PBS’s Religion & Ethics Newsweekly recently looked at “New Calvinism,” with a focus on the Southern Baptist Convention.

You can read the transcript or watch the video below:

proofAmong those featured in the short profile is Daniel Montgomery, founding pastor of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville and cofounder of the Sojourn Network.

He is the co-author (with Dr. Timothy Paul Jones) of the forthcoming book, PROOF: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace (Zondervan, due out in May 2014).

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5 thoughts on “PBS Looks at New Calvinism”

  1. Brian says:

    This is interesting. When I left the Reformed church a long time ago and was received into the Orthodox Church, “calvinism” was a word associated with Dutch Reformed or southern American Presbyterianism. Now it’s Southern Baptist “new Calvinism”? And are these “new Calvinists” semi-Pentecostal? That’s the take-away I got the from this video.

    1. Shaun L says:

      Although the denominations you mentioned have a rich background of Calvinistic theology I would say the ‘New Calvinism’ is more of a doctrinal position that focuses on the sovereignty of God and transcends denominational and traditional boundaries. In the SBC of course the mode of baptism is different, but they have similar/same soteriology. As far as the charismaticky worship? Well there are an increasing number of us that believe God is immanent and can be experienced but yea, having been delivered from a pentecostal church I see what you mean in the video. Aside from Mars Hill I don’t think I’ve been to any new Calvinistic churches that do worship like that but I consider Mars Hill more of a mainstream evangelical doughnut with Reformed sprinkles on top. I do not think that sensual worship is a necessary staple of ‘New Calvinism’. Though I would contend that raising ones hand in emotional adoration is not an unseemly or sinful thing to do when worshiping the Almighty God.

      1. Paul says:

        “Though I would contend that raising ones hand in emotional adoration is not an unseemly or sinful thing to do when worshiping the Almighty God.”

        I think Scripture would agree with you on that — see, e.g., 1 Timothy 2:8; as the website “Got Questions” puts it: “The emphasis of this verse is the attitude of the heart.” (Source:

    2. Mark says:

      Conservative Presbyterians follow Calvin in more areas than do other Calvinist (ie. Baptism, ecclesiology, etc.). However, Baptist Calvinists affirm what Calvin taught regarding the doctrine of God and soteriology. Baptists primarily grew out of Calvinistic Puritan origins and historically, non-Calvinistic baptists are less common. And no, I don’t know of any Southern Baptist churches who would identify as Pentecostal, but there is a charismatic wing of the new Calvinism, although that didn’t seem to be displayed in the video.

  2. Arminian says:

    However, it should be noted that the first Baptists were Arminian. John Smyth and Thomas Helwys are typically considered the founders of the Baptist movement. They were European. But then the first Baptists in the American south were also Arminian. Note this quote: “I think it is important to understand that the earliest Baptists in the southern American colonies were Arminian Baptist, but that their churches were co-opted by interference from the ministers from the Philadelphia Baptist Convention (Calvinist). I think it is also important to know that the earliest Baptists who formed churches and associations in Texas were northern Freewill Baptists.” (

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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