A Collection of Retrospective Blog Responses to the SBC Annual Meeting in New Orleans

July 8, 2012

The following are a collection of a few blog posts out of the hundreds of posts responding to the SBC annual meeting and the issues arising from it. These are listed simply to pull these diverse posts into a single forum (since most people probably missed at least some of them) to facilitate further dialogue. Of course, SBC Today does not (and could not possibly) endorse all of the diverse perspectives presented in these posts.


About the SBC in New Orleans

About the “Traditional Southern Baptist” Statement on Salvation

  • Of Unity and Heresy,” by Rick Patrick in SBC Voices, with an evaluation of the Unity resolution and a rejection of the charge of heresy by some against the traditional Southern Baptist understanding of salvation statement.
  • Chris/SBC,” by Chris Justice in The Bridge blog, with his reflections on the SBC in general and the salvation statement in particular.
  • Traditionalist Troublemakers? The Truth,” by Bart Barber in the PraiseGod Barebones blog, with a reminder that the framers of the document did not, in fact, do what they said they would not do with the statement, and not the rather paranoid projections of its critics.
  • Puzzling Ideas and Views of the Anti-Traditionalists,” by Hariette Peterson in the SBC Encounters blog, with their commentary about how strange and unreasonable she has found the responses of the Anti-Traditional Baptists has been to the modest proposal they have made public.
  • Breaking News: Baptists Do Dance,” by Tim Guthrie in the Winning Truth blog, noting Baptists “dancing’ between the soteriological divide between Calvinistic Baptists and the majority of Baptists.
  • My Take on the ‘Statement of a Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation,’” by Trey Medley in the WhyTheology blog, with reflections on the Salvation statement, and a withering critique of some of its critics.

About Calvinism in the SBC

About Sinner’s Prayer Resolution (and David Platt’s Comments about It)

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Job

Off topic, but here is a suggestion for you traditionalists from a supralapsarian Baptist, an action plan for turning this into a real movement. How many signatories are there for the traditional statement? Over 800 yes. Nearing 1,000? Great. Let’s say nearing and soon to exceed 1,000. What if each of the 1,000 signatories took responsibility for a traditional church plant? Pick a time period, say 3-5 years. Let each of the signatories commit themselves to starting a traditional church plant or working to support an existing traditional plant in a substantial way. And create an organization, a clearinghouse I guess, to coordinate fundraising and personnel and lobby for NAMB support. Headquarter it at NOTBS and/or SWTBS, and send the graduates from those institutions into the plants.

The result of this: in 3-5 years, there will be 1000 traditional SBC church plants. (By comparison, the entire Acts 29 Network is 400 churches, the vast majority of which are non-SBC.) Of course, to be a participant in this program, a planter must consent to the Traditional Statement or similar non-Calvinist (for lack of a better term, as traditional does not fit in this context) Baptist confession such as the historic Standard Baptist Confession of 1660 or Orthodox Creed of 1678.That way, the “threat” of the growing influence of Calvinism in the SBC would be annulled by the most direct way possible: planting traditional churches at a faster rate than the Calvinist churches are being planted, and using NAMB funds – plus the funds that you raise through the Traditional organization – to do so.

Good idea, yes?

    Cb scott

    Job,

    How did you do with the 4th of July celebration? Did it go well?

volfan007

Job,

What do you think that all of these people, who’ve signed the document, have been doing with their lives?

lol

DAvid

    volfan007

    Job,

    Also, we thought we were helping plant Baptist Churches thru NAMB and the IMB. Then, all of a sudden, we start hearing about Acts 29…..

    David

      Cb scott

      Vol,

      Obviously, there is something Job does not realize.

      Of the people who have signed the TradDoc, there are, within that group well over 1,000 church starts/plants already that have taken place throughout the years.

Mike Davis

I like church plants outside around the church grounds but I’m not personally crazy about church plants in the foyer.

    Cb scott

    I kinda like Snap “Dragons” near the coat racks. They remind the folks who leave early who is leading them away, or in some cases, who their daddy is.

Chappy

When I was active in the practice of law, in a courtroom, there was never any doubt about who was in charge. It was the judge. Of course, judges are elected and sometimes appointed, but that never stopped us from discussing the merit of the person holding the position, and how we felt about him/her being on the bench.
I had an idea one day that the person who deserves to the be the judge is the best lawyer. It was a pretty simple. It didn’t always work out, but when it did work out that way. When you could trust that the best lawyer was the judge, then it gave you even some peace of mind that justice would be done and that injustice would not be done, hopefully.
In this debate about who should be in charge of churches and SBC entities, this whole matter has become ridiculous in just a matter of months. I read on these sites that the concern is that calvinism not “take over” the entites or have influence.

The concern should be that the churches and the entities should be in the hands of the most Godly people. Those with a heart for prayer, revival, spiritual renewal, repentance, obedience, and whose lives bear this out. This would be analogous to the best lawyer. I know that’s a crude comparison, but you see what I mean.

If we knew the most Godly leaders were at the head and on the boards, would we worry or be concerned? Would it matter so much if they were calvinist or traditionals? Would you argue over doctrine with Wesley or Spurgeon if you could work side by side with them in the field? Would you hesitate to appoint Jonathan Edwards or Dwight Moody to a board of trustees? Or what about prayer warriors like Leonard Ravenhill, E.M. Bounds or Praying Payson? If God would only bless us with men and women of prayer and if we could get our hearts laid bare before God and seek his face- I’m afraid this controversy would embarrass us as much as it should.

Randall Cofield

A Suggestion To Resolve the Current Theological Impasse

After six weeks of wrangling, one thing seems apparent: “Talking” about Calvinism and Neo-Traditionalism is not going to resolve our differences. Neither will “blogging” or “commenting.” This should come as no surprise, for these issues have been debated by better theologians than ourselves for the better part of 2000 years.

As Calvinists and Neo-Traditionalists, we find ourselves bound together by the commonality of the Baptist faith and the more specific denominational distinction “Southern Baptists.” Calvinists are no more or less Southern Baptists than are Neo-Traditionalists, and Neo-Traditionalists are no more or less Southern Baptists than are Calvinists. And we are stuck with each other, like it or not.

I, as a non-hyper Calvinist, do not consider my Neo-Traditionalist brothers and sisters to be heretics. I trust that my Neo-Traditionalist brothers and sisters do not consider me a heretic. If this be the case, I would offer the following as a solution for our current impasse.

Calvinists should resolve to avoid telling Neo-Traditionalists how they should preach and proffer the Gospel, and vice versa.

Neo-Traditionalists should resolve to avoid telling Calvinists that we cannot live, preach, and teach our beliefs with liberty in the SBC, and vice versa.

Calvinists should resolve to avoid telling Neo-Traditionalists how to do mission work and plant churches, and vice versa.

Neo-Traditionalists should resolve to avoid telling Calvinists that their leaders are unworthy of leading entities within the SBC, and vice versa.

Both Calvinists and Neo-Traditionalists should resolve to love one another with a pure heart fervently.

There is a point which is being completely overlooked in this debate: Both sides have errors in their respective theologies. As Calvinists, we do not know what our errors are, else we would correct them. Conversely, Neo-Traditionalists do not know what their errors are, else they would correct them.

If we give ourselves to above five resolutions and to advancing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with abandon, errors on both sides of the divide will be exposed and corrected over time.

Soli Deo Gloria

PS: The fact that there are 5 resolutions in my proposal is of NO significance whatsoever. And to my Neo-Traditionalist brothers and sisters: No, the devil did not make me do it. :-)

    Adam Harwood

    Randall,

    You wrote that the more-Calvinistic and Traditional brothers in the SBC “are stuck with each other, like it or not.”

    Agreed.

    Dr. Mohler said at the Baptist 21 Panel is NOLA (this quotation is from memory): Both Baptist traditions need each other–and we deserve each other.

    Baptists have differed on these issues for 400 years and worked together to share the Gospel with a lost world. I agree, Randall. Let’s continue to do so, eagerly awaiting the return of Christ.

    In Him,

    Adam

      volfan007

      Amen. Let’s continue to work together. This is the way it’s been for years. It’s the way it should continue to be.

      David

      Randall Cofield

      Thanks, Adam and David.

      Would you agree that our working together should roughly follow the resolves I offered?

        volfan007

        Randall,

        That would be great. Now, stop calling us Neo Traditionalists. Maybe that would be a huge step in the right direction!

        David

          Randall Cofield

          David,

          I’d be happy to stop calling you Neo-Traditionalists. Would be equally willing to drop the term “Traditional” with its clear inference that your position claims historical precedent over that of Calvinists?

          Why don’t we dispense with all self-serving monikers and just call each other Southern Baptist brothers and sisters?

          Randall Cofield

          David,

          BTW: Glad you agree that my resolves should be generally followed by both sides.

          Peace

CW Griffith

I enjoyed reading Eric Fuller’s blog post. I had some of the same questions while listening to David Platt preach at this year’s convention. I left thinking that if I didn’t know any better I would think Platt was a non-Calvinist. It is misleading to throw out terms like “all”, “whosoever”, “world”, etc… when you hold to alternate definitions for those terms.

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