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More Thoughts on Time Magazine and New Calvinism

Mark Driscoll » Systematic Theology Dead Guys Doctrine

This is a follow up to this article 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. For those wondering what the difference is between the old and new Calvinism, I highlighted four distinctions here.

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.”


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