Vyckie Garrison has asked me to write an introductory post concerning my blog, paulspassingthoughts.com, and the timing is perfect. After researching New Calvinism for five years now, I have recently discovered a relationship between New Calvinism and Patriarchy groups. This is a very significant development.
New Calvinism shapes most of the Christian landscape in our day. It came out of the Progressive Adventist movement in 1970. The base doctrine is the centrality of the objective gospel outside of us. It teaches that all truth is outside of us and encapsulated in the gospel. By understanding Christ and his works in a deeper and deeper way, we manifest one of two realms, Spirit or flesh. New Calvinists attest to what some call the total depravity of the saints.
The project that launched the movement was known as the Australian Forum and their theological journal was Present Truth Magazine. The magazine is no longer published, but at one time was the most widely circulated theological journal in the world. The Forum participants, primarily Robert Brinsmead, Geoffrey Paxton, and Graeme Goldsworthy believed they had rediscovered the lost gospel of the Reformation.
The movement is characterized by exclusiveness (what they call their “scandalous gospel”), a Crusades like motivation (new Reformation), and heavy handed leadership style. These are basic characteristics that result in the tsunami of spiritual abuse that is indicative of New Calvinism. In fact, the list of potential warning signs for spiritual abuse as posted by the Take Heart Project hit close to home for those who know New Calvinism: