The reaction to the Barna survey, purporting to show that there has been no discernible growth in those who self-identify their churches as Reformed or Calvinistic, was somewhat predictable. Critics of the so-called “New Calvinism”—both Reformed and non-Reformed detractors—highlighted the survey and seemed to take Barna’s methodology at face value.

Jamie Smith, who claims to have “no dog in this fight,” says he is “leery about contributing to that attention, but also feel[s] compelled to point out the weaknesses and shoddy social science behind this ‘report.'” A clip:

This is not social scientific data that would ever pass muster in the scholarly field of sociology of religion (as represented, for instance, by work done in the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion). Indeed, I find it hard not to find this almost laughable in its methodological naivete and anecdotal nature.

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