Born Guilty? An Interview With Dr. Adam Harwood | Part Two

September 11, 2015

by Dr. Adam Harwood

Dr. Adam Harwood is: Associate Professor of Theology (occupying the McFarland Chair of Theology), Director of the Baptist Center for Theology & Ministry, and Editor of the Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary 

Learn more about Dr. Harwood HERE
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Click HERE for Part One.

Recently, I spoke with Leighton Flowers by phone for an interview for his podcastSoteriology 101. Our discussion primarily addressed original sin, drawing from my writings on the topic (this book, this booklet, this article, and this essay). We touched on issues such as: Romans 5:12-21, imputed righteousness, semi-Pelagianism, the “Traditional” Statement, and the possible dilemma caused by the existence of multiple confessions at Southern Baptist seminaries.

Click HERE to listen!

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Dennis Lee Dabney

Dr. Harwood,

Great subject, excellent interview, especially your “humble” exhortation at the close, to intentionally reach the “lost” presently all around us, with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.



This was a good interview that some calvinists should listen to. A few items of note:

1. It is mentioned that both views of inherited guilt ARE valid evangelical views, and that niether is heresy…and it is simply historically worng for either group to think that all thinking Christians, or even baptists, have held to only their position.

2. HOWEVER, both men AGREE that the BFM2000 (&1963) certainly seems to deny inherited guilt by it’s language, which leads to two ponderings:
A. I would love to hear a calvinist, or a baptist who affirms inherited guilt, defend why they can also agree with the BFM2000 enough to be employed or teach at an SBC seminary.
B. On the flip side, This seems to take some wind out of the accusation that the BFM2000 is overly calvinistic.

3. They also talked about some seminaries having 2 belief statements instead of one (SBTS & New Orleans were mentioned). At what point does this become a problem that needs to be addressed?

doug sayers

Thanks Adam, Leighton, and SBC Today. It does my heart good to see and hear scholarly young people who will challenge the Calvinistic inferences and do so with grace and restraint.

Although I appreciate the gracious spirit of the assertion, I could not agree that their doctrine of imputed guilt is not heresy but is a valid evangelical view. It is an error and should be refuted, albeit respectfully. We know that sin is not imputed apart from the law but righteousness is imputed apart from the law (via faith).

With due respect to G Whitefield and M Henry we should not teach that God would be just to damn someone to hell even if they never actually sinned once in their entire lifetime; and we should not assume that those born with handicaps and diseases must be born guilty. (See GW Method of Grace and M Henry Commentary on Rom 5)

Q: What could Esau have done wrong to deserve being born with no hope of being forgiven for unpreventable sins?
A: Nothing. And you can’t have a judgment over nothing.

Thanks again, guys, and keep up the good work.

Dell Russell

Good interview. I have ever only been a SBC member, and after getting more involved in understanding theology I was told there was room at the table for everyone’s opinions. Well I also found out that is so only if I listen to their’s and keep mine to myself. After much study I decided I am neither Calvinist nor Arminian, so I was dubbed as semi-Pelagian or just Pelagian. But I am not that either nor is there room for me in the SBC either if I intend to speak my mind.
I suppose because I do not believe we are not born sinners or born with the guilt of Adam’s sin or even a sinful nature, they assume (wrongly) I must believe we can earn our salvation and for that I am a heretic. Of course they do not say I am, but do not care to listen to another’s opinions.

We can only come to salvation after herring the gospel and then believing the gospel. With the gospel comes the working of the Holy Spirit and the understanding of faith.

I do not believe we should have discord among believers, as it only gives the unbelievers more reason to not want to even hear the gospel. I do consider SBCer’s as brothers and sisters in Christ, but do not see the point in making anyone mad. I still get along with them, but I just moved on.

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