Saturday, May 10, 2008

Surprised at the Reformed Resurgence?

If you do not know by now, the doctrines of grace (a.k.a Calvinism), is on a resurgence among young evangelicals. Many may be surprised that the theology that many great men of faith professed, the greatest reformers, puritans, and evangelists, and the founders of the Southern Baptist Convention professed, is having an appeal to young minds everywhere. Are you surprised? Well you shouldn't be. I have met many young Calvinists and the stories are the same. They knew something was missing. They knew what they had was not enough. They looked around in churches, and in their culture, and neither was giving them the answers they were seeking. So they turned to the scriptures, and to their surprise they discover that God, not man, is Sovereign. They discover that it is God who decides enters his courts. They realize that God has chosen a people for himself before the foundation of the world. It is at this point the young evangelicals begin to ask questions. They have all kinds of questions. They may talk to their pastor, but they begin researching, and begin to find out that the great men of faith held to these doctrines. These men, who believed the doctrines of grace, were the most faithful preachers of the gospel, and most passionate soul winners. Observing their Christianity, and their exposition of the scriptures, and seeing the pragmatic, postmodern, pathetic fluff that poses itself as Christianity today, it is no wonder why young minds are falling in love with these theological truths. It is substance. It is a truth that exalts God and humbles man. It is a truth that drives and motivates their evangelism when understood correctly. Don't be surprised by the reformed resurgence, but rather, be prepared for it. Many in your church may be Calvinists, many in your neighborhood may be Calvinists, you might even have Calvinists in your family. The resurgence is coming. Calvinism is making a comeback. Calvinism is having its struggles right now, especially in the SBC, but in ten to twenty years, the SBC will be predominately reformed. Just wait. The resurgence is coming!!

I recommend two books to you:

By His Grace and For His Glory by Tom Nettles. This book is a book that records the history of the doctrines of grace in Baptist Life.

ng, Restless, and Reformed by Collin Hansen. This book is a book about the reformed resurgence. Collin interviews pastors, students, and others across the nation who are embracing the doctrines of grace and this book is a great treatment of the rise of reformed theology among the young minds in today's church.

*With these two books, you can see where we came from, and where we are returning.


Anonymous said...

I can't say I am surpirsed by the resurgence of Reformed theology among the next generation, but I certainly am encouraged by it. My son, who is a Bible major prepping for seminary, is one of the young, restless and Reformed types. Something that has come about in his life in just the past 2-3 years as he's come thru high school youth ministry that was totally unchallenging and began looking for more. And I am seeing more and more of his friends, who have been marginal Arminians at best, going thru the same thing. Asking tough questions and looking for real Biblical and historic answers. I recently read YR&R, I heartily recommend it - especially to anyone involved in student ministry of any kind.

Gordan Runyan said...

Not to be a bubble-burster or anything, but what we are calling a Reformed Resurgence is still, to this day, barely a statistical blip on the radar screen of American Christianity. Even within the SBC, it's not as big a deal as we'd like to imagine. But, the effects have yet to be seen, so I'm optimistic that all the seminary grads will slowly make their presence felt in practical ways.

Here's a good article by a friend of mine who discussed this a while back.

The Mole said...

Gordan, you are correct....The Reformed Resurgence, really isn't that huge right now, but the minority is vocal, and the minority is influential. I to believe that the seminary students today will in time be in positions of influence in the SBC and we will see a shift in the future.

Rev. said...

"Calvinism is having its struggles right now, especially in the SBC, but in ten to twenty years, the SBC will be predominately reformed."

Don't count on it, brother. In fact, it may even be *less* Reformed in 10-20 years.

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Rev...perhaps...but the number is growing....and I think things will turn for the better, or it will get worse and all the Calvinists will jump ship...We shall see...IM staying on the SBC ship even if it sinks.