What a surprise to open up this week’s Time Magazine only to find the top ten mega-trends listed for consideration in this brave new post-collapse-of-the-global-economic-system world.  And what made it to #3?  Right behind “job as your best asset” and “recycling the suburbs”?  Check it out – 

The New Calvinism.

For some time now (actually for the last eighteen months) I’ve been trying to sort out the meaning of the revival of reformed theology in the evangelical movement across America popularized by the likes of John Piper and friends.  Turns out my alma-mater (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL) has been dominated by these reformed thinkers for a quarter century.   Along with the Southern Baptist Convention.  Christianity Today has noted this development within the movement.  Former TEDS theology professor and now at North Park College, Dr. Scot McKnight, calls this phenomena the emergence of Neo-Fundamentalists.  Predestination has made a big come-back: filling a void left wide open with the mass marketing of seeker-friendly Christianity.  While many but not all of these invaders smoke pipes and cigars and drink beer as a sign of their liberation from dispensationalism, they are hardly progressives.  Some of them are the new heresy hunters – the self-appointed guardians of orthodoxy.  And you’d better not cross them.

TIME’s David Van Biema considers their return to a Puritan-like version of Calvinism; calling up a vision of God rooted as much in Jonathan Edwards as biblical theology, to be a major force in this Brave New World following the onset of our current economic crisis.

A curious development.  Curious indeed.

For a balanced conversation on the subject, see Eugene Cho’s blog for a good discussion.