Hats Off To Calvinists Urging Integrity

hypocrisy meeter

At least one evangelical clan hasn’t rowed down the river of political slime.

Image result for greg forster

Greg Forster

The bloc of enthusiastic Calvinists over at the Gospel Coalition, co-founded by Donald A. Carson and Timothy Keller, still urges morality and principle. Perhaps that’s because Calvinism, or Reformed theology, nurtures a sophisticated approach to cultural engagement that embraces science, the arts, education, and the common good via civic involvement.

A case in point: Two bloggers are urging Alabama’s evangelicals to flee from Republican US Senate nominee, Roy Moore. If elected, Moore will face an immediate ethics investigation over credible accusations of serial sexual molestation of underage girls.

Image result for joe carter gospel coalition

Joe Carter

Greg Forster writes: “The evidence against Moore is so overwhelming that if evangelicals are going to posit the existence of a vast conspiracy to frame him, they owe Dan Brown an apology.” Joe Carter says: “There were plenty of sound political reasons for conservatives to reject Judge Moore. He has a history of violating legal ethics (he was twice removed from Alabama’s Supreme Court) and a blatant disregard for the Constitution. He was so unqualified for the U.S. Senate that even the leader of his political party, President Trump, refused to endorse him for the Republican primary.”

Forster traces the mind-boggling support for Moore to a fear “that the stakes for U.S. elections are so high that we have to disregard what might otherwise be valid moral objections to voting for him.” We’re told political enemies besiege us, so electing a “monster” is fine because we’re at a “Flight 93 moment.”

“I’d be the last to deny that the church has political enemies,” says Forster, “although I’d point out that some of them call themselves Christians and run for office as pro-life Republicans. The more important point, however, is that neither the fate of the church nor the fate of the country is going to be determined by this election. Or at least not in the way some Moore supporters are thinking.”

This “Flight 93” mentality displays a profound lack of faith. “The church’s fate is not electoral; it’s eschatological. The church’s triumph over it’s enemies comes with the King’s return.”

Forster goes on. Follow this link and read his post.

Carter sees a history in which evangelicals have excused to sexual assault. He warns: “To oppose sexual misconduct in general and yet excuse it when done by politicians is the opposite of integrity – it’s a prime example of hypocrisy.” He realizes pro-life believers face a dilemma in each election. Many cannot, in good conscience, support pro-abortion Democrats. But that doesn’t render a GOP vote inevitable. There’s another “nonpartisan” option: Convictional inaction, which “refuses to support any political candidate, organization, or party that advocates or turns a blind eye to gross immorality and injustice.”

Go here to read the rest of Carter’s essay.

We needn’t agree with everything Forster or Carter say. I don’t. But I applaud them for their stand against obvious evil – something for which evangelicals were once known. I also applaud the Gospel Coalition’s refusal to sell its Calvinist soul, which has much to offer in its approach to civic involvement.

Wow. I actually said that — and I’m not a Calvinist.


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About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is a writer, activist, and clergyman living in Connecticut with his wife and family. He's currently writing two books, with more in his head.

View all posts by Charles Redfern


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One Comment on “Hats Off To Calvinists Urging Integrity”

  1. Tanya Says:

    John Piper, Lig Duncan, D. A. Carson, Al Mohler, Russell Moore, even J. I. Packer and R. C. Sproul all signed the Nashville Statement which claimed “current controversies over sex, gender, and marriage are of maximal importance ” For weeks we read about their principled concerns,

    I wait to see if the Gospel Coalition thinks that sexual assault, and the willingness of some evangelicals to look away, is as grave a matter, worthy of a join statement.


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