Roger Olson on “Reforming the Reformed”

Over at CT, Rodger Olson has a short review of Ken Stewart’s book Ten Myths About Calvinism.  According to Olson:

Stewart chides major personalities of the current Calvinist upsurge for thinking as though it “appeared Melchizedek-like, ‘without genealogy.’?” He names two heroes of the mostly 20-something crowd of new Calvinists, John Piper and Mark Driscoll, as culprits of this de-historicized vision of contemporary Calvinism. Stewart concludes that the new Calvinists need to recognize how their movement “stands in succession to and dependency on … earlier movements.” Recounting the stories of five earlier Calvinist upsurges, he calls on contemporary Calvinists to admit interdependence between past and present, show loyalty to both, eschew triumphalism, and practice unity and forbearance.

An okay read if Calvinism (pro or contra) is your interest.

My own note of Ken Stewart’s book is here.

  • Joe Rigney

    Haven’t read Stewart, but it seems odd to criticize Piper for lack of historical awareness, given that a) Jonathan Edwards is his hero, and b) every year he delivers a biographical sketch of a major “Reformed” pastor, theologian, or missionary from church history (“Reformed” includes folks like Augustine who pre-date the Reformation but who hold to the sovereignty of God in a way similar to Calvinists).

    • Andrew Faris

      This is exactly what I was going to say. I can’t think of a pastor who is more self-conscious about being in line with a tradition than Piper.

      Andrew Faris
      Someone Tell Me the Story

  • Joe Rigney

    Haven’t read Stewart, but it seems odd to criticize Piper for lack of historical awareness, given that a) Jonathan Edwards is his hero, and b) every year he delivers a biographical sketch of a major “Reformed” pastor, theologian, or missionary from church history (“Reformed” includes folks like Augustine who pre-date the Reformation but who hold to the sovereignty of God in a way similar to Calvinists).

    • Andrew Faris

      This is exactly what I was going to say. I can’t think of a pastor who is more self-conscious about being in line with a tradition than Piper.

      Andrew Faris
      Someone Tell Me the Story

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  • Jeremy Ellis

    Olsen is one of the few Arminians who seems to spend more time talking about Calvinism than anything else

  • Jeremy Ellis

    Olsen is one of the few Arminians who seems to spend more time talking about Calvinism than anything else

  • http://www.gurrydesign.com/ Peter G.

    Olson: Stewart concludes that the new Calvinists need to recognize how their movement “stands in succession to and dependency on … earlier movements.”

    Doesn’t Piper preach on one historical figure every year at his pastor’s conference? How many of those have focused on key players in Reformed theology? Perhaps his fans are, but Piper is hardly unaware of his Reformed forebears.

    • http://www.gurrydesign.com/ Peter G.

      Sorry. Didn’t see Joe’s comment below. Great minds!

  • http://www.gurrydesign.com/ Peter G.

    Olson: Stewart concludes that the new Calvinists need to recognize how their movement “stands in succession to and dependency on … earlier movements.”

    Doesn’t Piper preach on one historical figure every year at his pastor’s conference? How many of those have focused on key players in Reformed theology? Perhaps his fans are, but Piper is hardly unaware of his Reformed forebears.

    • http://www.gurrydesign.com/ Peter G.

      Sorry. Didn’t see Joe’s comment below. Great minds!


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