If I was part of the Reformed movement, I would be really worried about the latest issue of Christianity Today which proclaims them trendy. I know these guys and believe me, they don’t see trendy as a compliment. The article proclaims, “While the Emergent ‘conversation’ gets a lot of press for its appeal to the young, the new Reformed movement may be a larger and more pervasive phenomenon. It certainly has a much stronger institutional base.” They even have their movement’s answer to Brian McLaren: John Piper. “Piper, more than anyone else, has contributed to a resurgence of Reformed theology among young people.”
I’m thinking of them today because I thought of attending the Desiring God Conference, taking place this weekend. Challies and my pastor friend Paul Martin are there, and I thought about taking Ken Davis with me, but things didn’t work out. Too bad. I have almost met David Wells a few times down at Gordon-Conwell, but we could never connect. I would have loved to have been there to hear these guys talk, especially to hear Wells say, “I wish I could be hip, man,” and to hear Piper say that he likes some of the emerging hotheads as individuals because he is a hothead too.
Although I consider myself Reformed in theology, no self-respecting Reformed group would have me. But here’s why I like them anyway:
One: They see the problems in the church. They did long before the emerging crowd came along and pointed them out.
Two: They see the answer as theological. Reminds me of the emerging figure who said that if we spent the next few years answering the question, “What is the Gospel?” we wouldn’t be wasting our time.
Three: When we get together, I always feel sharpened by them, and they always feel a little uncomfortable that we see eye to eye on so many things. Sort of like how they are uncomfortable when they are proclaimed hip by Christianity Today.
I’m looking forward to listening to the MP3s from the conference.