Austin Fischer is the Teaching Pastor at Vista Community Church in Temple, Texas.
He is a graduate of Truett Seminary at Baylor University.
“Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed” was published in January 2014.
He writes and speaks, and you can follow him online at purpletheology.com.
Buy a copy of his book, HERE.
1. What attracted you to Calvinism?
As is the case for many young evangelicals, the primary pull of the New Calvinism on me was two-fold. On a pragmatic level, a surprising percentage of the most visible evangelical leaders and preachers are Calvinists, so it’s natural to pick up the theology of the people you are listening to. If you’re a young evangelical, the majority of the people you listen to and read are probably Calvinists, and it rubs off on you.
On a more philosophical level, I liked the certainty I felt Calvinism gave me. I like to compare it to a big mansion with fine lines and beautiful architecture. Once you bite the bullet and step inside, there’s a place for everything; and as someone who grew up dealing with the fallout from postmodernism (skepticism, relativism, nihilism), it’s comforting to believe that nothing happens unless God ordains it. Overall, I think this this is the primary reason for the spike of Calvinism among evangelicals, at least from a sociological/psychological perspective. It is a good theology for the times, offering a sturdy “postmodernism fallout-shelter.”
by Doug Munton, Ph.D.
Pastor of FBC, O’Fallon, Ill.
Alumnus of Wheaton College & SWBTS
Author of: “Immersed: 40 Days to Deeper Faith” and two other books.
Visit Pastor Doug’s Amazon page and his BLOG.
Perhaps the most important decision that will be made in the Southern Baptist Convention for years to come is the choice of the next president of the IMB. I say that, not because he will be so critical to the success of the IMB (generally speaking, we need less of man and more of God in our workings, anyway), but because a poor choice would be disastrous for the SBC.
So, to the IMB’s next president: I suggest you focus on three goals, and start one massive new project.
In the Reformed view, Adam’s sin would have assured that these people (the reprobate) could never be forgiven for sins they could not prevent, or even sincerely confess unto salvation. These lost souls would never have a genuine opportunity to be saved from the wrath of God because God would not have elected them to be saved by grace. (See Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 3-Sections 7-8)
The straightforward answer to this question for a Calvinist is, “Yes, of course your children could be born reprobate. You need to love God more than your kids, come to grips with His sovereignty and deal with it.”
I must admit that I am not a regular reader of The Atlantic magazine. I’m more of a Lewis Grizzard or Golf Digest guy myself. The Atlantic is a magazine that started over 150 years ago in Boston. Some of its founding writers were Oliver Wendell Holmes, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and John Greenleaf Whittier. The magazine has quite a history. It published many works by Mark Twain and other famous American writers.
Thus, I was very interested when I found out that The Atlantic recently took note of we Southern Baptists. And the article was not real flattering. It was titled “Baptists, Just Without the Baptisms.”
A witch, a lion, a wardrobe closet, or leaders of a nationwide network of secret churches throughout China? I walked through the back of a closet built into a wall in a remote rural Chinese farmhouse wondering which it would end up being—it certainly was not Narnia. An invitation came to join other professors and teach 100 underground leaders from all four geographic corners of that big place in 2003.