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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Skandelon, Jul 6, 2011.
I found this to be an interesting article: HERE>
Since both of my brothers are Calvinist I'd have to say the opposite is true. Since they joined the catholic church not to long ago. In fact there whole church did the same. I've prayed for them and have wept over them to no avail. According to them they see no difference between Catholicism and Calvinism. Calvin and Luther are rolling over in there graves. Seems the protest is dead for them.
I corrected your grammar as much as possible,but I still am confused. Are you saying that your brothers are currently Calvinists? You did state :"Both of my brothers are Calvinists."
Then you said that they joined the RCC not too long ago.
So in which communion are they?
And it seems their understanding of what constitutes Calvinism is woefully deficient.
If the above came from almost anyone else, I might give it some credence. But from you, MB, I give it nary a thought.
I highly doubt that the persons "see no difference between Catholicism and Calvinism" if they are in fact informed about both. But, if they are of a similar mind to you, then I can readily understand why they might say what you report them as saying.
I know a lot of the true Reformed Baptists who are energizing the evangelical world these days, and they really do know the difference between Calvinism and Catholicism. I also know that almost everyone who is not of a Reformed mindset is deathly afraid of these people, so it is no wonder that all sorts of weird smears are pointed in their direction. Of late, there are mainstream articles about the Catholics and Calvinists, IFB and Calvinists, SBC and Calvinists, fill in the _____ and Calvinists... Seemingly Calvinists are everywhere. :smilewinkgrin:
About the article, we should remember that Lumpkin has his own worldview to promulgate... I think that both sides are correct. The SBC is growing in Reformed perspective after the liberal mid-20th century in SBC life. Most of the seminaries are now headed in a Reformed (yet Sly Baptist) direction. That means that thousands of graduates are now taking pulpits and ministries all over the country and the world. They will ultimately bring people back to a biblical perspective regarding the doctrines of grace that has been missing since the era of "big tent" anthropologically-driven revival style of church extension. More, the churches that turn in that direction won't even know that they are headed (now) in a Reformed direction, for the everyday operation of the church, including preaching, has little in common with the rabid discussions we have here on this board. In fact, I'd lay odds that the most strident anti-Calvinist on this board would be in agreement with the sermons preached in these "Calvinistic" churches. It is not like the preacher stands at the front of the congregation and has everyone bow to Calvin or something along those lines... Never happens. His name is not even mentioned, save for the rare use as an illustration (rare indeed, for he is simply not as relevant as some modern figure). Protestantism, on the other hand, has been loosing ground for decades, and some sects or denominations are in serious trouble, largely because of their radically-liberal stances on many biblical doctrines.
Also, Calvinism or Arminianism is not the end all and be all of what happens in a church... It is but one part of the whole, and that dealing with soteriology almost exclusively.
I suggest it is time for those who haven't to spread their wings and try out some of the new reformed churches. They would be shocked to discover that they love Christ and serve Him, often times more fully and with more ministry to the mission and community than do the more Arminian of us. The old memes simply don't play as well any more now that there is evidence to the contrary, but preachers still major on division instead of unity in Christ, mostly to protect their own turf. So be it... God will ultimately decide if their "turf" was His or not...
How in the world is that possible? I was a RC for 32 years then married a Dutch Reformed Girl & joined a local Presbyterian church & went there for over 20 yrs off & on. I seriously cant put that together.
"Regionally, Reformed churches were most common in the Northeast"
I will tend to agree because of a wide expanse of Presbyterians & Reformed congregations but many have become apostate ( Presbyterian USA). The Churches that appear to make headway are the Orthodox Presbyterians & Reformed Baptists in my community in northern NJ. At least they are always full to capacity on Sunday's.
Think what is interesting is that Albert Mohler has referenced that he "likes" reformed tenants as at ealy princeton
Just wondering WHAT calvinism would be growing?
reformed with all of the confessionals/creeds
Cals that take Sotierology only, still keep "baptist" baptism/eschatology etc?
Go find Christianity Today's 2006 article by Collin Hanson, titled "Young, Restless and Reformed."
This will give you a pretty good feel for the rise of Calvinism among Southern Baptists.
Here's the link:http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/september/42.32.html
Also there was a Christianity Today from last Year with Albert Mohler on Cover, that detailed his plans to "bring back" SBC to its biblical roots!
That's a worthy goal. Did the article say how he planned to do it?
I've read some non-Cal SBCers who say the only way Calvinism can regain dominance in the SBC is through subterfuge. That is, the Calvinist preacher lies to the pastor search committee about his DoG beliefs and conceals them from the church, then starts preaching on the subject in subtle ways once he's pastor.
And don't think that doesn't happen. I know of several Calvinistic guys who can't get preaching jobs because of their beliefs and others who keep it secret so they can get hired.
They justify it by reasoning that the laypeople on a search committee just don't understand what Calvinism really is, but figure they can slowly explain it to them over time if given the chance. Can you spell C-H-U-R-C-H S-P-L-I-T?
so then play it out....you now have a CHURCHSPLIT. Then what transpires?
per the article, he plans to have it "taught" at baptisrt Seminaries/Schools in the Future, as he really thinks the early Baptist influence in America was from reformed circles, especially the theology epoused by those like Hodge at Princeton, back when it WAS a Christian University!
Seeing as how I know Dr. Mohler personally, have sat under his teaching, and listened to his chapel addresses for almost 15 years, I can say without a doubt that he takes the soteriology but not the creeds, etc.
There is a pervasive and fundamental misunderstanding of Calvinism that can even suggest that Calvinism equals Presbyterianism or some other ecclesiology. Calvinism is ONLY a soteriological system, not an ecclesiological system.
Article did say that he was taking JUST the Sotierology cooman to the Reformed at early princeton, but still held to traditional baptist doctrines concerning eschatology, Church Govt Baptism etc
Also making a Big push for Young Earth Creationism to be taught, as was against both John Stott/JI packer "accomodating" to modern science!
The effort exists on several fronts:
Graduating as many pastor/missionary students as possible to fill pulpits and other ministry positions
Books and other teaching efforts that reach a wide audience
Worship and music styles and content that speak a Reformed and biblical worldview
Conferences, networks, blogs, articles, etc., that reach those who are not apt to pick up scholarly works in a more formalized and structured setting
Southern Seminary, the flagship seminary of the SBC and home to Dr. Mohler has increased student population from under 1000 during the last days of the liberal regime to over 4000 currently. I cannot speak to the enrollment figures of the other seminaries of the SBC, but they have all moved in a decidedly Reformed direction compared to where they were in the 1970s and earlier. (For the record, the aberration of liberalism and Arminian soteriology in the SBC began sometime after 1925, and actually closer to the advent of the 1950s -- long after other denominations, seminaries, and universities dedicated to the training of ministers had gone liberal.)
It is not that the preachers have to lie to the committee. They mostly need to avoid direct questions in that regard. That, in large part, because the people in most of the churches calling pastors have no real clue what it is that they are asking about the subject. They are, sadly, as misinformed as are many of the posters on this board. "Calvinism" has become a dirty word, never mind that it was the majority position of the church and Baptist world for most of its history. It is "perception" that rules the day -- not scholarship or understanding.
As for leading the church in subtle ways, that is the norm for most every preacher. It is a rare newly installed pastor that can come out swinging and run rampant over his flock with some favorite teaching. Additionally, the differences from the pulpit are indeed "subtle." As pastor and associational moderator for a very Arminian General Baptist church and association, I preached my most Calvinistic sermon - ever - to the annual meeting of the association. People were on their feet cheering, clapping, praising God, yelling Amen, etc., as I preached the doctrines of grace from 1 Peter 1. Had I sat down with the same folks in a round-table discussion and said that what I was teaching were the doctrines of grace, they would have tossed me out on my ear. In a sermon, based on the infallible and inerrant Scriptures, they not only accepted the teaching, they encouraged and took to heart what it was/is that God said.
I often preach like an Arminian, while holding the Reformed position. I see no disjunction between the two aspects in the preaching format. Those who CAN reach out to God do so because God is already at work in them. Those that think that they can only reach out to God on their own merits, and must do so before God begins a work in them are simply mistaken. If, however, after coming to an understanding about God's sovereignty, those same persons still argue for a very Pelagian soteriology, then they are rightly condemned, for they should know better but choose to remain in their rebellion against God. They will ultimately learn the error of their ways, but probably not before they stand before Holy God, who WILL judge whether the person "chooses or likes it," of not. Yes, God WILL ultimately drag EVERYONE kicking and screaming in whichever direction He chooses. It is only a matter of timing as to whether that happens now or later, and it will be the most sad day for those who end up in the later category.
I am one of them... I have been rejected by 3 churches now simply because I am a graduate of Southern Seminary.
It's worthless and here's why:
It is too broad. It should have been more focused- on SBC or Baptists in general. That's what Colin Hansen and Ed Stetzer does.
Barna investigates only "For at least 10 years, Barna has tracked American non-Catholic "
That Pentecostalism is on the rise and most of them would claim "weslyan/arminian" leanings is not in dispute.
This would offset the rise of Calvinism among Baptists in a study that is so broad it only investigates "For at least 10 years, Barna has tracked American non-Catholic".
The FACT is not that Calvinism is taking over all non-catholic denominations. It is that it is growing rapidly among Baptists.
But NONE of us are competing with the Charasmatics, Assemblies and Pentecostals.
This is why scholarship should be defended with every fiber of our being rather than be snuffed at like it is being done by some here on baptistboard.
Luke, I think you make a valid point regarding the scope of the studies. I'd be interested in seeing stats related to the SBC only.
That is just untrue. People are not snuffing scholarship in the other thread, they are snuffing the manner in which the subject has been approached. Most if not all have agreed that study is valuable and needed, they only reject the implication that one can't even speak to matters where they are not considered "scholars."
I'm saying this objectively, not as a point of debate:
From my experience the Calvinistic pastors tend to have more longevity in their churches, so you are going to be hard pressed to find a "reformed" church where you can serve. Those I've seen where it has worked are those who take in young pastors as mentors to take over once they retire.