The Anglican churches are often described as having a Catholic liturgy welded to a Calvinist 39 Articles. In the last few centuries the drift within much of the Episcopal Church has been to the catholic strands found in the liturgy. But the Christian Science Monitor is reporting that Calvinism, in its purest form, is starting to make a comeback in America.
In a long article that describes what’s happening there’s this intro:
“New Calvinism draws legions to the sermons of preachers like John Piper of the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. Here at CHBC, the pews and even rooms in the basement are filled each Sunday, mostly with young professionals. Since senior pastor Mark Dever brought Calvinist preaching here 16 years ago, the church has grown sevenfold. Today it is bursting at the stained-glass windows.
Yet the movement’s biggest impact may not be in the pews. It’s in publishing circles and on Christian blogs, in divinity schools and at conferences like ‘Together for the Gospel,’ where the rock stars of Reformed theology explore such topics as ‘The Sinner Neither Able Nor Willing: The Doctrine of Absolute Inability.’
‘There is a very clear resurgence of Calvinism,’ says Steven Lemke, provost and a professor at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
The renewed interest arrives at a crucial inflection point for American religion. After reviewing a landmark opinion survey last year that showed a precipitous decline in the number of people who identify themselves as Christian, Newsweek declared ominously that we may be witnessing ‘the end of Christian America.'”
Read the full article here.
There’s certainly always been a strong strand of Calvinism within parts of the historic low-church party of Anglicanism. Much of John Stott’s thinking has its roots in traditional Calvinism. And a friend told me last week that when he was visiting in a southern US Episcopal diocese, he was asked if he was a full 5-point Calvinist or not, with the implication given that if he wasn’t, then he wasn’t a full Christian.
All in all, this is probably worth reading up on.