Why This Reformed Christian Will Not Be Charismatic In 2018



By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:

Tim Challies has published a list of predictions for the “New Calvinist Movement” for 2018. It has understandably provoked discussion. He writes,
In 2018 we will begin to see wider practice of the sign gifts among those who hold to Reformed theology and this will bring some controversy. To this point the debate surrounding cessationism and continuationism has largely been theological, but it will soon become far more practical. We will see churches that are Reformed in much of their theology also practicing prophecy, inviting tongues-speaking, and founding healing ministries.
As a matter of sociology Tim is probably correct. The attempted synthesis of some few aspects (see below) of Reformed theology with Charismatic and Pentecostal theology, piety, and practice will continue. This synthesis is part of a pattern that has roots in the 19th century. On this see the essay “Magic and Noise: On Being Reformed in Sister’s America” in Always Reformed. This is (Sister) Aimee’s world and the Reformed are just living in it. It is vital to recognize this reality, however, and respond accordingly.

The first response should be to define Calvinist or Reformed correctly. One cannot hold essentially the same view of the Word and sacraments as, e.g., Thomas M√ľntzer (1489–1525), who was a Charismatic/Pentecostal (Ana)baptist and call one’s self a “Calvinist” or “Reformed.” The Reformed churches confess a very different view of Scripture (they are, as Tim notes) cessationist, and sacraments (they were all, every last one of them, paedobaptist) than that confessed by most of the so-called “New Calvinists” or the Young, Restless, and Reformed.

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