Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists
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Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  199 ratings  ·  40 reviews
From places like John Piper's den, Al Mohler's office, and Jonathan Edwards's college, Christianity Today journalist Collin Hansen investigates what makes today's young Calvinists tick.

Church-growth strategies and charismatic worship have fueled the bulk of evangelical growth in America for decades. While baby boomers have flocked to churches that did not look or sound lik...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 17th 2008 by Crossway Books
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David Varney
Simple overview of one man's journey across America looking at the reformed resurgence. This is not a theology text book, so don't read it like one (as lots of reviewers seem to be doing). Hansen is simply showing the type of characters involved in this movement and some of their background. That's it. Some challenging little nuggets throughout the book. It's an easy read and doesn't require too much brain power. Agreed, his subject matter seems to be from a small sliver of the vast cultural pal...more
David Shane
A quick-to-read collection of interviews discussing the unexpected resurgence of Calvinism / Reformed theology among young Christians in America. A few thoughts,

1. I think I agree with the suggestion here that one of the reasons Calvinism is so attractive today is because it offers a very big view of a glorious, sovereign, transcendent God. We have a transcendence starved culture - and I mean even inside many Protestant churches, which emphasize the friendship of God (good), but speak far too li...more
Joanne
Book group book about Hansen's travels across the country to report on what he sees as a resurgence of reformed theology in places where you wouldn't expect it - the Southern Baptist Convention, for example. The key there is where you wouldn't expect it -- we noted that reformed theology is hardly new to, say, the Presbyterians or the Reformed Church of America. He doesn't pay much attention to them, but perhaps they are just not hip enough, since most of the people he talks to are thirty-someth...more
Dan Glover
This is basically an extended magazine article about the recent resurgence in partial-Calvinism, especially among young (post-boomer, 20s to early 40s) evangelical baptists and pentecostals. Hansen talks very little about the state of Calvinism and Calvinistic convictions among young presbyterians, reformed, Anglicans, Lutherans, etc. A broader and more thorough examination would have been interesting. There are large swaths that weren't discussed (thinking of the growing CREC and the large numb...more
Jim
This was a good book in journal/interview format of Collin Hansen's travels around the country to interview with key people in the modern day "reformed movement" (for lack of a better term). It sheds some real positive light on what Biblical reformed teaching has done for the spiritual growth of many Christians. Especially those in their 20's (and 30's). It is so exciting to see such a fire for the Lord in the younger generation(s). It also encouraged me to see what a potential there is in minis...more
Jerry
Interesting forays into the New Calvinists. Aside from the Tim Kellerites, this is mostly about reformed baptists. These people are zealous for the gospel and innovative (new organizations, denominations, cooperative coalitions, technology) which is encouraging, in fact, Calvinistic despite Horton's response in the book that these people aren't Reformed (hence the reason why we have "new" Calvinists instead of just Calvinists). The question left unaddressed by Hansen, unintentionally or not, is...more
Mike
A survey of some of the larger, faster growing churches, mostly in the east, who are attracting Reformed young people. John Piper figures prominently in all of it. Reformed, Charismatic, young, with all the strengths and weaknesses that young people have.

I'm afraid it is a fad, but pray that it isn't. Right now the "movement" is a lot of hype and fun, the test will be if it changes culture.
Melanie
I became part of the Reformed movement without knowing it was a movement. I was just thrilled to find a church where doctrine was taught, where the congregation actually wanted to learn and the staff was willing to teach. A place where intellectualism was valued (as opposed to the church of my childhood, where emotionalism was most valued). This book was an interesting read, giving a good overview of the people and places involved in the New Calvinism. Some stories in the book mirrored my own ex...more
Brett Mclaughlin
This was, for me, the equivalent of pop literature for the busy seminary student :-) That's not a knock. In fact, I picked this book up because none of the books I was reading were within arm's reach. I devoured this book in a few days, largely because it was interesting, easy to read, and didn't make me want to take notes or highlight things. (Sitting up to highlight and notate isn't always ideal if you're tired and just want to read a bit while lying down.)

Collin does a nice job of surveying t...more
Jordan
Collin Hansen does a nice job of traipsing around the country on the trail of the "new Calvinists." They're young, they're passionate, they're fresh, they're studious, they're thinking critically, and they're in love with the God who is mighty to save and sovereign over all creation and creatures. The book is encouraging, as it unveils a resurgance in Calvinist Christianity among the next generation of Christian leaders. It is a momentum I pray will continue and gain even more steam. On the othe...more
logdog
I would read this book only if you 1) are not already in the "young Reformed" [at least when it comes to salvation] camp and 2) want to know what all the fuss is about.

If you're already in this camp, there's really nothing earth-shattering here: it's basically the author going around interviewing people who became Calvinists either 1) by studying the Bible and/or 2) through exposure to John Piper, and who thereafter, more often than not, end up in seminary. If you want to hear stories like these...more
Thomas Freeman
I wish there were more books like this one. Collin has done a great job of expressing the current Calvinistic climate in America today. I was amazed at some of the diverse avenues and passion that Calvinism is found in. This book has really helped me to understand some of the reasons that Calvinism is resonating strongly with many of the younger generation.

Collin is definitely passionate himself and provides his on biased arguments in the discussion. But he also does a fair job of presenting the...more
Daniel
In the realms of non-fiction some books are prescriptive in nature, offering solutions and ideas to assist the reader, while other books are descriptive, describing things like events to the reader. “Young, Restless, Reformed” fits into the second category. The author, Collin Hansen (editor-at-large for Christianity Today Magazine) seeks to give the reader a glimpse into the resurgence of Calvinism in American Christianity, especially among the young adult demographic. Hansen describes his exper...more
Nat
Jul 24, 2008 Nat rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: pastors,Calvinists,Baptists
Recommended to Nat by: My wife, one of the proofreaders on the book. :D
Shelves: religious
This book does an excellent job of showing all the various perspectives and ministries of the resurgence of Reformed theology. Each chapter is broken down to the various ministries and how they approach the topic.

This book is a quick and easy read. However, the author does have a bias toward Calvinism. There is nothing wrong with that because his enthusiasm does translate into the writing. His surprises are our surprises.

My only perspective has been from discussions with "Piperites" (those who p...more
Sean Higgins
I enjoyed this brief book, probably most of all because, for the most part, these are "my people." That said, as excited as I am about the current, reported popularity of Reformed belief, I did have the following thought:

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Hansen, I suppose as a typical journalist, seems to enjoy editing and ordering details for shock effect or to illustrate his own cleverness. It doesn't always feel like the whole story is being told, and that makes me wary, though I tend to like the ripples even if...more
Missjgray
Maybe I'm too restless or not reformed enough. or sumpin'. But this book was a bit of a let down.

I was very interested in the different "categories" of "reformed" represented here, and I have a whole long list of other books I want to read and authors I want to follow now.

Hansen's journalist roots showed through very strongly (but I don't know that he was trying to hide them). This book feels like a collection of biographies, almost vignettes, of different church movements across the country....more
Godly
A book chronicling the rise of the 'Reformed' (Calvinism) among young Christians. Interviews with Piper, Mohler, Driscoll, Mahaney and talks about how great dead theologians like Spurgeon, Edwards, Owen have sparked in them the desire to be God-glorifying that is now setting the evangelical world on fire!
Rachael
I used this book as both a primary and secondary source about the reformed movement. Hansen was fairly transparent about his biases for the movement which made it difficult to use straightforwardly either way, but I appreciated the survey of different sorts of successful Reformed churches across the country. He did get rather repetitive about how the theology allowed young people to relish in the sovereignty of God and delve into theology, and he didn't offer much new insight into why this movem...more
Brett
Calvinism is finding a foothold in places that one might not expect: Minneapolis, home of the Lutherans; Louisville, home of the Baptists; and even Seattle, home of New Age spirituality. Through the influential teaching and writing of John Piper, Al Mohler, and Mark Driscoll (just to name a few) a New Calvinism is finding expression and influence across America. What's more, this New Calvinism is often mixing with unlikely theological bedfellows: Baptists and Charismatics, for example. Hansen sp...more
Jared Lovell
Excellent! Such an encouraging read. The younger generations are looking for substantive Christianity in response to the seeker sensitive mentality that has dominated American culture. Though the Emergent movement has attracted more media attention in recent years, I am encouraged to see that much larger growth is taking place in Reformed Christianity. The doctrines of grace (i.e. the Five Points of Calvinism) emphasizing the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation and a covenantal hermeneutic...more
Ryan Rindels
Young, Restless, Reformed gives great insight into the Reformed movement in our generation. I highly recommend this book. It covers a lot of the basics of Calvinism and gives many names and places in the U.S. associated with it from Seminaries like Southern and personalities like Mark Driscol. I appreciate how Colin Hansen explains how so many baby boomers (such as my dad) are suspicious the doctrines of grace --or more importantly, the implications. But as Hansen demonstrated, the movement is m...more
Dave McNeely
While this books is informative and provides a good series of snapshots for those interested in the emergence of young Calvinists in the US, there is a serious lack of depth that would have been greatly enhanced by a sociologist's eye. Hansen's tome, despite his journalist credentials, reads more like an infatuated apologia for a movement than a journalistic report on a curious trend. Again, I would love to see this same book in the hands of someone willing to explore the sociological reasons fo...more
Dave
I found this book to very informational concerning the growing acceptance of Reformed Theology among young evangelicals. I was encouraged by the various answers to questions that Collin asked throughout this book. One quote that has stuck with me is "If I believe that God is sovereign in all things, then I must believe that He is sovereign in roles of men and women."

This is a good book to give people an overview of what Calvanism is today. I would suggest reading the last chapter with an open he...more
Eric
Really good, survey of the movement going on across America. I travel a lot myself and I to see this movement as he describes along with others like Paul Washer. Every Southern Baptist should read chapter 4. It will give you a really good idea what is going on in SBC Churches in the south and how hard some people will fight to keep the truth out of the Church. I know many of my friends and myself included that have been kicked out for teaching the doctrines of grace. But by God's grace He will a...more
Luke A.
Nov 20, 2013 Luke A. rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: People interested in the YRR movement
I thoroughly enjoyed this interesting and revealing book. As a UK Anglican, I found it to be quite the surprise that I am firmly planted within an American theological movement!

Though the bias from Mr Hansen is quite clear - this is not a neutral look at the movement (though I can't remember whether he is trying to be neutral. Perhaps not.) - it remains informative and useful as a rough documentation of the trends.

I particularly liked the interviews and quotations from various 'New Calvinist' pr...more
Sarah
Jan 29, 2009 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone wanting to learn about trends among young, theology-hungry evangelicals like me!
Recommended to Sarah by: CT
Collin Hansen has written some of my favorite feature articles in Christianity Today, and his thoughtfulness and gentle wit met my expectations in this book. It supplies a good corrective, I think, to some of the dubious journalism I've read recently on so-called neo-Calvinism. I certainly understand far more about the movement and its role within wider evangelicalism/Protestantism than I did before.

I found his keen analysis a bit blunted toward the end of the book, but I still thoroughly enjoye...more
Cbarrett
Interesting book highlighting the leading individuals of the so-called Calvinistic resurgence. A quick glance at the table of contents will show that this movement is by no means monolithic. The use of the word "Reformed" in the title is used in a more broad manner than the word typically has enjoyed throughout the centuries; but the subtitle kind of illustrates how the term is used throughout the book.
Good book, quick read, Hansen is an engaging writer.
Bob Steen
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I really enjoyed it. A great overview of what is happening with the Reformed movement outside of the "old" Reformed (RCA, CRC, Presbyterian) churches. I grew up in one of those old denominations, and I do feel the book gives short shrift to everything that happened between Jonathan Edwards and John Piper. But the book was fun - it got me excited again about TULIP and covenant theology.
Kurt
This is a thorough and insightful tour of contemporary Calvinism. Hansen interviews a variety of people from different backgrounds, and along the way he really fleshes out what Calvinism and Reformed theology are. The book suffers a bit when Hansen interjects his own explanations of Calvinism, as if he doesn't trust his subjects to adequately convince readers, but overall, this is an enjoyable and informative read. I highly recommend it.
Kevin
A great read for anyone inquisitive or skeptical of the Sovereign Grace movement and other evangelical trends such as Together 4 the Gospel, Acts 29, etc.

Collin Hansen is an editor for Christianity Today. This is a well-researched, well-written book. A compelling and informative read. Helped to clarify the distinctions between the groups and their backgrounds.
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