What The New Calvinism Is Really About

Here is a short answer from Kevin DeYoung that deserves a resounding AMEN:

“Is the New Calvinism dead or dying? In a couple ways yes. In most ways no. “Yes” in so far as we are seeing that some of the networks in the movement probably don’t actually belong in the same movement and some of the popular voices in the movement may not really be singing from the same sheet of music. But a resounding “no” in so far as the commitment to and interest in these twelve features seems to me to be growing rather than receding. Where the New Calvinism is about propping up our puny empires and making pastors rich and famous let it die a thousand deaths and die quickly. Where the New Calvinism leads people to the Bible, points to good books, produces good resources, promotes a winsome evangelical Calvinism, strengthens the local church, exults in Christ, proclaims the gospel, and  magnifies the glory of God, let it grow ten thousand fold. And if it grows and in some quarters becomes potent and popular, let us not have a whiff of triumphalism for its success, nor a hint of rooting for its demise.”

I, quite happily, associate myself with the New Calvinism movement. Not because it is popular, trendy, and has a bunch of awesome celebrity pastors that lead the charge. No. I happily belong in the New Calvinism because of what it stands for, advances, and aims to accomplish.

It is here that I think Kevin DeYoung gets it so right. John Piper also gives what he believes are the 12 features of New Calvinism. Below is my short summary of what I believe New Calvinism is really about:

  • Leading people to the Bible and promoting a deep theology.
  • The sovereignty of God over all of life.
  • Pointing to and writing good books and resources to help people grow in gospel centrality.
  • Developing and promoting a winsome evangelical calvinism.
  • Strengthening the local church and rapidly planting new churches.
  • Aggressive missional approach to evangelism, social issues, etc.
  • Exulting Christ and magnifying the glory of God.
  • Engaging the culture with Christ instead of running from the culture.
  • A robust complementarianism that honors the Word and women.
  • Cooperation beyond denominational lines.

These are all things I am thrilled to be a part of and work towards. New Calvinism as a movement definitely has some warts and issues that need to be expunged. My hope is we continue to identify and kill those things while we continue to promote and grow in what we are about and what we are advancing. If the proof is in the pudding, I want a second serving.

4 thoughts on “What The New Calvinism Is Really About

  1. Great words Matt, and I agree with you completely. The time will come when the incumbent leaders who push against this moment will set aside and this movement will begin to take hold and really change the face of what we see in the SBC, at least in my humble opinion.

  2. Good stuff. If there’s any depth to my theology at all, I’d have to credit it to my years … a dozen or so … in Presbyterian denominations … three … and the inexhaustible curiosity to know God’s word, and be sure of what I believed, that I got while in them. I see painfully little deep theology in the SBC churches of which I have more than passing knowledge.

    And I still have yet to find anyone who could answer why one must be baptized in order to join a Baptist church. Not even a rather well-known professor.

  3. Pingback: Weekend Blog Review | Obeying Christ - 2 Corinthians 10:5

  4. Pingback: What Our Churches REALLY Need | Matt Svoboda

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