THE NEW CALVINISM CONSIDERED
Of all the various movements that have affected the evangelical Christian Church in the early years of the 21st century, the young, restless and reformed or 'New Calvinists' are among the most significant. Jeremy Walker acknowledges the difficulties of tackling this subject, which he approaches with some caution. He writes of his desire to provide ‘a balanced and appropriately irenic assessment’ as he considers the contribution of various personalities:
At the core you will hear names such as John Piper, Mark Dever, C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Kevin DeYoung, Ligon Duncan, Tim Keller, Don Carson, and Wayne Grudem. On the websites and in the blogosphere names like Justin Taylor and Tim Challies are prominent. More on the fringes, and with a much more ambivalent relationship, are men like R. C. Sproul and John MacArthur on the one hand and James MacDonald and Francis Chan on the other.
Dr Sam Waldron, Academic Dean of the Midwest Center for Theological Studies, writes:
The best thing about this assessment is that Jeremy has approached the matter in genuinely Christian fashion. He speaks of the difficulty of speaking accurately about such a large and diverse movement. He understands the necessity of guarding his criticisms in a way that is deeply Christian. He does not forget to commend the movement where it can and ought to be commended. Nevertheless the critique he launches loses none of its helpfulness and power for all this. He notes how difficult it is to boldly provide such criticisms in the context of the cult of celebrity and triumphalism that sometimes characterizes the New Calvinism. It is always difficult to be the little boy who tells the world that the emperor has no clothes (or has at least stripped down to his underwear), but Jeremy does so with both candor and kindness....
If you are not sure what to think of the New Calvinism, you need to read this book. If you have friends struggling with it, you need to give them this book. If you are being reproached for not embracing it, use the arguments and cautions of this book to defend yourself. If you are danger of rejecting the whole of New Calvinism root and branch, you need the care of this book to restrain you.
Jeremy Walker was born to godly parents and was converted to Christ during his teenage years. he serves as a pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley, and is married to Alissa, with whom he enjoys the blessing of three children. He has authored several books and blogs at Reformation21 and 'The Wanderer'.