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.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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