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.
This is a tale of two countries. Southern Baptists want to reach them both. Why throw all our eggs in one basket while ignoring the other? Why honor the frontier mandate while neglecting the harvest mandate?
Some time ago I gave some unsolicited advice to the International Mission Board of the SBC as they sought a new president to replace Tom Elliff. David Platt was recently elected. I want to note the areas where the IMB followed (if inadvertently) my advice and where they didn’t.
Let me ask you a very serious and a very somber question. Did God just predestine some people for heaven? And did God just predestine some people for hell? Are we just pawns on the chessboard of faith? No. Absolutely not.
While I celebrate the autonomy of each Southern Baptist Church in directing their mission gifts however they feel led, I nevertheless believe that the Great Commission is best fulfilled by churches who freely choose to contribute through and not around traditional Cooperative Program channels.