I am currently writing a critical reflection of my time in Hamilton, Ontario in which I want to make mention of the influence of the Dutch Reformed community in the area. Reflecting upon my conversations and observations with many neo-calvinists/reformed types [If you are one of these folks- Thank You, Thank you] I am thinking of making the following large scale interpretation. If any dutch reformed/neo calvinists are reading this then please comemnt and let me know if this is a fair broad-stroked assessment. I do not want to offend and realise that I am an outsider who does not know Dutch Calvinism from within.
Two types: I am deliberately exaggerating the tendencies and am offering a caricature.
Type A: Non-Missional Dutch Calvinism: This group value and stand by their reformed heritage and Dutch heritage. They see Christ’s Lordship as being exercised over all of life, including church, family, and economic life. Their is a tendency to create Christian schools, Businesses which honour Christ. However, the focus on these things is not missional. Inone sense they would seek to create a new Geneva, and function their lives, as much as possible, within the dutch reformed community. This group are concerned about shaping their own lives and community. Evangelism is not high on the agenda, not church planting.
Type B: Missional Neo-Calvinists: This group are similar to Type A but see the Lordship of Christ as being something which should propel people to shape their lives under God with an outward focus. A missional focus, that of being a blessing to the world, is involved in the spheres of businesses, arts , media and family. This group are concerned about shaping and influencing the world. They are concerned about evangelism and church planting and more likely to work with non-Dutch organisations.
I think both groups have major strengths in the rejection of a dualistic view of the Christian life.