Calvinism and Worldliness

Iain D Campbell

My colleague Guy Davies has drawn my attention to an article by Peter Masters in which he accuses virtually every professing Calvinist in America of being worldly and promoting worldliness. The article begins with a swipe at Hansen's Young, Restless and Reformed, as well as every internet site which reviewed it favourably, then singles out CJ Mahaney and Mark Driscoll before reserving its final punch for the guys at Together for the Gospel.


It's difficult to see what Peter Masters is really getting at in this article - from the opening paragraph he seems to be arguing that the new Calvinism of the present day is far from promoting holiness, but there is a good deal of criticism of trendy worship, and an over-generalised criticism of neo-Calvinists for their apparent anti-Sabbatarianism and their alleged rejection of personal guidance (no evidence is adduced for these latter points).


Obviously Peter Masters doesn't like Calvinistic bloggers telling about their favourite films or their hobbies; but a thing is not a sin just because Peter Masters does not like it. I admit to harbouring some of the reservations expressed in Masters' article, but I have been to First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, where the Sabbath is observed, the worship is all the better for not being trendy, and, if I could afford it, I would go to Together for the Gospel any day (or at least any day that it is on).


I'm left with the feeling that such a sweeping attack on professing Calvinists is entirely unhelpful; if there are specific issues of heterodoxy or heteropraxy, let's hear them, and debate them. But let's not put all our tulips in the one basket and condemn everyone by association.