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Southern Baptist Convention Puts Out a Report on Calvinism in the SBC

June 3rd, 2013 · 8 Comments · Calvinism, Christianity

Here is a link to Christianity Today’s article on it. The article has the full text of their report ”

Will New Calvinism Report Calm Tensions among Southern Baptists?

This is a plea for unity without uniformity. It is also a plea to not let the SBC be dominated and directed exclusively by either side of the debate. Make sure to read the TENSIONS section. There was a lot of conversation behind this document. You can tell it is worded with extreme care to not misrepresent or offend anyone and to lean on commonalities as much as possible. There is also an appeal to both the rock solid truth of scriptures and the mystery of living in the tension of the unknown that I find very interesting. The TENSION section concludes with this,

We agree that God is absolutely sovereign in initiating salvation, uniting the believer to Himself, and preserving the believer to the end, but we differ as to how God expresses His sovereignty with respect to human freedom. We agree that the Holy Spirit working through the Gospel enables sinners to be saved, but we differ as to whether this grace is resistible or irresistible. We agree on the necessity of regeneration that results in God-ordained, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered obedience from the heart, but differ as to whether faith precedes regeneration or regeneration precedes faith. We agree that most Southern Baptists believe that those who die before they are capable of moral action go to heaven through the grace of God and the atonement of Christ, even as they differ as to why this is so.

These differences should spur us to search the Scriptures more dutifully, to engage in lively interaction for mutual sharpening and collective Gospel effectiveness, and to give thanks that what we hold in common far surpasses that on which we disagree. But these particular differences do not constitute a sufficient basis for division and must not be allowed to hamper the truly crucial cooperative effort of taking the Gospel to a waiting world. Southern Baptists who stand on either side of these issues should celebrate the freedom to hold their views with passion while granting others the freedom to do the same.”

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • mark

    Which part of Calvinism are they having problems with? What pray tell is new-Calvinism?

  • Bob

    A plea for unity without uniformity – well stated. And how can there be uniformity when the differences are so blatant. The parsing of “we agree . . but we differ” can’t take away the diametrically opposed perspectives that Calvinists and non-Calvinists believe with regard to scripture.

    • mattdabbs

      They are wanting to recognize it as tension without ripping the whole abc in half!

      • Bob

        Agreed that the SBC is wanting to recognize the tension between the two camps. The article was well written. But do you think that anything will change because of this “recognition of our division”? Sorry, but it somewhat comes across as a “let’s celebrate our diversity” – or, “there’s strength in our diversity”. Sorry to be little miss Debbie Downer. However, I’ve seen and experienced for years now the two distinct camps and no way to bridge the gap. Chemists have their periodic table. Christians have the Bible. And sadly, using the same “source material”, Christians are terribly divided by their beliefs. Is there a solution? I’m not so sure.

  • mark

    So basically They all need to try to play nicely in the sandbox while all remaining in the same sandbox? I guess time for expansion of the sandbox. We all know that in any given town there will likely be more than one church of quite a few denominations. I believe that there have been 27 splits within the churches of Christ and I’m pretty sure the Baptists are up there close by if not in first place. If they can keep that from splitting the sbc, then the church of Christ has some work to do on repairing some splits. Humpy dumpy?

  • mark

    Humpty Dumpty?

  • Jerry Starling

    Questions about Calvinism certainly fall into the category of “opinions” as in Romans 14, where Paul dealt with actual practices instead of metaphysical concepts. If we must agree in all of our opinions about exactly how God does what all Christians agree that He does, unity is a chimera and beyond our grasp.

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