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Sep 13 2007

Where Did These People Come From?

Mark Dever of Washinton, D.C. comments at Church Matters on the the resurgence in the evangelical church of the historic doctrines of grace, sometimes called Calvinism.

First, Dever reiterates his contention that this is a second-tier issue:

The real front line is not between Calvinist evangelicals and Arminian evangelicals.  It is between those who are lost in their sins and those who have been saved by God’s sheer grace in Christ."… The Gospel is clear.  Wherever we may mail our checks for missionary support, a Free Methodist evangelist in Brazil, an Assembly of God pastor in the Philippines, an Bible-believing Lutheran pastor in Ethiopia or a conservative Dutch Reformed Christian in South Africa, an evangelical Church of Scotland grandmother, a conservative Anglican in London, and a Southern Baptist deacon in Dallas, when they sit down next to someone on the bus or the plane, and share the Gospel with them, will all share the same Gospel–the good news about the Holy God who sent his Son to die and be raised for the justification of sinners.  And that we experience God’s forgiveness and new life through faith alone in Christ alone.  We don’t need a bishop in Rome or anywhere else to tell us this.  We don’t need a world-wide organization.  We just need the Holy Spirit, the Bible and the faithful teaching of this gospel by any one of thousands of congregations around the globe faithful to this gospel. 

Dever then turns reporter/analyst and proceeds to discuss in detail ten key factors he believes to have been instrumental in the resurgence of Calvinism.  In a nutshell, he sees the key influences as:

  1. Charles Spurgeon
  2. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  3. The Banner of Truth Trust
  4. Evangelism Explosion (D. James Kennedy)
  5. The battle for inerrency in key denominations
  6. The growth of the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America)
  7. J. I. Packer’s classic book Knowing God
  8. The writing of John MacArthur and R.C. Sproul
  9. The ministry of John Piper
  10. The rise of secularism and decline of Christian nominalism

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