Then I saw that Frank Turk said just about everything I wanted to say, only better. So I decided that, when I had the chance, I'd add the one little thing I wanted to add.
But then I saw that Doug Wilson pretty much covered that, as well, except for one specific. However, in his covering, Wilson did bring one little nag at the back of my mind to the forefront.
So, first, the specific:
As disappointing and largely wrongheaded as Masters' rant is (basically he dismisses "new Calvinists" because he doesn't like their music style and their worship style), I am afraid he is at least somewhat in Spurgeon's tradition.
Just, unfortunately, not in Spurgeon's best tradition.
It was an odd thing. Spurgeon enjoyed cigars, even though his practice scandalized orthodox brothers on (what they imagined were) grounds of morality and worldliness. He was bold and unapologetic. I think Spurgeon was right.
At the same time, Spurgeon was death on theater-going. The Bible says precisely as much about theater-going as it does about cigar-smoking: zero. Yet he was thunderously condemnatory. Perhaps his most memorable statement was this:
The evangelical faith in which you and Mr. Beecher agree is not the faith which I hold; and the view of religion which takes you to the theater is so far off from mine that I cannot commune with you therein.Unless I badly misunderstand him (and have for years on this), Spurgeon is saying that Beecher cannot be a Christian. Is not saved. Why? Because of immorality (Biblically-defined), or defective views on the Bible or the person and work of Christ?
No. Because he feels free to go to the theater.
As I say, Masters is in that tradition. It just isn't a good tradition.
Now, here's the little thought Wilson brought to the forefront of my mind. Masters complains, of modern would-be Calvinist preachers:
They reject the concern for the personal guidance of God in the major decisions of Christians (true sovereignty), thereby striking a death-blow to wholehearted consecration.To that, Wilson offers this tart and dead-on retort:
And this from a man who a moment before was chastizing the charismatic element in the behavior of the new Reformed! It is bad to lift hands to the Lord like the charismatics (and like John Calvin, but let that pass), but it is not bad to make personal life-decisions as though the gift of prophecy were still operative today? A personal word from God, your name on the envelope and all, is necessary to true consecration? Why can't you just do what the Bible tells you to do?I wondered who Masters was thinking of when I read this. I know he knows Phil; I guess he might occasionally visit Pyromaniacs. The person in that neighborhood who has pounded this particular bongo-drum the most furiously lately would be the Calvinist Spurgeon-loving guy who wrote this and this and this and this.
But honestly, that guy is such a small fish (as commenter #11 on this meta quite correctly observes), that I realized it probably would be Kevin DeYoung, whose book (you may recall) I loved.
Making Kevin DeYoung another bad Calvinist.
In which case I say, "Please, God, more bad Calvinists!"