Analyzing the Growth of Reformed Theology/Neo Calvinism in the Evangelical Free Church of America: EFCA West

Today I am rolling out the results of Neo-Calvinism/Reformed theology in the largest district of the Evangelical Free Church of America – EFCA West.  This is the fourth district I have undertaken as I work through this denomination. I believe in the end that I will be writing about the theological hijacking of a denomination.

“Reformed theology, on the other hand, teaches about a god who is GOD. The kind of objections that seem to motivate Arminianism are disallowed by the very presuppositions Calvinism understands the Bible to teach about God. This God is sovereign and exercises His sovereignty. This God is centered on Himself. And this God is understood to be morally good in being so Self-centered. In fact, it would be evil, wrong, deceptive for Him to be centered on anything other than His own glory. There is no apology about this.”

Mark Dever from Capitol Hill Baptist

“Calvinists can give really strong impressions that those who disagree with them are both unfaithful and that they theologically and intellectually lack courage. And that trend is relatively new.”

Scott McKnight

“We aspire to be a joy-filled community that treasures God in Christ supremely, obeys the Bible completely, loves others selflessly, and spreads the gospel intentionally. We do this through expositional preaching, geographically-based community groups, and smaller discipleship groups, where we most intensely attend to each other’s souls. We all pursue these aspirations through specific ministries for youth and children.”

How Salt Lake City Evangelical Free describes itself on 9 Marks Church Finder

“Del Rey Church is honored to affiliate herself with the following networks: 9 Marks, the Gospel Coalition and the Evangelical Free Church of America.  These networks reflect our heart for the gospel and ministry in the church.  You can find our church listed on the websites of both of these great networks. “

Del Ray Church on Playa Del Ray on its association with 9 Marks and The Gospel Coalition

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave  his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 

John 3:16 NLT

 

Before I get into this post which is the second of two posts today by the way I want to define what is Neo-Calvinism which has a strong Neo-Puritan bent.

  • Neo-Calvinism has authoritarian leadership which has little if any accountability. For example I present issues with Mark Driscoll and C.J. Mahaney as an example.
  • It embraces a complementarianism  structure that is patriarchy centered.
  • Its rooted more in the Old Testament than the New Testament and deals with dominionism issues.
  • Views the church as the final authority and often avoids civil responsibility or accountability. For this example I would present Sovereign Grace and the Acts 29 network in how parts of it functions.
  • Election which is more of a determinism or fatalism.

Brad Sargent has a good list here, plus I also used that Tim Challies post in discussing John Piper. For further reference Roger Olson wrote a good post a while back that I will also link to in today’s post.

 

Neo-Calvinism in the Evangelical Free Church of America Project at The Wondering Eagle

At The Wondering Eagle I am undertaking a massive project of which today’s post is the fourth installment. This project will carry over for at least a year and I’ll have my work cut out for me. What I am doing is research and write about each district in the Evangelical Free Church of America.  To the very best of my ability I am going to find out which churches are Reformed/Neo-Calvinist and get some numbers to calculate the growth of Reformed Theology throughout the denomination. There are 17 districts and over 1,300 churches throughout the United States. At the end of this project I will use the numbers I have created and write a final post. Today I am unveiling the results from the fourth and largest district – EFCA West.  Unless I am mistaken but numbers are fluid…there are 213 churches in EFCA West.

I will unveil my numbers at the bottom of this post but to give you some understanding let me explain how I arrived at my numbers, or how I determined the baseline.

  • If a church is affiliated with The Gospel Coalition, Acts 29 or 9 Marks it is included in the list. There are a good sized number of The Gospel Coalition churches in EFCA West. For example in Albuquerque, New Mexico you have Hope Evangelical Free which is led by Josh Swanson at N.E. Heights, and Ryan Bestelmeyer on the West Side. In EFCA West which falls in California you have several such as Anthem Church in Thousand Oaks which is led by Evan Regenstreif and Matt Larson. Taft Avenue Community Church in Orange, which is pastored by Bob Burris affiliated with The Gospel Coalition. An example of a 9 Marks church is Evangelical Free Church of Salt Lake City which is led by Steve Clark Acts 29 is also included in this district to include The Fields in Carlsbad or Anchor Community of Long Beach. The Fields is led by David Fandey while Anchor Community Church is led by Mike Gunn.
  • Other churches that are reformed but not affiliated with a Neo-Calvinist network are included. In these situations I examined the doctrinal statement and website and came to the conclusion they are reformed. Two examples I will use to illustrate this are Red Mountain Community Church in Mesa, Arizona which isn’t affiliated with any Neo-Calvinist network but has the following blog post stating how they are, but how others would not consider them to be in that camp. Another example is Clovis Evangelical Free which by looking at the resources, and blog posts places this church in the Neo-Calvinist camp.
  • In other situations I examined the recommended resources to see what books either the church or the Senior Pastor is reading, consuming or pushing. For example take Newark Community Church which is not affiliated with The Gospel Coalition or 9 Marks. Yet, Jeff Roets as the Senior Pastor proudly identifies with John MacArthur, and because of that and glancing at his blog, I put Newark Community Church in the Neo-Calvinist/Reformed camp.
  • In other situations in examining the website there was not enough information to go on, so I did not include them in the list. If there was reason to doubt, then I did.  Others were extremely basic and didn’t share enough information to make a determination.
  • You will note below that there were some churches where I could not find their website or Facebook page. It could be they don’t have one or it could be that they have closed. An example of this is Yosemite Bible Church in Manteca. They don’t have a website and when I called their number I was told it was out of service. But if I can’t find their website I put an asterisk next to their church name.

One thing I would also like to say, if there is any mistake in the analysis such as a church being listed as reformed when it is not, or when it is and I missed it; well I invite feedback and correction. Just email me at wonderingeagle261@gmail.com and I will correct it. Also for the record I am neither Arminian nor Reformed, I am somewhere in the middle. The current crop of Neo-Calvinist leaders such as John Piper, C.J. Mahaney Mark Dever and their minions are deeply corrupt and I wouldn’t trust them to feed my goldfish. If you want to read the problems with 9 Marks this is one of the most read posts at my blog. It’s called9 Marks : What is it? How Mark Dever Undermined it and Made it Absolutely Worthless.” Plus there is this post that explains how Neo-Calvinism could be made healthy. That said, there are a couple of reformed individuals I respect such as Matt Redmond, and Wade Burleson. I respect Matt Redmond and Wade for their integrity, leadership, charity, love and conviction. While I don’t consider myself to be reformed at all, I am willing to listen and consider what they have to say. Having explained all that here is why I reject Reformed Theology. I need to write a long, detailed post on it, but Reformed Theology makes the problem of evil worse. It leads to a corrupt God, and it ultimately makes acts of evil as acts of worship if God foreordains every act, especially as there is no free will. It puts a whole new twist on situations from a shooting in an elementary school in Connecticut, to flying a 767 into 1 World Trade on September 11, 2001. It also removes accountability from people especially if the Lord foreordains every act. In short order you have determinism which is all John Piper is about. I’ve written about the problem of evil here and how I found a working answer to it for me. In the process I also thank Pam Palmer and the other Sovereign Grace families who filed a “Gospel Centered Lawsuit” against C.J. Mahaney for teaching me as to how you deal with the problem of evil. Having explained all that below you will find all the churches in EFCA West, a link to their website, and if they fall in the Neo-Calvinism camp.

 

Utah

  1. Cache Valley Bible Fellowship (Logan)
  2. Mountain Life Evangelical Free (Park City)
  3. Mountain Valley Fellowship (Heber City)
  4. Desert Edge Christian Chapel (Huntington)
  5. Evangelical Free Church of Salt Lake City (Salt Lake City) (Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  6. Center Point Church (Orem)
  7. Hispanic Delta EFC (Delta)*
  8. Lifeline Community (West Jordan)
  9. Lifeline South (Draper) (Moved to West campus)
  10. Cornerstone Evangelical Free (Midvale)

New Mexico

  1. Hope Evangelical Free (Albuquerque) (Reformed – TGC)
  2. Faith Evangelical Free (Rio Rancho) (Reformed  – TGC) 
  3. Center City Evangelical Free (Albuquerque) (Reformed – 9 Marks)
  4. First Evangelical Free Church (Las Cruces)

Central and Southern California

  1. Grace Bible Church (Arroyo Grande)
  2. The Harbor (Santa Maria)
  3. Felton Bible Church (Felton)
  4. New Beginnings (Felton)*
  5. Cayucos Community Evangelical Free Church (Cayucos)
  6. Bay Life Community Church (San Mateo)
  7. Valley Christian Fellowship (Santa Ynez)
  8. Cornerstone Community Church of Atascadero (Atascadero)  (Reformed – 9 Marks)  
  9. Santa Margarita Community Church (Santa Margarita)
  10. Shoreline Community Church (Santa Barbara)
  11. Chinese EFC (Santa Barbara)
  12. Friends of Farm Drive (San Jose
  13. Newark Community Church (Newark) (Reformed)
  14. Asian Indian Church Ministries (Newark) (Reformed)
  15. World Harvest Fellowship (Fremont)
  16. Bridges Community Mandarin Ministry (Fremont)
  17. Bridges Deaf Fellowship (Fremont)
  18. Bridges Community Filipino Ministry (Fremont)
  19. World Harvest Fellowship (Berryessa)
  20. Arise Church (Fremont)
  21. Resonate Church (Fremont) (Reformed – TGC, Acts 29)
  22. Hillside Evangelical Free (San Jose)
  23. Iglesia Libre en Cristo (San Jose)
  24. Anthem Church (Thousand Oaks)(Reformed – TGC)
  25. Neuva Vida (Newbury Park) (Reformed)
  26. The Bridge (Newbury Park) (Reformed)
  27. The 101 Church (Camarillo)(Reformed – TGC)
  28. Anthem Church Camarillo (Camarillo)(Reformed – TGC)
  29. Chapel City Church (Camarillo)
  30. World Harvest Fellowship – Tri Valley (Pleasanton)
  31. Pleasanton Evangelical Free Church (Pleasanton)
  32. Bridges Community Church (Fremont)
  33. Faith Community Church (Fillmore)
  34. La Promesa de Jesus (Fillmore)
  35. Simi Valley Evangelical Free (Simi Valley)
  36. World Harvest Fellowship – Tracy (Tracy)
  37. World Harvest Fellowship – East Point (Tracy)*
  38. Nova Community Church (Torrance)
  39. Del Ray Hills EFC (Playa Del Ray)(Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  40. Oceanside Christian Fellowship (El Segundo) (Reformed)
  41. Beth Ariel Messianic Congregation (Woodland Hills)  
  42. Anthem Church Ventura (Ventura) (Reformed – TGC)
  43. Restored Church (San Diego)(Reformed)
  44. City Bible Church an Evangelical Free (Long Beach)
  45. Anchor Community Church of Long Beach (Long Beach) (Reformed – Acts 29)
  46. Heart of Faith Church (National City)
  47. Paseo del Rey Church (Chula Vista) (Reformed)
  48. The Bridge Bible Fellowship (Reseda) (Reformed)
  49. Puente de Vida (Reseda)
  50. Evangelical Church of Los Banos (Los Banos)
  51. Catalyst LTM Church (Carson)
  52. Frazier Park Evangelical Free Church (Frazier Park)*
  53. Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship (Newhall) (Reformed – TGC)
  54. African Christian Community Church (Los Angeles)
  55. First Evangelical Free Church (Los Angeles)
  56. Hispanic Evangelical Free Church (Los Angeles)
  57. Yosemite Bible Church (Manteca)*
  58. Christ Bible Church (North Hills) (Reformed)
  59. Evangelical Free of Huntington Beach (Huntington Beach)
  60. Limitless Church (San Diego)
  61. Evangelical Free of Garden Grove (Garden Grove)
  62. Faith Community Church (Santa Clarita)
  63. World Harvest Fellowship – Stockton (Stockton)
  64. Lake Murray Community Church (La Mesa)
  65. Lake Murray Community Church Ministerio Hispano (La Mesa)
  66. Seacoast Community Church (Encinitas)
  67. Cypress Ranch (Cypress)
  68. Berea Bible Church (North Hollywood)
  69. Church by the Sea (Laguna Beach)
  70. Chinese Evangelical Free Church (Monterey Park) (Reformed – TGC)
  71. Talega Life Church (San Clemente)
  72. Iglesia Biblica Agape (Buena Park)
  73. The Fields (Carlsbad) (Reformed – TGC, Acts 29)
  74. North Coast Church Carlsbad Campus (Carlsbad)
  75. Prescott Evangelical Free Church (Modesto)
  76. Emmanuel Church of Burbank (Burbank)
  77. La Venor del Senor (Burbank)
  78. Grace Evangelical Free of Norwalk (Norwalk)
  79. Church of the Canyons (Santa Clarita) (Reformed)
  80. Crossroads Church (Turlock)
  81. Christ Community Church of Laguna Hills (Laguna Hills) (Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  82. Enclave Community Church (Turlock)
  83. Grace Evangelical Free Church (La Mirada)(Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  84. The Rock Church of Turlock (Turlock)
  85. Sunland Neighborhood Church (Sunland)
  86. Lighthouse Family Church (Turlock)
  87. Antioch City Church (Highland Park)
  88. North Coast Church (Vista)
  89. Renew Church of OC (Fullerton)
  90. Camino Real (Vista)
  91. First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton (Fullerton)
  92. Taft Avenue Community Church (Orange) (Reformed – TGC)
  93. Hill Country Community Church (Lakeside)
  94. Iglesia Biblica Fundemental (La Habra)
  95. Green Valley Church (San Diego)
  96. Maple Evangelical Church (Fullerton)
  97. Riverview Evangelical Free Church (Bonsall)
  98. Bethany Church (Sierra Madre)
  99. Arcadia Bible Church (Arcadia) (Reformed – 9 Marks)  
  100. Richfield Community Church (Yorba Linda)
  101. Calvary Community Church of Brea (Brea)
  102. Foothills Evangelical Free Church (Rancho Santa Margarita)
  103. Ambassador Church (Brea) (Reformed – 9 Marks)
  104. North Coast Hispanic Ministry (Vista)
  105. Grace Community Church (Wasco)
  106. Northpoint Evangelical Free (Corona) (Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  107. Covina Evangelical Free (Covina)
  108. Commission Church (Pomona)
  109. Creekside Evangelical Free Church of Merced (Merced)
  110. Evangelical Free Church of Walnut (Walnut)
  111. North Coast Church Fallbrook Campus (Fallbrook)
  112. Cornerstone Church of Escondido (Escondido)
  113. Evangelical Free Church of Diamond Bar (Diamond Bar)
  114. Dove Creek Bible Church (Bakersfield)
  115. The Bridge (Fresno)
  116. The Bridge Deaf Ministry (Fresno)
  117. Trinity Community Church (Lancaster) (Reformed – TGC)
  118. Iglesia Biblica Logos Inc. (Lancaster)
  119. The Crossroads Church ( Copperopolis)
  120. Grace Evangelical Free (Manifee) (Reformed)
  121. Vantage Point Church (Corona)
  122. Hispanic Ministry of Lake Street Fellowship (Madera)*
  123. Lifesong Community Church (Chino) (Reformed)
  124. Oakhurst Evangelical Free Church (Oakhurst) (Reformed) 
  125. Quail Lake Community Church (Sanger)
  126. Visalia Evangelical Free Church (Visalia)
  127. Cross Roads EFC (Fontana)*
  128. Clovis Evangelical Free Church (Clovis)(Reformed)  
  129. Crossepointe Church (Sanger)
  130. Tulare Evangelical Free Church (Tulare)
  131. The Orchard Bible Fellowship (Kingsburg)
  132. Iglesia El Puenta (Fresno)
  133. Valley Evangelical Free (Hemet)
  134. Groveland Evangelical Free (Groveland)
  135. Mount Carmel Community (Glennville)
  136. Rocky Hill Community Church (Exeter)
  137. CrossWinds Church (Moreno Valley)
  138. Hillside Community Church (Porterville)
  139. Colton Community Church (Colton)
  140. Twin Lakes Community Church (Palmdale)
  141. Reedley Evangelical Free Church (Reedley)
  142. Southwest Community Church (Indian Wells)
  143. Grace Bible Church (Helendale)
  144. Ekklesia HD (Apple Valley)
  145. Valley of the Falls Community Church (Forest Falls)
  146. Venture Church (Beaumont) (Reformed – TGC)
  147. Twain Harte Bible Church (Twain Harte)
  148. Woodlands Community Bible Church (Crestline)
  149. Trinity Church (Redlands)(Reformed – TGC)
  150. Community Bible Church (San Bernardino)
  151. Southwest Comunidad Cristiana (Indian Wells)
  152. Hispanic Ministry of Grace Church (Desert Hot Springs)
  153. Grace Church (Desert Hot Springs)
  154. Iglesia Una Voz Que Clama En El Desierto (Indio)
  155. Evangelical Free Church (Yucca Valley)
  156. Grace Community Church (Mammoth Lakes) (Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  157. Bishop Creek Community Church (Bishop)

 

Arizona

  1. Journey of Faith Fellowship (Yuma) (Reformed)
  2. Evangelical Free Church of Green Valley (Green Valley)
  3. Compass Church (Goodyear)
  4. GracePointe an Evangelical Free Church (Tuscan)
  5. New Hope Fellowship (Sierra Vista)
  6. Iglesia Nueva Esperanze (Sierra Madre)
  7. Grace Church of Sahuarita (Sahuarita)
  8. Sonoita Hills Community Church (Sonoita)
  9. City Bible Church (Bullhead City) (Reformed)
  10. New Hope Fellowship (Sun West City)
  11. Journey Church (Kingman) (Reformed – TGC)
  12. Aspire Church (Surprise) (Reformed)
  13. Community Bible Church (Benson)*
  14. Hope Community Church (Tucson)
  15. The Journey an Evangelical Free (Tucson)
  16. Saguaro Canyon EFC (Tucson)
  17. Iglesia Biblica Manantial (Tucson)*
  18. Northwest Bible Church (Tucson)
  19. Sanding Stones Community Church (Phoenix)
  20. True North Church (Phoenix)
  21. Chinese Evangelical Free Church (Glendale)
  22. Desert Hills Evangelical Free Church (Phoenix)(Reformed)
  23. Iglesia Biblica Pan de Vida (Chandler)
  24. Faith Church of the Valley (Chandler)
  25. El Oasis Iglesia Evangelica Libre (Tucson)*
  26. Jesus First Church (Phoenix)
  27. Chandler Bible Church (Chandler)
  28. One in Christ Church (Cottonwood)
  29. Cornerstone Evangelical Free (Prescott)
  30. Grace Church (Mesa)
  31. Red Mountain Community Church (Mesa) (Reformed)
  32. Mountain Vista Bible Church (Mesa)
  33. Iglesia Comunidad Christiana Shiloh  (Phoenix)
  34. Shiloh Community Church (Phoenix)

Southern Nevada

  1. Dynasty Church (North Las Vegas)
  2. The Stream (Las Vegas) (Reformed – TGC)

El Paso, Texas

  1. Beth El Bible Evangelical Free (El Paso)
  2. Rey De Reyes (El Paso)
  3. Centro Biblico La Luz (El Paso)

Southern Idaho

  1. Valley Christian Fellowship (Grand View)*
  2. Trinity Evangelical Free Church (Boise)
  3. Magic Valley Evangelical Free Church (Jerome)

 

Percentages of EFCA West which are Neo-Calvinist/Reformed

In EFCA West 22% of the district is Neo-Calvinist or Reformed. While EFCA West includes the bulk of California, it doesn’t include all of it. In order to get the total percentage of California I am going to have to work through 56 churches in the Western District which covers northern California. Idaho and Nevada are incomplete at this time as I have to work through other districts. Having said that here is the breakdown of the main states, most of California, and the other states.

  1. California is 25% Neo-Calvinist
  2. Arizona is 18% Neo-Calvinist
  3. New Mexico is 75% Neo-Calvinist
  4. Idaho is 0% Neo-Calvinist
  5. Nevada 50% is Neo-Calvinist
  6. El Paso,Texas is 0% Neo-Calvinist
  7. Utah 10% is Neo-Calvinist

Its important to note that 3 Evangelical Free churches are also Acts 29 churches in California. Most of the 9 Marks churches are n California as well. What is also interesting is that while Arizona has a number of Neo-Calvinist/Reformed churches they appear to be more independent and not affiliated with 9 Marks, The Gospel Coalition or any other organization.

 

Churches that are Neo-Calvinist/Reformed in EFCA West

  1. Evangelical Free Church of Salt Lake City (Salt Lake City) (Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  2. Hope Evangelical Free (Albuquerque) (Reformed – TGC)
  3. Faith Evangelical Free (Rio Rancho) (Reformed  – TGC)
  4. Center City Evangelical Free (Albuquerque) (Reformed – 9 Marks) 
  5. Cornerstone Community Church of Atascadero (Atascadero)  (Reformed – 9 Marks)  
  6. Newark Community Church (Newark) (Reformed)
  7. Asian Indian Church Ministries (Newark) (Reformed)
  8. Resonate Church (Fremont) (Reformed – TGC, Acts 29)
  9. Anthem Church (Thousand Oaks)(Reformed – TGC)
  10. Neuva Vida (Newbury Park) (Reformed)
  11. The Bridge (Newbury Park) (Reformed)
  12. The 101 Church (Camarillo)(Reformed – TGC)
  13. Anthem Church Camarillo (Camarillo)(Reformed – TGC)
  14. Del Ray Hills EFC (Playa Del Ray)(Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  15. Oceanside Christian Fellowship (El Segundo) (Reformed)
  16. Anthem Church Ventura (Ventura) (Reformed – TGC)
  17. Anchor Community Church of Long Beach (Long Beach) (Reformed – Acts 29)
  18. Paseo del Rey Church (Chula Vista) (Reformed)
  19. The Bridge Bible Fellowship (Reseda) (Reformed)
  20. Living Hope Evangelical Fellowship (Newhall) (Reformed – TGC)
  21. Christ Bible Church (North Hills) (Reformed)
  22. Chinese Evangelical Free Church (Monterey Park) (Reformed – TGC)
  23. The Fields (Carlsbad) (Reformed – TGC, Acts 29)
  24. Church of the Canyons (Santa Clarita) (Reformed)
  25. Christ Community Church of Laguna Hills (Laguna Hills) (Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  26. Grace Evangelical Free Church (La Mirada)(Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  27. Taft Avenue Community Church (Orange) (Reformed – TGC)
  28. Arcadia Bible Church (Arcadia) (Reformed – 9 Marks)  
  29. Ambassador Church (Brea) (Reformed – 9 Marks)
  30. Northpoint Evangelical Free (Corona) (Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  31. Trinity Community Church (Lancaster) (Reformed – TGC)
  32. Grace Evangelical Free (Manifee) (Reformed)
  33. Lifesong Community Church (Chino) (Reformed)
  34. Oakhurst Evangelical Free Church (Oakhurst) (Reformed) 
  35. Clovis Evangelical Free Church (Clovis)(Reformed)  
  36. Venture Church (Beaumont) (Reformed – TGC)
  37. Trinity Church (Redlands)(Reformed – TGC)
  38. Grace Community Church (Mammoth Lakes) (Reformed – TGC, 9 Marks)
  39. Journey of Faith Fellowship (Yuma) (Reformed)
  40. City Bible Church (Bullhead City) (Reformed)
  41. Journey Church (Kingman) (Reformed – TGC)
  42. Aspire Church (Surprise) (Reformed)
  43. Desert Hills Evangelical Free Church (Phoenix)(Reformed)
  44. Red Mountain Community Church (Mesa) (Reformed)
  45. The Stream (Las Vegas) (Reformed – TGC)
  46. Restored Church (San Diego)(Reformed)

 

One thought on “Analyzing the Growth of Reformed Theology/Neo Calvinism in the Evangelical Free Church of America: EFCA West

  1. Pingback: Did Tim Sherreitt Theologically Hijack The Bridge of Newbury Park (Formerly Evangelical Free of Conejo Valley) When Steve Larson Left? | Wondering Eagle

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