had done, and the many great theologians of the past can be considered “Old New Calvinists.” CONCERNS ABOUT CALVINISM The resurgence of Calvinism does not please everyone.
Many Christians voice strong criticisms against the Five Points of Calvinism.