I’ve been asked to comment on an article by John Armstrong:
“The article quotes Southern Baptist Seminary president Albert Mohler, an older leader among the younger neo-Calvinists: ‘The moment someone begins to define God's [being or actions] biblically, that person is drawn to conclusions that are traditionally classified as Calvinist.’ (Really? If this were so why then do so many with a genuinely classical and high view of God, such as Roman Catholics and the Orthodox, not embrace what we call Calvinism?)”
Because they reject sola scriptura.
“Take a much-maligned modern biblical scholar like N. T. Wright and consider my point. Wright is not a neo-Calvinist by anyone's account. Yet his exegetical and biblical work is as indebted to John Calvin (in a broad and positive sense) as any major academic New Testament scholar today. My friend Scot McKnight, who is not a Calvinist, writes of N.T. Wright's new book, Justification: God's Plan and Paul's Vision (SPCK): ‘Tom Wright has out-Reformed America's newest religious zealots---the neo-Reformed---by taking them back to Scripture and to its meaning in its historical context. Wright reveals that the neo-Reformed are more committed to Tradition than to the Sacred Text. This irony is palpable on every page of this judicious, hard-hitting, respectful study.’ You ask, ‘What is Wright saying and doing in this new book that Scot McKnight, a non-Calvinist, would praise so warmly?’ Answer: He is correcting the neo-Reformed movement regarding its reading of a major biblical doctrine. He is particularly correcting John Piper's treatment of justification, which is one of weaker efforts to prop up ideas that are not a part of Paul's first-century context or the full biblical narrative…Piper's book, widely praised by a who's who list of the very neo-Calvinists that Van Biema's research mentions (and assumes), is so severely flawed that it staggers me to think credible people are actually excited about it.”
This is nothing short of slandering each and every critic of the New Perspective on Paul–who range along a theological continuum.
“Because this movement is driven by neo-Puritanism it has all the marks of previous Puritan movements without a great deal of the maturity and the historical context of the times in which these movements evolved spiritually.”
“All the marks of previous Puritan movements?” Oh please! Hyperbole could scarcely be more hyperbolic. Is Albert Mohler the reincarnation of William Prynne?
If you want to read some modern-day Puritans, try Turretin Fan or William Young.
"’Classic Protestant backbiting’ is precisely what neo-Calvinism is creating. Look at the divisions in the Southern Baptist Convention and you will see my point. (I have watched this movement for neo-Calvinism from its infancy. I personally attended the first meeting (and several more the years following) of the group that started this effort back in the 1980s. I personally knew the founder who dreamed up the idea of recovering Calvinism in the SBC and then spread the ‘doctrines of grace’ very widely. He is now with the Lord.) Look at the quarrels between these neo-Calvinists and the various strands of emergent (and emerging) Christianity.”
This is comically one-sided. If there’s disagreement between Calvinists and fundamentalists (in the SBC), lay all the blame at the doorstep of the Calvinists. If there’s disagreement between Calvinists and Emergents, lay all the blame at the doorstep of the Calvinists.
To take just one example, you only have to follow the exchange between James White, Tom Ascol, and Ergun Caner to correct Armstrong’s absurdly prejudicial depiction.
To judge by autobiographical anecdotes which Armstrong himself as furnished, I think it’s obvious that Armstrong’s judgment has been warped by personal experience.