Old Calvinism or Dispensationalism?
With regard to the recent article in Time magazine which notes that the New Calvinism is one of the top ten ideas changing the world right now Pastor Mark Driscoll made the following observations last week on his blog, where I think he must be confusing Calvinism with something else. He says:
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.
Comment: Pastor Dricoll is perhaps mistakenly viewing the fleeing the city, do not engage culture, mentality as belonging to the "Old Calvinism" although I am not certain who, in particular, he is referring to here. -- I speculate he may be referring to Dispensationalism of the 20th century some of which may have had an element calvinistic soteriology but was not Calvinism or Reformed Theology in the classic sense of the term. Some Reformed churches may have left the cities in the 20th century ... but it may be anachronistic of him to read the post-Reagan gentrification of the cities back into the 60s and 70s. Calvinists hardly existed in the 20th century and I think the Time essay may simply refer to its resurgence after a century of dormancy. The Old Calvinism ( see Kuyper, Calvin, the Puritans) were most-of-the-time culturally engaging, not fundamentalistic or foxhole in their mentality. Next, Driscoll's comment about the old Calvinism's treatment of the Holy Spirit is off in my estimation. Calvin was well-known as the theologian of the Holy Spirit and most of those he influenced put the Holy Spirit front and center in their ministry. There is no Calvinism or Reformed Theology without a robust understanding of regeneration and union with Christ. True that the Old Calvinism was cessationist with regard to spirital gifts, but so is a large number of the new Calvinists. No offense intended to Drisoll. Just thought the post was a bit inaccurate.