I have been out of the blog-o-sphere for a little while, dropping a few things on my personal blog. I am slowing creeping back, trying to be careful. In my time away, I have been in some great discussions and there is something that is clawing at my mind. I am as waist deep in this Calvinism/Traditionalism debate as anyone. If you are familiar with my writings or my theology, you know I am a Wovenist, the first and maybe only Wovenist. There are things I have written here and there, but many would say that I am much closer to the Calvinist side. I believe in the elect, in predestination, I affirm most of the Calvinistic points, my theological difference is how I see time working and how God acts in, out and through time. That’s another blog. Let’s just suffice it to say I’m not a Traditionalist.
In this whole scenario, great people are trying to help us work together. Guys like Dr. Frank Page who I think is one of the most humble yet brilliant men in the SBC, yet he and I are not on the same theological page. There are lots of guys who I think are great, wonderful men of God, yet the theology they teach makes me nervous. So yes, you can go ahead and slap the label on me of a Calvinist who thinks I’m right (but I’m really a Wovenist who thinks I’m right). After all, if I didn’t think I was right, why on earth would I believe it? No one really enjoys holding to the losing side. . . except for Yankee fans. Sorry Dave, couldn’t resist. Whatever camp you are in, you think you are right. When it comes to something like Salvation, I believe the Bible teaches election. I do believe there is human responsibility, there is choice, but I believe the concept of Free Will is a heresy that was given to the church by the enlightenment and the scientific age. If man has evolved, man must be the highest form of life in the universe, therefore there is nothing to limit the will of man, it’s free. I don’t see this idea supported, I see the idea of slaves of sin or slaves to Christ.
I’m not trying to tell anyone they are wrong, but I do of course think I am right. Otherwise, I wouldn’t believe it. It’s not being conceded, it’s just being sure in your position. I am sure many of you don’t like that I just called Free Will a pagan idea, and furthermore, I think it imposes itself on the throne and dominion of the Father, which would make it fall in line with the original lie, that we can be like God. I am sure some hair just stood up on the back of the necks of some. It’s not that I don’t love Traditionalists, I just think they are wrong. I am sure they love me, but think I am wrong and many want to call me bad names and throw things in my general direction. I don’t believe in Universal Atonement, I don’t know how to make it work without making Salvation a work. Sorry guys, but I think those of you who hold to Universal Atonement are on the edge of heresy. On top of the rest of it, I think the SBC has roots in the Separatist movement, the Puritans and. . . well a bunch of Calvinists. I think we are linked to Particular Baptists and Calvinistic theology is our legacy.
Ok, so by a show of hands, how many would like to excommunicate me, stone me and throw me to the Presbyterians? Thank you, I see that hand. This brings me to my actually point, can we really just agree to disagree? At some point, are we as Southern Baptists going to have to take a firm foundation on a statement on one side or the other? Both have implications. The Traditionalists would say that Calvinism will destroy evangelism. Calvinists would say the Traditionalists will lead to false conversion. The Wovenist would say that you both have some things right but you have to take in the consideration that God is not subjected to or limited by time and or space, therefore the whole argument is humanistic in nature and. . . I digress. There is a problem, and I think the posts that may or may not follow this article may shed some light. Some may encourage me, some will support me, some will call for my head to be brought in on a silver platter. We are a convention with a deep divide over the foundational issue of Salvation. It is not a little problem. I am so glad we have men like Dr. Page to talk with people over this issue, but what will it take to resolve it? What sort of
SBC will grow for my children, and will I be a part of it? After this post, will I be welcome to be a part of it? Only time will tell.