How Old School Christianity Has Helped Me
Now, having said all of this, there is something of an old school movement afoot in Christianity that I do like. In my opinion it embraces old-schoolism for all of the right reasons.
Allow me to introduce you to something called the Young, Restless, and Reformed Movement (sometimes called New Calvinism) and let me to tell you that I am a BIG fan. If you haven’t heard of this movement it is basically a grassroots doctrinal uprising within a large segment of Evangelicalism seeking to return the church to the fundamental teachings of the Protestant Reformation. In addition to this it is also a movement that seeks to bring our transcendent biblical beliefs to bear upon contemporary culture.
As I mentioned earlier, I am a big fan of this movement and it has helped me in a number of ways. Among other things, it has helped me personally gain a better grasp of what we Christians believe and why we believe it. In addition to this it has helped me gain a better sense of our historical heritage as Protestants.... surely without these understandings, All Souls Church would never have come into being.
For me the Influence of this movement is particularly remarkable in light of my background. I was raised in a denomination that had/has a somewhat uninformed suspicion of Calvinism. In fact just a handful of years ago a top denominational leader gave a speech about threats to her denomination in which she suggested that “Calvinism” and “Reformed Theology” were two separate hazards – which is a little like claiming that “Red Delicious” and “Apples” are two separate fruits.... But anyway, I digress... (see video for fun).
But now, perhaps, you're asking, what is this movement about? What are its hallmarks? How can I identify a church shaped by the Reformation? Below I offer some key distinctives that may be helpful.
( adapted from http://www.federaltheology.org/sof.htm )
To affirm the great "Solas" of the Reformation.
To affirm and promote a profoundly high view of the sovereignty of God.
To affirm the doctrines of grace. . . to see God as the author of salvation from beginning to end.
To be creedal. . . to affirm the great creeds of the historic, orthodox church. (See e.g. the Nicene Creed)
To be confessional. . . to affirm one or more of the great confessions of the historic orthodox church. (see e.g. the Westminster Confession)
To be covenantal. . . to affirm the great covenants of Scripture and see those covenants as the means by which God interacts with and accomplishes His purposes in His creation, with mankind. (see Covenant Theology)
To take seriously the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20. . . to affirm the primacy of mission and understand that mission.
To have a distinctly Christian worldview that permeates all of life.
To be properly old-school... to go back to the bible and back to the teachings of the Apostles... old-school enough to embrace the faith once for all delivered to the saints.