Timon Cline is a graduate of Wright State University, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Rutgers Law School. He hails originally from Memphis, Tennessee and now resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (with some pit stops in between). His writing has appeared at National Review, Founders Journal, and Areo Magazine, among other places. He writes regularly on law, politics, and religion at Conciliar Post and Modern Reformation. On occasion, Brigham Michaud, and Jerry Shriver will contribute. Brigham is a graduate of Cedarville University and the Indiana University, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, and works as an attorney in the greater Indianapolis area. Jerry is an alum of Westminster Theological Seminary, who has also studied at Binghamton University and Oxford University, and serves an Anglican minister.
At The Cantankerous Calvinist (TCC) you will find musings on current events (especially within Reformed and evangelical circles), politics, theology, and whatever we’re reading at the moment, all from a Reformed perspective. The past few decades have produced a welcome wave of historical-theological scholarship (most notably from Richard Muller) that has expanded the scope of what it means to be Reformed. TCC will strive to capitalize off of those advancements whenever and wherever possible and thereby display the diversity and catholicity of the Reformed tradition. As much as the resurgence of interest in the doctrines of grace brought on by the so-called Young, Restless, Reformed (Neo-Calvinist) movement was an occasion for thanksgiving–especially in an American evangelical landscape that had become, in our estimation, so doctrinally ahistorical, individualistic, and dull– there is so much more to Reformed (confessional) theology than the Five Solas.
Now, about the name. A dyspeptic mood is often attributed to Reformed theologians (i.e. Calvinists). TCC has decided to embrace that, but only in light of the caveats above: to be rigidly Reformed is to be decidedly catholic (see William Perkins who always described himself as a “Reformed Catholic”), loyally confessional, and, to some extent, happily eclectic in method and thought. In 2013, Barton Swaim reviewed for the Wall Street Journal D.G. Hart’s (another Patheos blogger) short history of Calvinism. Therein Swaim referred to his subject as “a cantankerous conservative, a stalwart Presbyterian, and a talented polemicist with a delightfully perverse sense of humor.”
Hence, “The Cantankerous Calvinist” name, which is meant to be simultaneously polemical, humorous, and, at times, a little perverse. In general, we are against “unscrupulous optimism,” to borrow from Roger Scruton (who reminded us that “the occasional dose of pessimism” is essential to remembering human limitations), and innovation. What we do like is studied, perpetuation of the Reformed tradition in all facets of life according to its true diversity and limits.
Our cantankerousness should, therefore, be read as a playful pessimism we think appropriate for any devotee of Reformed theology, and any opponent of the transformationalism that marks many of our young and Reformed-ish contemporaries.