When I started blogging another lifetime or so ago, there were few (if any) blogs among those considered "Baptist" which were also unwed to strict, non-negotiable, in-your-face, Five Point Calvinism. Non-Calvinist Baptist bloggers were viewed at best a theological anomaly and at worst an evangelistic prospect to "recover the gospel." No longer are non-Calvinists silent.
Nonetheless, the blogging arena reflected in many ways what was happening in pop Christianity across America. Indeed only last March did Time Magazine name "The New Calvinism" among the top "10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now" (//link).
Even so, no longer will "The New Calvinism" remain theologically impervious in its teflon coating. The "New Calvinism" deserves a "New Critique." And, B & H Publishing Group is about to release one.
Whosoever Will: A Biblical-Theological Critique of Calvinism is scheduled for release in mid-Spring (April 15) and is sure to provoke discussion about this crucial issue among Southern Baptists. Edited by Drs. David Allen and Steve Lemke, the volume presents a more detailed format of the papers and sermons delivered at the John 3:16 Conference held at the First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Georgia in November 2008.
Even more, not only will the volume contain expanded material the presenters gave at the J316C, another round of scholarly essays are contained in this volume. In an interview with the editors, B & H asked about the contents of this newest book. Drs. Allen and Lemke responded at length. Below is a bulleted excerpt:
- Johnny Hunt wrote the Foreword
- James Leo Garrett contributed the Introduction
- Jerry Vines addresses the soteriological implications of John 3:16
- Paige Patterson provides a biblical and theological critique of “Total Depravity”
- Richard Land critiques “Unconditional Election”
- David L. Allen examines those Calvinists who reject the doctrine of “Limited Atonement”
- Steve Lemke questions the biblical foundation and theological adequacy of "Irresistible Grace"
- Ken Keathley affirms the security of the believer while providing a critique of the view of perseverance held by some Calvinists
- Kevin Kennedy questions whether Calvin himself held some of the views advocated by some modern Calvinists
- Malcolm Yarnell provides an assessment of a number of ecclesiological issues for Baptists in regard to Calvinism
- R. Alan Streett addresses offering public invitations or altar calls which are rejected by some Calvinists
- Jeremy Evans raises questions about whether the kind of determinism held by some Calvinists is consistent with Scripture, logic, and human experience
- Bruce Little challenges the adequacy of the answer to the problem of evil proposed by some varieties of Calvinism, especially in regard to the glory and holiness of God1
With the repertoire of established academics above, the often heard complaint from many Calvinists to “stop misrepresenting Calvinism” becomes even more unconvincing.
This book is the necessary counter-balance to a much too aggressive Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention. I predict Pastors and churches alike will welcome this tool to better understand the rise of Calvinism in today’s church.
Put your copy on order today (see top left for link to Amazon.com).
With that, I am…
the Entire Interview with Allen & Lemke NOTE: there exists a typo in the online Q&A Interview at B&H. Under question #1,
third paragraph, the phrase “five point Calvinism is a small majority among
Baptists” should read “a small minority. . . .” (underlining added). I understand B&H is aware of
the mistake. Hence, I'm sure they plan to correct it. UPDATE: B&H HAS CORRECTED THE ERROR MENTIONED ABOVE.