Bill Evans has some thoughts he thinks appropriate for the Advent Season:
From what antecedents does POEC [Paleo-orthodox ecclesial Calvinism] draw? POEC finds much to appreciate in the seminal work of John Calvin, but it is a critical and contextual reading of Calvin. This is no simplistic effort to pit “Calvin against the later Calvinists” (as some have recently alleged). Rather, it recognizes that the Reformed tradition has always been diverse and that realism in the trajectory of Calvin has always had its exponents. We also find much to ponder in critical appropriations (as opposed to mere parroting or repristinating) of Jonathan Edwards in the eighteenth century, John W. Nevin of Mercersburg, James Henley Thornwell and John B. Adger of Columbia, and W. G. T. Shedd in the nineteenth, and Geerhardus Vos, Thomas F. Torrance of Scotland, and Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. in the twentieth.
Since none of the figures mentioned, with the exception possibly of Torrance, would have countenanced Advent (not sure where Gaffin stands), Evans’ construction of a Protestant tradition looks fairly arbitrary.
Of course, Evans is not alone in this. Peter Leithart is similarly episcopal in his theological creativity. Meanwhile, Jason and the Callers concoct a Roman Catholic tradition that defies what their own bishops tolerate or enforce.
The fix for Christians who want to be ecclesial is not to abstract ecclesial Christianity (whether Roman Catholic or Protestant) from an actual church. It is, instead, to identify with the communion to which you belong. If you want your own communion to be more ecclesial, seek its ecclesial health on its own terms. (Serve as an officer, shovel the sidewalks, prepare traybakes for pot luck suppers, call attention to your communion’s own ecclesiology.)
For Calvinists, this should also include remembering basic Reformed Protestant objections to church calendars:
The Time Necessary for Worship. Although religion is not bound to time, yet it cannot be cultivated and exercised without a proper distribution and arrangement of time. Every Church, therefore, chooses for itself a certain time for public prayers, and for the preaching of the Gospel, and for the celebration of the sacraments; and no one is permitted to overthrow this appointment of the Church at his own pleasure. For unless some due time and leisure is given for the outward exercise of religion, without doubt men would be drawn away from it by their own affairs.
The Lord’s Day. Hence we see that in the ancient churches there were not only certain set hours in the week appointed for meetings, but that also the Lord’s Day itself, ever since the apostles’ time, was set aside for them and for a holy rest, a practice now rightly preserved by our Churches for the sake of worship and love.
Superstition. In this connection we do not yield to the Jewish observance and to superstitions. For we do not believe that one day is any holier than another, or think that rest in itself is acceptable to God. Moreover, we celebrate the Lord’s Day and not the Sabbath as a free observance.
The Festivals of Christ and the Saints. Moreover, if in Christian liberty the churches religiously celebrate the memory of the Lord’s nativity, circumcision, passion, resurrection, and of his ascension into heaven, and the sending of the Holy Spirit upon his disciples, we approve of it highly. But we do not approve of feasts instituted for men and for saints. Holy days have to do with the first Table of the Law and belong to God alone. Finally, holy days which have been instituted for the saints and which we have abolished, have much that is absurd and useless, and are not to be tolerated. In the meantime, we confess that the remembrance of saints, at a suitable time and place, is to be profitably commended to the people in sermons, and the holy examples of the saints set forth to be imitated by all. (Second Helvetic Confession, 24)