Archive for the ‘Pietism’ Category

Would R. Scott Clark Respond to the Enthusiast-Calvinist Accusation?

September 8, 2009

I’d love to see R. Scott Clark or one of the other pre-eminent “Truly Reformed” folks from Westminster West respond to this Lutheran charge that Calvin was an “Enthusiast[]” who “separat[ed] the Holy Spirit from the Word.” (link)

For myself, I’d point out that it is mistaken to blame Calvin (or Calvinism) for the errors of Enthusiasm (emphasizing emotional experience, especially in an unguided way, as allegedly being the leading of the Holy Spirit), Pietism (focus on piety without regard for orthodoxy), or the Church Growth Movements (a movement that focuses primarily on expanding the rolls, often at the expense of preaching repentance from sin).

Enthusiasm and Pietism have been consistently rejected by Calvinists over the years, and while the Church Growth Movement may have taken hold in some Presbyterian churches, it is not fairly blamed on Calvinism or Reformed theology more generally. These sort of accusations drive me to view Confessional (LBCF 1689) Reformed Baptists as closer brethren to Presbyterians than Confessional Lutherans are (which, of course, is not to deny that confessional Lutherans are our Christian brethren). My understanding, though, is that R. Scott Clark and some others at Westminster West see things differently, and would actually view Lutherans as closer to Presbyterians.


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