In recent years, there has been a resurgence of Calvinism within Baptist churches (e.g., John Piper, Albert Mohler, including hipper and younger Baptists like Mark Driscoll). When I read and hear Baptists describing “true evangelical” doctrine as Calvinist in doctrine, this makes me scratch my head and wonder.
When I was reading up on Baptist history, I found something very interesting. Thomas Helwys (along with John Smyth), two fathers of the Baptist movement, fled to Holland together with other Puritan/Separatist followers to escape the persecution of King James. Helwys later returned to England and started the first Baptist church at Spitalsfield in 1612. This was the first Baptist church recorded in history.
What theology did this Baptist church hold to? Historians describe this as a General Baptist type of church which held to an Arminian belief of free-will (as opposed to a Calvinist doctrine of predestination). So should Calvinistic Baptists continue claiming what is “truly evangelical”?