What’s “new” about the New Calvinism?

Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, and Al Mohler discuss the unifying factors that characters the “new Calvinism” (e.g. authority of Scripture, sovereignty of God, gender roles, etc.).

I thought this video was particularly interesting in light of a recent post by R. Scott Clark arguing that such “predestinarian evangelicals” aren’t really Reformed at all. He makes a good point about the fact that people often use “Calvinist” and “Reformed” to refer almost exclusively to certain ideas related to sovereignty and predestination, neglecting the rich depth and distinctiveness of Reformed theology in so many other areas.

Regardless, the video is worth watching.



About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on October 19, 2010, in The Modern Church and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Indeed, as one older than all three of these good Calvinist men, I can say amen to this aspect. The younger people who are coming out of secular elements are finding great truth and faith experience in classic Reformed and Reformational teaching. I had my own classic Augustinian conversion over 40 years ago, and it has, by grace, weathered many storms! It is God’s gift and grace not mine, but thankfully I can respond also.

  2. How were you able to embed a Vimeo video? Do you pay for the upgrade?

    • No, it”s one of the mystical secrets that is revealed in the special book that they give you when you finish your Ph.D. But, since I hear that you have your own copy, I can go ahead and tell you.

      You just need to paste the link into the post with no brackets, hypertexting, or preface, it will embed the video automatically. So, for this video you just paste http://vimeo.com/15887245. Nothing else.

  3. I’ve never got a Vimeo video to stick either. Maybe WP made some changes or the “theme” Marc is using has an additional option?

  4. Yeah Marc,

    Now strangely the Anglicanorum Coetibus is pulling at me, with the mess in Anglicanism. But, I am always the Reformed Catholic Anglican. I am not sure I can really make the turn back to Rome? But I love much there now. Btw, if I can ask Marc? Have you read: Covenant and Communion, The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI, by Scott Hahn? Sorry to change gears here!

    • I haven’t. It’s been on my radar for a while, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I hear that it’s very well done. What do you think?

      • Well, I am hardly neutral sometimes, Rome can still have its pull on me. But I thought it done very well, he shows that the pope has really engaged theology in the last 50 years, and he does seek a form of biblicist approach. If you read it? Note the chapter on The Spiritual Science of Theology…”the ecclesiality of sacred Scripture” in the journey of the Church.

  5. Marc,

    How would you self-identify? Confessionally?

  6. I would also like to add, in re. to Clark, that he and ilk don’t consider anyone ‘Reformed’ unless they fit the mold of ‘Westminster’; which in all reality isn’t tapping into the rich/diverse heritage of Reformed theology, at all.

    • That may be, but he still brings out a good point about what the term “Reformed” actually means. It is interesting that many people who would not subscribe to large portions of any of the classic Reformed confessions still want to call themselves “Reformed.”

      • I agree, Marc. Clark’s point is taken. The lines are tenuous when it comes to knowing who’s in/out relative to this topic — in my mind. I know what Clark has in mind (and it is to narrow, and self-serving, I think). There are Baptists who sign of on the “London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689,” which is “Reformed,” but not enough for the Westminsters (WTS).

        Anyway, it’s a more complex issue than I think Clark would have it to be. I would consider myself ‘Reformed’ but I really can only appreciate the Scots Confession and aspects of the Heidelberg. And then of course I’m “Baptist” myself (CBA). So really I’m ‘Free Church’, which brings up another question of ecclesiology and confession and how those relate (if necessarily so, or not).


  7. I can understand the appeal of the “New Calvinism.” I question if it is really correct, though, when Moehler says, “Where else will they go?” New Calvinism has theological resources for helping folks address the anomie they may feel because of growing up in a ~traditional religious (i.e. secular) context. But the sense of stability that you could get from being a predestinarian, might also be gained from being grafted into an institution like the Orthodox or RC church as well.

  1. Pingback: Are the best Paul scholars today mostly non-Calvinist? « scientia et sapientia

  2. Pingback: Are the best Paul scholars today mostly non-Calvinist? | Everyday Theology

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