Author and theologian Scot McKnight speaks into some of his process in dealing with Reformed theology in his article over at BeliefNet. I not only appreciate his perspective; I share it in this case.
Many of my dearest friends and fellow creative servants live in the Reformed world, and I lead worship with them, create with them, embrace God with them and even teach them.
I however, cannot live in that world for very long without some level of oxygen leaving the room for me. I adore the central themes related to God’s sovereignty, but find pain in some of the approach to people who see the world differently than from a strictly reformed perspective.
Here is a piece of Scot’s article, based on John Piper’s invitation of Rick Warren to teach at his conference, and the full article is here.
From Scot McKnight:
1. There’s a Reformed culture, and not all Reformed are like this, that evaluates everyone and everything by a particular Reformed framing of all things theological. Sometimes this works; but what doesn’t work often enough is the inability to see the call of the gospel and the blessing of God on those who are not Reformed.
2. Clearly Reformed theology has a way of framing not only theology (Calvinism) but also the gospel itself, and their theology enables them to frame the gospel in certain ways. There’s an indicator of this in one of the comments after the jump.
3. These two points leads to a third: it means those who can be judged rightly to preach the gospel are only those who frame the gospel in Reformed categories. Yes, I have full appreciation for their belief that their gospel is the biblical gospel. I’m not suggesting one bit that their gospel is simply a 16th Century gospel. I’m Protestant through and through; I think the Reformation was a movement of God; in that Reformation the focus on Scripture and grace and faith and personal redemption came to the fore. But the gospel and Reformed theology go hand in hand with these folks, and you’re going to have a hard time showing that anyone in the NT who is actually gospeling (see the Book of Acts) actually preaches that Reformed gospel when they are “gospeling.”
4. Piper’s stance seems to have been that those invited to the Desiring God conference are Reformed or accepted by that crowd. Therefore, the invitation to invite Rick Warren surprised. Why? Because one would be surprised to discover that Warren’s Reformed; in fact, many would say the seeker-sensitive approach of Warren and other megachurches is bereft of a robust theology, let alone bereft of a Reformed theology and gospel, and that putting him on the platform minimizes the importance of fidelity to the gospel.