At the CREDO500 conference last year 2009, I have submitted a modified paper of mine (one of two for the conference) on the New Evangelical Calvinism, which can be accessed here. In that paper, I have pointed out a couple of areas of concern in the New [Evangelical] Calvinism. Being one socially but not theologically, I sympathize with them and sincerely wish the best for them, not wishing for the movement to be derailed into compromise and apostasy.
Sadly, the recent incident regarding Piper and Warren shattered my hopes. My paper was written as a warning so that the New Calvinists would not repeat the errors of the last 50-60 years. Instead, it seems as if my paper has become a prophecy of the New [Evangelical] Calvinism. Not only do they seem intent on repeating the mistakes of the past, the doctrinal compromise has happened within the same generation as the "founding generation", in fact by the founding generation themselves. What took 10-20 years in the New Evangelicalism took less than 10 years or even 3 years (if one counts Hansen's book as the beginning) in the New [Evangelical] Calvinism. The trainwreck of compromise in the visible Church looms large. Federal Vision heretic Doug Wilson for DG2009, Semi-Pelagian and fork-tongued heretic Rick Warren for DG2010. What's next, Pastor John? Why not Ratzlinger (Pope Benedict XVI) for DG2011? After all, even Rome is not as heretical in her denial of the Gospel as supposed "evangelical" Rick Warren. Rome at least denounces (classical) Semi-Pelagianism as heresy! Wouldn't it be an interesting topic to know how thinking theologically informs Ratzlinger in his daily decisions as the Pope of a religion followed by millions around the world?
We can see one other aspect of this New Evangelical compromise which I have warned against in Piper's attempted defense of his invitation to Warren for DG2010. Near the end of the video clip of his, Piper states:
The way I have chosen to live my life for the sake of reformed theology and the supremacy of God, and the inerrancy of the Bible, and the importance of solid Reformation Gospel truths, the five Solas and so on, is to give ALL my energy to putting them in a positive, aggressively, uh, spreadable form, NOT to spend my time shooting at the people who don’t like them. ...
— John Piper (11:15 -11:47). Bold added.
In my paper I have argued that the New Calvinists are liable to repeat the same mistake as the New Evangelicals with their infatuation with the idea of positivity. In this same video, Piper it seems succumbs to this same error. While nobody is asking Piper to go around hunting for heresy and denouncing as many heretics as he can find (In fact, I doubt many people even do that), we are expecting Piper to follow Scripture which is both positive and negative in its proclamation.
Now, it is a well-documented fact that Piper does denounce the Word-faith prosperity "gospel", and for that we are appreciative. This makes his attitude in this video even more puzzling. We are not asking him to "shoot" people but rather to continue as he has already done in contending for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
Sadly, it seems as if Piper in representing the New Calvinists is moving along the well-trod path of New Evangelicalism. The move towards an infatuation with positivity is symptomatic of the New Evangelical compromise even up till today, and this attitude is what facilitate the silencing of the defence machinery God has instituted in the Church — that the Shepherds and Leaders of the church ought to function as watchmen and guard the flock against heresy and heretics (cf Acts 20:28-31). When such silencing is done, error creeps into the church unchallenged and unchecked, and it will overwhelm the Church like a tidal force of destruction, consuming all in its wake. The elect will be confused, the witness of the Church rendered uncertain, and many professing believers will turn away from the faith of which God has committed them to our care.
The New Calvinist experiment, if this sets a precedent, will become a nightmare for the Church or our Lord Jesus Christ. May our Lord have mercy and show the New Calvinists and Pastor John the errors of their ways.