Thursday, June 21, 2012

New LifeWay Study Confirms that Calvinism is Growing in the SBC

Understanding statistics and Calvinism are two good but painful things to do in Baptist life.  There have been a bunch of recent studies among pastors on Calvinism and here are some key data points.  

Among SBC pastors, 5-Point Calvinism has grown 10% per year from 2006 to 2012. (2006 LifeWay Study) (2012 LifeWay Study)

This is in stark contrast to the 2010 BARNA study which shows Calvinism is not growing amoung Protestants.  

In other words, while Calvinism is not growing in other Protestant churches, it is growing in the SBC.  The reason Calvinism is growing in the SBC is shown by the 2007 NAMB study - SBC seminaries are cranking out 5-Point Calvinists at a growing rate.   

Additionally, SBC Pastors are more likely to hold to double-predestination and limited atonement compared to protestant churches generally.  (2011 LifeWay General Protestant Study(2012 SBC Specific LifeWay Study)

As a minor note, the 2012 LifeWay study mistakenly reports the number of Protestent Pastors who hold to  5 Point Calvinism as 32% when that's the number that say the are Reformed and the number who are 5-Point Calvinists was actual 10%.

While it's helpful to have data on Pastors, I wonder if a study will be done on regular Church Members?  In any case, these studies show the concentration and growth of Calvinism among SBC Pastors - highlighting the need for the Traditional Baptist Statement (link).


SLW said...

I wonder has this trend tracks against the decline in the SBC of baptisms, membership and attendance?

Godismyjudge said...

Hey SLW,

While I am sure the overall number of Baptisms and attendance is down, I am also sure there are lots of factors driving that. You may want to check out the NAMB stats (linked to above) on baptisms/attendance as it relates to Calvinist/non-Calvinist churches.

BTW, Glad to see you found the new web address. I hope that means the redirect is working as it should.

God be with you,

pastorhightower said...

The disadvantage too is that we that are non-calvinist or arminians don't have radio programs or those that commit to radio programs don't commit to our particular theological persuasion.

The airwaves are filled with MacArthur, Sproul, Mohler (at least when he was on). Then other radio programs, and hosts blindly promote a calvinist teacher. So if one grows up hearing singularly MacArthur and Sproul, and they promote Piper there you have it. They rarely read actual source materials, so MacArthur or the Founders blog, Pyro/Phil Johnson become the sources as opposed to actually reading Arminius or in some cases Calvin.

So the aforementioned via the radio, internet and television, or books are the sine qua non.

And they so-called calvinist heroes if pressed for an honest answer the source materials are actual sources but Warfield and the like. Sorry for the tangent.

Godismyjudge said...

I agree - a non-Calvinist radio program would be good. I am sure there are some (Michael Brown comes to mind, as well as William Lane Craig's podcasts) but more would be welcome.

God be with you,

Donald Hightower said...

Sorry for the different ID's, but it's Donald Hightower a.k.a pastorhightower, fellow SBC'er and Cowboy fan etc.

Anyway, like Dr. Brown, but at times he can be a little fringey (I know it is not a word), I'm not comfortable with his comfort level of mentioning the Brownsville Revival like it was good thing.