Sunday, March 16, 2014

Carl Trueman and Mark Driscoll's problems

In light of the revelations we have been receiving concerning Mark Driscoll and his marketing tactics, Carl Trueman has written an article concerning the culture of American Evangelicalism, which give rise to this sad phenomenon. In it, Trueman muses over whether he wants to be called an "Evangelical" in the American sense of the term.

The main issue that I would like to focus on is concerning the deafening silence within the movement. As I have been continually pointing out, organizations like TGC and people like Tim Keller and John Piper have been extremely silent regarding all the problems that have been plaguing the New Calvinism. This led Trueman to make an astute observation:

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.

That is the reason why I have from almost the beginning protested the "New Calvinism." Nobody can ever claim that I am a "New Calvinist" and no one should say that I tolerated their sins. This status none of the New Calvinists (e.g. Colin Hansen, John Piper, Tim Keller, Tim Challies etc.) can have a legitimate claim to. That is also why I do not own it as "our problem," because I am not part of "us." It is a problem within Christianity to be sure, but it is not my problem when I have spoken out about it. Metaphorically, their blood is not on my hands. It is sad, yes, but I can't do anything if people like Don Carson refuse to listen to their critics. If the younger New Evangelicals want to repeat (and have repeated) the failed experiment of the New Evangelicalism of the 1950s-70s, they just have to live with the consequences of their foolishness. They made their own beds, let them lie on it!


David Brainerd said...

"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."

But Calvinism, whether new or old, doesn't matter, is all about the belief that God chose you so come hell or high water, adultery or murder, you will be saved. You can boink all your parishioners, consensually or otherwise, and never have to repent or admit any wrong, because you're the Elect, and there's no way God would ever damn you, or even give you a mild reproof. Calvinism is pure Satanism and always leads to shenanigans from its leaders, who think they have some sort of diplomatic immunity from God.

Larry said...

d. brainerd, perhaps a good starting point for understanding reasons why someone should repent, admit wrong, accept reproof, though believing themselves to be saved by God, is to consider that there are other motivations besides threat of hell that even families here on earth use with their children.

PuritanReformed said...

For some strange reason, my comment did not appear.

PuritanReformed said...


I hope you realize that you are misrepresenting Calvinism. Calvinism does not teach the stuff you claim it does. I challenge you to find any primary source material to substantiate your baseless accusations.

Misrepresenting others is considered slander, or libel since it is written. I hope you will repent of your slander and stop accusing the Scriptures as being Satanic.

PuritanReformed said...


furthermore, since you are making a serious accusation, please substantiate your claims. Otherwise, no more comments will be allowed.

David Brainerd said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PuritanReformed said...


I see you have taken to mouthing ad hominem replies, instead of actually dealing with the substance.

Face it, you lied. When called to task for your misrepresentations, you just resort to baseless name-calling.

That comment will be deleted, as per the blog rules. Don't bother posting anymore unless you are willing to discuss the matter. Satan is the father of lies, so I guess we know whose religion is "pure Satanism."