New Calvinist Paper Tiger?

I was a bit taken aback today to see that new research is indicating that the Calvinist resurgence has made no statistical difference in the theological allegiances of American Protestant churches. When the researchers at Barna Group crunched the numbers they showed that the percentage of Reformed churches had not changed in the past decade. The conclusion seems to be that Reformed leaders may now be better or at least noisier communicators. Says study director, David Kinnaman:

“there is no discernable evidence from this research that there is a Reformed shift among U.S. congregation leaders over the last decade. Whatever momentum surrounds Reformed churches and the related leaders, events and associations has not gone much outside traditional boundaries or affected the allegiances of most today’s church leaders. It is important to note that the influence of Reformed churches might also be measured through other metrics that are currently unavailable, such as the theological certainty of self-described adherents, their level of acceptance toward those who are not Calvinist, and the new methods Reformed leaders are using to market their views to their peers and to the public.”

There’s more reaction including from Ed Stetzer who believes there is a Reformed/Calvinist resurgence, but that it’s still too small to show up in Barna’s samples, and Skye Jethani who seems to shrug and wonder if there’s anything new under the sun.

I would agree that the Reformed camp is definitely more organized, more vocal, and – surely some will not like me saying this – making more of an effort to be relevant. Whether this translates into more adherents remains to be seen. At the same time, I fully expect more from the Arminian tradition to start robustly proclaiming their own views. Thoughts?