In view of the controversy over the recent Strange Fire conference up the road, it seemed like a good time to re-post this HB classic from 2008.
James K. A. Smith has an interesting post at CT: Teaching a Calvinist to Dance. In this post he says he longs for a “a kind of ‘Pentecostalized’ Reformed spirituality. He goes on to link his quest with that of Edwards. This might surprise some readers, but Smith is at least partly right. He’s exactly right to link his desire for an immediate experience of the risen Christ and for extraordinary phenomena to Edwards. This is the dirty little secret in the modern history of Reformed theology, piety, and practice. We cannot embrace Edwards and D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones unequivocally as “one of us” and tell Jamie Smith that he can’t have the same piety that they had or sought.
Second, Jamie’s post illustrates the state of the definition of the words “Calvinist” and “Reformed.” Jamie mentions some modern Reformed folks (Bavinck and Kuyper), but he doesn’t mention (as I recall) folks such as Calvin and DeBres. Our older theologians, who wrote our confessions, confronted the very sort of spirituality Jamie advocates and seeks, and they rejected it. It isn’t well-known now, but the 16th-century Anabaptists were proto-Pentecostals. Indeed, every year in the Medieval Reformation course, when I describe the theology, piety, and practice of the Anabaptists, many students remark that it sounds a lot like the piety with which they were raised.
To Read More……….
Originally published May 16, 2008
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