“Calvinist” due out October 2nd

The independent fundamental Baptist church that my wife and I attended after we accepted Christ in the early 80s was like a lot of other IFB churches back then when it came to the Arminian-Calvin, free will vs. predestination debate. Our pastor leaned heavily toward free will, but also preached the eternal security of the believer. I can remember him getting behind the pulpit and deriding the Reformed movement’s TULIP acronym like it was straight from the pit of hell.

After returning to the Lord following a loooong prodigal season, the last two churches we’ve attended have been Reformed Baptist, although the pastors didn’t/don’t really push the doctrine of election very hard that I’ve heard. I appreciate the Reformed movement’s emphasis on the Lord’s grace and forgiveness compared to the Arminian movement’s heavier emphasis on works and guilt (even with the possibility of losing salvation in some circles). So I’m somewhere in the middle of the Arminian-Calvin debate and firmly committed to non-commitment unless the Lord shows me otherwise.

The other evening, I was scanning through the news and I came across the interesting web sites below. A new documentary, “Calvinist,” from director, Les Lanphere, is being released on October 2nd. The film documents how Calvinism is enjoying increasing interest among young evangelicals. Featured are some notable brothers whom I’ve often quoted in past posts including R.C. Sproul, Paul Washer, Ligon Duncan, Kevin DeYoung, James White, Tim Challies, Steven Lawson, and Michael Horton.

As I said, I’m somewhere in the middle of the Arminian-Calvin debate, but I do have a fondness for my conservative Reformed brethren and sistren, especially for their bold stand against ecumenism with Rome, something increasingly hard to find these days within evangelicalism.

“Calvinist” Explores An Old Theology Overtaking Young Christians

“Calvinist” official website

So, are we soon going to see a rebuttal documentary from the Wesleyans, Pentecostals, and Free Will Baptists titled, “Arminian”? 😁 Why is this committed Arminian-Calvinist advertising a movie promoting Calvinism? Hey, I wanted to give a heads-up to my Reformed friends and I want to eventually see it as well. The documentary isn’t available from Amazon yet, so you’ll have to order it from the official website.

Please, my Arminian brothers and sisters, no hate mail!

24 thoughts on ““Calvinist” due out October 2nd

  1. I am hard pressed to believe it is anything worth watching. Prove me wrong. It would be nice to be proven wrong, and actually watch a movie that has some substance to it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A documentary promoting Calvinism strikes me as somewhat of an anachronism in comparison to mainstream mega-church McChristianity, which is steering toward a doctrine-less, “just love Jesus” emotionalism.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for the recommendation brother! I can’t wait to see this, I have spent the past few months digging into church history so this movie will fit nicely with what I’m studying. I’m about to attempt (Lord willing) to read Calvin’s Institutes. I haven’t really stopped to wonder why I’m interested in this area though. I’m a millennial, or so I’m told, and if I could guess why others around my age are showing interest in Calvinism it would probably be to have a connection with the past. Puritan writers have seen a notable increase in interest as well. I think the mistake many churches are making, most likely in effort not to offend the RCC and keep their ecumenicism in tact, is to ignore church history. There’s rarely a book from 1500-1800 I’ve read that hasn’t had some push back against the RCC. Ignoring our history, and pretending these great men weren’t so great, won’t work with the internet giving free access to everything they’ve written. I’ve heard from so many friends my age, and younger, that they feel like the church has no tradition, no roots. The guitars and fog machines can’t replace the deep desire we have, as believers, to trace our spiritual fathers legacies. I hope this will continue, none of these church fathers were perfect, but that certainly shouldn’t stop anyone from learning about them. Thanks again for sharing this, brother!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sister, thanks for your good thoughts and insights regarding this! Yes, there are no historical roots presented in the mega-church. Growth pastors have been instructed that “seekers” aren’t interested in history, but I think this upsurge in the popularity of Calvinism is a contradiction of that. As you also said, the growth guys also want to avoid church history because it would upset their ecumenical blueprint. Your comments hit the nail on the head as far as what many younger Christians are thinking in regards to the guitars and fog machines.

      Have fun with Calvin’s Institutes! I’m just a Theology 101 guy as I always tell SlimJim so I’ll wait for your review!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That crack me up, theology 101! Please though, out of deep concern for your health, don’t hold your breath for my review. I think this book might be the most difficult thing I’ll undergo reading. I might take it little by little, like Foxes Book of Martyrs. How did those guys have time (or patience) back then to write so much? My hand starts hurting if I have to sit down and write a grocery list! I want to understand Calvin’s perspective better, and from his own words, but it might take me a decade. If the Lord tarries, maybe He won’t tarry and I can ask Calvin face to face!

        There’s a free, audible, version of the Institutes on YouTube…if I can comprehend it well enough I might go that route!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, you and I Tom do tend to agree. I laugh sort of at us, though. My preacher preaches about Calvinism as if it were straight from Satan, yet without realizing it, he is probably 99 percent of the way there. Funny how we categorize people and things without much thought.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Wally. I’m aware of all the Bible passages that teach election but I’m also aware of the verses that teach free will. I can’t reconcile the two and I’m thinking we’re not supposed to. Yeah, I’m sure your pastor teaches a couple of the tulip points, total depravity and preservation of the saints. I believe the Lord draws us and only He can reveal the Gospel to our blind eyes but I think people can also choose to resist Him. Argh! My brain gets tired just thinking about it. I like that our pastor doesn’t make election vs. free will a big deal.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I know some free willers that really have it in for Calvinists. I had a brother really get on my case because I have Reformed ministries listed on my Links page.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I knew you were Reformed but not Reformed Baptist. Yeah, I’m curious myself. I wonder who their target audience is? Perhaps teens and young adults at Reformed churches? They have some notable interviewees.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Back before my prodigal “season,” I was only aware of what was going on in the indy fundy Baptist church movement. No Calvinists there. After attending four services a week and reading the Bible and the Sword of the Lord, I didn’t have time for checking out other movements. And as I mentioned, the only thing I knew about Calvinism was that our pastor taught it was of the devil. Flash forward to 2014 and I see Calvinism all over the place!!! I was taken aback coming from my background, but I really appreciated our three Reformed Baptist pastors’ emphasis of grace compared to our old Arminian Baptist pastor’s heavy emphasis of legalism and guilt. Although I’m not on board with the doctrine of election, I think I’m closer to the Calvinist side then the Arminian side, which resembles Catholicism in regards to losing salvation, regaining salvation, losing, regaining, etc., which led to trying to attain perfect holiness, which led to all kinds of strange abuses.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. My husband is a Calvinist. We both grew up in Arminian churches. I’m still learning and praying for God’s guidance concerning this subject, but we both really enjoyed film and they made some great points as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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