Friday, November 30, 2007

The Reformed Renewal Among Baptists

Clint Humfrey is a former professor of New Testament Greek at Toronto Baptist Seminary and currently serves as pastor of Calvary Grace Church in Calgary, Alberta. He has written an interesting November 12 article entitled The Reformed Renewal on his Cowboyology Blog. I thought this blog's readers might find it interesting as well. Here is the article in its entirety:

The Reformed Renewal
Yesterday in Sunday School I offered a brief history of Calvinistic Baptists, including the main North American streams in existence today. I summarized the streams as follows:

1. The Neo-Evangelical Stream
Leading Example:
John Piper

Characteristics: Calvinistic convictions arrived at from within the broad mainstream Neo-evangelical ethos.

2. The Dispensational Stream
Leading Example:
John Macarthur

Characteristics: Calvinistic conclusions arrived at out of the generally '3-4 point Calvinist' circles of 'Dallas' dispensationalism.

3. The Fundamentalist Stream
Leading Example:
Spiritual heirs of TT Shields
Characteristics: Distinguished from other Fundamentalists by Calvinism and at times non- Premillenial eschatology. Yet still Fundamental in ethos and association (cf. Paisley in N. Ireland, Bob Jones University, etc.)

4. The Reformed Baptist Stream
Leading Example:
Al Martin, Tom Ascol
Characteristics: Often connected with Presbyterians, possessing the same view of the Law's implication for Christian living, particularly in the form of Sabbatarianism, and 10 commandments as normative for Christians.

5.The New Covenant Reformed Baptist Stream
Leading Example:
John Reisinger

Characteristics: Derived from the Reformed Baptist stream, but broke away from those circles over disagreement about Sabbatarianism and the relation of the Law to the Christian. Tended to emphasize a more Christocentric view of the Law (i.e. Law is fulfilled in Christ entirely, therefore the idea of Sunday as equivalent to a Jewish Sabbath is incorrect). Can draw from Progressive Dispensational circles as well as other eschatological perspectives.
There is often overlap between these different streams, and many Calvinistic Baptists would not be associated with any of them in a formal way. However the influence of the various teachers in these streams has had a significant impact within the broader Reformed Renewal of the 20th and early 21st century. To the reader I ask, 'In what stream do you find yourself?'

So, what do you all think? Do you think these are helpful or accurate categories? Do they reflect your own experience of the Reformed Baptist community?

P.S. Thanks to Nathan White on the Reformed Baptist Discussion List for bringing this article to my attention.

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