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 not the first time the ethicist and the Judge have been at odds. When the Judge refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court, Dr. Moore sided with the Federal Government. Now we have Moore-vs-Moore, round two.
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?