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21 January, 2008 / theexpositor

Lamenting Calvinism in the SBC?

The issue covered in a recent Baptist Press article really got my blood pressure up. Timmy Bristerwrote a wonderful commentary on the article. The BP story told of a “conference” of 15 Southern Baptist evangelists who met to lament “the growth of Calvinism and the rise of a Willow Creek-style of non-confrontational evangelism within Southern Baptist churches.”

A few quick comments:

Calvinism is simply biblical Christianity. The Arminian perspective is so flawed, and so open to manipulation. Besides, the stats noted in Baptist Press story, while encouraging, do not in my opinion, represent some mass exodus by Southern Baptists to reformed theology. It would be fine with me if this happened, and Calvinism is growing in the SBC (thank God), but not at the rate and level that the evangelists conference try to portray it as.

Secondly, I agree with them obviously on the concerns over the seeker-driven movement. But here is a observation/question…..Whose name is not mentioned in the evangelist discussion? Huh? That’s right, Rick Warren. Why was the purpose driven philosophy left out? Did the evangelists discuss it? While I think the seeker-driven movement is dangerous, the purpose driven is just as dangerous if not more so.

I am not surprised that a group of SBC ministers and the news wing of the denomination would not touch their golden boy, but I think it is sad and tragic. Perhaps they did discuss it and have concerns. If they did why was it  not reported?

Instead of sitting around fretting that church members may actually start affirming the sovereignty of God, why don’t you pay more attention as to why some 60% of the nation’s largest protestant denomination can’t be accounted for on most Sundays?



  1. Tommy Stewart / Jan 25 2008 21 57


    I am probably a rare bird. I am a NANC counselor, but I am not reformed in my theology, but I do consider myself to be informed. I am an independent Baptist and prefer to be called a biblicist (not a copout). I do not put any man’s name in front of my theology except it be the Lord Jesus. Christians do not have to be either Calvinist or Armenian. I don’t see those names in scripture. I do appreciate the stand the reformers take in support of scripture. I am against all of this emerging church, Contemplative prayer, and New age participation. It saddens me to see the
    Church going in so many directions. The thing that disturbs me about the reformed movement is the intellecual dishonesty and an arrogant spirit that many display. I am seeing reformers run roughshod over congregations and it demonstrates a lack of integrety. Allow me to give an example. A church that has always been Baptist and not reformed was recently split by reformers who came to the church and at first were very deceptive as to what they believed. The pastor did not push his agenda until he was entrenched and then his sermons began to change . I visited the church and detected very quickly what he was. Don’t misunderstand me, you can be what you want to be. As soon as reformers in town found out who he was, they began to appear in numbers. I blame the leadership in the church for allowing this to happen, God is going to blame anyone who destroys from within. The church split and the Baptist left, giving up years of church history, not to mention that the reformers now are inhabiting buildings they had nothing to do with. This has happened with three churches. The reformed movement should build it’s own churches, not destroy those that are not of that persuasion. It is my desire to love all the brethren regardless of their theology. Again, I appreciate your strong stand biblically. You strive for unity. Please don’t destroy the unity of others. I am very concerned.

  2. Joe Phillips / Mar 11 2008 4 13

    I just had to stop a moment to affirm Tommy’s observation and add my own comments on the “new” reformers. I, too, have seen reformed pastors take positions in churches in which they did not believe the doctrine of the churches. Only to eventually “come out” of the reformed closet after they have gathered enough new members for support and when it was too late for the church leadership to do anything. (Another baptist building taken over and fellowship with other local baptist churches broken) Then, they immediately begin to insist that any member of their church must now affirm their theology. Such a pathetic stance when they, themselves, infiltrated the church knowing full well they accepted the call to be pastor when THEY did not affirm the doctrinal stance of that church.

    They preach sermons based on reformation blogs without revealing the source of their “inspiration.” Just look around, as soon as Piper makes a “discovery,”, it begins to appear in sermons/blogs around the country. All this from pastors who say they are preaching strict expository sermons – they always seem to find a way to get in a “piper point” as soon as it fills the blogosphere no matter their current scripture reference.

    I need to be fair, this is a generalization. There are honest men out there who are speaking honestly about what they believe. But there are others that just want a free building to take over – but, then, I guess that what God had planned – right? Perhaps men of integrity will call their peers on this practice.

    I am not a 5-point person. Therefore, a Calvinist would say I am not a Calvanist OR a reformer. So be it. But, I will always tell you who I am.

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