The Economist thinks so.  The magazine features an article entitled “The New Calvins: Tensions Inside One of America’s Most Successful Churches.”

A warning: The article is not well-informed theologically, so like a lot of people, it misrepresents the issues.  An example:

Calvinism emphasises that Jesus died only for the elect; Baptists believe Jesus died for everyone. Baptists, by definition, believe that baptism must be an informed choice by the individual, therefore limited to adults; Calvinists believe infants may be baptised. Calvinists think that God selects certain people for damnation; Baptists are more easy-going.

I don’t know any Baptists (I’m one) who would describe what it means to be a Baptists in these terms.  And judging by the statistics from the SBC, where baptism ages are dropping like bolders off cliffs, adult baptism is no longer the norm in most SBC churches.  And at least among Reformed Baptists, there would not be support for infant baptism.  To associate the “new Calvinists” with declining baptism ages in Baptist churches is just journalistic foolishness.  To equate the denomination with “the church” is to misunderstand even that local spirit and autonomy that Baptists love so fiercely.

By the way, when did Southern Baptists become known for being “more easy-going”?  More easy going than who?  We’re the “don’t dance, don’t smoke, don’t chew, don’t hang out with those who do” crowd.

The article does capture the alarmism that sometimes flavors these discussions.  There are those who are up in arms with fear because they neither understand nor have attempted to understand what “Calvinists” or “Reformed” persons believe.  So, a lot of fear and “boogey-man” misrepresentation exists.  On the other side, there are those Reformed types that turn everything into a battle over this or that pet doctrine and misrepresent the understanding of their Arminian brethren.  Nearly all of this takes place without an open Bible.  It’s a real shame, because such approaches are clear failures to love one another.  On both “sides” are godly, humble people desiring to follow the Lord faithfully with the light they have.  Much could be learned from one another.

The article labels Dr. Albert Mohler “the denomination’s best-known Calvinist.”  That, too, is misleading.  Among Southern Baptist Calvinist, “the denomination’s best-known Calvinist” is the apostle Paul (if you’ll pardon the anachronism).  But more to the point, the article doesn’t even mention Dr. Mohler’s effort, along with Arminian leaders like Dr. Paige Patterson, a key leader in the conservative resurgence and President of “the denomination’s flagship Arminian seminary.”  The two of these gentlemen met and amicably discussed the issue in a public forum as a means of quieting tensions that should not be there.

What the article does allude to is something of a generational divide on this topic.  Determining all the sources of that divide requires thinking beyond that featured on this blog.  But on some level, it seems to be there and it’s either a cause of worry or rejoicing depending upon your position.

At the end of the day, Southern Baptists and local church leaders had better be sure that the alarmists and the activists on either side are denied the loudest voice in these discussions.  We need to hear the Bible, believe the Bible, preach the Bible, and live the Bible.  God’s voice casts the decisive vote, not secular media or advance scouts from the tribalists among us.  Those who really care about their local churches must be those who listen long, listen well, speak sparingly, pray much, and follow the Word.