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Time Magazine Names New Calvinism 3rd Most Powerful Idea

According to Time Magazine 'New Calvinism' is the third biggest idea that is changing the world right now. Here are some thoughts on new versus old Calvinism.


Four Ways 'New Calvinism' is So Powerful

  1. Old Calvinism was fundamental or liberal and separated from or syncretized with culture. New Calvinism is missional and seeks to create and redeem culture.
  2. Old Calvinism fled from the cities. New Calvinism is flooding into cities.
  3. Old Calvinism was cessationistic and fearful of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. New Calvinism is continuationist and joyful in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
  4. Old Calvinism was fearful and suspicious of other Christians and burned bridges. New Calvinism loves all Christians and builds bridges between them.

According to Time magazine, the New Calvinism is the third biggest idea changing the world right now. While the article inaccurately painted God as essentially the author of evil, the fact that Reformed theology has gotten so big that it merits this kind of attention is nothing short of shocking.



The fourth distinction is incredibly important.


Sadly, Cruel Calvinists are a small but loud bunch. Thus, now more than ever, it is vital that all Christians in general, and Reformed Christians in particular, demonstrate the kind of love and humility that our theology requires. The cruel, flame-thrown half-truths and misquotes between Christians do not speak well to the watching world of the love we are supposed to share. Therefore, it is vital that we distinguish between what I will call state and national theological borders.


Theological National Boundaries


Indeed, there are theological national borders that need to be retained, such as Scripture as God’s Word; God as Trinitarian community; humanity as sinful; Jesus as God and man; the virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus; and the necessity of Jesus alone for salvation from sin, hell, and the wrath of God.


State Boundaries


Beyond these sorts of national borders are state borders. State borders include spiritual gifts, baptism, communion, worship styles, Bible translations, sense of humor, and the like. Various states can have their own proverbial borders on these issues. Nonetheless, like states we must be able to live as a loving and unified nation. We cannot turn our state borders into national borders and refuse to live at peace in unity and love with those who live in other proverbial states. Simply, the state borders should not be battle lines where personal and theological wars are fought because bigger things are at stake, such as the evangelizing of lost people and the planting of missional churches.


My prayer today is this


“Thank you Sovereign God for an opportunity to influence the nations for good. May you please give us your Spirit to keep our minds learning, hearts loving, ears listening, hands serving, and humility growing for your glory and our joy. We ask this for your fame by the Spirit’s power in Jesus’ name. Amen.”


Carl Shank

on Mar 17, 2009 :: 10:54 am

Note my extended comments on this and on the Time magazine article in my blog: I appreciated both and agree with Mark's closing prayer.


Pastor Mark Driscoll founded Mars Hill Church in Seattle in the fall of 1996, which has grown to over 13,000 people including new sites in New Mexico and California. He co-founded the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, with three hundred churches in the U.S. and internationally, and is founder of The Resurgence.

Outreach magazine has recognized Mars Hill Church as the ninth most innovative and fifteenth fastest-growing church in America. Outreach magazine has also ranked Mars Hill Church number two of America's top multiplying (church-planting) churches. The Church Report has recognized Pastor Mark as the twenty-second most influential pastor in America. His sermons are downloaded more than a million times a year and he has been recognized by Christianity Today, Inc., as one of the most influential young preachers in America. Seattle magazine has named Pastor Mark as one of the twenty-five most powerful people in Seattle.

Media coverage on Pastor Mark and Mars Hill varies from National Public Radio to Mother Jones magazine, the Associated Press, the New York Times, Blender music magazine, Outreach magazine, Preaching Today, and Leadership magazine to ABC Television and the 700 Club.

His writing includes the books The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out Without Selling Out and Confessions of a Reformission Rev.: Hard Lessons from an Emerging Missional Church, Vintage Jesus, Death by Love, and Vintage Church. He also contributed to the book Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, and made a chapter contribution to the book Above All Earthly Powers, edited by Dr. John Piper.

Most enjoyably, Mark and his high school sweetheart, Grace, enjoy raising their three sons and two daughters. You can read his full bio here.