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The New Calvinism Considered

By Jeremy Walker
May 2014 | Review by Geoff Thomas
  • Publisher: EP Books
  • ISBN: 978-0-85234-968-7
  • Pages: 126
  • Price: 6.99
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Book Review

The new Calvinism considered — a personal and pastoral assessment

Jeremy Walker
EP Books, 126 pages, £6.99
ISBN: 978-0-85234-968-7
Star Rating : 3

The author outlines six possible problems with some manifestations of the ‘New Calvinist’ movement — a tendency to pragmatism and commercialism; an unbalanced view of culture; a troubling approach to holiness; a potentially dangerous ecumenism; a genuine tension regarding the spiritual gifts; and a degree of triumphalism and arrogance.

The author writes: ‘New Calvinism, at its worst, can seem or even be thoroughly man-centred. In various ways and at particular points it panders too much to the world, to the fallen culture, to the academy.

‘There are sometimes prominent indications of concern for human approval, reliance on worldly means and principles, embrace of worldly models, and subsequent departure from or woolliness on historic orthodox Christianity at various important points. These features make some manifestations of New Calvinism a matter of concern and other manifestations a matter of outright danger’.

‘There are some men and groups within the movement who are proving no safe spiritual guides, and there are too many who are silent about this when they ought to be speaking, with some bright and thoroughly commendable exceptions’ (pp. 102-103).

One is familiar with some of the names defined as being New Calvinists, while others are unknown to the reviewer. You will profit from the research work of the author and discover who these people are and what they are doing.

The book should be taken seriously. New Calvinism is a ‘nebulous movement still in flux’, says Phil Johnson. But as Stuart Olyott writes on the back cover, ‘Those who read it will be heartened by its encouragements and sobered by its warnings. Those who are wise will take its message to heart’.

Geoff Thomas

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