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Leading the Church

Does Calvinism Hinder Missions?

The denomination that believes in predestination has a demonstrated the best record that it is truly evangelistic.
The denomination that believes in predestination has a demonstrated record that it is evangelistic.

PCANews -According to Baptist theologian Paige Paterson, the Calvinist teaching about predestination hinders evangelism. Of course, the Bible clearly teaches that God's sovereign grace is the basis of evangelism. But in addition to that, is there any evidence that Calvinism hinders evangelism? The statistics I have seen simply do not bear this out.

Statistics, of course, can be dangerous when evaluating such claims. These statistics, for example, do not address the quality of the support given by the churches or the quality of the missionaries themselves. Also, citing statistics when talking about evangelism can trivialize the human souls at stake in the enterprise.

While not wanting to trivialize evangelism by citing statistics, they point up the empirical deficiency of Dr. Patterson's claim. Where is his evidence of such an adverse effect? The following statistics can call into question Patterson's blanket generalization about the effect of Calvinism on missions.

Currently, the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention sponsors "about 5,000 home missionaries . . . as well as sponsoring more than 5,000 foreign missionaries." (See the official Web site of the Southern Baptist Convention That equals to about 0.000625 missionaries per capita sponsored by the SBC.

By contrast, the 310,000 member Presbyterian Church in America (which believes the Bible teaches predestination) has "about 600 foreign missionaries." That is 0.001935 foreign missionaries per capita commissioned and supported by the PCA. Although the PCA also has many home based missionaries, those statistics were not readily available. Thus, the PCA supports three times (3X) more foreign missionaries per capita than the SBC supports foreign and domestic missionaries combined.

The bottom line: The denomination that believes and teaches predestination and believes that Christ died for the elect, also has a demonstrated record that it is passionately evangelistic and committed to the missionary mandate that Christ gave to his Church.

Submitted by a PCA memberwho obviously knows his theology and statistics.

For more articles like this go to PCANews.

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