Category: Salvation

Today’s Discussion Topic:
Article Six: The Election to Salvation
of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist
Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”

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Today’s Discussion Topic:
Article Six: The Election to Salvation
of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist
Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”

A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of the Plan of Salvation,” authored by Eric Hankins and others, has drawn strong interest in many social media and news outlets. The statement and the discussion of it have been accessed over 50,000 times and over 100,000 pageviews in the last two weeks. The discussions in SBC Today have evoked thousands of comments, with over 600 persons signing the document (including some key leaders from every level of Southern Baptist life). You can sign it also by following these directions.

To structure the discussion, we are focusing the comments on the affirmation and denial statement of one article of the statement at a time. Today’s discussion will address the Southern Baptist doctrines of grace in Article 6: The Election to Salvation. Keep in mind that each of the affirmations and denials in the articles complement each other, just as they do in the Together for the Gospel statement signed and/or affirmed by some Southern Baptist leaders who embrace Reformed views.

Please confine your comments to the article being discussed each day, not general comments about the statement. If you want to comment on other things, follow the links to other discussion threads:

Thank you for your comments on these theological issues!

The Editors of SBC Today


Click this link to see the full statement of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”
Right click to download
A Statement of Traditional Southern Baptist Soteriology SBC Today.pdf
Click this link to see the list of signers of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”
We welcome the signatures of all Southern Baptists who would affirm this statement. 

If you would like to add your name in affirmation of the statement, please email sbctoday@gmail.com, with the following:

Your Name, Ministry Position, Organization/Church, City, State

For example:
John Doe, Pastor (or Associate Pastor, Youth Minister, Deacon, member, etc.),
First Baptist Church, Anytown, TX
or
Joe Doe, Professor (or DOM, Evangelist, etc.), Seminary/College/Association,
Anytown, NC

We will be glad to add your name to this list of those affirming the statement!


Discussion of Article Six: The Election to Salvation in “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”

Note: As we discuss each article of the statement, today’s comments should focus on the affirmation and denial in Article 6. Please limit your comments here to Article 6.

Article Six: The Election to Salvation

We affirm that, in reference to salvation, election speaks of God’s eternal, gracious, and certain plan in Christ to have a people who are His by repentance and faith.

We deny that election means that, from eternity, God predestined certain people for salvation and others for condemnation.

Genesis 1:26-28; 12:1-3; Exodus 19:6; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Matthew 24:31; 25:34; John 6:70; 15:16; Romans 8:29-30, 33;9:6-8; 11:7; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2:11-22; 3:1-11; 4:4-13; 1 Timothy 2:3-4; 1 Peter 1:1-2; 1 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 7:9-10

A Resolution on the “Sinner’s Prayer”
to be presented at the SBC in New Orleans, June 2012



By Dr. Eric Hankins, Pastor of the
First Baptist Church in Oxford, Mississippi


WHEREAS, God desires for every person to be saved and has made salvation available for any person who hears the Gospel (John 3:16; Romans 10:14-17; 1 Timothy 2:3-4; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:2); and

WHEREAS, A free response to the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the Gospel is both possible and necessary in order for anyone to be born again (John 3:1-16; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 10:11-13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13); and

WHEREAS, Prayer is God’s gracious means through which any person can communicate with Him and is everywhere in Scripture commanded and commended for every matter and every person (2 Chronicles 7:14; Matthew 7:7-11; Mark 11:17; Philippians 4:6); and

WHEREAS, Praying to God to express repentance for sins, to acknowledge Christ as Lord, and to ask for forgiveness and salvation is modeled in the Bible (Acts 2:37-38; Romans 10:9-10); and

WHEREAS, While there is no one uniform wording found in Scripture or in the churches for a “Sinner’s Prayer,” the prayer of repentance and faith, acknowledging salvation through Christ alone and expressing complete surrender to His Lordship, is the biblical means by which any person can turn from sin and self, place his faith in Christ, and find forgiveness and eternal life (Luke 18:9-14, 23:39-43); and

WHEREAS, It is biblically appropriate to help a sinner in calling on the Lord for salvation and to speak of Christ’s response to such a prayer as “entering a sinner’s heart and life” (John 14:23; Acts 2:37-40; 16:29-30; Romans 10:11-17; Ephesians 3:17); and

WHEREAS, A “Sinner’s Prayer” is not an incantation that results in salvation merely by its recitation and should never be manipulatively employed or utilized apart from a clear articulation of the Gospel (Matthew 6:7, 15:7-9; 28:18-20); now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, LA, June 19-20, 2012, commend the use of a “Sinner’s Prayer” as a biblically sound and spiritually significant component of the evangelistic task of the church; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we encourage all Christians to enthusiastically and intentionally proclaim the Gospel to sinners everywhere, being prepared to give them the reason for the hope we have in Christ (I Peter 3:15), and being prepared to lead them to confess faith in Christ (Romans 10:9), including praying to receive Him as Savior and Lord (John 1:12).

Today’s Discussion Topic:
Article Five: The Regeneration of the Sinner
of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist
Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”

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Today’s Discussion Topic:
Article Five: The Regeneration of the Sinner
of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist
Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”

A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of the Plan of Salvation,” authored by Eric Hankins and others, has drawn strong interest in many social media and news outlets. The statement has been accessed over 30,000 times in the last few days. The discussions in SBC Today have evoked thousands of comments, with over 580 persons signing the document (including some key leaders from every level of Southern Baptist life). You can sign it also by following these directions.

To structure the discussion, we are focusing the comments on the affirmation and denial statement of one article of the statement at a time. Today’s discussion will address the Southern Baptist doctrines of grace in Article 5: The Regeneration of the Sinner. Keep in mind that each of the affirmations and denials in the articles complement each other, not unlike the Together for the Gospel statement signed and/or affirmed by some Southern Baptist leaders who embrace Reformed views.

Please confine your comments to the article being discussed each day, not general comments about the statement. If you want to comment on other things, follow the links to other discussion threads:

Thank you for your comments on these theological issues!

The Editors of SBC Today


Click this link to see the full statement of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”
Right click to download
A Statement of Traditional Southern Baptist Soteriology SBC Today.pdf
Click this link to see the list of signers of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”
We welcome the signatures of all Southern Baptists who would affirm this statement. 

If you would like to add your name in affirmation of the statement, please email sbctoday@gmail.com, with the following:

Your Name, Ministry Position, Organization/Church, City, State

For example:
John Doe, Pastor (or Associate Pastor, Youth Minister, Deacon, member, etc.),
First Baptist Church, Anytown, TX
or
Joe Doe, Professor (or DOM, Evangelist, etc.), Seminary/College/Association,
Anytown, NC

We will be glad to add your name to this list of those affirming the statement!


Discussion of Article Five: The Regeneration of the Sinner in “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”

Note: As we discuss each article of the statement, today’s comments should focus on the affirmation and denial in Article 5. Please limit your comments here to Article 5.

Article Five: The Regeneration of the Sinner

We affirm that any person who responds to the Gospel with repentance and faith is born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is a new creation in Christ and enters, at the moment he believes, into eternal life.

We deny that any person is regenerated prior to or apart from hearing and responding to the Gospel.

Luke 15:24; John 3:3; 7:37-39; 10:10; 16:7-14; Acts 2:37-39; Romans 6:4-11; 10:14; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20; 6:15; Colossians 2:13; 1 Peter 3:18.

A Commentary on
Article Four: The Grace of God
of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”

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A Commentary on
Article Four: The Grace of God
of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation”




By Dr. Brad Reynolds
Vice President for Academic Services
Truett-McConnell College


Article Four of our Traditionalist Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation says:

We affirm that grace is God’s generous decision to provide salvation for any person by taking all of the initiative in providing atonement, in freely offering the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, and in uniting the believer to Christ through the Holy Spirit by faith.

We deny that grace negates the necessity of a free response of faith or that it cannot be resisted. We deny that the response of faith is in any way a meritorious work that earns salvation.

Ezra 9:8; Proverbs 3:34; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 19:16-30, 23:37; Luke 10:1-12; Acts 15:11; 20:24; Romans 3:24, 27-28; 5:6, 8, 15-21; Galatians 1:6; 2:21; 5; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 3:2-9; Colossians 2:13-17; Hebrews 4:16; 9:28; 1 John 4:19

The Affirmations

I will begin by stating my assumptions regarding the affirmation:  1) Most Southern Baptists affirm the affirmation. 2) Many who affirm the affirmation may not think it went far enough (that is, they would not disagree with it, but would add to it). 3) Many who would deny it do so on the basis of the phrase “any person.”

Since Dr. David Allen has already addressed the third assumption concerning universal atonement it would be redundant for me to do so.  Thus, the affirmation concerning the Grace of God is either agreed upon as a minimal statement or the disagreement has already been addressed.  Yet, it would prove beneficial to view some of the passages referenced.

Acts 15:11

“But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” (NASB)

I agree with what John Polhill states, “God’s acceptance of the Gentiles has drawn a basic lesson for the Jews as well.  There is only one way of salvation – “through the grace of our Lord Jesus.”” (Acts, New American Commentary, Broadman, 2001, p 327).  One could never earn one’s way into heaven.  Our greatest works are filthy rags to a Holy God.  Grace, Amazing Grace is what brings our spirit to life.

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A Response to Dr. Tom Ascol
Concerning His Adherence to Imputed Guilt
Despite Its Denial in the Two Most Recent
Versions of The Baptist Faith and Message

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A Response to Dr. Tom Ascol
Concerning His Adherence to Imputed Guilt
Despite Its Denial in the Two Most Recent
Versions of The Baptist Faith and Message


By Dr. Rick Patrick
Senior Pastor
Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church
Hueytown, Alabama


In November, fellow Southern Baptist Pastor, Dr. Tom Ascol, will celebrate his thirty year anniversary as Executive Director for the Founders Ministries, an organization “committed to the recovery of the Gospel and the reformation of local churches.” By this, they clearly mean to influence churches toward the acceptance of Calvinism, as is their right, just as it is my right to oppose their efforts if I believe that both the Gospel and the churches they seek to influence are better left alone, as is, of course, the case.

Nevertheless, congratulations are in order for this thirty year anniversary. While I cannot wish upon Dr. Ascol that his tribe would increase, I can acknowledge the three decade existence of this tribe and commend his diligent leadership, especially compared with the fledgling clan I do not lead, but merely serve. I only pray that, in like manner, my new fellowship centered on John 3:16 traditionalism will be around in thirty years.

I am especially grateful for Dr. Ascol’s comprehensive discussion of A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation. Although I disagree with his conclusions, the attention he has shown by taking this document seriously and interacting with it carefully only confirms the need in our convention for this conversation to take place, and is certainly commendable and praiseworthy.

Unfortunately, in Part 5 of his series, dated June 5, 2012, Dr. Ascol concludes by admitting his fear that an Arminian is actually correct, and that Dr. Roger Olson may have been right to claim that “most American Christians, including most Baptists, are semi-Pelagian.” For a Calvinist and an Arminian to join forces and suggest that most Baptists are guilty of heresy seems, on the face of it, to be a much more divisive action than it would be for hundreds of Baptists, for example, to sign a simple doctrinal paper without accusing anyone of any kind of heresy at all.

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