By Richard Van Heukelum
“There are two types of people in this world: those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don’t.”
So states Bob in one of my favorite movies, What about Bob? It’s a humorous line because it captures our tendency to reduce life to two options and place all people into one of our categories. In politics, you’re a Democrat or a Republican. In philosophy, you’re a liberal or a conservative. In theology, you’re a Calvinist or an Arminian.
Well, the list goes on and is so long that we quickly realize life can’t be reduced to only two types of people. We also realize that most do not live in either extreme, which is why we have four-point Calvinists and moderate Democrats. Yet the stating of the two extremes often allows one to grasp the concepts involved in that one issue.
One issue in particular that can be helped by stating the two extremes relates to covenant theology (CT) vs. dispensational theology (DT). The current Reformed Resurgence, or New Calvinism, makes this a relevant topic. The significance can be appreciated when one reads a March 12, 2009, Time magazine article that lists New Calvinism as number three on the list of 10 ideas that are changing our world.
To some, the word Reformed simply means “Calvinism,” but it caught my attention because it seemed like the operative word in Reformed Resurgence. I wondered if the movement focused not only on the issues of Calvinism but also on items normally associated with Reformed theology, namely covenant theology.