November 17, 2010
Is there a NeoReformed/New Calvinist Movement or Not?
New research says more church leaders are not choosing Calvinism.
New research released by the Barna Group indicates the Neo Reformed / New Calvinist movement may not be much of a movement after all. It turns out that the number of church leaders identifying themselves as Reformed has not changed in the last 10 years.
Read the full report from Barna.
David Kinnaman, Barna Group president, summarized the findings:
“There is no discernable evidence from this research that there is a Reformed shift among U.S. congregation leaders over the last decade. Whatever momentum surrounds Reformed churches and the related leaders, events and associations has not gone much outside traditional boundaries or affected the allegiances of most today’s church leaders. It is important to note that the influence of Reformed churches might also be measured through other metrics that are currently unavailable, such as the theological certainty of self-described adherents, their level of acceptance toward those who are not Calvinist, and the new methods Reformed leaders are using to market their views to their peers and to the public.”
What does this mean? Well, it may be too early to draw any definitive conclusions. It may take time for the real impact of the Neo Reformed movement to be seen, but there is no doubt that groups and leaders like The Gospel Coalition, Together For the Gospel, Acts 29, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Mark Dever, and Al Mohler are influencing church leaders. How much is yet to be seen.
For reactions to the Barna research we recommend checking out:
Ed Stetzer thinks there is a resurgence of Calvinism, but the movement isn't mature enough to be picked up by the surveys.
Skye Jethani wonders if the Neo Reformed movement is really a grassroots phenomenon or a manufactured "astroturf" trend driven by events and publishing.
Scot McKnight is hosting a lively conversation on the research at Jesus Creed.