Wes Bredenhof writes:
I recently finished reading a book entitled Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centred Church. Authored by Matt Chandler, Josh Patterson, and Eric Geiger, this book could be considered a popular introduction to ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church). The authors are associated with New Calvinism (a.k.a. Young, Restless, and Reformed) and even might want to describe themselves as being ‘Reformed.’
There are many good things to say about this book. Chief among them would be the way in which the authors argue that biblical churches need to be focussed on the Saviour in every aspect of their existence. The authors have a high view of Scripture and that leads them to see rightly many aspects of the doctrine of the church. For example, they argue for the centrality of preaching and the necessity of biblical church discipline. As I was reading Creature of the Word, there were several times where I had to stop and share with my Facebook friends some of its excellent insights.
And yet this book also highlighted for me some significant differences between confessionally Reformed churches and the New Calvinism. While there are many things we can appreciate about this movement, there are also points of departure. They call themselves Calvinists, and in terms of the doctrine of salvation they are. However, I’m quite confident that Calvin would not want his name associated with this book. Let me highlight the main problems under three headings.