Young, Restless, Reformed

Young Restless ReformedChristianity Today's September cover : Young, Restless, Reformed – Calvinism is making a comeback—and shaking up the church. There is a resurgence in theology, as I mention why I think this matters in Five Trends for the Future of Church Planting. (Liberal churches that chunk theology for relevance will become social clubs.  Emerging churches who are in a conversation on a journey together as an authentic community walking a spiritual labyrinth without theological boundaries and a destination in mind will not make it.) More and more young people are thinking through this as a backlash to the postmodern mess we find ourselves in. There will be a whole new cadre of theologians that come from our generation. Or as Mark Driscoll says it,

"I like big books and I can not lie, You other brothers can't deny.." (think Sir Mix-A-Lot)

Here is a quote from the article:

"While the Emergent 'conversation' gets a lot of press for its appeal to the young, the new Reformed movement may be a larger and more pervasive phenomenon."

 Here is a list of some of the people mentioned in the article:

Alistair Begg, Don Carson, Bryan Chapell, Timothy George, Mike Horton, Tim Keller, John MacArthur, Tom Nettles and Phil Ryken, as well as the Acts 29 Network (Mark Driscoll), the Alliance, Covenant Seminary, Cyrene Ministries (go Anthony and Sherrard!), Ligonier Ministries, the PCA, Reformed Seminary, RUF (Reformed University Fellowship), Sovereign Grace Ministries and Westminster Seminary.

 Some other blogs mentioning this: Caveman Unleashed, reformation21

  • Jay Rogers

    September 5, 2006, 6:35 am

    About 20 years ago, the state of Massachusetts launched a campaign to compete with “I Love New York” and “Virginia is for Lovers.” Since then, I haven’t seen too many “The Spirit of Massachusetts is the Spirit of America” bumper stickers and t-shirts. Nevertheless, that statement is a profound truth. For good or evil the spiritual trends that have taken place in Massachusetts since 1620 have influenced the rest of the nation and even the world. While Massachusetts is thought of as one of the most liberal and therefore Godless states in the union, there are several signs that a Christian Awakening is under way. A few years ago, Christianity Today published an article on Boston’s “Quiet Revival” — a growing church movement that has doubled the number of evangelicals in Massachusetts even while the population of the state has remained the same. The article notes that it is a “quiet revival” mainly because it is occurring among Hatian, Brazilian, Korean and other Asian churches in inner city Boston and Cambridge — ethnic churches that few in the white mainstream are aware of.

    Soon after that the liberal Boston Globe published an article called “The God Squad about the growing number of evangelical students at Harvard and MIT. One observer noted that there is a higher percentage of evangelical students at Harvard than at any time since the 17th century. While I think that is an exaggeration (the Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century had a great influence too)even my skeptical native Bostonian nature is forced to admit that God is up to something in Boston.

    God On The Quad

    The Harvard Crimson has been running a lot of articles on the topic in the past few years. Understand that with a student population of only a few thousand, just a few hundred evangelicals at Harvard is a phenomenon. Contrast this with ten years ago, when the total number of professing conservative Christians was less than one hundred and you see what some have called an “Awakening” of evangelical Christianity. Some say it is a precursor to something major akin to the Awakenings of past centuries.

    In order to really shake the nation, any type of student led revival will have to deviate from the pietistic movements that have characterized “revivals” in the past 100 years. In fact, every revival that has led to a Great Awakening (The Puritan movement, the First and Second Great Awakenings) have been Puritan or “Neo-Puritan” in character. It was when the majority of American churches rejected Calvinism in the mid-1800s that “revival” began to focus more on individual blessings rather than how the revived saints can be salt and light in the society. But even that is changing. Christianity Today this month ran an article about how more and more Christian youth are getting interested in theology and are rejecting the “seeker sensitive” and “emergent” models of church growth. They are looking for something of more substance and are finding it in Calvinism. After all, America was founded not just on Christianity, but on a Protestant model influenced more by the theology and social theory of John Knox and Oliver Cromwell than any other figures.