Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition
Who would have guessed that something as austere as Calvinism would become a hot topic in today's postmodern culture? At the five hundredth anniversary of John Calvin's birth, new generations have discovered and embraced a "New Calvinism" with fervor and zeal, finding in the Reformed tradition a rich theological vision. In fact, Time cited New Calvinism as one of "10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now."
Letters to a Young Calvinist provides pastoral and theological counsel, encouraging converts to and participants in this tradition to find in Calvin a vision that's even bigger than the New Calvinism might suggest. Noted Reformed philosopher James K. A. Smith contends that much of what traffics under the banner of New Calvinism reduces "Reformed" to a narrow concern with Calvinistic soteriology. Smith introduces New Calvinists to the "world-formative" Christianity that was unleashed with the Reformation, presenting the Reformed tradition as an Augustinian renewal movement within the church catholic. Offering wisdom at the intersection of theology and culture, he also provides pastoral caution about pride and maturity.
The creative and accessible letter format invites young Calvinists into a faithful conversation that reaches from Paul and Augustine through Calvin and Edwards to Kuyper and Wolterstorff. Together these letters sketch a comprehensive vision of Calvinism that is generous, winsome, and imaginative.
About the Author
James K. A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he also serves in the department of congregational and ministry studies. He has been a visiting professor at Calvin Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando), Fuller Theological Seminary, and Regent College. He is the author or editor of many books, including the Christianity Today award-winners Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? and Desiring the Kingdom, and editor of the well-received Church and Postmodern Culture series (www.churchandpomo.org).