Calvinism on Fire: #5 Evangelistic Fervor

Last week I discussed the reasons for this series on Calvinism on Fire and argued that Calvinism changes culture, tilts world-views, & burns uncontrollably for the cause of Christ. Now I will argue this is true in ten ways. So keep your seat belts on and tray tables in the upright position.

#1 A Passion for God’s Glory
#2 The Gospel: 1st Importance

#3 Feed My Sheep

#4 The Original Fightin’ Fundies

#5 Evangelistic Fervor

I will highlight three ways in which the Reformed faith has consistently been on the front-lines of the church’s mission. I will do this by follow the pattern found in Matthew 28:18-20. First, reformed folk take the command to evangelize our children seriously. As a father I do cry out to God for mercy for my children. I plead with him to be faithful to his promises trusting that he will be the God of my children as he has been God to me. This trust in God’s promises drives me to talk about the gospel when my kids get up, when we’re swimming, when we eat together, when we’re in the car and everywhere in-between. The reformed faith has a long standing tradition of encouraging a full orbed teaching them to obey all the commands and words of Jesus through the use of catechisms, songs, reading the Word, and prayer.

Second, reformed folk have consistently and historically preached the gospel indiscriminately to all who would hear trusting the Spirit to draw all those who would believe. Wherever a Calvinism is on fire you will find revival soon to follow. You can follow the scorched earth through out church history. You can read more about Calvinism and revivals here, here, & here.

Third, reformed folk led the charge into global missions. Mitch Cervinka says (emphasis mine)

One needs only examine Protestant history to see that Calvinists have been on the forefront of evangelism and missions. George Whitefield was outspoken in affirming all five points of Calvinism, yet he was one of the most zealous and effective evangelists of the Great Awakening. Wherever he traveled, both in England and America, people would turn out by the thousands to hear him preach in the open fields. The modern missionary movement began in 1792 when the Calvinistic Baptist, William Carey, left England to minister the gospel in India. With the help of William Ward and Joshua Marshman, he founded 26 churches and 126 schools, and translated the Bible into 44 languages including Sanskrit. In 1812, Adoniram Judson, another Calvinistic Baptist, sailed to Burma, becoming the first American to depart for the overseas mission field. . . . Other Calvinistic evangelists and missionaries of note include Jonathan Edwards, Asahel Nettleton and Charles H. Spurgeon. More than this, the Protestant Reformation was perhaps the greatest evangelistic movement of modern history. The Lord brought it about through the evangelistic zeal and unfailing courage of men who believed that God is fully sovereign in salvation—men such as Martin Luther,William Tyndale, John Calvin and John Knox, as well as lesser known men such as William Farel, George Wishart, Martin Bucer, Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and countless others.

See Nathan Busenitz “Does Calvinism Kill Evangelism?” for a more well rounded discussion of the particulars. However, it can be firmly stated that rather than kill evangelism, Calvinism often causes forest fires.