Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Appeal of the New Calvinism

A year ago, TIME Magazine recognized the new Calvinism as one of the top ten ideas shaping the world (www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1884779_1884782_1884760,00.html).

Why are the new Calvinists making such an impact on the world?

1. New Calvinists embrace the view of a powerful God. They understand God to be all-knowing and all-powerful. He is a God who is not surprised. He is a God who is in control. He is a God who can be trusted when one is facing trouble beyond his own control. We may be surprised at a job loss or a diagnosis of cancer, but God is not. We may not be able to handle our problems, but God is. When everything goes wrong in our lives, we can trust the One in control to do the right thing (even when it is the hard thing).

2. New Calvinists embrace the view of a flawed humanity. They understand that people are sinners. They know that people need a Savior, because although we may not be as bad as we could be, we are nowhere near as good as we need to be. We have been tainted with a pride and selfishness that ruins our hopes of being who we know we should be.

3. New Calvinists embrace the reality of sin and its consequences. They understand that they are sinners deserving of hell and undeserving of heaven.

4. New Calvinists embrace the need for God's grace in Christ. They understand that their only hope is in what Jesus Christ did for them on the cross. They know that Christ died in their place, taking on their sins and appeasing the wrath of God, so that they may live in a right relationship with God forever.

5. New Calvinists embrace the Scriptures as God's inerrant word. They understand that the Bible is trustworthy because God is trustworthy. Since the Lord is neither incompetent nor dishonest, they know that they can trust his message to them.

6. New Calvinists embrace the distinctions between men and women. They understand that God created all people in his image, but that he made men and women to complement each other. In an age of gender confusion, they acknowledge that men and women are different and that such differences are good and healthy.

7. New Calvinists embrace the glory of God. They are obsessed with bringing glory to God rather than to themselves.

The new Calvinists are counter-cultural, but culturally engaged; and in many ways, their counter-cultural views make them more appealing in the culture. They offer something solid and stable to a generation without much stability.

No comments: