Tim Challies linked to Chris Gordon’s piece on the demise of confessionalism in the Christian Reformed Church. Challies seemed to find Gordon’s piece a worthwhile caution: “This strong article warns certain Reformed denominations against going down paths that will necessarily lead to destruction.”
But when you look at the six features of CRC declension, don’t at least three of them apply to the New Calvinists?
1. The Abandonment of the Authority of Scripture–This was the first domino to tip knocking everything else over. No longer was Scripture the final say regarding doctrine and life, but major doctrines were called into question due to cultural pressure.
2. The Abandonment of Reformed Principle of Worship–Historic Reformed convictions and principles laid out in the confessions were abandoned based on seeker sensitive assumptions.
3. The Abandonment of the Sabbath and the Second Worship Service–Even the word Sabbath was abandoned in embarrassment. The evening service was jettisoned by claiming better opportunities for Bible studies and home gatherings to reach the lost and love their neighbor.
4. The Abandonment of Gospel-Centered Expository Preaching–Expository gospel-centered sermons through books of the Bible were replaced with topical messages often addressing the current social justice discussion of the culture.
5. The Abandonment of God Assigned Roles in the Church (Women’s Ordination)–The classic distinctions between creation roles and functional hierarchy were abandoned in support of full equality of function in ecclesiastical offices.
6. The Abandonment of Moral Standards for Her Members–Those committing gross sins were no longer called to repentance, but instead welcomed into the life of the church upon the assumption that “justice” demands it. Nicholas Wolterstorff, a professor at Calvin College of over thirty years claimed that biblical justice requires that people of homosexual orientation be granted “the great good of civil and ecclesial marriage.”
New Calvinists of the kind at Gospel Coalition have given up number 2, 3, and parts of number 4. If the cultural servings of Gospel Coalition on-line are any indication, efforts to understand media and politics are more important than explaining the catechism or biblical commentary.
So why don’t New Calvinists see affinities between themselves and progressive Protestants?