Calvinism or Conversionism; Reformed or Transformed Theology

Welcome to Transformed Theology and the home of Conversionism.

Southern Baptist’s have a big problem today. Although Calvinism has been a part of the SBC since its inception and even before, it’s influence and popularity today is greater than it has ever been. That is and of itself, is not the real problem. The problem is where that influence is positioned today and how that influence may well change the face of the SBC in the “not so distant” years to come. One of the problems that makes this issue so interesting is the fact that Calvinists come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. There are 5 point Calvinists, 4-point Calvinists, 3-point Calvinists and possibly even 2 and 1-point Calvinists. This is cause for concern for me; it appears that the umbrella of Calvinism has been broadened to make it wide enough to hold almost anyone who has been born again and believes in the sovereignty of God or His amazing grace. This “Calvinist friendly” position is not helping the cause of Christ and it is not going to be good for the health and well-being of the future SBC.

Calvinism is not limited to the SBC. There may be individuals of other denominations who are struggling for a new identity as well and this new terminology may find fertile ground for you but from an influence standpoint, my focus is with respect to the SBC and its entities and especially its seminaries. The overwhelming majority of members in the pew have absolutely no idea what the Doctrines of Grace are; most cannot even spell Calvinism correctly much less explain its most basic tenets. I do not want money being sent to the SBC to be used to promote these doctrinal differences that will eventually change the face of the convention as it exists today. Now to be fair, I KNOW that Calvinism has been a part of the SBC since its inception. I understand that Calvinists would like to have a majority voice in the convention. However, the facts are overwhelmingly clear; you do not have a majority voice and there are those who want it to stay that way. I am in that group.

Anyone who does not believe that God regenerates an individual before he can exercise saving faith or repentance is not a Calvinist. A person who claims to be a 4-point Calvinist who does not believe in Limited Atonement, is not a Calvinist. The same is true for that person who does not believe in any of the other four points. Period. What we need today is some new terminology that will adequately represent some of the things that Calvinism has right, and then reflect on the things that Calvinism completely misses the mark on and in the process give people some solid ground upon which to stand. Welcome to the home of Conversionism and Transformed Theology.

Calvinists have been relatively successful in painting a picture of theological extremes by placing hyper-Calvinism on one side and universalism on the other and painting Calvinism as a middle ground. I would like to offer an an alternative middle ground if you will, that moves Calvinism and Reformed Theology to one side and universalism to the other. Calvinists covers a number of issues and they are very deliberate in their presentation. I like what one person said, “We all use the same vocabulary; we do not all use the same dictionary.” This statement contains a mountain of truth!

Conversion is the key to Christianity. The Calvinist will agree with this statement. The difference between Conversionism and Calvinism is how this conversion takes place. For the Calvinist a totally depraved man must be regenerated by God for him to respond to God in faith and repentance in order for that person to be converted. This process of regeneration is both central and critical to the salvific process. Because “Conversion is the key to Christianity,” it is equally true that “the process of regeneration is both central and critical to the salvific process” for both the Conversionist as well as the Calvinist.

The issue of course is when does regeneration take place and how are faith and repentance and regeneration related? For the Reformed, regeneration precedes faith and repentance and in fact lead to them and they are impossible without regeneration. In Conversionism revelation and reconciliation, which are both at God’s sole initiative precede faith and repentance that brings about regeneration.

What is Conversionism or Transformed Theology? Conversionism and Transformed Theology is a new identity that offers what I believe is a much needed change in terminology for the child of God who is neither Arminian or Calvinist.

Reformed Theology has built itself around, namely the TULIP which is an acronym representing the five points of Calvinism. By using the same five letters, here is a new twist on an old identity that can find significance as a New Tulip. Consider the following acrostic:

An Argument for Total Lostness
An Argument for Unconditional Love
An Argument for Limitless Atonement
An Argument for Irreplaceable Grace
An Argument for Perseverance of the Savior

Thankful for a new identity! More to come.


Grateful to be in His Grip,

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