New Calvinism, Part IV: Missionally Flooding Into Cities -- By: Drew Curley

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 19:58 (Winter 2015)
Article: New Calvinism, Part IV: Missionally Flooding Into Cities
Author: Drew Curley

New Calvinism, Part IV:
Missionally Flooding Into Cities

Drew Curley

* Drew Curley, M.Div., Ph.D., associate professor, Carolina College of Biblical Studies, Fayetteville, North Carolina

At the outset of this article, one may be confused as to how the new Calvinist’s desire to go missionally into cities has anything to do with the gospel. The confusion is due to the fact that flooding into the cities is a central tenant of their understanding of the gospel; for them, it is the gospel. The words missionally flooding into cities are specifically chosen.1 The focus of their efforts, at least for some, is what they see as their modern-day Samaria, places where nice Christian people would not be found, paralleling the Jewish sentiment regarding Samaria. The cities are an unreached mission field, but new Calvinism’s theological claims are unfounded. For example, consider The Gospel Coalition’s confessional statement concerning the kingdom of God: “living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it: rather, we are to do good to the city.”2

In a single page document addressing theological beliefs, there are few groups who would take the time to mention cities in such a specific way, which is highly telling. For new Calvinism, the gospel is misunderstood as involving social action or cultural redemption. Chapell explains, in one of The Gospel Coalition’s booklets, entitled What Is the Gospel?: “if the King comes to saves sinners and if their salvation includes a renewed heart, an empowered life, and a transformed world, then his

purpose and theirs is truly good news.”3 With consideration of such statements, it now becomes necessary to discuss the biblical gospel.

The Biblical Word For Gospel

The standard Greek lexicon defines εὐαγγέλιον in a threefold manner: “1) God’s good news to humans, good news;” “2) Details relating to the life and ministry of Jesus, good news of Jesus;” and, “3) A book dealing with the life and teaching of Jesus, a gospel account.”4 The Greek word is actually an amalgamation of the words εὐ (“good”) and ἄγγελος (“messenger”). An εὐαγγέλιον then is a mes...

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