The New York Times has just published a feature on the resurgence of Calvinism among evangelicals. The story features Mark Dever and Collin Hansen as well as remarks from Arminian critic Roger Olsen. That fact that this story even made it into the nation’s paper of record is significant all by itself. For that reason alone, you don’t want to miss this one.
The end of the article asks whether the reformed resurgence is a fad—a movement that is here and then gone like the emergent church. I think that comparison misses the point. There are many important differences between the two movements that render them apples and oranges.
The emergent church represented theological innovation. The reformed resurgence is a rallying around something old. The emergent church comprised a theologically liberal impulse. The reformed resurgence comprises a conservative one—one rooted in the rallying cry of the reformation Sola Scriptura.
The emergent movement was here and then for all practical purposes has left us. I predict that will not be the case with reformed resurgence. It has proved to be an enduring tradition over the centuries. To be sure, its popularity may indeed wane in North American evangelicalism. In fact, that is almost surely to happen eventually. But it is not likely to go extinct like other theological flashes in the pan. The tradition will go forward even if its current popularity doesn’t. That’s the difference.
In any case, you can read the article here.