Debate Worth Having: How Singlehanded Is God’s Grace?

Matt Smethurst | August 26, 2014

Did you hear about the Calvinism debate? No, not that powwow in the corner of a seminary cafeteria near you. I mean the one on August 27, 2014, in Chicago. Hosted by Sojourn Network and moderated by Christianity Today editor Mark Galli, the debate featured Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones squaring off against Austin Fischer and Brian Zahnd on the topic of the former duo’s new book PROOF: Finding Freedom Through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace(Zondervan). Regardless of where you lean, the doctrines of grace are not an irrelevant subject to discuss. Indeed, what we believe about God’s sovereignty and human responsibility in salvation will have profoundly practical implications in our lives.

I talked with Montgomery (pastor of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville) and Jones (professor at Southern Seminary) about whether Spurgeon was wrong to call Calvinism the gospel, the beauty and practicality of grace, advice for young pastors, and more. At the end of the interview we've included the video from the debate.

“Calvinism is the gospel,” quipped the great 19th-century Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon. Was he mistaken? What did he mean?

Montgomery: It’s become near heresy to disagree with Spurgeon, so we’ll try to…

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