Continuing our response to Nelson Price, who still refuses to reply to our e-mails, or to correct that which he now knows to be falsehood.
"Southern Baptists in general believe that to hold the Calvinistic view would result in their loss of evangelism and soul winning missions efforts."
Our response: Funny, then, that William Carey, the faither of Baptist missions, was a Calvinist, and that John Calvin himself sent out missionaries to Catholic Europe (and even to Brazil). Historically the Particular Baptists have done far more for missions than the General Baptists ever have. We would also note that, with the exception of the Wesleys and their organisation, all of the leaders of the 18th century revivals were Calvinists. It was the Calvinistic Methodists that, under God, transformed Wales from a barren semi-heathen land into the 'garden of the Lord'. We are frankly tired of this old canard that 'Calvinism would destroy missions'. The facts say otherwise.
Of course, if you define Evangelism in a narrow, free-will fashion, then Calvinism IS destructive of such human inventions as the 'Altar Call', decision card, high-pressure evangelism, etc. But 'Evangelism' means just the preaching of the Gospel, and Calvinists have always believed in that. Look at Spurgeon, for example. A Calvinist, a Baptist, and an evangelist. We would argue that Calvinism is the only logical underpinning for the sort of sustained local church-based work that C.H. Spurgeon engaged in. Free-willism, on the other hand, has given us a crusade evangelism that works by spasmodic excitements and tries to 'get up' revivals rather than pray them down. We would contend that in fact this sort of reliance on periodic excitements and emotional manipulation is FAR more destructive of evangelism in the long run than Calvinistic teaching.
Think of it this way. William Carey went into India and faithfully preached for years before seeing any converts. Now the Calvinist says 'God is sovereign, He is the one who opens hearts' and keeps on working and faithfully preaching. The Free-willer, on the other hand, says 'I am not doing the right thing', and is more easily tempted to illicit means to gain supposed converts. Free-will methods, which are largely driven by numbers, tend to produce 'converts' who quickly fall away and bring disgrace on the Church. Charles Grandison Finney, the darling of American Free-willers, admitted this fact himself in later life. Indeed it was the disgraceful behaviour of some of his converts that led him into the strange perfectionist teachings that characterised his later life.
What of John Wesley? Well, for all his free-will teaching, Wesley depended on the power of God, not the persuasive power of his preaching. Reading Wesley's sermons we find no rhetoric, but rather Christ Crucified.
We would further add that consistent Free-willers, who believe in the possibility of the truly saved falling from grace, have a better motive for discipling converts than those like Price who believe in 'once saved always saved'. That is, if 'saved' simply means 'come forward'.
God willing, next time we shall have something to say about Limited Atonement and Penal Substitution.