21 August 2006

Are You Young, Restless and Reformed?

The upcoming cover of Christianity Today looks like this:

The question is, how will CT portray the Calvinistic renewal that many of us have witnessed first-hand?

And is cool Calvinism (see the shirt) a sign of advance or decline in this renewal?

My early thoughts on this resurgence of Calvinistic belief and practice in the 20th century were set down in an essay titled, Breaking Fallow Ground: The Rise of Neo-Puritanism in the 20th Century (formerly hosted at the Tanglewood Baptist Church website, but now seemingly no more).

Here is the opening paragraph:

Hard soil sprouts no fruit. In the farmer’s world, this truth spurs him to till his acres and break up the fallow ground. Likewise for the Christian, he must cultivate the rocky terrain of his heart, turning over the crust of decay and plowing up the nutrients of older, deeper times. In the shifting seasons of history, Christianity has been in a cycle of birth, growth, decay, and rebirth. As with all of God’s creation, there have been times to plant new seed amid the compost of rotting residue. Such a time came at the mid-point of the 20th century when a new planting occurred through a renewed interest in the Reformers, Puritans and the preachers of revival. This movement served to bring life to a parched Christian landscape, and has been characterized as a type of pietistic Calvinism, nicknamed, “Neo-Puritanism”.
I have come to consider the term Neo-Puritanism to be too restrictive, but at the time that I wrote the essay it seemed to fit.

(HT: Jonathan Edwards Center Blog)
UPDATE: Justin Taylor has posted about the CT cover at the Reformation21 blog, but will post on his own blog later when the CT issue comes out.

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