61% of SBC pastors concerned about Reformed theology

Meredith Flynn —  July 17, 2012

THE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

A recent study on Reformed theology in the Southern Baptist Convention could “point to challenging days to come,” said LifeWay Research President Ed Stetzer.

“Most Baptists are not Calvinists, though many are, and most Baptists are not Arminians, though many are comfortable with that distinction. However, there is a sizeable minority that see themselves as Calvinist and holds to such doctrines, and a sizeable majority that is concerned about their presence.”

LifeWay’s survey found 61% of senior pastors in the SBC are concerned about the impact of Reformed theology in the convention. The numbers also show 30% of pastors report their churches are “Reformed or Calvinist,” and 30% say they lead “Arminian or Wesleyan” churches.

The numbers were released during the SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans, where Reformed theology was expected to be a hot-button issue. Instead, several speakers from the platform urged Southern Baptists to work together despite theological differences, and the conversation never really became a heated debate.

Go to LifeWay.com to read more about the findings.

Other news:

Authors say adoption isn’t ‘Plan B’
Two pastors have co-authored a book outlining the mandate Christians have to care for orphans through adoption and other means. “Orphanology,” by Tony Merida and Rick Morton, is part of a growing trend among evangelicals to examine adoption and orphan care from a theological perspective. “…As you look at the Gospel, [spiritual] adoption, to God, was not a Plan B but Plan A,” Merida told Baptist Press. “It has great implications for us.” Read more of Merida’s interview with Baptist Press here.

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In light of the sexual abuse scandal and cover-up at Penn State University, churches are re-evaluating their policies and procedures to ensure children’s safety. Janice LaRoy, a former Child Protective Services worker in Texas, shared how churches can face the problem head-on in this first-person column on BPNews.net.

Mississippi church gives everything away
A small Southern Baptist church outside of Jackson, Miss., gave away $60,000 in one year after pledging to use 100% of their tithes and offerings to help people in their community. John Richardson, pastor of Traceway Baptist Church, has chronicled his congregation’s journey in a new book “Giving Away the Collection Plate.” Beginning in April 2010, Traceway’s generosity allowed them to help people struggling through abuse, addiction, job loss and other disastrous circumstances. Read more at ChristianPost.com.

Illinois volunteers are London-bound
Hundreds of chaplains and missions volunteers will head to London next week for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, which start with the Opening Ceremonies on Friday, July 27. A mission team from Illinois will be there for all the action, as they work alongside London churches and ministries that are reaching out to hundreds of thousands of spectators. IBSA’s Serena Butler will be blogging from London here at ib2news.org. Follow her Olympic journal beginning next week, and whet your Olympic appetite with this story from the International Mission Board about the massive preparations underway in London.

Meredith Flynn


Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.

One response to 61% of SBC pastors concerned about Reformed theology

    Bill Williams July 17, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Most of us Southern Baptists are “Calminians.” Well, I think I can say this about myself. I am a very simplistic person. I have a very simplistic approach to the Bible. Therefore I am well able to accept the sovereignty of God along with the free-will of man and God’s predestination along with “wosoever will.” After all I accept the blood atonement for my sin, eternal life, God in three persons, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Who understands or can explain these? Oh yes! in my simplistic approach, I would simply ask, why should we put so much weithg on what Calvin or Aminius believed and taught when we have access to what Jesus taught? Hey maybe I’m not a Calminian after all

    Bill Williams