Reformed Theology: The New Fad?
Ever since Time Magazine listed Calvinism as one of the “10 ideas changing the world right now,” I wondered if we Reformed folk were headed to Hipsterville—not really. (Although I do have this dream of, say, Justin Bieber intoning, “Transubstantiation? That’s sooooo 1400s.”) That being said, there does seem to be a trend towards the Reformation.
One of the complaints against Reformed churches is that we evangelize Evangelicals. There’s some truth to that: we provide sustenance for those wanting to move from milk to meat (1 Cor. 3:2). But is there more to this? Is there something “faddish” about this move towards the Reformation? Carl Trueman of Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia) tells us how we can identify a genuine revival of Reformed theology . . .
Long term, it will be the existence of organized churches (i.e. with elders and members) where this material is faithfully preached and the gospel is lived out daily. And it will build on more immediate developments: a piety that does not feel the need to shock or be self-conscious in its hipness.
This piety will place a primacy on the qualities of character and practice that Paul outlines in his letters, rather than on the celebrity aesthetics he decries in his words to the Corinthian church. It will manifest itself in humble commitment to the gathering of the church, humble attention to the preaching of the Word, and humble service for the church. It will be shown in the careful guarding of our minds and our hearts (that’s the hard part) from erroneous doctrine and behavior—not to earn God’s favour, but rather because God has already blessed us with every good thing in Christ. It will not be brash or loud. It will not even be cool or relevant, except by accident.