Thursday, January 17, 2008

Calvinism: Losing Its Place As A Dirty Word

The pastor of First Baptist Church in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, for 27 years, Joe Elam only encountered Calvinism once during his ministry—and it left a bitter taste in his mouth.
Though forbidden to do so, a former youth pastor at his church secretly taught predestination to teens, Elam said, sowing seeds of lingering division among several families.

"It was a wake-up call for us," said Elam, who recently led the Arbuckle Baptist Association to adopt a motion calling on the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma to rebuke Reformed theology. It sent copies of the motion to all members of the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee.

"We would like to see Southern Baptists become aware that [their] money is being used to teach Calvinism in our seminaries," Elam said.

Long considered more Arminian in orientation—emphasizing an individual's need to respond to the gospel rather than God's election in salvation—the nation's largest Protestant denomination is grappling with doctrines of grace and election amid a seminary-led revival.

Now, according to the article, over 30% of seminary students identify themselves as Calvinists while only 10% of the pastors currenlty preaching in Southern Baptist Churches identify with the reformed faith. This shows a growing resurgence in the doctrines of grace and could very well lead to a "reformation" amongst the Southern Baptist Convention or a split amongst the evangelical denomination.

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Does this matter to you? Should it?
-Is Calvinism (reformed theology) biblical? If no, what scriptural (not emotional) basis does this claim stand upon?
-Why is Calvinism seen as a dirty word amongst most Southern Baptist circles?
-Why do you think those in seminary today are increasingly accepting this form of theology over Armenianism?
-Do you agree with the Doctrines of Grace as linked to above?

1 comment:

Timm said...

Yes, I believe Calvinism is biblical. and yes I do agree with the Doctrines of GRACE. Thanks for the link J. I'm going to have to check out Sword and Trowel more often.