Ethics: Anti-Calvinism Resolution at the Southern Baptist Convention

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What would you do Wednesday!

The annual Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) meeting is two months away1 so a situation that could take place during this meeting may provide an interesting discussion.

In order to help those who are not Southern Baptists better participate in this topic, a few citations expressing Southern Baptist positions are provided below.

Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called The Baptist Faith and Message. It serves as a guide to understanding who they are.2

There is nothing in the Baptist Faith and Message that excludes Calvinists nor is the aim to do so. The SBC actually answers the question of Calvinism on the website.

7. What is the SBC’s official view of the doctrine commonly known as “Calvinism?”

The Southern Baptist Convention has not taken an official stance on either Calvinism or Arminianism. If you surveyed Southern Baptists across the nation you would likely find adherents at both ends of the spectrum with plenty at each point in between.3

SBC resolutions may be presented at the annual meeting for the messengers present to vote on. Resolutions pass and fail each year.

Two position statements regard SBC resolutions follow.

A resolution has traditionally been defined as an expression of opinion or concern, as compared to a motion, which calls for action. A resolution is not used to direct an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention to specific action other than to communicate the opinion or concern expressed.4

And.

21. How do I find out the official SBC stance on various issues?

The Southern Baptist Convention makes official statements regarding specific issues by means of resolutions passed at our annual gatherings each June.  Southern Baptist polity views these resolutions as expressions of opinions or concern which are representative of the messengers attending the meeting, but are not binding upon any individual church or successive Convention.  Generally speaking, resolutions are snapshots of views widely held among Southern Baptists at the time and in the social contest in which they are passed, but they are not deemed to be doctrinal or creedal (tests of fellowship).5

Now the situation!

A vote for an anti-Calvinist resolution comes to the SBC messengers. The last two lines of the resolution states (bear with me as this is easier than writing a whole resolution):

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to be actively involved in educating students and adults concerning the destructive nature of Calvinism and Reformed theology; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge that no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any entity or committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that is a Calvinist or supports/promotes Calvinism.

How would you vote and why?

Be nice!

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rhology April 18, 2012 at 11:08 am

Heck no. True or false, Calvinism is not destructive.
If they wanted to rip HYPERCalvinism that’d be something else… I’d vote FOR it b/c that would be a true statement. HYPERCalvinism is heresy.

2 Jason Hilliard April 18, 2012 at 11:10 am

Woah… is this for real? Surely that will fail? There are far too many within the SBC who are adherents to the Doctrines of Grace who are well known Pastors and such that this would great affect the leadership of those men going forward.

3 Jared Moore April 18, 2012 at 11:20 am

I would vote “YES!” because the dirty Calvitists are ruining my SBC.

4 Mark B. April 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

I would vote against it as it is not in the spirit of what makes the SBC the SBC. It enforces a doctrinal position alien to the BF&M on the entities without changing the BF&M. While I am a Calvinist, the local flavor that is inherent to baptist life is a beautiful thing, such a resolution would delocalize the SBC and move it toward a top down hierarchical denomination.

5 John Downey April 18, 2012 at 11:30 am

I’d vote against it…there is nothing “destructive” about Calvinism. In fact much of the BF&M would agree with it and furthermore nothing in the BF&M disagrees with true reformed theology.

6 Tom Shelton April 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

Hmmm….this has the feel of a trial balloon. What are you planning Mark?

7 Hunter Bradley April 18, 2012 at 11:44 am

For them to eventually exclude Calvinists wouldn’t they have to change the BF&M because they wouldn’t agree with it the way it stands…. in so doing don’t they then disagree with it now, which proves they aren’t southern Baptists?

And to outlaw Hyper Calvinism one would have to define it, and not use hyper Calvinism as an umbrella to place all Calvinists under, which seems to be what most anti-Calvinists do.

8 Hunter Bradley April 18, 2012 at 11:47 am

oh and id vote no

9 Jared Moore April 18, 2012 at 11:53 am

My comment above is a joke, of course.

I’d vote against it, even though I disagree with my 5-point Calvinist brothers. Whether Jesus died for the elect or the world, the outcome is the same, only the elect will be saved, and God knows all who will believe before He creates them. Since the outcome is the same, I don’t understand why some who reject limited atonement refer to it as “heresy,” since the atonement is limited to only being applied to the elect. Whether you affirm limited atonement or not on the front end of salvation, on the back end, we all affirm limited atonement or we’re universalists. Only the church’s sins are atoned for in Christ.

10 Gary Snowden April 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm

In response to Jared’s comment about the only alternatives being the affirmation of limited atonement or universalism, I’d suggest that this is a false dichotomy which only holds true if one also affirms the I of Calvinism’s TULIP regarding irresistible grace. If, as many sustain who reject the soteriology of Calvinism, God’s grace and mercy in Christ that are offered freely to all men may also willfully be rejected, then it doesn’t follow that universalism is the logical outcome of denying limited atonement. This response fails to seriously grapple with what many believe the Bible teaches regarding man’s need to respond in faith to Christ’s invitation to repent and believe.

11 Jerry Minor April 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Vote: No

Why: I are one

12 Jared Moore April 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Gary, you misunderstood my comment. My point is that most evangelicals limit the atonement. You believe Christ’s blood is only applied to the elect, which limits the atonement. Otherwise, the atonement is applied to everyone, which is universalism. You limit the atonement to whosoever will come to Christ. That’s still a form of limited atonement, it’s just on the back end of salvation, instead of on the front end. Whether Christ died for everyone or not, His blood is still only applied to the church.

13 SAGordon April 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Jared & Gary,

Indeed the discussion is not about limiting the atoning work of Jesus. It is in what way is it limited, for all biblically faithful people must limit it in some way–whether that be application, effectiveness, or extent.

14 Joshua Collins April 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm

I’m guessing such a resolution might be ruled out of order before coming to the floor. But of course, even those who routinely call for such an action (in general SBC life) wouldn’t offer a resolution because it would fail and they wouldn’t be able to appeal to “majoritarian grassroots Southern Baptists” as their support anymore.

15 Howell Scott April 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

It’s been too long since I have agreed with Jared 🙂 This breaks that dry spell, as to both my “NO” vote on the resolution (which is about as silly as the “alcohol use” resolution that I likewise voted against in 2006, but I digress) and my wholehearted agreement with Jared’s spot-on statement about the atonement. Whether limited on the front end or the back end, all Southern Baptists (outside of universalists) would say that Christ’s atoning work on the Cross must be personally applied to the individual believer through personal faith.That’s how I understood Jared’s first (and subsequent) statements. Thanks and God bless,

Howell

16 Greg Alford April 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Jared Moore,

Your first comment caused me to spew coffee… 🙂

17 Greg Alford April 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Gary Snowden,

You made the statement that “God’s grace and mercy in Christ are offered freely to all men”

That statement sound really good… the only problem is that it does not take into account the reality that millions have lived, and will live, their lives without ever hearing the Gospel of God’s grace and mercy in Christ.

So it is that once we take our theology out of the classroom and apply it to the reality of human existence, we find that Gods grace and mercy has not been freely offered to all men.

I hope I have not been offensive here… just trying to give everyone something to think about.

Grace for the Journey,

18 Jason Hilliard April 18, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Hey Greg,

I can see how you get to that conclusion, however, let’s not discount Psalm 19:1 and Romans 1 just to name a couple of passages that make it clear that all man HAS evidence sufficient of God’s existence… He has revealed Himself to all… Man willfully suppresses the truth of God’s existence and their need for Him in unrighteousness… thus the reason for our need of Him to regenerate our dead, God-hating hearts…

19 Greg Alford April 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Jason,

I fully agree that “Man willfully suppresses the truth of God’s existence” However, the “General Revelation” of God in Creation is not, nor does the Scriptures declare it to be, sufficient for the salvation of souls. If this was true there would be no real need for the “Specific Revelation” of God in Christ Jesus.

So it is that the “General Revelation” cannot be equated with the free offer of God’s grace and mercy in Christ through the preaching of the Gospel Message. Else-wise Jesus would not have commanded us to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

I also agree with you concerning the need of Him to regenerate our dead, God-hating hearts… (Setting the will of man free, that he may freely turn to Christ in repentance and faith) and this does never happen without the hearing of the Gospel. Paul put’s it this way in Romans 10:14 “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”

Again, not trying to be offensive to anyone here… just giving food for thought.

Grace for the Journey,

20 David (Not Adrian's Son) Rogers April 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I would vote no because I believe that the Convention should be an open tent with regards to the Calvinist-Arminian spectrum.

However, I am indeed non-Calvinist. I do believe in education about Calvinism because when it is fully understood and the implications of its theology understood, then it stands a better chance to be accurately criticized and exposed for its sometimes nonsensical conclusions.

21 David (Not Adrian's Son) Rogers April 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I have no problem either with Calvinists calling Arminianism “nonsensical” because it is the opposite of Calvinism and if they think their position makes the most sense, then one that is against it would be “nonsensical.” The key is whether one can clarify why he or she arrives at the “nonsensical” label. Whether that can be done in a comments section back and forth is another matter altogether.

22 Joshua April 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I vote no and pass the casserole.

I am glad to see Howell Scott would oppose such an attempt at “narrowing” the convention. Both Calvinists and non-Calvinists can peacefully coexist and cooperate in the SBC. No need for a battle or attempted takeover.

23 Mark April 18, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Thanks for all of the comments. I’m glad to see that no one has yet to support such a resolution. Is there a lurker out there some where that might make a case of why such a resolution should be supported?

Something struck me about SBC resolutions that I had not noticed before. I think I’ll make a separate post about it and solicit feedback.

24 Doc B April 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Nothing like a blog post about Calvinism in a Baptist context to run up the comment count!

I wouldn’t be allowed to vote, because I don’t go to the SBC conventions. Went to one back in the 90s. That was enough. Remember what Mark Twain said about sausage being made? (c:

Were I to go, I would vote no on a resolution banning either Calvinism or Arminianism. There are too many fellers, a lot smarter than me, and whom I greatly respect and are outstanding biblical scholars (I’m thinking all the way back to about Augustine here) on either side of this fence to reject either outright. I have an opinion, but it is not a dogmatic one, nor is it the same opinion I started with forty years ago.

25 Even If April 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Something to think about – Can you guess my answer?

Intersting juxtapositions (updated for the discusion)

1 Corinthians 1:11-13 (Interesting Version)
11 For some of Chloe’s people have made it known to me, my brothers, that there are quarrels among you.
12 I say this because one of you says, “I follow Calvin”; another says, “I follow Luther”; another, “I follow Arminius”; while still another says, “I follow the Messiah!”
13 Has the Messiah been split in pieces? Was it Calvin who was put to death on a stake for you? Were you immersed into the name of Arminius?

or

1 Corinthians 3:3-8 ( Interesting Version)
3 For you are still worldly! Isn’t it obvious from all the jealousy and quarrelling among you that you are worldly and living by merely human standards?
4 For when one says, “I follow Calvin” and another, “I follow Arminius,” aren’t you being merely human?
5 After all, what is Arminius? What is Calvin? Only servants through whom you came to trust. Indeed, it was the Lord who brought you to trust through one of us or through another.
6 I planted the seed, and Arminius watered it, but it was God who made it grow.
7 So neither the planter nor the waterer is anything, only God who makes things grow —
8 planter and waterer are the same. However, each will be rewarded according to his work.

26 Joshua April 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Even If,

A lot of people use those verses in relation to the Calvinism/Non-Calvinism divide in the SBC but I don’t think they fit the issue.

I believe Paul was speaking of personality worship not doctrinal issues. The divide in the SBC is not man based (Calvin, Arminius) but doctrine based, which rightly divides, to some degree, Christians. Our SBC churches should each have their own finer points of doctrine, the SBC as a whole should not be forced to be either Calvinist nor Arminian.

27 Tom Garito April 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I wouldn’t vote for it as worded but as the commercial says” we have “a growing problem”. Hyper-Calvinism is invading and conquering the Baptist World.

From what I have found in my Bible I guess I would label myself as a Reformed, Calvinistic, predestination affirming, free will, Bible believing Christian or better yet, just “Bible Believing Christian”.

Since I am a “Bible believing Christian”, in possession of hundreds of “free will” Bible verses as well as hundreds of “Calvinistic/predestination/election” Bible verses I refuse to stand on one side of the debate or the other. Yes, ‘free will” and “predestination” present us with a paradox yet the verses remain. We must not throw out those valuable babies with the bath water. If anyone thinks that he doesn’t see through a “glass darkly” on this topic, I believe he is fooling himself and following agenda rather than the pure Word of God.

Calvinism on the March Among Evangelicals (This is part of an article from “Way of Life” a few years ago”)

A 2007 study shows that Calvinism is on the rise in the Southern Baptist Convention and is especially prominent among recent seminary graduates. Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research, says that nearly 30% of recent graduates now serving as pastors are Calvinists (“Calvinism on the Rise,” Christian Post, Nov. 29, 2007). Roughly 10% of SBC pastors at large define themselves as Calvinists, but that includes only those who hold to all five points of TULIP theology and not those who hold to sovereign or unconditional election but not necessarily to all other points of Calvinism. LifeWay Research limits their surveys to a very narrow definition of Calvinism, and I suspect it might not want to know the true influence of Calvinism in the convention.

A report in Christianity Today for September 2006 was entitled “Young, Restless, Reformed: Calvinism Is Making a Comeback–And Shaking up the Church.” It documents the rapid spread of Calvinism in Evangelical circles, and I am seeing the same thing among Fundamentalists.

The report cites John Piper, R.C. Sproul, R. Albert Mohler, Louie Giglio, Joshua Harris, J.I. Packer, and the Puritans as among the chief influences responsible for the upsurge in Calvinism. Piper’s book “Desiring God” has sold more than 275,000 copies.

The trend toward the acceptance of Calvinism is evident at leading evangelical seminaries such as Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Under the direction of Al Mohler, Southern Seminary has become “a Reformed hotbed” and is turning out “a steady flow of young Reformed pastors.”

Writing in SBC Life, Malcolm Yarnell, associate professor of systematic theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, observed that TULIP theology is causing division in churches. Steve Lemke, provost of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, warns: “I believe that [Calvinism] is potentially the most explosive and divisive issue facing us in the near future. It has already been an issue that has split literally dozens of churches, and it holds the potential to split the entire convention” (“The Future of Southern Baptists as Evangelicals,” April 2005). Lemke says that “the newest generation of Southern Baptist ministers” is “the most Calvinist we have had in several generations.” He warns that Calvinism can result in a lowered commitment to evangelism, saying: “For many people, if they’re convinced that God has already elected those who will be elect … I don’t see how humanly speaking that can’t temper your passion, because you know you’re not that crucial to the process.

There are exceptions to this, but in my estimation there can be no doubt that Calvinism tends to cool evangelistic fervor. Among Calvinists, evangelism is done IN SPITE OF Calvinism, not because of it. Those who protest that it doesn’t hinder evangelism point to EXCEPTIONS rather than to the rule. While Charles Spurgeon was an evangelistic Calvinist, for example, a large number of Calvinists of his day opposed him and denounced his broad, indiscriminate invitations for sinners to come to Christ. One Calvinist publication warned in Spurgeon’s day, “… to preach that it is man’s duty to believe savingly in Christ is ABSURD” (Earthen Vessel, 1857; cited in Spurgeon vs. the Hyper Calvinists by Iain Murray).

Calvinism almost killed the evangelistic zeal of the Baptist churches of England in the 18th century. Baptist historian Thomas Armitage wrote: “William Carey’s ‘Inquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use means for the Conversion of the Heathen’ was published in 1792, but it found few readers and produced little effect. To most of the Baptists Carey’s views were visionary and even wild, in open conflict with God’s sovereignty. At a meeting of ministers, where the senior [John] Ryland presided, Carey proposed that at the next meeting they discuss the duty of attempting to spread the Gospel amongst the heathen. … Ryland, shocked, sprang to his feet and ordered Carey to sit down, saying: ‘When God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid or mine!’

Therefore, I hope the issue will be studied and addressed by the SBC in some concrete way. It is not an unimportant topic.

Tom Garito

28 SAGoron April 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Tom,

How you you suggest our convention address this issue?

29 SAGoron April 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm

…or more accurately asked…

How would you suggest our convention address this issue?

(Must pay attention while typing.) 🙂

30 Mark April 20, 2012 at 9:30 am

Tom,

There is a lot to unpack in your quote/comment concerning Calvinism. Much of it misguided. Have you read my lengthy reply to Gerald Harris? Cf. 1) The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part I 2) The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris Part II, or
a pdf. version is also available in one file: The Calvinists: a Reply to Gerald Harris.

While it is easy to pick out one section of history of a particular group of Calvinists and apply their issues to the whole group, it hardly proves the point. It is just as easy to cite the numerous Calvinist evangelists throughout the years.

Also, please consider that if Calvinism is just now growing toward the popularity that it was decades ago, then what is the excuse for the decline in SBC growth? In other words, the SBC has been declining in years past despite such a small number of Calvinist influence. If it is non-Calvinism (whatever that is) that inspires such evangelistic fervor and missions then shouldn’t the SBC have been exploding in growth?

31 Tom Garito April 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

SA,

Perhaps a change of wording FROM:

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to be actively involved in educating students and adults concerning the destructive nature of Calvinism and Reformed theology; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge that no one be elected to serve as a trustee or member of any entity or committee of the Southern Baptist Convention that is a Calvinist or supports/promotes Calvinism.

TO:

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to be actively involved in educating students and adults to rightly divide the Word of truth and clinging to the full counsel of God concerning every topic including the topic of Calvinism.

RESOLVED, That the SBC form a committee of knowledgeable members for the purpose of making recommendations for the initation of a Biblically balanced position statement on topic of Calvinism.

Tom Garito

32 MA BLANKENSHIP April 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I would vote no. First because of the caustic nature of yet a nother mudslinging within the convention. Secoundly, it seems to me, many of our younger breatheren are being taken a stray by a lack of understanding of what Calavanism is and how it duportd Baptist doctrine. By this I mean, to some -Calvanism seems like a rebelious out cry against the old guard. When in fact it is a condoning of the very foundation of our Southern Baptist history, and to deny it would be to deny ourselves. Sadly,I do know of several asping young men with extrodinary talent that have decided to unite with the Presbyterian Church, because they believe they cannot practice Calvanism and be good Southern Baptist. I blame a lack of understanding among these young men and the glitter of Mark Driscoll and John Pipers sucess. My brethern let us not allow satan to use yet another microbial instance of a splinter verses a log;to distract us from our task of wining the lost. I love and pray for you all.

33 Tom Garito April 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Mark,

Since you replied to my last post with: “much of it misguided”, I feel compelled to reply.

This past Friday I was sitting in the Dr’s office waiting room and noticed an old edition (Jan/Feb 2011) of “Presbyterians Today” just waiting there for me to pick up. I began reading an article located on pages 36 & 37 entitled: “A Prescription for Evangelism”. The article began: “The statistics are all too familiar: the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is declining in membership. We are not reaching the younger generation. More than 75 percent of our congregations did not have even one adult baptism in the past two years”. (my underline). The next paragraph down began: “Presbyterians are not engaging in evangelism.” (again my underline)

Not wanting to leave my post with just that, and not wanting to base my response on one liberal Reformed denomination’s statistics, I asked myself the question: I wonder how many full time, Reformed missionaries were working in the field compared to their less Calvinistic counterparts?

My first search turned up a post from Yahoo Answers! Question: “Have you seen the breakdown of missionaries per denomination?” Admittedly “Yahoo Answers” is not a very reliable resource, but quite shocking if it even closely resembled reality. Answer: Mormons= 52,494, Southern Baptists= 12,291, Lutheran= 811, Presbyterians= 229

Digging a little deeper but still with sloppy, lazy scholarship, I looked at other Reformed and Presbyterian websites to try to get a little clearer picture. Here’s what I found with an hour’s work. If anyone wants to tweak the numbers or add the smaller Presbyterian and Reformed denominations to the mix, feel free.

United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (UPCUSA) 2,350,000 members. Full time, long term missionaries 310, Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) 346,814 members. Full time, long term missionaries 657, United Presbyterian Church of North America (UPCNA) 258,000 members. Full time, long term missionaries unknown but wild guess 100, Evangelical & Reformed Church (E&R) 818,000 members. Full time, long term missionaries unknown but wild guess 60, Reformed Church in America (RCA) 250,859 members. Full time, long term missionaries 72, Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) 815.000 members – Full time, long term missionaries unknown but wild guess 40, Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA 268.000 members. Full time, long term missionaries 212, Christian Reformed Church of North America 268,052 members. Full time, long term missionaries unknown but wild guess 100, Reformed Churches including Reformed Church in America, Dutch and Restored Reformed 300,000? Members. Full time, long term missionaries unknown but wild guess 100, United Church of Christ (UCC Reformed) 1,100,000 members. Full time, long term missionaries 39
I think this short essay makes the point though, that “Calvinism” promotes less missionary zeal than a Christian presentation that keeps a fair representation of all of the “free will”, as well as all of the “Calvinistic” (TULIP) justifying verses in the Bible.

Case in point: A few years ago my own dear precious Christian sister moved her membership from a SBC church to a PCA church. When I asked her why, she looked me in the eyes and said: “after visiting ___ ___ PCA church the pastor visited our home and showed us straight from the Bible the many, many verses that proved predestination was true.” I then asked her: “How many free-will verses did he share with you? Did he show you any?” Silence was her answer.

This is not the “full council of God” found in His book. Maintaining the “full council of God” is all I am asking. When we allow “hyper-Calvinists” or “hyper free-willers” un-accountability to scripture, as in my sister’s case, we simply miss the mark and doing so is not inconsequential. According to God’s sovereignty, it appears we are all He cares to work with at this time; so work we must. If hyper-Calvinism, or hyper-anything (other than hyper-full counsel of God) hurts the work at hand, we must not be afraid to confront it.

Tom Garito

34 Scott F. Guinn May 3, 2012 at 8:33 am

I am not a Calvinist. I am not an Arminianist. I’m not even a Baptist anymore, although I was raised in the GARBC (we thought the SBC were liberals!); in fact, i often jokingly refer to myself as a “recovering Baptist.” However, I’m very familiar with the SBC and its history and doctrine. I am the pastor of a small non-denominational church in Boise that would be closer to Baptist than any other denomination.

As I said, I am neither Calvinist nor Armianist. But it doesn’t bother me if you are one or the other. I still call you brother if you accept the essential tenets of biblical Christianity. I have had long discussions with dear brothers on both sides (who attend my church), each of whom think I am wrong.

My opinion is that no sinful, fallen, finite man (and that would include both John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius and Martin Luther, etc) can fully comprehend a sinless, perfect, infinite God. Therefore, I am not comfortable subscribing wholesale to any man’s systematic theology. God didn’t write a systematic theology. Knowing myself pretty well, if I did subscribe to one, it would cause me to come to Scripture with a biased mind to defend my presuppositions, instead of trying to come to the Word with an attitude that I may not be right about all this stuff and God may want to change my mind about some of it.

We can have unity (it takes work, but it is possible) whether we are one or the other or neither. So, while I obviously would not get a vote, if I had one I would vote no.

.

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