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Mar 26, 2013

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Max

"... promoting the doctrines of grace among Southern Baptists as the non-negotiable, unilateral theological heritage of the Southern Baptist Convention ..."

Excuse me. This family argument is not about agreeing to disagree over crispy fried chicken or the original recipe for dinner ... we are talking about God's plan of salvation! How can two plans coexist in a single denomination? Our preaching/teaching ministries, missions and evangelistic outreach depend on a consistent message coming from our churches; otherwise we lose our identity ... who are we?! I understand that the two camps have got along in the past, but this new revolution has a totally different ring to it. Would someone just shoot up in here, I've got to get some relief on this! SBC, tell me which way you are going and I'll make a choice to follow or not. I'm a black and white sort of guy ... gray makes me very nervous.

Debbie Kaufman

How can two plans coexist in a single denomination?

Very easily Max. They have for over 100 years.

Max

Debbie - maybe in your neighborhood, but not in mine. Sooner or later, the mystery "majority" of Southern Baptists in the pew need to weigh in on this. Currently, this debate is being carried by less than 100 voices on either side of the fence. There are 16 million (OK, only 6-8 million) other SBC folks out there beyond the blogosphere.

peter lumpkins

Max,

"This family argument is not about agreeing to disagree over crispy fried chicken or the original recipe for dinner ... we are talking about God's plan of salvation!" I do not fully agree Max. From my view, it is not primarily about God's plan of salvation; rather it is primarily about how God's plan of salvation is applied to sinners. That's why I can legitimately and sincerely let my pastor friend down the road be any kind of Calvinist he desires and his church approves without much caring on my part (so long as they don't try to impose their Calvinism upon me and/or others, I have no rooster in the cage).

And, to state we got along some 2/3 of a century without fussing about it is only to accurately state an historical observation from the empirical evidence we have.

You are correct in suggesting "this new revolution has a totally different ring to it." That's the cow I've been milking here for six long years. Non-Calvinists are not to blame for the current controversy no matter how loud Calvinists and Calvinist sympathizers beat their pulpits and claim "We're both to blame!" When Founders Ministries shut down their organization the purpose of which is to "reform" the SBC and "recover" the "lost gospel" we may just see a a few swords turned into plowshares.

David (NAS) Rogers

Co-operation between these two sides can occur as long as each side recognizes that they each share a core essential Gospel message that one can bear witness to others which leads to their salvation by grace through faith.

When one side defines and confines their "fuller" understanding of the Gospel as the only real or Biblical Gospel that saves and thus rendering the other perspective as not really preaching the Gospel that saves, then we have conflict. When one side says that one side is "barely" saved, we have conflict.

The specifics of Calvinism, or Arminianism, or whatever is the best label for the soteriology of the current majority of Southern Baptists ("Traditional" is neither entirely accurate nor clearly descriptive enough)can be explicated though a discipleship process. The core saving Gospel is our common fellowship, the details of discipleship can be carried out in one's own autonomous congregation with full disclosure of the presuppositions and goals.

Max

Peter writes " ... it is not primarily about God's plan of salvation; rather it is primarily about how God's plan of salvation is applied to sinners."

My point as well Peter, but not as clearly stated as you. Here's a real life example illustrating my concern. I heard a young, restless, and reformed pastor in my area counsel a seeker in the following way. A man walks up to him and essentially asks "What must I do to be saved?" The young church planter's response "You don't have to do anything. God's grace has been extended to you." The man thanks him and walks away. Not exactly how I would have responded nor the countless other "traditional" Southern Baptists I know. So, what is the Gospel and who has lost it?

peter lumpkins

MAx,

Thanks, brother. I don't think either Calvinists or non-Calvinists have "lost" the gospel per se. Instead it's the breed of aggressiveness sown by men like Reisinger (and now Founders) and to some extent, John Piper, who's completely ruined our garden variety of Baptist vegetables by sowing weeds of contention among us. In addition, it's the promotion of robust confessionalism (i.e. credalism) by men like Mohler, Nettles, and others which adds even more problems for us getting along. The sheer arrogance and know-it-all attitude protruding from many young Calvinists like you and others routinely experience is but the natural result of the weeds sown in our soil...

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