Presently, a small group of Southern Baptists have stirred a mini-controversy over the issue of Calvinism (just in time for the convention). This group (mostly affiliated with the seminaries in New Orleans and Fort Worth) have undertaken an effort to exclude or diminish the impact of Calvinism from “traditional Baptist soteriology.” I have strong opinions about the foolishness of their efforts, and I wrote a piece expressing my opinions. However, under the advice of godly people close to me, I chose to keep my opinions to myself rather than publish them for others to see. Basically, my decision was made by following the age-old adage: “If you can’t say anything nice. Don’t say anything at all.”
Fortunately, two godly men have published very helpful pieces in response to this controversy. If you are unfamiliar with the controversy, or if you are sorting your way through the details of it, you would do well to read these two pieces. Dr. Mohler’s article is remarkably gracious and generous (read it here). And Dr. Tim McKnight’s piece offers historical perspective which might ameliorate much of the animosity if heeded. Of course, many folks have responded to the Statement made by SBC Today (authored by Erick Hankins). The pro-Calvinist responses I have read have been filled with both truth and grace. I am severely unimpressed with the position statement authored by Hankins.
Again, I could not be as generous as Dr. Mohler nor as patient and cool-tempered as Dr. McKnight; so I have chosen to say nothing about the current controversy. Both of these pieces are excellent. Take confidence through the controversy that the Lord Himself will judge in grace and truth. May truth indeed prevail and may the flock of God be shepherded and protected by Spirit-filled preachers.
Greg, Thank you for your gracious words. Tim McKnight
In short, I would agree that these are dangerously divisive. They occur at the delight of the Enemy, while the vast throngs of believers become disillusioned, disaffected, or downright disbelieving in their salvation due to the importance placed upon doctrine that is lesser before the face of Jesus’s ‘come to me as a child’ (forgive my paraphrasing) command. I respect the learning and knowledge of my brothers who can heft these doctinal concepts, but I for one hope the future of the SBC churches won’t require a Min. Div. For what it’s worth,
I remain your brother in Christ (who must laugh heartily at our feeble attempts to grasp the mystery with our limited minds)