New Calvinism

Dr. Gary E. Gilley
Southern View Chapel
www.svchapel.org

 

young-restless-reformed-new-calvinismThere is a great deal of interest and confusion about a movement within conservative evangelicalism sometimes called “New Calvinism” or Neo-Calvinism. As with many movements it is not monolithic and therefore describing its teachings is not always easy. Some have labeled virtually everyone who is a member of the Gospel Coalition or speaks at Together for the Gospel conferences as a New-Calvinist but that is surely painting with too broad a brush. Some hail Neo-Calvinism as a breath of fresh air that has united the passionate ministry of the Holy Spirit with the solid doctrines of the Reformation. Others see it as a dangerous departure from the faith which opens the door to aberrant teachings of extreme Pentecostalism. While some fear the movement, others cheer it. Therefore it is important to take a careful look at what New Calvinism is and what it is not.

If there is a New Calvinism then by necessity there must be an “old” Calvinism. We need to start then with the teachings of classical Calvinism and see in what ways the new variety is similar and how it is different. Proponents of historical Calvinism would certainly trace its roots to Scripture. But the theological system known today as Calvinism finds its beginnings in the works of a number of theologians, the first of which was Augustine. Nevertheless it was the famous Reformer John Calvin who mapped out the essential doctrines of the theological structure that bears his name. Calvinism is often equated with what are called the “doctrines of grace” which distinguishes it from other theological approaches. But before we examine these dogmas a few other doctrines that they hold, often in common with those who do not see themselves as Calvinists, should be identified.

Calvinist Distinctive

Calvinists strongly believe in the five “solas” which constituted the battle cries of the Reformation. These are: sola scriptura, the belief that Scripture alone is the authority for the Christian faith; sola gloria, the belief that all things are created for and should be done for the glory of God; sola gratia, the belief that salvation from beginning to end is a gift from God which flows from His grace alone; sola fide, the belief that God’s gift of grace is received by humans on the basis of faith alone apart from any works which they have done; and sola Christus, the belief that salvation has been made possible for sinful people on the basis of Christ and His finished work alone. While not all Christians embrace the five solas, many, even among those who would abhor being termed Calvinists, do. Calvinists also place heavy emphasis on the sovereignty of God. He is Lord over everything and nothing happens apart from His direct action or indirect permission. He controls nature as well as nations; He controls demons as well as humans. No thing and no one can thwart His will. While aspects of God’s sovereignty are beyond our comprehension (Rom 11:33-36) most Christians recognize that a God who is not sovereign is a God who cannot be trusted. If there is a single thing in the universe which can frustrate or obstruct the will of God then our Lord is not all-powerful, and that would leave us with a God who is capable of losing control of His universe and/or those within it. Calvinists have championed the doctrine of the sovereignty of God and have provided us with powerful arguments supporting it. It is true that a few have gone too far and drifted into fatalism, but the majority have maintained a good balance and assured the evangelical community that we serve an omnipotent Lord.

Doctrines of Grace

Nevertheless when we think of Calvinism it is the doctrines of grace that come to mind, and rightly so. When Calvinists refer to these doctrines they are talking about five interlocking soteriological terms best remembered by the acronym TULIP.

(T)otal depravity: In a sense this is the heart of the system. How one defines total depravity will lead to how the other doctrines in the chain are understood. By total depravity Calvinists do not mean that people are as bad as they could be, nor that they are incapable of doing good things, as the world measures good. They mean instead that every aspect of our being has been affected and corrupted by sin. Biblical texts such as Romans 3:10-18 and Ephesians 2:1-3 inform us that the bent of all unregenerate people is toward sin and in fact there is nothing anyone can do that could ever please God or contribute to their salvation. From these passages and others we are informed that the unsaved are dead in sin and do not seek God, and left to themselves they would never turn to the Lord for redemption. And because our wills are as fallen and corrupt as our minds we would never independently choose to place our faith in Christ for salvation. The Calvinist, therefore, does not reject the free will of man that many other Christians like to talk about; they simply believe that people, left to their own devices, will “freely” choose to reject Christ. It is because of the depravity of our fallen nature that we are unwilling and unable to turn to Christ unaided. God must do something in us and for us or else we would never find Him, nor even seek Him. Total depravity is not spiritual weakness, it is spiritual deadness – even spiritual inability; that is, left to our own ability, unaided and unenlighted by the Holy Spirit, humans would be unable to be regenerated. It is because of human depravity, defined in this way, that the rest of the links in the TULIP are necessary.

(U)nconditional election: If people are totally depraved, as defined above, then unconditional election becomes a necessity for, if man would never choose God left to their own volition, then God must choose man. Jesus said, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37). A few moments later Jesus takes this further, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” Paul makes clear that the time in which God chose (Greek: elected) His people was before the foundation of the earth (Eph 1:4). It is important to note that the New Testament is clear that the Lord did not choose us because He saw something good in us, but simply according to His sovereign purpose (Rom 9:11, 16-18; 1 Cor 1:26-31).

(L)imited atonement: Some, but not all Calvinists, accept limited atonement or, as it is often called, “particular redemption.” The idea is that Christ’s atoning blood, while sufficient for all sin, was efficacious only for the sins of the elect. Christ did not die merely to make salvation possible; He died in order to atone for the sins of those who God had specifically chosen for His own. Even among Calvinists this leaf of the TULIP is often hotly debated. This is because, while certain verses of Scripture seem to support this view, others point to Christ dying for all (e.g. 1 John 2:2; John 3:16). Everyone, except Universalists, believes in some form of limited atonement. Those embracing unlimited atonement (and that includes some Calvinists) believe that Christ’s death was sufficient for the sins of all, but that only those who turn to Christ by faith are actually redeemed. Those believing in limited atonement believe that Christ died only for the elect. It is my opinion that limited atonement is accepted more on the basis of inference and deduction than by direct biblical support.

(I)rresistable grace: Since totally depraved individuals would always resist the call to the gospel it becomes necessary for the Lord to irresistibly draw sinners to Himself. John 6:44, quoted above, is a key verse supporting this doctrine. While in our natural, unregenerate state, we by nature resist the Lord and His grace due to our spiritual blindness (2 Cor 4:4, cf. Eph 2:1-3), when the Lord opens our eyes and draws us to Himself we will come willingly (2 Cor 4:6; Eph 2:4-9, Acts 26:18).

(P)erseverance of the saints: All those who have been irresistibly drawn to Christ and regenerated to newness of life will persevere in the faith until the end of their lives. Those whom the Lord saves will be kept saved by His power and love (Rom 8:28-39; 1 Pet 1:3-5). While all Calvinists recognize that believers sin, and sometimes grievously and for considerable time, still they believe that none will totally reject the faith or fully apostatize. In the context of those who have been reconciled to God by the work of Christ Colossians 1:23 reads, “If indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel.” This verse, and others like it, is used to support perseverance.

While much more can be said concerning the doctrines of grace, and arguments pro and con could be presented, it is not within the scope of this paper to address them. At this point we are only attempting to provide a framework in which to understand the New Calvinists. As Calvinists they would embrace the five solas and at least four of the five doctrines of Grace. In addition, most would also identify with covenantal theology. However, there are many dispensationalists who are Calvinists as well, and accept all that has been outlined above. In that sense they would be considered Reformed evangelicals. However dispensational Calvinists and many Reformed Calvinists divide over the doctrine of covenantalism.

Covenantal Theology often confuses people because it does not directly reference the biblical covenants. Rather it is a system that unites all the dispensations and biblical covenants as phases under the Covenant of Grace. According to Louis Berkof, Caspar Oevianus (1536-1587) was the founder of Covenant Theology and it was not until 1647, when it was included in the Westminster Confession, that it was incorporated into any formal creed or confession.[1] Therefore, while many Calvinists accept covenantalism, it is not directly drawn from the writings of John Calvin. It is the idea that all of human history is covered by one to three covenants. The reason for the divide over the number of the covenants is that none of them is actually mentioned in the Scriptures; they are recognized on the basis of inference and logical deduction. The three covenants are as follows:

The Covenant of Works which was between God and Adam: This is seen as an agreement between God and Adam promising life to Adam for perfect obedience and promising death as the penalty for failure. Adam sinned and thus man failed to meet the requirements of the Covenant of Works. [2] Michael Horton, a strong advocate of Covenant Theology, admits that the Covenant of Works cannot be found explicitly in Scripture but believes it is implied in the creation narrative.[3]

The Covenant of Grace between God and sinful mankind: As a result of man’s failure a second covenant became necessary. This is viewed as the gracious agreement between the offended God and the offending but elect sinner in which God promises salvation through faith in Christ and the sinner accepts this promise by faith.

The Covenant of Redemption which was an agreement between the Father and Son is held by some but not all covenantalists. O. Palmer Robertson challenges this covenant on the basis of exegesis. He writes, “Scripture simply does not say much on the pre-creation shape of the decrees of God. [To speak of such] is to extend the bounds of scriptural evidence beyond propriety.” [4] Nevertheless this is believed by some to be an agreement between the Father and the Son in which the Father gives His Son as the Redeemer of the elect, and the Son voluntarily takes the place of those whom the Father had given Him.

The covenantal system has many implications, not the least of which is that it recognizes no discontinuity between Israel and the church. That is, the promises to the nation of Israel, found especially in the Old Testament, are now being fulfilled in spiritual form in the church which is spiritual Israel. Physical and land promises yet to be fulfilled by Israel are either renounced because of Israel’s rebelliousness or have been fulfilled symbolically. In the Old Testament Israel was the church, in the New Testament the church is comprised of both Jews and Gentiles. No future remains for the nation of Israel in the program of God. This interpretation is made possible because covenantal theologians, who faithfully employ historical-grammatical hermeneutics throughout most of Scripture employ an allegorical/symbolic hermeneutic especially involving the future prophetic portions of the Bible. Covenantalists see most prophecies as already fulfilled allegorically or symbolically and the church is the recipient of the Old Testament covenant promises to Israel. Most also equate the church with the kingdom of God and believe we are presently in the kingdom, at least in its initial stage.

Personalities and Networks

With this basic explanation of the Calvinistic aspect of the New Calvinism it is time to move forward to an understanding of New Calvinism. What makes New Calvinists new? How do they differ from historic Calvinists?

New Calvinism is more easily identified and described than defined. E.S. William’s definition that it is “a growing perspective within conservative evangelicalism that embraces the fundamentals of 16th-century Calvinism while also trying to be relevant in the present-day world,” [5] while somewhat helpful could also define any number of modern evangelical efforts and movements which are trying, in one fashion or another, to reach postmodern people with the gospel. The current wave flowing through evangelical cutting-edge ministries of all stripes is that the church is hopelessly out of step with the surrounding culture and that if it does not change it will die. [6] As Hugh Halter and Matt Smay state in their book The Tangible Kingdom, “What worked in the past simply does not work today, and we must adjust to culture.” [7] Virtually all of those associated with New Calvinism would subscribe to a similar philosophy, but this is not uniquely defining of the movement. Nor is New Calvinism exclusively found in an official organization or denomination, as it transcends such structures and is more ecumenical in nature. Rather it is better identified by personalities, conferences, blogs and websites which are promoting Reformed-charismatic philosophies, doctrines and concepts of engaging culture. It seems to be a movement that is particularly attractive to younger evangelicals who have grown tired of watered-down, anemic, anti-intellectual forms of Christianity that no longer challenge them. Some of the personalities who will be listed below have offered meat-and-potatoes theology which engages the minds and hearts of youthful believers looking for something deeper and more relevant from their faith. As a matter of fact Colin Hansen entitled his book Young, Restless and Reformed to describe this very group. Yet, a number of the key leaders are hardly young, I think in particular of John Piper, D. A. Carson, Timothy Keller, Wayne Grudem and C. J. Mahaney. Jeremy Walker, in his insightful book The New Calvinism Considered, goes so far as to say, “One could argue that the true father figure of the New Calvinism is probably more Jonathan Edwards than John Calvin, and even then it is Jonathan Edwards mediated through John Piper.” [8] This is arguably true, for Piper’s emphasis on the doctrines of grace, sovereignty of God, passionate preaching, intellectual faith, Christian hedonism (the idea that we are all joy-seekers, but the Christian is to seek their joy in Christ), and openness to charismatic teachings of the spiritual gifts are prevalent throughout the young, restless and Reformed. Piper’s fingerprints are all over the movement but he is hardly alone. Some other prominent names include:

Timothy Keller: Keller’s apologetic methodology has hit the right note with those who have grown up surrounded by a largely postmodern worldview. Keller seems to be an interesting mix between old school Reformed, with its emphasis on orthodox doctrine, and postmodern apologist, alternating between the two approaches depending upon which group he is addressing. [9] Keller’s focus on social and mercy ministries also resonates well with young adults today.

D.A. Carson: Carson is the co-founder, with Keller, of The Gospel Coalition, an extremely popular blog filled with articles promoting Reformed thinking and theology and with leanings toward New Calvinistic ideas. While an excellent theologian and commentator with many wonderful books to his credit, nevertheless Carson rejects cessationism. Carson and Keller are co-founders of The Gospel Coalition, which is defined by its website as a “broadly Reformed network of churches which encourages and educates current and next generation Christian leaders by advocating gospel-centered principles and practices that glorify the Savior and do good to those for whom He shed His life’s blood.” These goals are accomplished largely through its website as well as through conferences and publications.

Wayne Grudem: Grudem has done more theologically to pave the way for this movement than perhaps anyone else. This is due to his prolific writings that combine both excellent, readable and solid Reformed theology with a defense of the charismatic’s teaching on the spiritual gifts. Grudem’s teaching on this subject will be examined more closely below but, in general, in his book The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, as well as in his Systematic Theology, Grudem champions a position that all the gifts, including the sign gifts, especially that of prophecy, are viable today. However prophecy in the New Testament era is not without error, according to Grudem. He believes that New Testament prophets, unlike Old Testament ones, are unreliable and non-authoritative. The Lord is giving prophecies today, but these are polluted prophecies because a portion of the revelation may be of God but another portion may be of one’s own imagination or even misunderstood by the receiver. This allows for the continuation of prophecies today, something highly prized by the young, restless and Reformed, but does not demand infallibility, as was required of the Old Testament prophet of God (Deut 18:20-22).

C. J. Mahaney: Mahaney is the former president of Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) and former pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He resigned the presidency of SGM in 2013 in the midst of some strong accusations and resistance to his leadership. He now pastors the Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Kentucky. In 2006 he co-founded Together for the Gospel (T4G), a coalition of Christian leaders who have found common ground in the gospel but differ on some other doctrinal issues such as charismatic gifts and cessationism. Mahaney and SGM have been at the center of the birth of Neo-Calvinism and its growth, clearly combining Reformed theology with charismatic practices and musical styles. Together for the Gospel has been a means by which many outside the movement have been exposed to this emphasis. This is especially significant since some who are very strong cessationists, such as John MacArthur, regularly preach at T4G.

Mark Driscoll: Driscoll has been one of the strongest leaders within the young, restless and Reformed. He was founder and pastor of Mars Hills, a megachurch in Seattle, Washington, which is spread out over 13 campuses, and founder of ACTS 29, a church planting network, now led by Matt Chandler, used to start and promote Mars Hills clones. On the one hand Driscoll’s Calvinistic beliefs are strong enough to receive the endorsement of the likes of John Piper; on the other hand he has described himself as a charismatic with a seat belt. However, reading some of Driscoll’s books would reveal that his seat belt has come unbuckled and, more recently, so has his life and church empire. Nevertheless it is claimed that Driscoll’s sermons are the most downloaded of any preacher in America and his influence would be hard to overestimate. [10]

Since New Calvinism is largely centered around personalities, websites, blogs and conferences, the above offers some flavor of the movement. Let’s move now to some other identifiable marks.

Embracing of Charismatic Gifts

If there is one distinguishing mark that separates the New Calvinist from traditional Calvinists it would be the openness of the newer variety toward the charismatic gifts. While many, if not most, would not see themselves as charismatics in the conventional sense, they believe that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are operational today, including the sign gifts such as miracles, tongues, interpretation of tongues, healings, and prophecy. While most draw the line at apostleship, seeing it as an office reserved for a handful of appointed New Testament leaders who founded the church (Eph 2:20), strangely they see the gift of prophecy as still viable. Following the leadership of Wayne Grudem, in his landmark book, The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament Today, as well as his Systematic Theology, many have been convinced that New Testament era prophecy is not held to the same standards as Old Testament prophecies and prophets. Whereas Old Testament prophecy was to be without error, with the consequence of the execution of the prophet if one prophesied falsely (Deut 18:20-22), church age prophecies can often be a mixture of truth and error. Grudem writes, “Prophecy in ordinary New Testament churches was not equal to Scripture in authority, but was simply a very human—and sometimes partially mistaken—report of something the Holy Spirit brought to someone’s mind.” [11] This view of the sign gifts, including prophecy, is known as the continuationist position, as opposed to cessationism, held by those who believe the miraculous sign gifts are no longer operational.[12] Grudem quotes favorably the Anglican charismatic leaders Dennis and Rita Bennet who claim,

We are not expected to accept every word spoken through the gifts of utterance…but we are only to accept what is quickened to us by the Holy Spirit and is in agreement with the Bible…one manifestation may be 75% God, but 25% the person’s own thoughts. We must discern between the two. [13]

Grudem is not alone in his understanding of the continuation of prophecy. Bruce Compton cites some other prominent evangelical leaders and organizations including:

  • C. Samuel Storms’s, “Third Wave,” a chapter in Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Four Views, ed. Wayne A. Grudem (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), pp. 207–12.
  • John Piper, accepts this view as can be seen in the following article and video on the Desiring God website, “Signs and Wonders: Then and Now,” http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/by-topic/spiritual-gifts. Piper states, “The Bible teaches that spiritual gifts, including prophecy and tongues, will continue until Jesus comes. To neglect them is to risk disobedience.”
  • Sovereign Grace Ministries’s view can be accessed in “What We Believe, A Statement of Faith,” (http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/about-us/what-we-believe.aspx). According to the website, their statement of faith affirms, “All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first century are available today, are vital for the mission of the church, and are to be earnestly desired and practiced.” Included in “all the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first century [that] are available today” is the gift of prophecy.[14]

Grudem’s views, while incredibly weak in my opinion, have captured the hearts and minds of an amazing number of conservative evangelicals. In response to Grudem there are at least five excellent published works refuting his understanding of New Testament prophecy:

  • Robert L. Thomas, “Prophecy Rediscovered? A Review of the Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today” (Bibliotheca Sacra #149).
  • F. David Farnell, “Fallible New Testament Prophecy/Prophets? A Critique of Wayne Grudem’s Hypothesis” (Master’s Seminary Journal 2:2; Fall 1991).
  • R. Bruce Compton, “The Continuation of New Testament Prophecy and a Closed Canon: A Critique of Wayne Grudem’s Two Levels of New Testament Prophecy” (Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary).
  • Thomas R. Edgar, Satisfied by the Promise of the Spirit (Grand Rapids: Kregel: 1996).
  • Michael John Beasely, The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism, an Analysis, Critique, and Exhortation Concerning the Contemporary Doctrine of “Fallible Prophecy,” (Michael John Beasely: 2013). Beasely’s contribution is an excellent full-length book dismantling Grudem’s hypothesis.

Nevertheless strong and influential Calvinist leaders continue to propagate the idea that fallible, errant prophecy is common in the church today, despite the unreliability of such prophecies. A good example is John Piper who is well respected, and rightfully so, for many of his theological views and overall contribution to evangelical faith. He has however held to a continuationist view for much of his ministry. Shortly after the Strange Fire Conference held October 2013 and sponsored by John MacArthur, Piper was questioned as to his position.

At the conference, Piper was characterized as open to the gifts but not advocating for them or encouraging others to pursue the gifts themselves. This is a misunderstanding, says Piper. “I advocate obedience to 1 Corinthians 12:31, “earnestly desire the higher gifts.” And I advocate obedience to 1 Corinthians 14:1, “earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you might prophesy.” And I advocate obedience to 1 Corinthians 14:39 “earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.” “I want Christians today to obey those texts.”

And Piper seeks to obey those texts himself. “I pray for the gift of prophecy almost as often as I pray for anything, before I stand up to speak. This prayer for prophecy is a desire to preach under an anointing, in order to say things agreeable to the Scriptures, and subject to the Scripture, that are not in my manuscript or in my head as I walk into the pulpit, nor thought of ahead of time, which would come to my mind, which would pierce in an extraordinary way, so that 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 happens.” [15]

This understanding of fallible prophecy can lead to sticky situations, as Piper admits.

A lawyer one time prophesied over me when my wife was pregnant and said: “Your fourth child is going to be a girl, and your wife is going to die in childbirth.” And that lawyer with tears told me that she was sorry she had to tell me that. So I went home and I got down on my knees and I said, “Lord, I am trying to do what you said here in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21. And frankly, I despise what that woman just said.” It proved out that my fourth child was a son, and I knew as soon as he came out that that prophecy was not true, and so I stopped having any misgivings about my wife’s life. She is still with me now thirty years later. That’s the sort of thing that makes you despise prophecy. [16]

Of what value, we would have to ask, are prophecies of this nature? When it is impossible to discern how much of a given prophecy is from the Lord and how much of it is from the imagination of the prophet, such prophecies are worse than useless. In the case of Piper, he spent months agonizing over the possibility that the prophecy concerning his wife was true, only to have the prophecy proven wrong in the end. This scenario is repeated countless times in the lives of lesser known Christians who suffer needlessly because they have accepted the continuationist teachings on New Testament prophecy.

It would appear that many of the Reformed charismatics are simply afraid that the cessationist view of the gifts denies the power and working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. For example, Mark Driscoll said, “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.” [17]

Popular teacher Beth Moore takes the same position. She says in one of her sermons:

We got a lot of things going in our current religious culture. And we’ve got two extremes I want to address tonight so that we can understand them. First of all I want you to look over to this side. We have the religious culture of the extreme that I’m going to call Cessationism. Now I’m making up a word with that -ism. But you know the word cessation and it’s a word that comes from cease. And this particular extreme teaching in the Body of Christ says all miracles have ceased. For all practical purposes, God no longer works miracles in our day. Now most of them still believe that He will in the end of times. [18]

She also claims, “Cessationism cheats the believer and undercuts hope.” [19]

It is this very issue, more than anything else that distinguishes traditional Calvinism from the New Calvinist. Both delight in Calvinistic theology, but historic Calvinists are normally cessationists, while the newer variety are desirous of the sign gifts that are associated with the charismatic movement. It is my opinion that by doing so the New Calvinists are in danger of departing ultimately from the evangelical faith. It might be instructive to listen to a warning from a well-known “old Calvinist,” J. C. Ryle:

Let us beware of the very small beginnings of false doctrine. Every heresy began at one time with some little departure from the truth. There is only a little seed of error needed to create a great tree…It is the omission or addition of one little item in the doctor’s prescription that spoils the whole medicine, and turns it into poison…let us never allow a little false doctrine to ruin us, by thinking it is but a ‘little one,’ and can do no harm. [20]

Conclusion

The goal of this paper was to introduce New Calvinism, identify some of the key leaders and organizations, and begin to examine some of the distinctives of the movement. Having looked at the two major components of New Calvinism, Calvinistic theology and a charismatic understanding of the sign gifts, we will explore in the next “Think on These Things” paper some of the secondary issues such as its views on cultural engagement, relevance, pragmatism, and the social agenda.

[1] Louis Berkof, Systematic Theology, (Grand Rapids: Wm. N. Eerdmans Publishing: 1941), p. 211-212.

[2] Michael Horton, God of Promise, Introducing Covenant Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2006), p. 83.

[3] Ibid, p. 89.

[4] Ibid., pp. 80-81.

[5] E.S. Williams, The New Calvinists, Changing the Gospel (London: The Wakeman Trust, 2014), p. 7.

[6] See Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, The Tangible Kingdom, Creating Incarnational Community: The Posture and Practices of Ancient Church Now (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008), pp. 59, 94.

[7] Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, p. 108.

[8] Jeremy Walker, The New Calvinism Considered, a Personal and Pastoral Assessment (Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2013), p. 22.

[9] See Iain D. Campbell and William M. Schweitzer, ed, Engaging Keller, Thinking Through the Theology of an Influential Evangelical (Darington, England: Evangelical Press, 2013), for documentation and discussion concerning this feature of Keller’s ministry, esp. p. 21.

[10] Williams, p. 39.

[11] Wayne Grudem, The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, (Wheaton: Crossway, 1988), p. 14.

[12] I have written in support of cessationism in my book Out of Formation (Darlington, England: Evangelical Press: 2014), pp. 135-158.

[13] Ibid., p. 110.

[14] R. Bruce Compton, “The Continuation of New Testament Prophecy and a Closed Canon: A Critique of Wayne Grudem’s Two Levels of New Testament Prophecy” (Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary), p. 1.

[15]http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/piper-addresses-strange-fire-and-charismatic-chaos.

[16] Ibid. Piper admits that he has been persuaded by Grudem’s understanding of New Testament prophecy in the following short video: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/piper-on-prophecy-and-tongues.

[17] .

[18] http://apprising.org/2012/01/16/beth-moore-teaches-that-cessationism-is-an-extreme-teaching-in-the-body-of-christ/

[19] http://apprising.org/2013/01/08/the-book-of-beth-moore-thus-saith-the-lord-cessationism-cheats-the-believer-and-under-cuts-hope/

[20] As found in Michael John Beasley, The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism, an Analysis, Critique, and Exhortation Concerning the Contemporary Doctrine of “Fallible Prophecy,” (Michael John Beasley: 2013), p. 168.

Think on These Things Articles (January/February – 2015, Volume 21, Issue 1)

Used with permission.

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