This is a perfect example why we should judge The Gospel Project for what it says, not for who said what:
Adrian Rogers, considered one of the preeminent Southern Baptists in recent history, wrote What Every Christian Ought to Know, a book that has been used in many SBC churches to disciple new believers in the basics of what Christians believe. I have used this book myself with new believers because it is short, easy to understand, and introduces some core Christian beliefs without getting too in-depth for a new believer to understand.
However, I’m reconsidering using What Every Christian Ought to Know because of some references and quotes that I feel could endanger the believers in my congregation by unwittingly exposing them to some Calvinists and Calvinistic ideas. Adrian Rogers was clearly not a Calvinist, and I’m grateful for his teachings on election and predestination. But I don’t believe Rogers fully realized the threat that Calvinism posed to the SBC when he wrote this book. What Every Christian Ought to Know leaves a trail that could ultimately lead unsuspecting and untrained new believers to embrace Calvinism, which would only lead to more division and strife in the SBC. Were he to write this book today, I’m certain that he would not include the same references that he did.
I would encourage any new believer to listen to and read Adrian Rogers’ material, so I don’t have an axe to grind against him. He’s one of my heroes. But I’d rather have new believers avoid overexposure to Calvinism when they’re at such an impressionable stage in their Christian walk. Here’s what concerns me about What Every Christian Ought to Know:
In chapter four, “Every Christian Ought to Know What Happens When a Christian Sins,” Rogers irresponsibly points his readers to two people any self-respecting Southern Baptist should wholeheartedly avoid. Rogers quotes lyrics from the song “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Robert Robinson. Robinson was a Methodist at the time he wrote that song, and though he later became a Baptist, he also became a Calvinist. Rogers also quotes Augustus Toplady’s song “Rock of Ages.” Toplady was a strong Calvinist who firmly opposed the teachings of John Wesley, founder of Methodism. Toplady argued that Calvinism was the historic position of the Church of England (not unlike the leading Calvinizers claim today about the SBC’s origins). Rogers gives no warning concerning the beliefs of Robinson or Toplady. Since sin is a very important doctrinal point for Calvinists, I can’t imagine why Rogers would haphazardly quote from people who would undermine what we, as traditional Southern Baptists, believe.
Update: I want to point out that this is completely tongue in cheek. I’m not a Traditionalist. I do like Rogers’ book (though I disagree with him on foreknowledge and predestination). Speaking of his book, a new edition is coming out in September 2012. If you don’t yet own a copy, I suggest picking one up (especially if it inadvertently leads to you becoming a Calvinist ).