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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Reasons for the Resurgence of Reformed Doctrine

Dr. Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, has just finished his series titled, "Where'd All These Calvinists Come From?" Dever lists ten reasons for the present day resurgence in Reformed Doctrines among evangelicals. The following are his 10 reasons for Calvinistic growth:

Charles Spurgeon, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Banner of Truth Trust, Evangelism Explosion by D. James Kennedy, Southern Baptist Convention Inerrancy Controversy, Presbyterian Church in America, J.I. Packer's book, "Knowing God," R.C. Sproul & John MacArthur, John Piper, the rise of secularism and decline of Christian nominalism.

You can find the entire series here. Over the past seven years my theology has drifted toward reformed doctrine. When I began my studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in January 2001, I believed in the sinfulness of man and the eternal security of a Christian believer. I came from a Southern Baptist Church, with a very faithful and biblical preacher, who is not reformed in his soteriology. So terms like unconditional election, irresistible grace, and limited atonement were not preached either for or against (to my knowledge).

So my first introduction to reformed doctrines was at Southern Seminary through the teaching of particular teachers, teacher recommendations of books, and student conversations. It was at that point that I learned of Dr. John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Since my introduction to the preaching and books by Piper, my drift toward the reformed doctrines has grown significantly. My understanding of man's sinfulness has grown. I have moved from believing in the sinfulness of all men, to the total depravity of mankind. I have moved from using phrases like "once saved, always saved" to "but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved (Mark 13:13)." I have come to believe in doctrines like unconditional election and irresistible grace as articulated by John Piper in particular.

I am still laboring over the doctrine of definite or limited atonement in all its preciseness. But in conclusion, I would fit into Dever's list under the categories of John Piper and the SBC Inerrancy Controversy due to its push to focus Baptists on the true and faithful teachings of the Bible and its fruits that are evident now at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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