Thursday, March 5, 2009

Paleo vs. Neo-Reformed (continued)

Daryl Hart adds to his previous article with a second installment. This time he differentiates Neo-Calvinists and Paleo-Calvinists a bit more clearly...

The paleo/neo distinction for Reformed Protestants is not only useful for discerning different attitudes toward evangelicalism, but even for figuring out distinct understandings of Calvinism itself. After all, the Kuyperian or world-and-life-view form of Calvinism has always been known as neo-Calvinism. That reputation implies a distinction with paleo-Calvinism, and furthers the wariness that should accompany the use of the prefix “neo” — as in neo-conservative, neo-evangelical, and neo-orthodox.

Neo-Calvinists are prone to dismiss paleo-Calvinists as warmed over Lutherans because of either the two-kingdom doctrine or the spirituality of the church. This is not the place to elaborate on either of these, except to remark that when paleo-Calvinists distinguish between the sacred and the secular, the spiritual and the natural, the temporal and the eternal, neo-Calvinists go batty and think that paleo-Calvinists are following Luther and restricting Christianity to the realm of religion and ethics. (As if Luther’s view of vocation and the goodness of work in this world doesn’t suggest that neo-Calvinists are confused about Luther and Lutheranism.)

You can read the rest by clicking here

Note: Hart's thesis is in keeping with earlier posts I made on redeeming the culture here and here.

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