Monday, October 02, 2006

Lions, Tigers, and Calvinists: Oh My!

I thought this was an interesting observation by someone who is clearly not pleased by the growth of Calvinism in fundamentalist circles. The "reporter" pins this phenomenon on Christian books (especially books by Piper and MacArthur) and noted the role of the BJU bookstore in this.

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised to visit my alma mater's bookstore a couple of years ago and to find all the Puritan works that they carry; they even carry Dabney books (although they still don't stock my biography of Dabney, for reasons that I've yet to figure). When I was a student (1990-3), we had to go to Crossway Bookstore (not to be confused with Crossway Publishers) across the street to find Puritan and Banner of Truth books; now, Crossway doesn't carry those materials any more (I last visited there this past summer).

It was reading books when I was a student at BJU that moved me into the Calvinist (and eventually Presbyterian) camp: Jonathan Edwards, B. B. Warfield, Lorainne Boettner, Charles Hodge, Louis Berkhof, Jay Adams. But it was also reading the Bible and compare what God's Word said with what these older writers said. It was hard to give an Arminian reading to John 6 or Ephesians 1 or Romans 9--and once my paradigm couldn't account for those texts, I willingly became a Calvinist.

One thing for which I've always been grateful is that my alma mater taught me to take the Bible with absolute seriousness and to follow God's truth wherever it would lead. It was the University's position on biblical authority that gave me the freedom to listen to what the Bible taught on God's rights as King in all of our lives, especially in salvation. And perhaps that is why, even more than the good Christian literature being circulated, that many fundamentalist youths are becoming Calvinists.

[HT: SharperIron]


Jon Medlock said...

Sean, glancing at that article, I wonder if the young fundamentalists are embracing a full blown reformed world and life view, or if the author is equating a Calvinsit soteriology with Calvinism in general. A robust conception of God's sovereignty in our salvation is one thing (and it is a good thing), but a fully formed Covenant Theology is quite another. Thoughts?

David Scott said...

How times change. When I took my MA at BJU in 1972-73 you could find no Puritan title anywhere close to the bookstore! Having arrived at BJU as a consistent Calvinist, I had to keep my views undercover. It helped that I lived off campus, therefore no one could see the Banner reprints and other Puritan works that were in my library. I did value the graduate classes that I took from Dr. Bell and especially Dr. Panosian; what a godly example he was. Enjoyed your book on Dabney; keep up the good work.