by Dr ES Williams
New Calvinism is a broad church, with a wide range of beliefs, doctrines and practices. The Gospel Coalition (TGC), which started in 2007 with a conference headlined by Don Carson, Tim Keller and John Piper, was a significant event, for the Coalition has become a national network for the New Calvinist movement. Theologian Don Carson wrote the original draft of the confessional statement, while Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church,New York, wrote the theological call to ministry. The Gospel Coalition Council boasts familiar names like Tim Keller, John Piper, Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, Mark Dever, Al Mohler and Joshua Harris. Coalition leaders explain that they are not a ‘boundary set’, for that would mean nailing down the outer limits of who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’, and that they do not want. As a consequence just about everyone is welcome to join the TGC Network, whatever their doctrinal beliefs.
While there are certain characteristics around which New Calvinists are united, it is a broad movement, and not all practice their faith in the same way. While most claim to be faithful to Scripture, and to follow the essential tenets of Calvin’s theology, many are marked by a love for the ways and things of the world, which manifests itself in unbecoming conduct that is far removed from the ways and beliefs of traditional Calvinists and Puritans. Here are some of the key characteristics of New Calvinism: