If two parties ever hope to address issues productively, they must first stop calling each other names. Generally, this means adopting your opponent's preferred title. In the Conservative Resurgence, the names "fundamentalist" and "liberal" became pejorative. Those who desired to engender a more cordial conversation opted for "conservative" and "moderate" instead. In the present debate, I am going to assume that the Calvinists do not mind being called Calvinists. If this is not the case, let me know. In the interest of both unity and cooperation, I am willing to consider any other … [Read more...] about Call Me Maybe–Something Nice
Having previously listed twenty reasons why I believed Southern Baptists would have been better off NOT giving our blessing to the use of an inwardly divisive and outwardly confusing descriptor, I must now concede the historical fact that, according to the will of 53% of voting messengers in New Orleans (or a total of 2,546 Southern Baptists) who decided to affirm this approach, whether we like it or not, churches and entities may now adopt, with the convention's approval, the optional replacement name "Great Commission Baptists" when referring to the Southern Baptist Convention. I realize … [Read more...] about Any Descriptor Sightings?
The appeal for unity by Southern Baptist Calvinists makes perfect sense to me. Let's put our differences behind us for the sake of our witness and cooperation in the gospel. We may have slight differences in soteriology, but we agree that Jesus is Lord, the Bible is inerrant and God wants us to tell a dying world about Him. Fine. Really. The suggestion by Southern Baptist Calvinists that Traditionalists may believe in heresy is much more troubling. Traditionalists who affirm Total Depravity reject Total Inability. Traditionalists who affirm our sin nature in Adam nevertheless reject that we … [Read more...] about Of Unity and Heresy
Pelagianism teaches that Adam was merely a bad example whose sin brought injury to himself and no one else. In this view, everyone born after Adam is the same as Adam was before the fall. This heresy is a denial of the doctrine of original sin. It is expressly rebuked in Article Two of A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation: We affirm that, because of the fall of Adam, every person inherits a nature and environment inclined toward sin and that every person who is capable of moral action will sin. Semi-Pelagianism is a milder form of the … [Read more...] about I Am NOT a Semi-Pelagianist
In an ironic twist, there is a new name I can fully embrace this summer in New Orleans. As most readers at SBC Voices might assume, I have already signed A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation. It describes, in a manner completely consistent with The Baptist Faith and Message, the soteriological position I hold dear and boldly proclaim. By drafting the statement, the authors have provided at least one service to Southern Baptists that I believe should not go unnoticed, and it is in the area of nomenclature. While this may not have been their … [Read more...] about I Am A Traditionalist
In June 2010, almost two years ago now, SBC messengers defeated a proposal to unseal the records of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force meetings, records which the Task Force itself, unilaterally, took the liberty of sealing for a proposed fifteen years. The strongest argument against unsealing the records had to do with personnel considerations and centered upon the protection of individuals whose testimony about others might in fact jeopardize their jobs. They were promised confidentiality by the task force (who told them they could do that?) and the task force did not want to … [Read more...] about Let’s Open It Early!
In light of Memorial Day, and in grateful memory of the one million American men and women, in all of our nation's wars, who died to protect our freedoms, allow me to share three patriotic principles, which highlight three freedoms we are in danger of losing, not through war but in peacetime, as we fail to stand up for our rights. These are statements people make regularly about our American way of life, usually misrepresenting the nature of the concept in such a way as to distort completely its original purpose. 1. Legislating morality How many times have you heard people make the … [Read more...] about Memorial Meanings and Patriotic Principles
Dear My Friends Good But Sadly Suffering With The Sickness, For years now so many I have been in receipt of communications varied from strangers and people I have never yet the meeting opportunity being mine. As you can see from broken English mine so easily, this email is of the truth and coming from someone with good intention of nobility and to be generous. My attention has been coming to the astounding conclusiveness that people of means substantial, which is to say possessing considerable wherewithals, from nations abroad that no banks must availability be to them all, have … [Read more...] about Open Email to Rich Overseas Donors
Back in my seminary days, when I was young and idealistic, I took great comfort in the knowledge that men like Peter Wagner, Donald McGavran, Win Arn and Lyle Schaller had authored books containing all the wisdom necessary to bring numerical growth to any church I ever served. A comfortably warm feeling came over me when I read the lists of bullet points and action plans which seemingly guaranteed that I would baptize more saints than I buried and that more people would be discipled than would depart. More than twenty years later, almost 90% of our churches are not growing through healthy … [Read more...] about Questioning the Church Growth Gurus
An unborn child is considered a human being for White House security purposes but a mere product of conception for abortion purposes. Would it be too much to ask for a little consistency here? http://bit.ly/JtjCYf … [Read more...] about Oh The Humanity!