Saturday, June 23, 2012

The SBC and their awful soteriological stance

If you have not been following the meeting of the SBC this past week in New Orleans you should be because finally the SBC is trying to talk theology! I have been reading all that I can that has been written about the release of "A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation." In my opinion it is a miserable failure and a sorry attempt at explaining what "Traditional" Southern Baptists have always believed, and even worse a defense of "man's free will."

My soteriology is opposed to the statement they released; in fact what I just taught on Wednesday to the youth at VBS would contradict what the statement says. I must admit that I am a 5 point calvinist and I do believe in double predestination. You can read this article about double predestination, but you may need to read it more than once, I have read it at least 15 times and absolutely love it every time!

Quick note here, I have never publicly identified myself as a calvinist at my current church, not in my teaching or preaching. The reason, as expressed by the authors in their premable to the "A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation", is because of a mischaracterization of calvinists. It is painfully obvious that the authors of the preamble do not understand calvinism. With that said, I though it was wise not to use the label calvinist while publicly teaching and preaching because most regular church folks do not actually know what it is, but only know what others have (negatively) said. I have taught all five points at church without using the acronym TULIP, I have preached calvinism, in fact my first sermon ever was on limited atonement. I desire to teach what the bible teaches and I will continue to (publicly) refrain from the labels. The reason I brought it up today is so that when you read the statement (and you MUST) you know what calvinism is, which is to say it is what I have been teaching you all. Also, for the 2 of you that read this blog you already knew I was a calvinist.

Put VERY simply what it means to be a calvinist is this: I do not believe Jesus really died for everybody and that His death was meant to atone for a particular multitude of people,which means for those whom God elected, chose and predestined. I never say "Jesus died for you" because if you die and go to hell then Jesus did not die for you. I will always say "Jesus died to take the punishment for all who would repent and believe" the qualifier " for all who would repent and believe" is not "semantical gymnastics" it is simply theologically precise language that lets the "hearer" or "reader" know that the efficacy of Christs' death is only for those who do in fact repent and believe. Salvation is not a giant pizza we are all free to take from if we want to.

Of course we know that no man can come to the father unless he is drawn (John 6:44) and that one must be born again (John 3:3). Therefore in order to "repent and believe" something outside of your power must happen in order to enable you to repent and believe, and we call that regeneration.

I must stop before this post gets too long. Here is the bottom line, read the statement a few times.

Then read this wonderful critique of the statement by Tom Ascol, it is long and some may find it exhausting to read because the language may be difficult to you. When you read something you don't understand, stop and look it up or email me. For example you will read about Arminianism, Pelagianism, Semi-Pelagianism and if you do not know those terms read about it here and here. Theologians choose their words (and the order of their words) VERY, VERY carefully, so don't be put off when Tom dwells on one word, or a certain word order.

Finally, don't be one of those people that accuses others of playing word games, and focusing on non-essentials, as some have said to me. Being theologically clear necessitates being semantically precise, grammatically appropriate and syntactically accurate.

Is it just sementics or is it just some antics?
Due ewe sea words madder?
Now go read!

13 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:59 PM

    "I must admit that I am a 5 point calvinist and I do believe in double predestination."

    Then go back to the Presbyterian church where you belong stupid.

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    1. I guess you missed the keep it classy part, but I came come an SBC church to an SBC church, but the question is did I choose to make the move . . . l

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  2. Anonymous6:01 PM

    "Quick note here, I have never publicly identified myself as a calvinist at my current church, not in my teaching or preaching."

    This is exactly why non-Calvinists can't stand Calvinists: you're all dishonest liars trying to take over denominations you don't belong in. You pretend you aren't a Calvinist, indoctrinate the youth with Calvinism, dare anyone to call you a Calvinist, and then deny being one! You are lying servants of Satan.

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    1. I have never denied being a calvinist, nor do I pretend not to be one. The tone of your response is exactly why I don't stand up and say "hey guys I am a calvinist". Your spirited comment is worth pursuing, please email me I would love to talk with you more.

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  3. Anonymous6:02 PM

    "Finally, don't be one of those people that accuses others of playing word games, and focusing on non-essentials, as some have said to me. Being theologically clear necessitates being semantically precise, grammatically appropriate and syntactically accurate."

    And yet you lie to your congregation and pretend to not be a Calvinist. So much for theological clarity, hypocrite.

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    1. I do not lie or pretend not to be a calvinist. I am very clear on what I believe, but I guess according to you since I don't use the label calvinist or the acronym TULIP I am lying and a hypocrite. Your reaction is exactly why I don't use the labels. People like you think very negatively about calvinists and I bet you would treat me like dirt. Obviously you and the others who commented are confused and have hurt the name of Christ more than I have with my calvinism; that is if you are a follower of Christ.

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  4. Anonymous11:48 PM

    This will take much prayer , study, and wisdom to read and cross-reference........bt, praise God, you appear to be up to three ppl reading your blog......bmbm

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Keep it classy . . .