Spring 2001
Vol 18 No. 1

Making Samford a Better Place

An Exceptional Gift

Working for the Common Good

New Business Leadership

Opening the Free Market

Trucking with Computers

Other Stories
Bellas Created 'Climate of Achievement' in Samford School of Business

Community Banking Stresses New Technology, Personal Touch

Faculty Compendium

Early Greek Influence on Jordan Strikes Jan Term Class Members

A Cappella Choir Invited to Sing in Russia

Wind Ensemble Performs at MENC Conference

Samford Students Out-Perform Peers in 'Engagement' with Learning: NSSE

Student Accolades

Samford History Prof's Book on King Jail Letter Examines Complexities of '60s Racial Scene

Humphreys Writes on Baptists and Calvinism

Book Edited by George, Smith Examines Racial Reconciliation

George Authors Doctrine Study

Tillette's Team Makes It Interesting During Seventh Straight Winner

Pharmacies Could Hold a Key to Effective Disaster Response

Cochran and Moore Write the Samford Record Book

Baseball Alumni: Send Your Name

Kenny Morgan Scholarship Winners

 

 

Humphreys Writes on Baptists and Calvinism

Samford University divinity professor Fisher Humphreys has co-authored a book on the renaissance among Southern Baptists of Calvinism and its belief in predestination.

God So Loved the World: Traditional Baptists and Calvinism, co-written with New Orleans Baptist Seminary professor Paul E. Robertson, was published by Insight Press of New Orleans.

It discusses various aspects of Calvinism, the belief that God predestines some people to be saved and others to be damned. Calvinism takes its name from 16th-century Christian reformer John Calvin, an early Protestant leader.

"We wrote the book to explain clearly what Calvinism is, to assure readers that Calvinism is not evil, and to say why it is not necessary for traditional Baptists to become Calvinists," said Humphreys, professor of theology in Samford's Beeson School of Divinity.

"We did not write a polemic against Calvinism," he added. "That would have been a very different book, and not one we would have interest in writing."

Their position, says Humphreys, is "that God's love for all the world (as cited in John 3:16) means that God would not predestine anyone to be damned." This reflects the belief of traditional Baptists, he says.

Calvinists "are guided by their convictions that nothing is more important than asserting the sovereignty of God and that God is fully sovereign only if everything that happens is God's sovereign will," said Humphreys.

Traditional Baptists reject that approach, he says, because of their belief "that God loves the world so unconditionally and so sacrificially that God would never will or decree the damnation of a single person."

Calvinists believe that Calvinism is the primary Baptist tradition, and point out that such influential Baptist leaders as John Bunyan, Roger Williams, William Carey, Charles Haddon Spurgeon and others were Calvinists.

Still, the first Baptists were not Calvinists, and "the vast majority of Baptists today are not Calvinists," according to Humphreys and Robertson.

Traditional Baptists and Calvinistic Baptists have debated the merits of Calvinism for more than three centuries. And yet, the discussion remains as alive in today's Baptist church as ever, say the authors.