Neo-Calvinism and Neo-Puritanism: Strengths of Each

Ray Pennings, Senior Fellow and Director of Research at Cardus (a Neo-Calvinist Think Tank in Canada), offers these insights on the strengths of Neo-Calvinism and Neo-Puritanism. He desires that the two streams of Calvinism can dialogue and learn from each other.

See the video here:

Neo-Calvinism and Neo-Puritanism from Puritan Reformed on Vimeo.

NOTE: Since this video was produced, the article from Pennings has been published online.
You can read it here:
"Can we hope for a neocalvinist-neopuritan dialogue?"

Summary of what Pennings said in the video:

The Strengths of Neo-Calvinism

1. A Robust Theology of Creation (“The Creation Order” or “Cultural Mandate”)

Not just focused on the physical creation that God made (the lakes, the rivers, the mountains, etc.,) but the fact that everything within Creation (science, technology, etc.,) were there already in Genesis 1. When God declared that the Creation was “very good” that that all was envisioned. Our task, therefore, as human beings, is to cultivate that.

2. Sin’s destructive force on the Creation (“Antithesis”)

Sin goes through the human heart and affects the structures of society as well. Thorns and thistles begin to grow, not just in the plant world, but in every aspect of our existence.

3. The diversity of institutions in society (“Sphere Sovereignty”)

4. Christians can and should work together with non-Christians for the common good (“Common Grace”)

Unbelievers have valuable insights, abilities, and contributions to society because God grants his grace to them. We can learn from their insights and cooperate with people of all stripes in various ways. This provides a framework, in a multicultural society, for working together.

The Strengths of Neo-Puritanism

1. The emphasis of the Church and her offices

Whereas Neo-Calvinists often see the essence of the church as "the invisible church" and talk a lot about “the priesthood of all believers,” Neo-Puritans emphasize corporate worship as the central means to animating the spiritual life. Neo-Puritans emphasize biblical teaching and the regular practice of the sacraments (communion and baptism).

2. The emphasis on piety or a “public theology”

Neo-Puritans emphasize a way of understanding biblically how to live amongst our neighbors, rooted in orthodox doctrine rather than seeking ecumenical compromise.

Related Links here at Vanguard Church:

For a more in-depth description of Neo-Calvinism, click here:
Neocalvinism: What is it? Is it different from the Calvinism of Albert Mohler? Yes it is.

For how we need to understand the differences of Neo-Calvinism and Neo-Puritanism, click here:
Which is the new Calvinism? “Neo-Puritanism” or “Neo-Calvinism?”

1 comment:

Matt Redmond said...


How can I get an email to you? Thanks.

Matt Redmond