God save Calvinism from her friends, as well as her enemies! McKnight blogs Stewart’s new book


Engraved from the original oil painting in the...

Engraved from the original oil painting in the University Library of Geneva, this is considered Calvin’s best likeness. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friend Ken Stewart has a new book out, and Scot McKnight is blogging through it in his inimitable style. Well worth reading. A few samples from today’s “episode”:

We are in Ken Stewart’s debt for his enough-is-enough book, Ten Myths About Calvinism: Recovering the Breadth of the Reformed Tradition. Non-Calvinists are not always informed about Calvinism, and are sometimes fond of pointed jabs that do not describe Calvinists accurately, and so a book like this that shows both deep commitment to Calvinism and friendly fire is one we all need. He is also concerned as well with those Calvinists who think they’ve got it figured out but don’t. What Stewart’s book will do is humble Calvinists into thinking their family is more diverse than is often supposed.

And a summary of the ten myths exposed by Ken:

Stewart discusses, with ample evidence and thorough explanations, four myths Calvinists should not be circulating (but are):

1. One Man (Calvin) and one City (Geneva) are determinative
2. Calvin’s view of (double) predestination must be ours
3. TULIP is the yardstick of the truly Reformed
4. Calvinists take a dim view of revival and awakening

And six myths non-Calvinists should not be circulating (but are):

1. Calvinism is largely antimissionary
2. Calvinism promotes antinomianism
3. Calvinism leads to theocracy
4. Calvinism undermines the creative arts
5. Calvinism resists gender equality
6. Calvinism has fostered racial inequality.

Believe me, I see almost all of these in my classroom. I’m no Calvinist, but it bugs me when my students repeat the most outrageous caricatures of Calvinism in their papers and classroom discussions. If Scot’s summary assessment of the book is generally accurate, then we owe you a debt of gratitude, Ken, for shining light into an area of American ecumenical discussion where, ever since the 19th century, there has most often been little but heat. John Armstrong take note.

8 responses to “God save Calvinism from her friends, as well as her enemies! McKnight blogs Stewart’s new book

  1. Pingback: 10 Myths of Calvinism that should be laid to rest | Leadingchurch.com

  2. matchewokneel

    My brother-in-law is a Calvinist and, prior to this, I had no notion that it was specifically Calvinists that were tagged as spreading those claims or that non-Calvinists spread the aforementioned claims. I’ll have to pick up the book and see what this is all about! However, my brother-in-law has given me more of an impression of progressive, outside-the-box thinking, in theological terms.

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