A Startling Fact From Barna’s survey of “the New Calvinism”


John Calvin

Image via Wikipedia

Taking a brief excursion from apologetics for a moment…

As someone who would identify with the pentecostal/charismatic movement, I found this tidbit from the Barna Group to be more than just a little surprising.

The study found that 31% of pastors who lead churches within traditionally charismatic or Pentecostal denominations were described as Reformed, while 27% identified as Wesleyan/Arminian. This is somewhat surprising given that these denominations – including Assembly of God, Vineyard, Foursquare, and Church of God-Cleveland – are generally viewed as stemming from Wesleyan or Holiness traditions.

Um…what?

Usually, from what little I know, Reformed folk typically are cessasionist – meaning they don’t believe miracles are for today. I’m not sure what gives, but I find it encouraging that more Reformed pastors are moving away from such a well limiting doctrine that relegates signs and wonders to the days of the early church.

On the flip side, I highly doubt more A/G, Foursquare or Church of God pastors are moving away from the typical Arminian doctrine and towards 5-point Calvinism any time soon.

I’ve always found the debate to be a bit on the ridiculous side, it smacks of the type of spiritual  immaturity Paul described in 1 Corinthians 3 “I follow Paul, I follow Apollos”,  but I’m glad at least more believers can agree that the Holy Spirit’s gifts have not “died out with the last apostle”.  The philosophical argument of whether miracles can happen or not is reduced to just that – an argument alone when Christians deny the continuation of the miraculous today.

Jesus continually told his detractors that if they didn’t believe him, at least believe the miracles that he performed, and I don’t believe it should be any different for his body.

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