Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ligon Duncan: Nine Factors in the Current Resurgence of Calvinism

I recently received a copy of Calvin for Today (Reformation Heritage, 2009) edited by Joel Beeke from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. Note: If you give financial support to this school they very generously send you their excellent theology journal and occasional good books. The volume is a collection of essays drawn from presentations made at Puritan Reformed Seminary’s 2009 theology conference marking the 500th anniversary of Calvin’s birth.

In one of the concluding essays, Ligon Duncan addresses, “The Resurgence of Calvinism in America” (pp. 227-40).

He cites nine factors:

1. Three preachers: Charles Haddon Spurgeon, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and John MacArthur.

2. Books: Especially Banner of Truth publications.

3. Evangelists: Like D. James Kennedy.

4. The Battle for the Bible: The work of Calvinists like J. I. Packer, R. C. Sproul, James Montgomery Boice, and Roger Nicole on the Council on Biblical Inerrancy.

5. Two Church Controversies: The emergence of the PCA (1973) and the conservative resurgence in the SBC (c. 1979 forward).

6. A book and an Anglican: The influence of J. I. Packer’s Fundamentalism and the Word of God but especially Knowing God (not to mention his introduction to Owen’s Death of Death).

7. A Theologian Philosopher: R. C. Sproul.

8. A Force of Nature: John Piper.

9. The Decline of a Movement: Death of Protestant Liberalism.

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