Category: Calvinism

Distinctive Baptist Beliefs:
Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians
Distinctive Baptist Belief #3—
Believer’s Baptism (or the Gathered Church)

">

Distinctive Baptist Beliefs:
Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians
Distinctive Baptist Belief #3—
Believer’s Baptism (or the Gathered Church)



By Dr. Lemke, Provost, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, occupying the McFarland Chair of Theology, Director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, and Editor of the
Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.


Introduction

All denominations that broadly share the Reformation heritage share more beliefs in common than beliefs that differ. This is true of dominations in the Baptist, Arminian, and Presbyterian/Reformed tradition – we agree on many more points than we disagree about orthodox Nicean Christianity and other key Reformation beliefs. Despite these many points of agreement, it is the points of agreement on which theological discussions tend to focus. In an earlier post entitled “The Middle Way,” I asserted that centrist Baptists are “the middle way” between Arminians, on the one hand, and Calvinists/Presbyterians, on the other. In it, I listed twelve points of doctrinal disagreement between centrist Baptists and many Arminians. In this series I want to point out nine points of difference between centrist Baptist beliefs and the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition.

These nine Baptist doctrinal distinctives I will discuss do not include the five point summary of Reformed soteriology (best known in the TULIP acronym–for a critique of five-point Calvinism from a centrist Baptist perspective see our book Whosoever Will). In fact, most of the nine points that I will be addressing were explicitly held by the Particular Baptists in contradistinction from the Presbyterian or Reformed theology from which they separated themselves. These, then, are distinctively Baptist beliefs. The first Baptist distinctive I addressed was a cluster of interrelated beliefs — soul competency, priesthood of all believers, and religious liberty. The second Baptist distinctive addressed was the age (or state) of accountability. This third post concerns the Baptist distinctive of believer’s baptism (or “the gathered church”).[1]

Read more ...

Distinctive Baptist Beliefs:
Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians
Distinctive Baptist Belief #2—
The Age (or State) of Accountability

">

Distinctive Baptist Beliefs:
Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians
Distinctive Baptist Belief #2—
The Age (or State) of Accountability



By Dr. Lemke, Provost, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, occupying the McFarland Chair of Theology, Director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, and Editor of the
Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.


Introduction

All denominations that broadly share the Reformation heritage share more beliefs in common than beliefs that differ. This is true of Baptists, Arminians, and Presbyterians/the Reformed tradition – we agree on many more points than we disagree. Like most evangelicals, we largely share the same affirmation of orthodox Nicean Christianity, along with other key beliefs accented in the Reformation — Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, the sovereignty of God over all His creation, the security of the believer, the perfect omniscience and complete foreknowledge of God, and the imperative of the proclamation of the Gospel by the Church.

Despite these many points of agreement, it is the points of agreement on which theological discussions tend to focus. In an earlier post entitled “The Middle Way,” I asserted that we centrist Baptists are “the middle way” between Arminians, on the one hand, and Calvinists/Presbyterians, on the other. Since our book Whosoever Will was a critique of five-point Calvinism, I balanced that by listing twelve points of doctrinal disagreement between centrist Baptists and many Arminians. In this series, however, I would like to point out nine points of difference between centrist Baptist beliefs and the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition.

Given my involvement in the John 3:16 Conference and in writing Whosoever Will, some readers might expect me to begin listing the five points of Calvinist soteriology as the main points of difference between Baptists and Presbyterians. It is true that centrist Baptists such as me may disagree on several of these points with persons who imbibe in the Reformed tradition, but it would be inaccurate to say that the five points as popularized in the “TULIP” were the main points of difference between Reformed and Baptist theology, or that these beliefs are foreign to Baptist theology. In fact, the Particular Baptist tradition plays a long and deep role in Baptist theology, and many Calvinistic-leaning Baptists are in good standing with and hold high positions within the SBC.

Read more ...

Distinctive Baptist Beliefs:
Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians
Distinctive Baptist Belief #1—
Soul Competency, the Priesthood of Believers, and Religious Liberty

">

Distinctive Baptist Beliefs:
Nine Marks that Separate Baptists from Presbyterians
Distinctive Baptist Belief #1—
Soul Competency, the Priesthood of Believers, and Religious Liberty



By Dr. Lemke, Provost, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, occupying the McFarland Chair of Theology, Director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, and Editor of the
Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.


Calvinists, Arminians, and Baptists Together for the Evangelical Gospel

All denominations that broadly share the Reformation heritage share more beliefs in common than beliefs that differ. This is true of Baptists, Arminians, and Presbyterians/the Reformed tradition – we agree on many more points than we disagree. Like most evangelicals, we share the same affirmation of orthodox Nicean Christianity, along with other key beliefs accented in the Reformation:

Sola Scriptura – Scripture is the ultimate plumb line for all Christian truth claims.

Soli Deo Gloria – God alone deserves glory.

Sola Gratia and Sola Fide – Salvation by grace alone through faith alone.

Solus Christus — Salvation is available only through Christ because of His substitutionary atonement for our sins.

The Sovereignty of God over All His Creation – This is our Father’s world.

The Security of the Believer – God secures the salvation of the believer (not affirmed by some Arminians).

The Perfect Omniscience and Complete Foreknowledge of God – God knows all things – past, present, and future.

The Imperative of the Proclamation of the Gospel by the Church – The Great Commission must be obeyed.

Read more ...

Theological Vocabulary Thursday
The Free Offer of the Gospel

">

Theological Vocabulary Thursday
The Free Offer of the Gospel


 

By Ron F. Hale, Minister of Missions, West Jackson Baptist Church. Jackson, TN


Does God have a universal saving will that desires the salvation of all people who will believe, or was our Lord’s atonement only sufficient for some?

Should the Gospel be preached to all indiscriminately with the purpose of calling everyone to repentance and faith?

Is God’s love and saving desire equal or unequal? Does God extend effectual (saving) grace to one group and a common grace to the other?

Is salvation sure and certain of all whom God gave to Christ before the foundation of the world and is in no way conditioned on a sinner responding to the preaching of the gospel?

Is the gospel invitation just a modern method instituted by Evangelist Charles Finney in the 19th century and has no biblical support?

These are questions that relate to the “free offer” or “well meant offer” of the Gospel.  The aim of this article is give some definition to the term, share different perspectives, add some personal views, and ask more questions.

Read more ...

Ten Myths about Calvinism:
Recovering the Breadth of the Reformed Tradition

A Book Review (Part 2)

">

Ten Myths about Calvinism:
Recovering the Breadth of the Reformed Tradition

A Book Review (Part 2)



 
By Dr. Lemke, Provost, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, occupying the McFarland Chair of Theology, Director of the Baptist Center for Theology and Ministry, and Editor of the Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary


In Part 1 in an earlier post, I began a review of Ten Myths about Calvinism: Recovering the Breadth of the Reformed Tradition, by Kenneth Stewart (himself a Reformed Theologian).[1] The first post dealt with the first four “myths” that Stewart proposes, which are myths he believes that Calvinists are circulating, but they should not be doing so.  These four Calvinist-propounded “myths” are:
(1) that one man (John Calvin) and one city (Geneva) is determinative of all of Calvinism,
(2) that Calvin’s view of predestination must be ours,
(3) that the ‘TULIP” is an appropriate yardstick concerning who is truly Reformed in theology, and
(4) that Calvinists take a dim view of revival and awakening.

Four Myths that Non-Calvinists Propagate, But Should Not

The next six “myths” are those propagated by non-Calvinists, but Stewart believes they do so inappropriately.  These six myths being circulated by non-Calvinists are:
(5) that Calvinism is largely antimissionary,
(6) that Calvinism is antinomian,
(7) that Calvinism promotes theocracy,
(8) that Calvinism undermines the creative arts,
(9) that Calvinism resists gender equity, and
(10) that Calvinism has engendered racial inequality.

Read more ...