An Idea That Is World Changing

In Time Magazine recent cover story, 10 Ideas Changing the World Now,” it posted “The New Calvinism” at the number three spot. Unfortunately, Time has caricatured the teachings of Calvinism: “an utterly sovereign and micromanaging deity, sinful and puny humanity, and the combination’s logical consequence, predestination: the belief that before time's dawn, God decided whom he would save (or not), unaffected by any subsequent human action or decision.” To put it simply, Calvinism is a conservative system of theology. Though reformer John Calvin is credited with it (Calvin by the way is celebrating his 500th birthday on July this year), I believe Calvinism reflects historic, Biblical Christianity. Big names such as John Piper and Louie Giglio of the Passion conference fame espouse Calvinism nowadays.

Time traced the slide from Calvinism to “Evangelicalism’s loss of appetite for rigid doctrine—and the triumph of that friendly, fuzzy Jesus” or the so-called “Jesus-is-my-buddy intimacy”. People who claimed to be believers sought to make God in their own image. Sounds like 2 Timothy 4:3-4 to me. “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (NIV) But, the road back to Calvinism is basically a journey back to the Bible. Collin Hansen, author of “Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists,” wrote, “A lot of young people grew up in a culture of brokenness, divorce, drugs or sexual temptation. They have plenty of friends: what they need is a God. The moment someone begins to define God’s [being or actions] biblically, that person is drawn to conclusions that are traditionally classified as Calvinist. (As quoted by Time) In short, God is pursued for who He really is, not for who we wanted Him to be.

Time summarized it well: “Our satisfaction —and our purpose—is fulfilled simply by ‘glorifying’ [God].” Of course, Calvinism is far from perfect. But to me it appears to be closer to what the Bible teaches. People are searching for a sure footing in the midst of the shaky grounds of the present global financial crisis. They thirst for security. The Word of God is our sure foundation.

Brethren, share the changeless Word to an ever-changing world!

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