Quote on Southern Baptist Cooperation

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Matt over at SBCVoices wrote an interesting post called Arminio and Calvinito: Best Friends? In light of the recent Great Commission Resurgence, he lays out where some unnecessary Southern Baptist infighting takes place. Of course, the ultimate solution is the gospel.

I was reminded of a quote that grabbed my attention from a book I recently read.

Baptists have certainly held differing views on the nature of salvation, with some holding more of a conviction that God is sovereign in salvation while others gave greater emphasis to man’s role in the process. But when they have been at their best, both sides have been deeply committed to gospel proclamation. God is sovereign, gospel truths much be proclaimed, and men and women must be urged to repent and believe the gospel.

For some, this might be a non sequitur. If God is sovereign, then why must we comment sinners to repent and come to Christ in evangelism? Both Arminians, like Daniel Taylor, and hyper-Calvinists, like James Wells of London, concluded that the two ideas do not go together. Taylor contended with Andrew Fuller that his commitment to evangelism did not comport with his theology, while Wells lambasted Charles Spurgeon for not being faithful to the heritage of English Baptist preaching.

Both the Arminian and the hyper-Calvinist were out of their league, though. When Spurgeon was asked how he reconciled the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man, he replied, “I never reconcile friends.” Both men, and a host of others like them, were assured that their one task was to follow the Bible faithfully. If Scripture said that God is preeminent, powerful, and awesome in salvation, then they affirmed that. If it also said that men and women must repent and believe the gospel, then they affirmed that with the conviction that the two thoughts are not ultimately in conflict.
– Brand, Chad, and David Hankins. One Sacred Effort. B&H Academic, 2006. 25. Print.

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The above article was posted on April 23, 2010 by Mark Lamprecht.
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