Beer Enthusiast’s New ‘Calvinist’ Film Brews Concern for Blending in ‘Young, Restless & Reformed’ Speakers

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David R. Brumbelow's picture

Interesting, long article. 

I’d recommend:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  -1 Peter 5:8

With emphasis on the words, “Be sober.” 

By the way, the GK work “nepho” means wineless; free from intoxicants.

Whether you are Calvinist, Non-Calvinist, Moderate Calvinist, Traditionalist, stay away from alcohol. 

David R. Brumbelow

TylerR's picture


The article highlights the apparent disconnect between the more traditional Reformed guys who advocate holiness in the traditional sense (e.g. Paul Washer, Steve Lawson, James White) and the neo-Reformed guys who apparently just want to drink craft beer, get tattoos and smoke cigars (e.g. Joe Thorn, Jeff Durbin). I know their supporters will object that this is not a fair characterization; but this is the image these men deliberately go out of their way to project.

This is a wide divide, and I don't think these guys are in the same place at all on personal separation. One group is old-fashioned and gentlemanly (in a good sense), and the other group seems obsessed with being hip, edgy and cool. Durbin's weekly internet-based late-night show is inappropriate and unedifying.

The neo-Reformed movement (ala Thorn and Durbin, et al) disappoints and disgusts me. Their lifestyle and the brand of Christian holiness they advocate undermines the otherwise good things they're doing (e.g. Durbin's ministry at abortion clinics). I agree with Peter Masters, in the article he wrote on this long ago:

Most of the well-known preachers who promote and encourage this ‘revival’ of Calvinism (or New Calvinism) have in common the following positions that contradict a genuine Calvinistic (or Puritan) outlook:

1. They have no problem with contemporary charismatic-ethos worship, including extreme, heavy-metal forms.

2. They are soft on separation from worldliness [see endnote 2].

3. They reject the concern for the personal guidance of God in the major decisions of Christians (true sovereignty), thereby striking a death-blow to wholehearted consecration.

4. They hold anti-fourth-commandment views, taking a low view of the Lord's Day, and so inflicting another blow at a consecrated lifestyle.

Whatever their strengths and achievements (and some of them are brilliant men by any human standard), or whatever their theoretical Calvinism, the poor stand of these preachers on these crucial issues will only encourage a fatally flawed version of Calvinism that will lead people to be increasingly wedded to the world, and to a self-seeking lifestyle. Truly proclaimed, the sovereignty of God must include consecration, reverence, sincere obedience to his will, and separation from the world, and the New Calvinism has very little of that.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

...whether this was a spoof or a real article at first.   "Traditional holiness-preaching Calvinists" seems to ignore the fact that the main stream of Calvinism--Presbyterians, Reformed, etc..--has always allowed a certain number of things that the fundamental tent circuit didn't like.  This is especially the case when I consider that it's got a fair number of very specific meanings, theologically speaking.

But that said, there is a reality that YRR does seem to have a degree of "in your face" enjoyment of freedoms--or perhaps things we're not actually free to do--and part of that seems to be to be a bit of self-conscious differentiation from other streams of fundagelical thought. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ron Bean's picture

The person who is enthusiastic when he discovers that as Christian he has the liberty to drink beer is like someone who is Jewish who comes to Christ as Savior and Messiah and is thrilled to discover he can eat bacon!

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Bert Perry's picture

Read Masters' column carefully to figure out what a lot of YRRs are rebelling against, and why.  For example, the only real piece of evidence he brings forth against the use of heavy metal and rap in church services is that the genre are linked with drug use.

OK, guilt by association fallacy, and beyond teetotalers in the genre (Angus Young, Rev. Run, LeCrae come to mind), you've got the problem that you've got plenty of drunks and stoners in other genre like jazz, country & western, blues, classical....if we apply it consistently, we have no music in the church when you get rid of drunks, pagans, fornicators, and the like--or music that sounds as if it could have been composed by the same.  

And in light of arguments that won't pass freshman Informal Logic 101, why on earth would we be surprised when YRRs and others think we're out to lunch on any number of things?   When you offer poor arguments for your point of view, you tend to harm your cause.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

Major doubt: "The documentary has drawn praise from some who find the film to be an accurate and high-quality representation of Reformed theology"

Steve Newman's picture

Though I don't know that some of the YRR activity is what Piper argues for, isn't this just taking his idea of "Christian hedonism" farther? It is as if authors such as Piper gave the young Reformed "permission" to do so. 

Bert Perry's picture

Steve, as Piper defines it, Christian hedonism is finding delight in God, not the world.  Now no debate that some might not have read Piper's work carefully and might have said "hedonism?  All right!", and gone off with no sense of restraint, but to blame the author for people misunderstanding his work is a bit much in my view.

Regarding Piper's personal stances, I believe he's actually gotten in some trouble among YRR circles for advocating a degree of restraint in personal expression, especially in matters of alcohol and tobacco, while at other times he does welcome a wide range of modern music into church services.  Again, it really comes down to whether one can come up with a Biblical argument against music genre; I've seen hundreds of attempts, and have been persuaded by none of them.  Usually, as I noted above, it comes down to guilt by association arguments that I could, were I so minded, apply to just about any genre out there.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

JohnBrian's picture the fact that the author felt it was necessary to write about the personal life of one of the young women in the film. Her personal struggles have absolutely nothing to do with the documentary, and she is the only whose personal life is mentioned. If her maiden name had been Brown or Black (instead of White), or even Smith or Jones, would the author have felt it necessary to report on her struggles.

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