Calvinism 2.0 is a theological revival sweeping across the USA returning the American church to sound doctrine and reformed teaching. It’s so prevalent that mainstream newspapers are even picking up on it. I’ve found it immensely encouraging reading about how God is brining his church back to biblical thinking. I’ve posted this before and will do so again I’m sure. But how is it different to the Calvinism of history? What’s changed?
In short: nothing. The doctrines of grace these new Calvinists are teaching are the same expressed throughout the Old testament, the same taught by Jesus in the gospels, by Luke in Acts, by Paul, Peter and John in their many letter, by Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, by Whitefield, Edwards, Warfield, Spurgeon, Dr Lloyd Jones and moving into present times Piper, Driscoll and Mohler.
Nothing is different because the great and glorious truths of the Bible remain untouched by the passing of time. Paul wrote:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”
Ephesians 1 v 3 – 5
Amazingly enough this remains truth today. Predestination is still as true as it always was. Just as God is unchanging throughout eternity so Biblical truth is unchanging and so Calvinism is unchangeable.
So, what has happened is not an ‘updating’ of Calvinism but a return to sound biblical principles. Calvinism 2.0 is the same God exalting, man humbling, encouraging, challenging, mature truth that it ever was. The five points of TULIP still stand (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited (Particular) Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints. Type Calvinism vs. Arminianism and Driscoll into Youtube, watch the first result and you’ll see that nothing has changed.
Why call it 2.0?
Good question, I did so not to represent a change in the theology of Calvinism but to mark that we’ve already had one reformation that took us from Catholic to Calvinist theology and yet over the past century the church strayed from the rock solid principles of the doctrines of grace. So this resurgence of Calvinism is the second time such an event as occurred.
Is it coming to Britain?
So far Calvinism 2.0 is an American phenomenon the question is whether or not it will spread to Britain or indeed further still.
Biblical and church history would suggest that it would. Calvin started teaching in Geneva and his work spread throughout the known world. The history of Calvinism (is interesting, encouraging and glorifying to God) is a history of sound biblical teaching spreading from nation to nation and making itself known in the most amazing ways possible. It not only changed how people thought about God it changed the way they lived their lives.
It is my hope and prayer that Calvinism 2.0 will come here to the dark shores of out country. I long for the day when saying you are Christian and Calvinist is a tautological statement. When these two terms are interchangeable with each other. When the doctrines of grace are proclaimed from every pulpit in this land.
And it can happen.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Romans 8 v 31