Wednesday, June 27, 2012
OH NO! Not That
On October 19, a high-ranking official in the Southern Baptist Convention named resurgent Calvinism as the “top challenge” facing the congregation for the foreseeable future—quite a statement, especially when considering what an outside observer might imagine to be the usual suspects (social issues, religious liberty, or theological disagreements with other faiths). Yet, though this internal rift began quietly, it has been the subject of a number of recent books, including the new pair “For Calvinism” and “Against Calvinism”, written by Michael Horton and Roger E. Olson, respectively. The proliferation of introductory primers like these seem to testify to the growing awareness of this debate, and the effort to get older-style evangelical leaders to ‘wake up’ to this ‘threat’ seems to be shifting into a higher gear.Apparently the problem is not Calvinism itself, but the subversive manner in which it arrives:
But are these young adherents and newly-minted academics and clergy simply calling for a renewed seriousness and a ‘return to the sources’ in their faith? Or is Olson right that there is something subversive in this project, especially in the way it has been carried out? Does the Calvinist resurgence owe much to pastors keeping quiet about their commitments, then “coming out of the closet” on their congregations, as he alleges?Or maybe, just maybe these leaders figure out that what has passed for Evangelicalism of late is empty and void, and LEARNED something new to fill the void? That's not subversion, that's growth.
Of course, that's the problem with much of Evangelicalism, growth (others than in the number of butts in the pew, if there are still pews involved) is not a priority - now it is even subversive.
Why is this even a battle? We worship a God of infinite resources - INFINITE! We can do all of this.