Friday, June 11, 2010

Something Old, Something New

Over at Ligonier Ministries OPC minister Eric Watkins asks this important question:
How can confessional Reformed churches provide a safe haven for New Calvinists?
It's a fair question.  What do you do with the person who comes to your church having embraced large parts of reformed theology while maintaining lots of other things (Keswick theology, charismatic/Pentecostal views, differing views on church government, the sacraments, education, politics, etc.)?  I think that the answer is to welcome them and patiently teach them.  They might not be willing to listen or they might not be willing to change, but you never really know what God will do over the course of time with patient teaching. 

Here is his solution:

New Calvinists, like all Christians, are pilgrims making their way toward the city of Zion. Their theological path has likely taken difficult turns over time. They may have paid the relational costs of being identified with Calvinists or moving from one church to another. They are wounded not only by the world but perhaps even by Christians. As they stumble into our churches, they do so as those who are seeking the Great Physician. They can be truly comforted by no other. Before we seek to engage the finer points of their theology, let us first seek to comfort their souls by reminding them of that which so truly comforts every Calvinist and indeed every Christian — life in Christ. Foundational to providing safe haven to new Calvinists is the preaching of the gospel; and that is nothing new.

Read the rest here:  Something Old, Something New by Eric Watkins Reformed Theology Articles at


Ken e said...

To the Charismatic in North America im close to being a heretic and a marked man being a Calvinist, to the North American Presbyterian Reformed I'm something called a "New Calvinist", but to the Anglican in south east asia I'm an Anglican.


Dave Sarafolean said...


Well said. Sometimes we fail to see that it takes people years to work through their theological 'baggage.' Some never work through all the issues or choose to hang onto some beliefs that don't fit nicely into a particular Reformation creed. That's where I think the PCA has a done a good job: people can join the church based on a simple profession of faith while officers must subscribe to the WCF. That allows for variety in the pews but also keeps the church from straying from our doctrinal standards.