In the March issue of Credo Magazine, “Make Disciples of All Nations,” we interviewed Kenneth Stewart, Professor of Theological Studies at Covenant College and the author of Ten Myths About Calvinism (IVP). Here is what Ken had to say about Calvinism and Missions…

Calvinism is largely anti-missionary. True or False?

It is historically false. Surprisingly, the charge that it is true seems to have grown up especially since 1960 when it was given respectability by the Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology professor W. Richey Hogg.  More recently, the charge has been repeated by the late historian of Southwestern Baptist Seminary, William Estep and the evangelical apologetics writer, Norman Geisler.  A better knowledge of mission history would have kept them from making this indefensible claim.

What about the Reformers? Did Luther, Calvin, and others care about evangelism and missions?

In the sixteenth century, transoceanic missionary activity required both a supportive monarchy and a national program of overseas expansion. As neither Switzerland nor Saxony were maritime nations, their transoceanic missionary efforts awaited developments beyond their control. Until those developments came, Lutheranism concentrated on the missionary penetration of adjacent territories (Poland, the Baltic countries and Holland). Swiss Reformed missionary penetration of Holland, France and Hungary ran along similar lines. And it was just as perilous work as missions to the tropics.

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