Saturday, June 16, 2012

Problems abound

I grew up in the Southern Baptist church, and still value much of that experience. I value the current Southern Seminary. Recently a group of "traditional" Southern Baptists signed a statement addressing the issue of calvinism within the Southern Baptist convention. You can read the article and statement here. (click here) There are many who have written on this well including Al Mohler and Tom Ascol. I will not address all the issues here, except to say the following: This statement has a faulty view of sin, of man, of God's Sovereignty and particularly of Romans 5. It is synergistic and appears to come across as not simply arminian, but semi-Pelagian. It also seems to fundamentally misunderstand Baptist history (basic elements such as the founding leaders of the southern baptist convention and their clear Calvinistic soteriology). This statement is not only unnecessarily divisive, it is academically inept, and communicatively lacking. I'd expect more from seasoned inerrantist pastors and PhD seminary professors. This statement would receive low marks in any credible seminary class no matter the soteriological persuasion because of its shallow nature and lack of depth and Biblical thought. My suggestion? Scratch it...recant of signing it, or take the time to develop a clearly credible argument for strong arminian thought. The entire thing however is unnecessary. I think what we have here is the Christian equivalent to Mccarthyism. My guess is the heart of the matter for the signers is not theological, but political, and may I remind the signatory party of something that I often need to remind myself of and that is that our God has not called us to political moves, but to theological humility (and acuity). I hope I am wrong here about motives... I'll continue to hope for greater unity and theological acuity within elements of the SBC...