I'm often reminded by my Calvinist brothers that among historic Southern Baptists, a virtual unanimity was embraced in advocating a thoroughly Calvinistic (read, thoroughly Founderistically Calvinist) understanding of biblical election. The heavy-weights are commonly listed--Mell, Mercer, Manly, Dagg, Boyce, and Broadus.
Below's selection is not from writing theologians. However, it remains indicative of collective church thinking among many Baptists of the south.
In 1893, a group of Northwest Gerogia churches assembled themsleves together and formed the Polk County Baptist Association*. The newly formed association adopted as their "Abstract of Faith" eight articles (p.164). Two particularly I will mention**.
First, Article 6 reads:
This seems like a good Calvinistic statement which possesses the usual implications of deterministic theological flair. Not so fast! Who are the ones "chosen in Christ" and upon what basis were they chosen? Those were addressed in Article 4:
Do I think the wording of the above would cause a convinced Calvinist who's dead sure 19th century Southern Baptists were just not as settled on his understanding of reformed faith as is he to flip? I do not. What I do think is that the more one examines Southern Baptist roots, the more one sees that the Calvinist (Founders Calvinist) does not possess the solid case he's insisted he does. Or, in card lingo, "he's just a' bluffin."
With that, I am...
*All citations come from A History of The Polk County Missionary Baptist Association, Larry G. Johnson, Curley Printing Company. Nashville. 1977
**A full "Abstract of Faith" for The Polk County Baptist Association can be located here