A Response to Dr. John Compton’s “What is Calvinism?” : 2. Dr. Compton’s Conclusions Concerning Calvinism
2. Dr. Compton’s Conclusions Concerning Calvinism
Dr. Compton argues for three conclusions concerning how Calvinism will harm churches. These three conclusions are as follow:
a. Calvinism will kill missions.
b. Calvinism will kill evangelism.
c. Calvinism will split churches.
Points a. and b. above are similar enough that I will respond to them simultaneously. These points seem to be grounded in Dr. Compton’s false understanding of Irresistible grace, mentioned before, and are both proven false when we examine the historical evidence and contemporary evidence.
i. The historical evidence that Calvinism does not kill missions and evangelism:
Dr. Compton asserts that William Carey, “The father of modern missions,” was opposed by Calvinists in his missionary endeavors. This is rather obviously false, as Carey carried out his missionary work as a Particular Baptist (i.e., “Calvinistic” Baptist) minister, and wrote “The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation” as a Calvinist against the errors of the hyper-Calvinists. Other leading “Calvinistic” Baptist missionaries include Adoniram Judson, Luther Rice, and Andrew Fuller.
ii. The contemporary evidence that Calvinism does not kill missions and evangelism:
Two examples of contemporary “Calvinistic” Baptist ministers who demonstrate that Calvinism does not kill missions and evangelism are seen in the pastoral ministry of John Piper and the educational ministry of Albert Mohler.
- Calvinism does not kill missions and evangelism as demonstrated in the pastoral ministry of John Piper
John Piper, well-known for his Calvinistic theology, regularly preaches on missions as demonstrated by the more than two dozen sermon manuscripts specifically focused on missions found HERE. John Piper has been a regular speaker at the Passion Conference where he has influenced literally tens of thousands of college students to commit to not wasting their lives, to put aside any excuses, and to commit to missions for the glory of God. John Piper has led Bethlehem Baptist Church in a strong commitment to missions and evangelism; this is evident from the “Outreach” page on the Church website HERE, which demonstrates Bethlehem’s involvement on several foreign mission fields, in evangelism on college campuses, in outreach within neighborhoods around Bethlehem, in church planting and in other ministries.
- Calvinism does not kill missions and evangelism as demonstrated in the educational ministry of Albert Mohler
Since he has become president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.- a self-described five-point Calvinist- has led the Seminary in establishing the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, Missions, and Church Growth, which is (of couse) dedicated to evangelism and missions, the very aspects of Christian life that Dr. Compton thinks are threatened by Calvinism. Under Dr. Mohler’s leadership, seminary students regularly partner with local churches, reaching out to Louisville in door-to-door evangelism. Several mission trips are conducted every year through the school. This year there is a special emphasis on missions and evangelism as Dr. Mohler has challenged the seminary community to embrace the dangerous task of boldly proclaiming the gospel throughout Louisville and throughout the world in what he calls “A Year of Living Dangerously.”
c. Response to Dr. Compton’s assertion that Calvinism will split churches
For this charge to be credible, Dr. Compton should produce evidence of clear-cut cases in which Calvinism (and not personality conflicts using the issue of Calvinism as an excuse) has led to church splits. Also Dr. Compton should realize that if he and others discontinue offering false definitions of Calvinism and raising false alarms over the disproven idea that Calvinism will kill missions and evangelism, then it be much easier for non-Calvinist Baptists to accept their Calvinistic brothers and sisters, thus leading to a decreased likelihood that Calvinism will split churchesExplore posts in the same categories: Other Anti-Calvinism