The One About Calvinism and Evangelism

"...there is a difference between saying 'Calvinist theology promotes evangelism' and 'Calvinists actually evangelize.' There is a difference between saying 'Calvinists have historically evangelized' and 'Calvinists do evangelize right now.' After all, isn’t it possible that we may fail to live up to our theology?" - Challies 

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dgszweda's picture

I like the article.  Does this resonate with others who may be in the Reformed sphere?

G. N. Barkman's picture

Challies makes a good point, but there is a lot more that should be said.  Yes, some, perhaps many Calvinists are not as faithful to evangelize as they ought to be.  But that same is true of non-Calvinists.  Before I became a Calvinist, I observed that only a minority of non-Calvinist Christians faithfully evangelized.  It is not, as some erroneously assume, a weakness of Calvinism.  It is a weakness of Christians generally.  After becoming a Calvinist, I have observed that the number of church members who are faithful evangelists is similar to the number before I became a Calvinist.  If there is a difference, it may tilt a little bit toward Calvinists being a big more faithful than non-Calvinists.  Really.

Furthermore, the ability to analyze evangelism is often weak among non-Calvinists.  Don't give an altar call?  You are not evangelistic.  (Tell that to Jesus, Peter, Paul, John, etc.  Show me where any of them gave what is euphemistically called "an invitation" in many churches today.)  Fail to run people down the Romans road and report lots of salvation decisions?  You are not evangelistic.  The truth is, too many non-Calvinists confuse non-Biblical evangelistic techniques with evangelism.

I could write a lot more, but that should get the point across for now.  When it comes to true Biblical evangelism, Calvinists measure up quite nicely in my observation and experience.

G. N. Barkman