The New Calvinism: Theological Movement or Propaganda Tool?
by Jesse Locken
In 2009, TIME Magazine ran a series of stories titled “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now”, with the subheading: "The global economy is being remade before our eyes. Here's what's on the horizon." My guess is that most people would look at the list of ten ideas and not bother to stop and question how they relate to each other, but the editorial staff at TIME who selected these ten ideas to publish certainly believes there is a relationship between them as it pertains to the “global economy being remade.”
Topics include employment, human DNA banks, Africa as a business destination, the “green” movement, and something TIME calls “The New Calvinism”, a movement portrayed by author David Van Biema as the latest development in “conservative Christianity” which is also supposedly “Evangelicalism's latest success story”. We find out the players in this movement include John Piper, Mark Driscoll, and Al Mohler. These men apparently have no issue with the article's portrayal of their faith, and in particular Mohler and Driscoll express explicit support of Time's coverage of their views.
In an endorsement of Time's recognition of “American Christianity”, Mohler stated:
“TIME’s attention to theological issues and the importance of worldview is to be admired and appreciated here.”
“The presence of such a serious theological “idea” among the ten is a sign that TIME takes religion and its coverage of American Christianity with seriousness. The presence of “The New Calvinism” alongside “Amortality” is a sign of our times — and one we do well to ponder.”
A similar endorsement from Driscoll goes so far as to describe the New Calvinism as “powerful,” with a dialectical form of argument pitting the four positive benefits of the New Calvinism as opposed to the four negatives of what he terms “Old Calvinism” against each other.
An observation of the progress of the “New Calvinism” over the past three years may give one the idea of how this movement really might be helping certain interests “remake the global economy”. The New Calvinism is virtually silent with regard to U.S. fiscal policy, war, education, and politics and how these topics relate to Scripture. Rather than seeking to establish a Biblical worldview with regard to such matters, churches such as Driscoll's Mars Hill have recently begun to support the U.S. military (may I note, with far more of Driscoll's books than Bibles) and turn to public school educators to “architect” curriculum to instruct their children about Jesus and the Scriptures.
In addition, both Driscoll and Mohler are influential in large networks of churches, with Driscoll's Acts 29 and Resurgence reaching across the U.S. and globally, and by Mohler's own claim the Southern Baptist Convention contains the largest number of “megachurches” within a single denomination here in the U.S.
When the leading theologians and pastors of such large megachurches approve and defend a representation of their beliefs made by publications such as TIME, which is a magazine run by socialists, Marxists, worshipers of the State, and proponents of war as a tool for social change (Fareed Zakaria comes to mind) one must question what these men believe about these topics and why they remain virtually silent on these subjects in their doctrine, teaching, and views, as if the Bible is also silent on these subjects. To see their churches a few years later implementing increasingly pro-State ideologies and “ministries”, seems a logical progression of an underlying philosophical idea that is inherently antithetical to the Scriptures, whether or not these men wish to acknowledge it.
As an interesting corollary, just a few of the other topics mentioned in TIME's “10 Ideas” caught my eye recently . The UN is performing land-grabs in Africa, Homeland Security is implementing measures to collect DNA from young children, and unemployment numbers are increasing in the U.S.; with jobs being scarce, employment is now perceived as an asset (as the TIME article pointed out) which has created a class envy between the employed vs. the unemployed. The advancement of these ideas in just a few short years should certainly cause one to pause.
Why is the New Calvinism among these other concepts of how the “global economy is being remade before our eyes”? Taken in context with the progression of the nine other ideas it had been associated with in 2009, The New Calvinism seems to be yet another propaganda tool used by elitists to continue the suppression of the Christian faith to a personal worship hobby that must adapt to the “transforming” culture around it (which in America, has become a veritable culture of death and destruction).
And in a nation continually bent towards the idolatry and worship of the State, it's no surprise that the largest churches tend to be those that do not question what a majority of Americans have been indoctrinated to believe, which is ultimately obedience to and support of the dialectical left versus right, highly centralized and militaristic American Empire. In turn, this American Empire is run by elitist globalists who, in a quest for power over others, seek a reduction in population, manipulation and control of what should be a free marketplace, and rule by force and coercion in foreign countries, all ideas in total opposition to the Bible. The New Calvinism's failure to confront the idolatry and worship of the State perpetuates the continual loss of liberty and the retreat of the Christian faith from the civil and political sphere, which is precisely what globalist elitist powers wish for.
Jesse Locken is an average guy with a full-time job as a sales consultant who desires to apply God’s Word to all of life. He resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in Seattle, WA. He blogs, rants, analyzes, and vents at his website, FrequencyPropogation.