Kevin Deyoung has posted some great thoughts on what we can learn from John Calvin about being relevant. Since the contemporary American church has been obsessed with relevance for some time now it would be good reflect on DeYoung's words.
Whatever lasting impact John Calvin has had on the church of Jesus Christ, and on the whole world for that matter, is owing to his commitment to understanding and explaining the word of God. From sermons to lectures to letters to tracts to treatises to confessions to catechisms to books, his adult life was consumed with one thing: the word of God–the word as a summons to obedience, the word as a blueprint for reform, the word as the foundation for all truth.Read the entire post HERE. Seriously!
Calvin’s confidence was not in the world of technology and progress. He would have scoffed at Bultmann’s now laughable line from several generations ago that “it is impossible to use electric light and the wireless [radio] and to avail ourselves of modern medical and surgical discoveries, and at the same time believe in the New Testament world of demons and spirits.”
Calvin’s confidence was not in man’s potential or the triumph of the human spirit. He would have equally scoffed and been frankly embarrassed by the well-known Reformed Church pastor, Robert Schuller who argued that self-esteem was the New Reformation and that “Christians should hold to these truths: I affirm that I will never be defeated, because I will never quit...I affirm that if I’m totally dedicated I’ll eventually win.”
Calvin’s confidence was in the Word of God, and that’s why his theology and vision of the world continues to capture the minds and hearts of people in the 21st century. That’s why five hundred years later we remember his birth. That’s why Calvin the preacher and expositor has millions more spiritual children than Erasmus the scholar and hermeneutical skeptic. Strive for relevance in your day, and you’ll may make a difference for a few years. Anchor yourself in what is eternal and you may influence the world for another five centuries.