Home > Current Events > Barna can’t find what’s obvious online, duh

Barna can’t find what’s obvious online, duh

Surely I’m the last person on the World Wide Web to hear about The Barna Group’s nondiscovery of the Reformed resurgence [link]. After all if Darryl Hart is talking about it [link] it must be old news.

The takeaway is that in a sample of 600 pastors over survey years (2000, 2002, 2003, and 2010) the percentage calling themselves Calvinist/Reformed stayed stable at about 30%; ditto for those calling themselves Weslyan/Arminian. There’s variation year over year, but that’s to be expected if study director David Kinnaman is changing his sample every year. Both kinds of churches have grown over the last ten years:

The Barna study also examined whether Calvinist churches have grown over the last decade. In 2000, Calvinist churches typically drew 80 adult attenders per week, which compares to a median of 90 attenders in the 2010 study, about 13% higher than 10 years ago. Wesleyan and Arminian churches have also reported growth during that period, increasing from a median of 85 adults to 100 currently, reflecting an 18% change over the last ten years.

This against a U.S. total population that grew 10% over the same ten years [link].

I don’t have much to add here. I am not sure that a pastor self-identification survey is the best way to identify a change in doctrinal positions; I mean, both Robert Schuller and Harold Camping are still nominally Reformed, aren’t they?

Regardless, if just for the sake of argument Barna is right, it certainly seems like there are a lot more Reformed types online. And I’d be interested in seeing an explanation for that.


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