The concept of love (particularly how God loves) is a bit different on Calvinism. On Calvinism God loves the elect. Jesus died and rose again, for the few elect. This means that by definition, God as described by the consistent Calvinist is not omnibenevolent. Of course, a Calvinist could redefine the word “love” as it relates to God and claim that it is “loving” for God to allow those he loves to go to hell when they simply could not choose otherwise. In fact, this is the approach that many Calvinists take.
Is it possible that some of our church plants receive members in this fashion? Yes, it is altogether possible, especially when one considers that one of America’s leading church planting networks is led by a Pastor whose congregation is among those accepting members in this manner. Is it possible that the network is training their church planters to embrace non-immersed membership as normative?
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 list explores 25 of the most influential Southern Baptists in history who have clearly disaffirmed Calvinism. Some leaders highly deserving of this recognition, such as W. A. Criswell and Lottie Moon, are believed to fit within our Traditionalist wing. However, with some amount of soteriological evidence on both sides, we have chosen to leave them off. Many other worthy names could have been listed. Like the heroes mentioned in Hebrews 11, this is a Roll Call of Faith for SBC Traditionalists.