**This article was previously posted by Randy Adams on his website randyadams.org and is used by permission.
A few years ago a pastor announced a dream, or goal, to his church that didn’t really sit well with the folks. His dream was for the church to build a worship center that would seat ten times their current average attendance. The church wasn’t growing, so his dream wasn’t connected to accommodating recent growth. It was more of a “if we build it, they will come” kind of dream. Continue reading
**This article was previously posted at Baptist Press and is used by permission.
Southern Baptists will “see an upturn” in baptisms, giving, Sunday School attendance and church membership when they become more intentional about evangelism, Paige Patterson said. Continue reading
**This article was previously posted by Leighton Flowers on his website www.soteriology101.com and is used by permission.
Leighton is: teaching pastor in his local church, an adjunct Professor of Theology, and the Youth Evangelism Director for Texas Baptists.
I recently received this question from a loyal listener, who also happens to be a pastor:
“Professor Flowers, I greatly appreciate the cordiality with which you approach our differences with the Calvinistic brethren, but I have a specific concern. You often speak of not wishing to “run off the Calvinists” or “kick them out of the convention,” and typically I’m in full agreement with this sentiment, as I have good Calvinistic brethren in my own church who I want to stay actively involved. But, the Calvinists I’ve been use to in the SBC are those like David Platt or Matt Chandler, who regularly affirm God’s universal love and sincere desire for everyone to come to repentance and faith (they don’t try to reinterpret John 3:16, 1 Tim. 2:4 or 2 Peter 3:9, etc).
But, this new “young restless and reformed” (neo-Calvinism) we are seeing rise up seems set on redefining “whosoever will” by making “the world” out to mean “the world of the elect”…Or “God’s desire for all” to be “God’s desire for all kinds.” (BTW, I love the quote from Spurgeon you read debunking that interpretation of 1 Tim 2:4).
This brings me to my question. Where do we draw the line? With the ‘moderate’ Calvinistic teachers in my church, those who affirm God’s love and desire for all, the typical layperson doesn’t even notice their Calvinism (unless they know what to look for). I really don’t have too much beef with these kind of Calvinists. But the harsher, higher form of Calvinism seems to be seeping into my church. I cannot in good conscience allow for people to teach that God doesn’t really love all people and desire for their salvation. I have to draw the line somewhere and I’m not waiting for hyper anti-evangelism to draw it, I think I must draw it at the denial of God’s universal love and desire. What do you think?”
This is a great question and one I have had to grapple with myself. I certainly believe respect and cordiality must extend to all types of Calvinists, but I do not think it unwise to “draw the line” at requiring teachers to affirm God’s universal love and desire for every individual. If the church has a Statement of Faith which affirms this clear biblical teaching (as does the BF&M), then it is the pastor’s responsibility to ensure that all teachers hold to that standard. Continue reading