Letter to Young Calvinists

Dear Young Calvinists,

I admire your zeal and passion for the supremacy of God in all things.  But there are a few things I will love for you to consider along the way.

First, I know that you are proud of your Reformed heritage, standing in the great tradition of magisterial reformers like Luther and Calvin and now neo-reformed thinkers and pastors like Packer and Sproul and Piper and Mohler and Driscoll.  But keep in mind, that party-spiriting is sinful: “I follow John Calvin” or “I follow John Piper,” or I’m a part of The Gospel Coalition (1 Cor. 1:10ff).

Second, if your theology continues to make you obnoxious and arrogant, you have mistaken the means for the end.  All true theology leads inevitably to doxology and devotion, the praise of God and obedience to him (Rom. 11:33-12:2).  In other words, there’s a proper place for Christian theology, and we must work tirelessly to keep it there.

Third, in your zeal for orthodoxy, be careful where you draw lines.  What if other believers in the body of Christ do not hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith or the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689?  Are they any less followers of Christ?  Are they any less contributors to the advancement of the Kingdom of God?

Remember Romans 14: “Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (vv. 3-4).

So be careful not to usurp the Lord’s judgment–for he not only used George Whitefield, but he also used John Wesley.

Finally, in your zeal and passion for the glory of God in all things, above all, learn how to get out of the way, for the Lord is not in the sharing-his-glory-business (Isaiah 48:11). And remember, the average believer doesn’t care that you’ve read Calvin and Edwards and Piper.  Rather, what they need to be shown, week in and week out, is Jesus and what he has done for them.

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This entry was posted in 1689 Baptist Confession, Baptists, Calvinism, Christian Theology, J.I. Packer, John Calvin, John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, Kingdom of God, Martin Luther, Reformed, Westminster Confession and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Letter to Young Calvinists

  1. Lon says:

    Great advice. I haven’t run into the people you address here (I think…). But I hear stories about them and I know we all have a tendency to turn conviction into arrogance.

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