Theologians Debate Calvinism Amid Calvinist Resurgence

Two prominent theologians took opposite sides and debated the theological system of Calvinism, which is experiencing a resurgence in church culture, on “The Exchange” webshow this past week. Ed Stetzer, president of Lifeway Research, moderated the discussion between Roger Olson and Michael Horton, who both have recent books released on the topic of Calvinism, but taking opposing views on the system.

Stetzer wrote in a Nov. 15, 2010 blog post that he thinks “there IS a resurgence of Calvinism (particularly within evangelicalism),” and that it is among a younger population.

Stetzer briefly explained on his program the theology behind Calvinism using an acronym known as T.U.L.I.P: Total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints.

Horton, a professor at Westminster Seminary – California and author of the book For Calvinism (2011), told Stetzer on the program that the TULIP method, although a good overview, reduces what Calvinism really is.

For Horton, the real emphasis in Calvinism is “God being faithful to His decision in Jesus Christ to save those whom He has chosen in His son and to keep them in the faith.”

He explained that even though his faith might wane in different stages of his life or his obedience seems halting, “God is the Savior. He is the one who does all the saving and even the faith through which I am justified is itself a gift of God.”

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