Friday, April 25, 2008

Baptist Standard on the Calvinist Resurgence

The Baptist Standard has published a package of articles on the resurgence of Calvinism. Ken Camp, the managing editor of the Standard, has done a very credible job on the stories. One of them highlights a talk by Leo Garrett on "Baby Boomer Baptist Theologians" in which he contends that at least half of the most influential Baptist theologians in that category are rather Calvinistic.

A second story is about definitions and is better than many that I have seen on the same subject. Once again Dr. Garrett is cited to define "hyper-Calvinism." I still disagree with the inclusion of the first 2 (supralapsarianism and belief in a covenant of redemption) of his 5 points of hyper-Calvinism, but appreciate the alterations he has made in his views from last year. Dr. Garrett is a humble, gracious scholar and it was very wise for the Standard to seek his insights on these issues.

A third story identifies factors that have led to the resurgence of the doctrines of grace over the last two decades. Attention is appropriately focused on John Piper as perhaps the leading human catalyst. Roger Olsen is cited as an appropriate critic of the Piper and the movement. I like Olsen but, not surprisingly, disagree with his assessments.

It doesn't take much insight to know that the Baptist Standard would not celebrate the resurgence on which they report. But they reported on it honestly and are to be commended.

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