I posted a link to Dr Peter Masters recent article slamming Piper, Dever etal and their ‘new’ calvinism. Dr Masters article was SO over the top to be laughable. Many responded on the blogsphere ridiculing Masters article (and rightly so). Yet Iain Murray, one of the fore-most experts on Puritanism and Calvinism has recently written something interesting:
First, in our circles, piety and godliness are not the characteristics of Calvinistic belief to the extent that they ought to be. We believe that divine revelation has come to us in words and in propositions, and for these we must contend. But truth is only rightly believed to the extent that it is embodied in life. The gospel spread across Europe in the sixteenth century primarily through the witness of transformed people…
Second, our example needs to be the best argument that belief in divine sovereignty does not weaken evangelistic preaching. There are prominent exceptions to the contrary—the names of some of them will be found in these pages—but in surveying the Christian scene at large, there is some justification for the idea that Calvinistic belief hinders evangelistic passion. Facing this perception, we would be mistaken to suppose we are free of blame. We have found it easier to be ‘teachers’ and ‘defenders’ of the truth than to be evangelists who are willing to die that men might be converted.”
Iain Murray reminds us that while some criticism can be laughable and rightly challenged it can blind those adherents to legitimate problems and issues which are causing a problem in a tradition and which need to be dealt with and corrected.