Those who are opposed to the young Reformed movement (think Young, Restless, Reformed) often refer to it as the NeoReformed. Scot McKnight thinks he may have invented that term (“NeoReformed”). His reason for thinking that is because back in 2009 he write a blog on it – “Who are the NeoReformed?”
McKnight suggested that the NeoReformed are a “new form of Fundamentalism” and suggests that they could also be called the “NeoFundamentalists.” What kind of characteristics does he suggest the NeoReformed have? He wrote,
“The NeoReformed, for a variety of reasons, some of them good, don’t recognize that evangelicalism as a village green. Instead, they want to build a gate at the gate-less village green and require Reformed confessions and credentials to enter onto the village green. Put differently, they think the only legitimate and the only faithful evangelicals are Reformed. Really Reformed. In other words, they are “confessing” evangelicals. The only true evangelical is a Reformed evangelical. They are more than happy to call into question the legitimacy and fidelity of any evangelical who doesn’t believe in classic Reformed doctrines, like double predestination. The palpable observation here is that many of us think the NeoReformed are as attached to Tradition (read Westminster etc) as they are to sola scriptura.”
Those are some bold statements. And if you ask me, ridiculous statements. It’s nothing against McKnight… I have a lot of respect for his scholarship and contributions to the Church. He has done a lot. But which voice within the “NeoReformed” movement fits this description? Which “young, restless, and Reformed” pastor or theologian suggests that the “only legitimate and only faithful evangelicals are Reformed”? I’m unaware of any who take such a hard stance on these issues.
I’m not saying that they don’t exist… I’m just saying that I’ve never encountered those characteristics as representative of this movement that I find myself inside of (I’m 32 year’s old, missional, and Reformed). Is there an official spokesman that I’m unaware of?
So I’d really like to know just who falls into the category of “NeoReformed” and what exactly causes them to be given that designation. I know Driscoll is constantly given that label by those who take issue with his view on gender roles. Are there any others within this “movement” that legitimately believe that the Reformed faith has the only claim to evangelicalism?
What do you think?
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.