The Voluntary Retirement Incentive targeting existing missionaries comes with a certain price tag. We are paying trained missionaries to incentivize their premature return from the field. This does not increase missions, but decreases it.
As I see it, the big issue in Baptist life today is that for too long, key leaders, and leaders at all levels, have been unable to say, “Do as I do,” or “Do as I did.” We are now seeing the fruit of this in the staff reduction at the International Mission Board (IMB).
While IMB Trustees were informed of the plan, there was no “up or down” vote taken on the matter. At best, the Trustees can be said to have offered their tacit approval through mutual consent.
What I heard in Columbus was a lot of positive talk about blowing up funnels and removing caps in order to get more missionaries to the field. It was like a pep rally.
New Calvinism presents us with a duty and an opportunity to more carefully express what is generally believed by Southern Baptists about salvation. It is no longer helpful to identify ourselves by how many points of convergence we have with Calvinism. While we are not insisting that every Southern Baptist affirm the soteriological statement below in order to have a place in the Southern Baptist family, we are asserting that the vast majority of Southern Baptists are not Calvinists and that they do not want Calvinism to become the standard view in Southern Baptist life. We believe it is time to move beyond Calvinism as a reference point for Baptist soteriology.