Founders Ministries was born in a prayer meeting in a Texas hotel in 1982. It’s hard to believe that nearly 30 years have passed since the original vision for this ministry was born.The change in the religious landscape–both within and beyond the Southern Baptist Convention–from then to now is remarkable.
- Then, to be a Calvinist was to be dismissed as a rare oddity. Now, it’s cool to be one.
- Then, it was common even for college and seminary professors to deny that Southern Baptists had ever been avowedly Calvinistic. Now, no self-respecting scholar denies that the theological consensus that marked the founding of the SBC was Calvinism.
- Then, regenerate church membership was a neglected doctrinal relic embedded in Baptist confessions of faith but largely ignored in both the academy and the church. Now it is at least being discussed in classrooms and convention gatherings and is being practically implemented by more and more churches.
- Then, biblical church discipline was as dead as the dodo bird. Now, many books have addressed it and many pastors are leading their churches to practice it.
- Then, convictional catholicity was considered by many Southern Baptists to be an oxymoron. Now, though it chagrins an apocolyptic minority, most Southern Baptists appreciate and are willing to fellowship with and learn from those who are not part of our denominational tribe.
- Then, you could count on one hand the number of conferences that were built on or consistent with the doctrines of grace. Now, you can practically fill every week of your calendar with such conferences in North America alone.
- Then, you could find very few Baptist college or seminary professors who believed the doctrines of grace. Now, their numbers are legion.
- Then, it was common for Calvinistic seminary students to be blacklisted by faculty and administration. Now, it is common for students to choose seminaries based on the institutions’ orientation toward the doctrines of grace.
- Then, the relationship between Calvinists and non-Calvinists tended to be marked by suspicion. Now, there is a growing number in both camps who are committed to uniting around the gospel and the Great Commission.