Dear Guests of IDOTG:
Aside from pastors, we know some ‘new’ young Calvinists who will never settle in a dedicated, working church, because their views live only in their heads and not their hearts. We know of some whose lives are not clean. We know of others who go clubbing. The greater their doctrinal prowess, the greater their hypocrisy.In the less than 12 months since Dr. Peter Masters wrote this article the so-called “new” Calvinists in the conservative evangelical community have had two major controversies arise from among them.
These are harsh words, but they lead me to say that where biblical, evangelical Calvinism shapes conduct, and especially worship, it is a very humbling, beautiful system of Truth, but where it is confined to the head, it inflates pride and self-determination.
The new Calvinism is not a resurgence but an entirely novel formula which strips the doctrine of its historic practice, and unites it with the world.
Why have the leading preachers servicing this movement compromised so readily? They have not been threatened by a Soviet regime. No one has held a gun to their heads. This is a shameful capitulation, and we must earnestly pray that what they have encouraged will not take over Calvinism and ruin a generation of reachable Christian young people.
A final sad spectacle reported with enthusiasm in the book [Young, Restless, Reformed] is the Together for the Gospel conference, running from 2006. A more adult affair convened by respected Calvinists, this nevertheless brings together cessationists and non-cessationists, traditional and contemporary worship exponents, and while maintaining sound preaching, it conditions all who attend to relax on these controversial matters, and learn to accept every point of view. In other words, the ministry of warning is killed off, so that every error of the new scene may race ahead unchecked. These are tragic days for authentic spiritual faithfulness, worship and piety.1
1) Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan joining with Roman Catholics and rank liberals as original signatories of the Manhattan Declaration; a raw act of ecumenism that compromised the Gospel.2
2) John Piper invites Rick Warren to be a keynote speaker at Desiring God.3
Add both of these to the concerns Dr. Masters addressed which is the CCM (Rock-n-Roll) culture and Charismatic theology at T4G, all of which are making serious inroads throughout much of the “new” Calvinism in the evangelical community.4
If the established pattern among the leadership of T4G follows all of these are going to brushed aside for the sake of unity, but for unity at what cost? The cost is become an obvious disregard for the Scriptures that command men to separation from unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-17; Eph. 5:11), from the world’s anti-God culture (1 John 2:15-16) and from brethren who are among the disobedient (2 Thess. 3:14-15).
For the sake of these fellowships men are demonstrating a willingness to tolerate, excuse and/or ignore what many of the high-profile stars of conservative evangelicalism have done to compromise the Gospel. Is it possible that the magnetic attraction of fellowship around the stars of conservative evangelicalism at these events has finally come to trump fidelity to the Word of God? These mounting examples of ecumenical compromise and worldliness in methods ministry are still not enough reason for them who ought to know better to flee from them.
Is this an indication we are seeing signs of the coming supra-religion of Rev. 17-18 among the so-called conservative evangelicals? Some may scoff at that, but I suggest they rethink it in light of Piper’s embrace and defense of Rick Warren, an extreme ecumenical compromiser; as well as Al Mohler*/Ligon Duncan signing the Manhattan Declaration, which gave Christian recognition to the deadly “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18).
Over the weekend a pastor sent me an e-mail that included commentary that I’d like to share here just before I close.
“…the sour nature of ungodly fundamentalism with its tendency to separate over non-essentials. Their motto in essence would be: ‘In the non-essentials, unity.’ The opposite end of that spectrum is the sickening sweet nature of ungodly evangelicalism with its tendency to unify at the expense of the essentials. Their motto in essence would be: ‘In the essentials, liberty.’ However, this is a case of the essentials and if we can’t have unity on the essentials then there is to be separation. This is the mistake Piper is making and the mistake that Mohler has made especially with regards to the Manhattan Declaration.”Virtually every error in doctrine or practice of the keynote speakers who converge around “new” scene Calvinism is most certainly allowed to “race ahead unchecked.” Not one of these keynote speakers convening at T4G has come forward with the boldness of an Elijah or Paul. Why?
Is this week’s T4G a “final sad spectacle?” No, it is not. Not as long as the trends toward disregard of the biblical mandates and ecumenical compromise for the sake of unity remain rule of the day. Instead we are going to see a worsening of these thngs in the coming months and years and increasing tolerance for them.
To be part of this “new” Calvinism, which converges again this week at T4G one must agree that the “ministry of warning [be] killed off,” and so it is.
1) Dr. Peter Masters, The Merger of Calvinism With Worldliness
2) Al Mohler Signs the Manhattan Declaration: Is This a Case for “Gospel-Driven Separation?”
3) See- John Piper to Feature Rick Warren at 2010 Desiring God
4) Tragically, through the efforts and/or nearly non-existent ministry of warning of men like Dr. Kevin Bauder and Dr. Dave Doran the same disconcerting trends are making an appearance in Fundamentalist circles. See- Let’s Get “CRYSTAL” Clear on This: A Response to Kevin Bauder’s “Cannonball” Cogitations
*Add to Al Mohler’s signing the Manhattan Declaration that he: chaired the 2001 Billy Graham crusade in Louisville, honored former SBTS president Duke McCall, a rank liberal, and sits on the board of the ecumenical Focus on the Family. See- Al Mohler Signs the Manhattan Declaration: Was This a First Foray Into Ecumenism?
Site Publisher’s Note:
I personally reject all five points of Calvinism as I understand them and the Lordship Salvation interpretation of the Gospel that flows from it. I cite Dr. Peter Masters because he is a Calvinist and highly respected in Calvinistic circles. His ministry of warning and admonition to his Calvinistic brethren is not easily dismissed by them.