Friday, March 14, 2014

Trueman on New Calvinism and Driscoll

Carl Trueman writes,
And then, finally, there is the silence. The one thing that might have kept the movement together would have been strong, transparent public leadership that openly policed itself and thus advertised its integrity for all to see. Yet the most remarkable thing about the whole sorry saga, from the Jakes business until now, has been the silence of many of the men who present themselves as the leaders of the movement and who were happy at one time to benefit from Mark Driscoll’s reputation and influence. One might interpret this silence as an appropriate refusal to comment directly on the ministry of men who no longer have any formal connection with their own organizations.

Yet the leaders of the “young, restless, and reformed” have not typically allowed that concern to curtail their comments in the past. Many of them have been outspoken about the teaching of Joel Osteen, for example. In their early days, when the Emergent Church was vying with the new Calvinism for pole position in the American evangelical world, they launched regular, and often very thorough, critiques of the Emergent leaders. In retrospect, however, it is clear that these were soft targets. Their very distance made them safe. Problems closer to home are always much harder to speak to, much more likely to earn opprobrium from one’s friends, and thus much more likely to be ignored. The result, however, is that some leaders become very accustomed to always doing things their way. All of us who are thought of as Evangelical or Reformed now live with the bitter fruit of that failure of leadership.

Trueman is right. The new calvinism picks "soft targets" when it critiques Joel Olsteen & the emerging church, if it cannot policy it's own then it shows itself. In some circles it was just a "good ole boys club", with an "I know nothing attitude" when its insiders head down the wrong path and do stupid things.

I'm a pastor in a small church connected to a small denomination. If I behaved half like what we see in some of these public pastors, I'd have local elders calling for my resignation and a denominational board investigating my credentials to be a minister of the gospel--but then that's what it means to be part of the body of Christ. As pastors we are not only leaders in the church but under authorities of both men and God. That is the way it should be.

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