Scott Gordon is the pastor of Claycomo Baptist Church in Kansas City, MO. He has previously blogged here at SBC Voices, SBC Today, and his personal blog, SolaGratia! Currently, you’ll most often find him in the comments sections around here or other blogs or on Twitter (@SAGordon).
I have submitted the resolution which follows to the Resolutions Committee for the 2012 SBC Annual Meeting in the hope that they would see fit to recommend it to the messengers from our churches in attendance in New Orleans. I have seen and highly respect the effort Chris Roberts has put into the resolution he has submitted for consideration this year as well and wholeheartedly support his resolution. I think we are both heading in the same direction, though I am choosing to be more specific in focusing a resolution on the current kerfuffle (do I get bonus points for keeping that word alive?) regarding the doctrines relating to soteriology across certain sectors of our convention.
Allow me the privilege of clarification on a few points: (1) I identify as a 5.0 point (though some may quibble with me regarding my view on how one defines the way in which the atonement must necessarily be limited) Calvinist; (2) Though I have friends who are connected with the Founders group, I’ve never been a part of that movement; (3) I had been a part of the Baptist Identity group, and still have friends connected therewith, but this very issue has caused me to pretty much remove myself from that arena; (4) I am not seeking an end-all-discussion-on-this-topic result. I am hoping for a more congenial approach toward one another and a cessation of the crusade to remove Calvinists from the privilege of serving the churches of our convention through leadership in our various entities; (5)…I need a fifth point in order to make this ‘complete’…I don’t have one in this case, so I guess I must move on. 🙂
So, please peruse this resolution. Is it necessary? Is it adequate to our time? I am looking forward to this discussion.
ON THE THEOLOGY OF SALVATION IN THE SBC
WHEREAS, a climate of antagonism has arisen within our convention regarding the theology of salvation, specifically as it pertains to Calvinism and non-Calvinism; and
WHEREAS, the Baptist Faith and Message has been approved by our convention of churches as our confession of faith regarding our commonly held convictions regarding biblical revelation; and
WHEREAS, the Baptist Faith and Message speaks specifically to the doctrine of man in Article III stating that while man is created in God’s image and as male and female, he has chosen rebellion against God, the consequence thereof being the introduction of sin into the very nature of all mankind thus incurring the just condemnation of God; and
WHEREAS, the Baptist Faith and Message speaks specifically to the doctrine of salvation in Article IV stating the need for everyone to confess his own sin, repent thereof, and submit his life to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; and
WHEREAS, the Baptist Faith and Message speaks specifically to the doctrine of election in Article V stating that salvation is solely the work of a sovereign God and is consistent with the responsibility of man; and
WHEREAS, the Baptist Faith and Message speaks specifically to the doctrines of evangelism and missions in Article XI stating that all Christians share the responsibility of making disciples of all nations by proclaiming the Gospel and teaching faithfulness to all our Lord’s commands; and
WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have benefited throughout our history from the two identifiable and significant influences relating to the doctrine of salvation, these being Calvinist and non-Calvinist; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the messengers of the churches present at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention gathered in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 19-20, 2012, do without reservation affirm as our confession of faith the Baptist Faith and Message; and be it further
RESOLVED, that we encourage thoughtful study of God’s Word on everyone’s part for the discernment of the truth and application thereof for all areas of our lives; and be it further
RESOLVED, that we recognize that careful, thoughtful and God-honoring men and women can arrive at various perspectives regarding the doctrine of salvation and related doctrines, including five-point Calvinism as well as non-Calvinist biblicism, within a theologically orthodox framework; and be it finally
RESOLVED, that we who are either Calvinist or non-Calvinist purpose to accept and encourage one another, and to cooperate together in the ongoing work of our Great Commission calling under Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.