With a recent Times article mentioning "New Calvinism" as the third most influential idea changing the world right now, Driscoll just have to draw up a list contrasting "Old Calvinism" with "New Calvinism". This is his list as posted on his website:
Four Ways 'New Calvinism' is So Powerful
1) Old Calvinism was fundamental or liberal and separated from or syncretized with culture. New Calvinism is missional and seeks to create and redeem culture.
2) Old Calvinism fled from the cities. New Calvinism is flooding into cities.
3) Old Calvinism was cessationistic and fearful of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. New Calvinism is continuationist and joyful in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
4) Old Calvinism was fearful and suspicious of other Christians and burned bridges. New Calvinism loves all Christians and builds bridges between them
Let us examine them one by one:
1) Does Driscoll even know what Calvinism is historically? He does not even understand the original Fundamentalist/Liberal controversy as it is! (Read at least J. Gresham Machen's book Christianity and Liberalism, and also the book consisting of articles from Charles Spurgeon The Downgrade Controversy for some background). Furthermore, the entire culturalist stance is grating on my nerves. Where in Scripture are we commanded to redeem culture? Answer: NOWHERE!
2) First of all, the Reformation started in ... cities! Cities like Wittenberg, Zurich, Geneva etc. Sure, what was called cities back then would be equivalent to the size of our towns now, but it still started off in cities.
Secondly, Calvinism "did not fled from cities", as if all Calvinists have an epiphany and decided to leave the cities in droves for the countryside. The fact of the matter is that Calvinism sharply declined after the Second Great Awakening due to the influence by the Pelagian heretic and revivalist Charles Grandison Finney (See Iain Murray's book Revival and Revivalism for starters). It wasn't even found much in the countryside for that matter.
3) There is plain nonsense. Is Driscoll now calling all Reformed folks who are not continuationists "Old Calvinists"? And Cessationism is not "fearful of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit". That is mere strawman bashing unbecoming of someone of Driscoll's influence. Even though I am not a classical cessationist, I think a little more respect for godly pastors who have held on to the Cessationist position in an informed manner is in order.
4) In other words, Driscoll is admitting that "New Calvinism" rejects the doctrine of separation and follows the lead of New Evangelicalism in her willingness to compromise the faith? No thanks! I would much rather follow the Reformers who "burned bridges" between them and the apostate Roman Catholic Church. Compromise is never an option for the Christian who truly loves Christ (cf Jude 1:4, 2 Cor. 6:14-18, 2 Jn. 1:10-11)!
In closing, let me share what I wrote in my article on the Reformed Resurgence which indirectly addresses Driscoll's fascination with novelty and disdain of the past:
As stated, truth is transcendent and timeless, and the Church as the pillar of the truth partakes in part of that quality insomuch as she holds the truth in righteousness. Such would therefore mean that the modernist focus on novelty and its equation of novelty with improvement and progress must be jettisoned. Progress in Scripture is to be measured in terms of growth in the knowledge of God based upon truths established by godly men in the past and present (Eph. 4:11-16) as exposited from the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16-17), not a complete overhaul and revolution of all doctrines for every generation. It is therefore imperative upon any movement that aspires to be in line with God’s Word to function in this light.
Practically speaking therefore, doctrines and practices from the past are to be treated with a certain amount of respect. Although old does not necessarily mean good, yet if something is universally held by the Church in previous times, we should examine it carefully according to the Scriptures and not dismiss it flippantly. (Bold added)
Addenum: Dr. R. Scott Clark has weighed in on this matter on his blog here. I agree with Clark in one of his more irate comments:
...The problem is that Pr Driscoll and the YRR folks are calling themselves “Reformed” and “Calvinist.” Who wrote a post contrasting the old Calvinists with the new? ...