Calvinism and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)?

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Kiffin

Puritan Board Freshman
Lack of any theological education, not merely poor grades in theological education.
No. Seminary grads were the ones surveyed.
That's why I am assuming there is a theological explanation for the apparent dilemma.
Maybe the explanantion goes something like this: "If the Gospel is explained faithfully and the one being evangelized understands the Gospel fully and totally, he has no choice but to except the free gift of salvation that God is drawing him to--it is irresistible. God does not elect men to salvation but puts the responsibility on people to communicate the Gospel effectively to stir their hearts."
 

Ivan

Pastor
. Frankly, no one really cares about Southern Baptists outside the South, whether Calvinist or otherwise.

So, to answer your question, no there is no hardline division.
This is not experience here in Indy. So I figure it is geographical.
Well, then again, I don't run with the big dogs, purposely. Extremely boring. One of the big issues at the annual meeting next week in Orlando is a re-channeling of funds to "mission" states in the East, the Midwest and the West. I'll believe it when I see it.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Lack of any theological education, not merely poor grades in theological education.
No. Seminary grads were the ones surveyed.
That's why I am assuming there is a theological explanation for the apparent dilemma.
Maybe the explanantion goes something like this: "If the Gospel is explained faithfully and the one being evangelized understands the Gospel fully and totally, he has no choice but to except the free gift of salvation that God is drawing him to--it is irresistible. God does not elect men to salvation but puts the responsibility on people to communicate the Gospel effectively to stir their hearts."
But that is not the doctrine of the Irresistibility of Grace. The researchers asked these seminarians whether they agreed with the 'I' of TULIP. Is it possible that seminary professors are deliberately misrepresenting Calvinism? Obviously the seminary professors understand Calvinism (regardless whether they agree) or they wouldn't be professors in the first place. Right?
 

Cato

Puritan Board Freshman
SBC then appears to be Cradle to Grave & they are big on forgiving ..... Hmmmm
And of course, they continue to grow while Reformed religion continues to shrink.
I will have to study this much more. Im sure down south they are a force as the Catholics are up here in the Nothhhh
 

Grimmson

Puritan Board Sophomore
Some within the SBC would like to have a witch hunt and dispel all Calvinists (the Caners).
How ironic that it is the same Ergun Caner that is currently having his back ground investigated for lying by his own Liberty University. A perfect spokesman to try to weed out Calvinism, don’t you think?
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Some within the SBC would like to have a witch hunt and dispel all Calvinists (the Caners).
How ironic that it is the same Ergun Caner that is currently having his back ground investigated for lying by his own Liberty University. A perfect spokesman to try to weed out Calvinism, don’t you think?
I know Calvinist's who are liars also. I have been guilty. Had to repent also. Sorry.
 

NB3K

Puritan Board Sophomore
What is the current state of calvinism in the SBC? What is the ratio, roughly of course, of calvinists and arminians in the SBC? Lastly how well has the SBC asimelated these two groups?
It depends. When people are praying for God to convert people, it's strong. When they engage in theology and say that He can't convert them, it's weak. ;)
It's funny you say that. I was telling my wife last night the same thing. Everyone is a calvinist when they engage in intercessiory prayer. Then when you tell them that it is not of will of man but of God, their pride gets intangled, because they really think they madde the first move toward God.
 

jwright82

Puritan Board Graduate
Well thanks for all the info everyone. So what I can gather is this there is no real sharp division in the SBC on this issue? If so than how does it manage to go about this?
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
...My guess is that many SBC folks are probably not far from the average broad evangelical people. Ask them if they are Calvinist or Arminian and they will likely shrug their shoulders and announce that they are Calminians.
Very insightful post Dennis. I didn't quote the whole thing due to length but you place your finger on the real issue.

I joked earlier but my experience, serving in an SBC Church, is that most people don't care or have a clue.

Increasingly, in every communion, the doctrinal distinctives that would even give shape to something like "Calvinism" or "Arminianism" are lost on people. Most are concerned about "inner life" and, if Pelosi wasn't on the wrong end of a political dividing line, hordes of American Evangelicals would be quoting her gnostic gibberish and noting with great delight how great it is to have Christians in public service.

Move away from certain "strongholds" and I've found most SBC folk to be pretty ambivalent about many of the things that distinguish them. In my more surly days, I wrote this article about what I saw in 2006 with the Franklin Graham Festival: http://www.solideogloria.com/story/2006/08/01/02.14.44

I think most people's choice of Churches today is really kind of like choosing an ice cream flavor. I found myself joking to my boss yesterday about how discordant something was by using the analogy "...that's like Roman Catholics and Protestants..." and then I had to stop short because I realized I couldn't draw any analogy that wouldn't seem anachronistic in today's society where both Roman Catholics and Protestants see each other as having a vital "inner life".

This may seem to be off-topic from the OP but it is not. I remember many people in my Church in Okinawa who did not see a discernible difference between themselves and their Roman Catholic friends in terms of "spirituality". I was surprised to learn (and quite humble) that one woman who listened to me teach over several months made that turn and learned the difference because she learned of a Gospel outside of her.
 

BenjaminBurton

Puritan Board Freshman
There is a sharp division but it's mostly geographical. In my area, most of the bigger churches are going to be more Calvinist (influence of Southern Seminary). A lot of churches I've been in don't really talk about it. Missions and evangelism takes the stage over the debating but I have sat under some solid teaching but I'm sure not all sentiments were shared by the congregates.
 

alb1

Puritan Board Freshman
Well thanks for all the info everyone. So what I can gather is this there is no real sharp division in the SBC on this issue? If so than how does it manage to go about this?
It's kind of two fold, yes there is a sharp division in the SBC over Calvinism , but
by its own rules for membership the SBC cannot be divided over Calvinism. Just read the preamble to the Baptist Faith and Message:

With the 1963 committee, we have been guided in our work by the 1925 "statement of the historic Baptist conception of the nature and function of confessions of faith in our religious and denominational life . . . ." It is, therefore, quoted in full as a part of this report to the Convention:

(1) That they constitute a consensus of opinion of some Baptist body, large or small, for the general instruction and guidance of our own people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us. They are not intended to add anything to the simple conditions of salvation revealed in the New Testament, viz., repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

(2) That we do not regard them as complete statements of our faith, having any quality of finality or infallibility. As in the past so in the future, Baptists should hold themselves free to revise their statements of faith as may seem to them wise and expedient at any time.

(3) That any group of Baptists, large or small, have the inherent right to draw up for themselves and publish to the world a confession of their faith whenever they may think it advisable to do so.

(4) That the sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.

(5) That they are statements of religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation in other realms of life.

Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God."
 
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