Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Evangelists Lament Reformed Resurgence

I just visited the Founders Blog and there's an interesting post about a Baptist Press article that covers a recent meeting of Baptist evangelists who are concerned with "the growth of Calvinism and the rise of a Willow Creek-style of non-confrontational evangelism within Southern Baptist churches." I'm going to pitch in my 2 cents here, but please check out the BP article and Ascol's comments on the Founders Blog.

There's one thing in particular that I want to highlight from the BP article:

Evangelist Jerry Drace is quoted as saying that some young Calvinistic pastors are "so leaning in this morphed Calvinism that they almost laugh at evangelism. It's almost to the extent that they believe they don't have to do it. So [Calvinism] gives them an excuse not to do evangelism."

Almost laugh at evangelism? Come on brother Drace! You must be kidding...

I hear a great deal of talk about these mysterious Calvinists who are anti-evangelism, but finding one is about as easy as spotting the Loch Ness Monster. I have yet to meet an SBC Calvinist with that attitude. I'd like to suggest that perhaps these young Calvinist pastors aren't "almost laughing" at evangelism, but at the buffoonery that is commonly mislabeled as evangelism! Maybe they've come to realize that true evangelism has nothing to do with adopting the methodology of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus!

Instead of meeting up to find ways to place the blame for their lack of bookings at the feet of Calvinists and Willow Creekers, why don't some these evangelists take a hard look in the mirror and see if perhaps their modern evangelistic methods may be part of the problem? Could it be that after decades producing millions of false converts that some of us are ready to stop the spiritual carnage by returning to our theological heritage? Perhaps some of us are simply interested in outreach methods that are a bit more Biblical and honoring to God?

Spend some time looking at the websites of some of the evangelists in the SBC. What you'll find on the websites is almost depressing. It's not surprising to me that some of these evangelists are concerned about the Reformed Resurgence in the SBC.

If I were one of those "vocational evangelists" who are in the business of peddling a pragmatic, results-driven, side show pseudo-Gospel, I'd be worried too! Any shift toward returning the SBC to it's doctrinal foundations might mean I'd have to put away the clown costumes or get ready to update my resume for secular employment!


John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Calvinist site

Mission Statement

“For the nation and kingdom that shall not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” — Isaiah 60:12.

As Christians, we are commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ to teach all nations — including ours — to observe all things He has commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). This means bringing into captivity to Christ all areas of life and thought. This means destroying arguments that are against the knowledge of God (II Corinthians 10:5). In obedience to these commands of our Lord, this Web site is established. We covet your prayers for our success in obeying Him.

We are seriously concerned about, deeply grieved by and lament the fact that far too many of today’s so-called “Christian leaders” are a sinful embarrassment and are responsible for the cause of Christ being mocked and ridiculed. By being, first, cheerleaders for the Republican Party, they have dishonored their Lord and sold their Christian birthright for a mess of partisan political pottage. These individuals and organizations are Christian in name only, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” From such, it is added, we must turn away.

Secular, Christless conservatism — even when it is supposedly “compassionate” — will not defeat secular, Christless liberalism because to God they are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and, thus, predestined to failure.

More than 100 years ago, speaking of the secular, Christless conservatism of his time, the great Southern Presbyterian theologian, Robert L. Dabney, observed:

“[Its] history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward to perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It tends to risk nothing serious for the sake of truth.”

Amen! And what Dabney says has been proven with a vengeance in modern times, under recent Republican Administrations and Congresses who were supported enthusiastically by individuals and organizations who called themselves “Christian” but who, alas, when judged by their fruits, were not.

To those who will accuse of us of desiring and trying to bring about “a Christian America,” we unashamedly plead guilty though the accusation is far too modest and somewhat muddled. To be sure, we desire a Christian America, and a Christian world, a Christian galaxy and a Christian universe. And, over time, by His grace, we hope to demonstrate that all these things already belong to the Lord Jesus Christ because He created them all and they are His property. This is why all knees must bow to the Lord and all tongues confess that He is the Lord — because He is!

Jude 1:3 3

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (KJV)

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Um...this comment has nothing to do with this on topic or get deleted!

gordan said...

Unless I'm greatly mistaken, Joe Pro Evangelist could still go and preach on most any street corner in America, so he and his sock-puppet should really not worry about opportunities drying up.