Neo-Calvinists, New Calvinists, and Roman Catholics Together?

Both have trouble thinking about Christianity apart from culture.

Drawing together this vision of Scripture we see that God intends us to have dominion over the earth and the rest of creation – which means we must care for it and shape it. This is the foundation of culture, rooted in the land, which we cultivate and use to produce the material elements of culture. In the New Testament we see that culture from a higher perspective is way of life, which embodies the teaching of Christ and the will of the Father in our lives. This is a new dominion of holiness, which sanctifies the world. Both visions are united by seeking to enact on earth what God has made known to us and commanded. A striking image of this comes from Exodus: “According to all that I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it” (25:9). Christian culture makes according to the pattern revealed to us by God. . . .

Pope John Paul II knew personally the power of culture as he sought to preserve his nation’s identity in the midst of Nazism and Communism. Through his trials, he became convinced that “the strength of the Gospel is capable of transforming the cultures of our times by its leaven of justice and of charity in truth and solidarity. Faith which becomes culture is the source of hope” (“The World’s Changing Cultural Horizons,” §7). He may also have given us the strongest statement on the necessary interconnection of faith and culture: “The synthesis between culture and faith is not only a demand of culture, but also of faith … A faith that does not become culture is not fully accepted, not entirely thought out, not faithfully lived” (“Address to the Italian National Congress of the Ecclesial Movement for Cultural Commitment,” Jan. 16, 1982). So, yes, faith does need culture so that it may be lived out in the world in a coherent and complete way.

As a 2ker, Stellman might not have used the gateway drug of transformationalism. Then again . . .

23 thoughts on “Neo-Calvinists, New Calvinists, and Roman Catholics Together?

  1. Those of raised fundie saw this week in week out. Meeting a reformed church was like finding a “new earth” away from all the “transformationalism” mumbo jumbo.

    Same stuff. Different day, yo.


  2. Darryl, Facebook rumor has it you’ve been invited by TGC to deliver a lecture entitled “Why I Would Rather Be a Lutheran than a Baptist, and You Should So Rather, Too” to be followed by “I Am Not Dutch, and You Shouldn’t Be a Blockhead Either.” But that second one might be a little too brazen. I suggest “Christian Worldview or Christian Faith: What’s the Difference and Which is Actually Biblical?”


  3. Pontification alert..

    I distinctly remember when and how I came into a knowledge of the “federal vision” controversy, existing in the bubble that is conservative presbyism from 2001 on. or when I first came to hearing what “2k” is on bilbos blog in 2012.

    I long to return to the days of my youth, if innocence now lost, having found what the internet does to theology.

    If I have a point, it’s that my theology before finding the interweb was like the lost south, being in a church founded by Machen, who had a FV report out before anyone else.

    The internet is weird and does weird things to some.

    But don’t you dare diss Bono on this thread. I’ll get Jason over here Stat, and him and me will take you all on, batman and robin style. For reals.


  4. Guess it all depends what turns yer crank.

    The best thing that happened in my Old Life faith recently was the translation of Bavinck into English.

    oh, and finding this blog and meeting so many wonderful believers.


  5. Kent, yeah, this blog is neato.

    Convos out here pale in comparison to the family (read: local congregation) God gave me, though.

    But then again, I’m a fortunate soul, b/c my church rules.

    Bavinck? A ding-worthy name drop if I ever heard one.



  6. James Young comments here at oldlife, and has been commenting often and for a long time with Jason Stellman. I’m sure Mr. Young has opinions, but I doubt he will share them here. I’m catching on to the vibe here..


  7. More synergy:

    Rather than passively enabling the travesty of decadent cultural decay, Dawson argues that the West is in desperate need of resurgent Christian orthodoxy. The Kingship of Christ must be embodied by the community of believers, suffusing the whole of their lives in society. Ideally, the newly inspired faithful shall proceed to affect corresponding, tangible reforms of civilized structures (44-46). Dynamic Christianity demands much, yet genuine effort reaps the redemption of modernity and the salvation of culture.


  8. Heavy for the Vintage. Lame. Hipsters/Scenesters. Lame.

    Bono, Stellman and Rob Bell should all hook up and hip out and transform this world via their synergy of rock so Christ can come back to a saveD world.

    They can do it, if anyone can.


  9. Matt, “I don’t believe that rock and roll can really change the world, it just spins in revolutions, spirals and turns.”


  10. In regards to Stellman’s happy band of bloggers:

    Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.


  11. That’s right, Zrim, he just believes in love.

    When asked if he (Bono) has finally found what he’s looking for, Bono quips, “Well it’s changed since then, so no,but Bill Hybels is helping me through it.”

    I gave up on U2 when they Americanized themselves via the Joshua Tree.


  12. It’s not merely the pictures of Jesus, but the denial of the absence which is the ascension.

    Phil Cary

    John 3:13
    No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

    John 6:62
    What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?

    Acts 2:34 For David did not ascend into the heavens

    Romans 10: 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim).


  13. Well fine, then. I’ll listen to my Achtung Baby CD when I get in the car and go to work. And I’ll like it. Hmph.


  14. I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver
    And I’m reading James Joyce
    Some people tell me
    I got the blood of the land in my voice

    Well what’s the use in dreaming
    You got better things to do
    Dreams never did work for me anyway
    Even when they did come true

    Everybody got all the money
    Everybody got all the beautiful clothes
    Everybody got all the flowers
    I don’t have one single rose

    I feel a change coming on and the fourth part of the day is already gone


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