Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sad News

It is sad that many pastors in their pulpits stray away from biblical verses on Calvinism. Just the very mention of the term and verses in the Bible frightens some pastors and church members. That should not be the case! I personally feel that when these doctrines of grace are adopted by faith in one's life that peace will result. The Doctrines of Grace as read in the Bible should not be feared, but delighted in. Let me go out on a limb and say that I do not think that one can be a solid expositor of the Word of God and not be a Calvinist. There is no way in the world to interpret the Bible correctly and not hold to the doctrines of grace. If this is an area of struggle for you let me suggest reading the book The Doctrines Of Grace by James Montogomery Boice and Philip Graham Ryken for a simple and explainable definition of Calvinism and the doctrines of grace. Stop fighting this biblical doctine now and begin enjoying God through these wonderful harmless doctrines of spiritual growth. Do me a favor and take out a piece of paper and jot down how many times you read the words election and chosen. Here is an article that I read about Calvinism that I wanted to pass along to you:

10 percent of SBC pastors call themselves 5-point Calvinist
By Libby Lovelace

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--While LifeWay Research found the number ofSouthern >>Baptist pastors embracing five-point Calvinism to be relatively small,it >>is undeniable that the conversations on Calvinism within the Southern >>Baptist Convention have brought renewed interest to the theological >>system.>>>>Proponents of Calvinism, or Reformed theology, view it as a healthyreturn >>to early Southern Baptist heritage. Others see Calvinism as a negative>>trend and fear it is threatening to take over the SBC. In itsinaugural >>survey, LifeWay Research sought to document the prevalence - or lack >>thereof - of Calvinism within the SBC.>>>>Surveying 413 pastors, the July/August 2006 LifeWay Research surveyasked >>Southern Baptist pastors to indicate their position concerning the >>following question: Do you consider yourself a five-point Calvinist?>>>>LifeWay Research found that 10 percent of Southern Baptist pastors >>consider themselves five-point Calvinists. That number, while still >>relatively small compared to the 85 percent who do not considerthemselves >>five-point Calvinists, still is a large enough group to deserveattention.>>>>The survey also showed that 4 percent of respondents dont know ifthey >>are five-point Calvinist. Another 1 percent refused to answer one wayor >>another.>>>>BELIEFS NOT AGE-RELATED>>>>After analyzing the demographics of the 10 percent who affirmCalvinism, >>LifeWay Research also found no clear age correlation.>>>>Some have expressed views that this renewed interest in Reformedtheology >>is tied to younger Southern Baptist students and pastors, said Brad >>Waggoner, director of LifeWay Research. It is interesting that the >>research revealed that there is no significant statistical differencein >>those who are over 40 years of age responding in the affirmative andthose >>under 40. Therefore, age is not a determining factor in those whoembrace >>Reformed theology. >>>>LifeWay Research also found that a slight majority (51 percent) of >>Southern Baptist pastors address Calvinism from the pulpit once a yearor >>less, while 45 percent of SBC pastors address Calvinism several timesa >>year or more from the pulpit. Four percent refused to answer thequestion >>regarding the frequency with which they address Calvinism from thepulpit.>>>>Of the entire sample, 6 percent of pastors responded that they address>>Calvinism once a month and 7 percent discuss it more than once amonth. >>The survey did not ask whether the respondents spoke favorably or >>negatively of Reformed theology.>>>>LifeWay Research chose to make Calvinism the topic of its firstproject in >>light of the increased dialogue across the SBC and as speculationemerged >>on the prevalence of Calvinistic theology.>>>>LifeWay President and CEO Thom S. Rainer announced the formation of >>LifeWay Research in February, saying the entity would assist and equip>>church leaders with knowledge that leads to greater levels of church >>health and effectiveness. The research seeks to measure accurately the>>beliefs and behaviors of people, the emerging practices of churches,the >>things church leaders are talking about, and the factors affecting >>churches today.>>>>Research is a critical need because the truth matters, Waggoner saidin >>a recent interview. There seems to be a need for clarity and >>interpretation of all this information.>>>>LifeWay Research conducted the study on Calvinism through a sample of413 >>Southern Baptist pastors surveyed by phone in July and August. Thesample >>has a margin of error of +4.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence >>interval.>>>>An Inside LifeWay podcast interview with Waggoner discussing the >>researchs findings will be available at>>>>LifeWay Research has three more projects scheduled for the remainderof >>2006:>>>>-- the formerly churched (why they left church and what would bringthem >>back.>>>>-- churches that are effective in evangelism over a 10-year period and>>why.>>>>-- the sources from which Southern Baptist churches draw ministryhelp.>>>>For more information, visit>>>>For a discussion of Calvinism by Southeastern Baptist TheologicalSeminary >>President Daniel L. Akin and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary>>professor Malcolm B. Yarnell III, visit >> for Akin's column and >> for Yarnell's column.

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