In the past, I’ve used this space to challenge advocates of Reformed theology to stand up to other advocates of Reformed theology. More specifically, my worry is that all of the press is going toward a particular version of “Reformed” that Calvin himself wouldn’t recognize — this group represented by Piper, Driscoll, MacArthur, Carson, and Mohler; they follow the hardline “TULIP” doctrine; and they are fêted by TIME Magazine, Christianity Today, and in books.
But there are other Calvinisms out there — other Calvinisms that are truer to Calvin himself and, honestly, in better accord with the Bible and with modern theology. Further, alternate Calvinisms play well with others — TULIP does not.
To this end, I point you to the ongoing blog series by Bob Robinson. Bob works for the Coalition for Christian Outreach, a campus ministry based on the theological tradition of Abraham Kuyper. Kuyper, a theologian and politician at the turn of the century, Calvinism in a new direction. In fact, he was the first “NeoCalvinist.” (The picture of the left is Abraham, not Bob!)
Thus, Bob argues, what the present-day TULIPers represent is not, in fact, “NeoCalvinism” as dubbed by media and bloggers. Instead, they are NeoPuritans. In his posts, Bob is contrasting personalities, conferences, schools, and projects that represent the two versions of evangelical Calvinism. To some readers, this may seem like theological esoterica, but I encourage you to poke around Bob’s posts and at least get the lay of the land.
Bob’s posts thus far:
- Deciphering the Nuanced Differences Between Neopuritanism and Neocalvinism
- John Piper and Tim Keller
- Passion Conference and Jubilee Conference
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – Al Mohler and Calvin College – Richard Mouw
- Mark Driscoll – Mars Hill and Gabe Lyons – Fermi Project