Seven years ago, a group of fifteen Southern Baptist evangelists met together to bemoan the growth of Calvinism within SBC circles.
When asked about his concerns, Jerry Drace (the evangelist who initiated the meeting) explained that some Baptist pastors are so Calvinistic “that they almost laugh at evangelism. It’s almost to the extent that they believe they don’t have to do it. So [Calvinism] gives them an excuse not to do evangelism.”
Drace’s comments raise an important question. Does an affirmation of God’s sovereign election in salvation (commonly called “Calvinism”) discourage people from faithfulness in evangelism?
An answer to that question could be approached from several different angles.
One could, for example, consider evangelistic efforts among Baptists — comparing those who embrace the doctrine of election with those who do not. An SBC study “found that Calvinistic recent graduates report that they conduct personal evangelism at a slightly higher rate than their non-Calvinistic peers.”