Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by ReformedBaptist, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/article_main_page/0,1703,A%253D165917%2526M%253D201125,00.html?

    This looks like a neat conference. Anyone know about it? Planning on attending?

    I especially liked this quote:

    “Calvinism has generated a lot of interest in recent years in Southern Baptist life,” Akin noted. “Unfortunately we have often talked at and not with one another. Unhealthy rhetoric and misrepresentations from all directions has led to confusion and even ill will among brothers and sisters in Christ. We hope this conference will demonstrate how important theological issues can be discussed with grace, integrity and love.”
     
  2. UZThD

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    Sorry I cannot answer your question, but I think Calvinism to be alive and well among us Conservative Baptists!

    Bill G
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    Reformed Baptist Reply

    Hey RB,

    I for one am going to the conference if I have to hock all that I own. Leading SBC types on both sides of the issue will be there. It will be THE conference of the year and possibly THE first decade of 2000s.

    If you have the slightest inkling of an interest to go--get there. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED on any level.

    I know some of the speakers personally and I will testify that you will come away provoked in thought.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  4. Rhetorician

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    Pastoral Ministries

    To all who are interested:

    This thread theme was moved to the Pastoral Ministries forum once before and is still there; when I posted it a few days ago.

    FYI

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  5. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Sad

    :tear: As a member(currently) of an SBC church I think it sad that any sound thinking Baptist of any description wants to "build bridges" with the false and unbiblical theological system otherwise known as Calvinism. I'm afraid the end result will look something spiritually akin to that terrible tragic I-35 bridge collapse ...doctrinally speaking. Thankfully I have a staunch Bible preaching Pastor who stands firmly against such false doctrine...and I'll stand with him....and more importantly,the Lord Jesus Christ,whose heart desire is that ' none should perish' and that 'all should come to repentance'. Thank God that He predestined me to be conformed to the image of His dear Son.:saint:

    :type: In His Service...Gregory Perry Sr.
     
  6. Rippon

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    GPS , all Christians are elect , so , yes , He has predestined you to be conformed to the image of His Son . However , you have a lot of reading and studying to do . Calvinism cannot be likened to a terrible tragedy . And it certainly is not a false doctrine ( we actually believe in many doctrineS ) , but pure, unadulterated biblical teaching . It is scriptural and glorifying to the Lord . Take up and read . And by that I do not mean "The Institutes" ( although that wouldn't be a bad idea ) , meditate on the Word of God . Compare Scripture with Scripture . Do some homework in the area of Church History too . Dig into Baptist History in particular .

    And although you may love and respect your Pastor -- do some wider reading and listen to sermons of others who do not share his passionate anti-Calvinistic stance .
     
  7. Rhetorician

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    GPS Response

    GPS,

    I don't think I have talked with you before. Hello!

    I have no idea if you are SBC or no? But, the "Building Bridges" Conference is being put on so that an open and free exchange of ideas of men of character and conscience can come together and express those ideas. It will be done in a spirit of Christ with those who are considering such ideas pro or con can hear critical thinkers on both sides of the issue discussed in an intelligent manner those issues pertaining to Calvinism. IF you are SBC, then you know the consternation and division that is being discussed and even agued angrily across the Convention around these doctrines.

    Please, "do not throw out the baby with the bath water" as the brother above has indicated to you above.

    Be well read! I think if you do you probably will not follow what one man says, although you love him dearly and follow his lead in other areas.

    And this is in no way meant as a "put down" on any level. So, please do not take it that way.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
  8. Martin

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    ==What I think is sad is how people like you don't know your Baptist history. Did you know that many Baptists, and other evangelicals, throughout history have been Calvinists? Did you know that many Baptist confessions of the past have been Calvinistic/particular? Before you call Calvinism "false and unbiblical" you may want to do your Biblical and historical homework. Even if, at the end of the day, you don't agree with Calvinism you should know enough history to know that God has used many men who were Calvinists in great ways.


    ==History proves you wrong.


    ==I suppose your pastor does not spend much time in John 6, Romans 8-11, and other areas of Scripture. I also assume your pastor believes that God chose Israel in the Old Testament because He looked down through time and saw how obediant and faithful they would be. Hopefully he does not teach that since such a notion is directly refuted in the Word of God. However if he teaches such things about election in the New Testament I don't see why he will not teach such things about election in the Old Testament.

    ==Those passages refer to the elect (Jn 6:38-39, 10:28-29, 2Pet 3:9) and not those who He does not know.


    The conference will be helpful only if people get serious about this topic. Too many times, as we have seen above, people who are opposed to Calvinism don't know their history and have a very inconsistant/selective theological system. I am not saying they are bad people, I know many Godly men/women who are saved, and love the the Lord, who just refuse to deal seriously and consistantly with the facts on this issue. I think we need a major church meeting on this issue. A meeting in which there would be months/years of serious, honest, careful examination of these issues from a Biblical, theological, and historical standpoint. People like Ergun Caner and Jerry Vines, though great and Godly men, would not be invited to such a meeting since they are more about noise than substance (on this issue).
     
    #8 Martin, Aug 17, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2007
  9. ReformedBaptist

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    Hey brother Perry,

    I am so glad you belong to Jesus. May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you in great abundance. Do you think its sad that brethren who have some disagreement on some theology "...hope this conference will demonstrate how important theological issues can be discussed with grace, integrity and love."

    I was very impressed by the sentiment expressed here. I see in it genuine Christian love between brethren, who, while they disagree on serious theological topics, may manifest the glory of God in their love and kindness toward one another. Sure, they will go back to their independant churches and fellowship in close communion with like-minded believers. But they will show by their love they are Christians, even in the face of disagreement on serious theological subjects.
    "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35
     
    #9 ReformedBaptist, Aug 17, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2007
  10. paidagogos

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    Accuracy in media?

    Martin, I think you overly simplify and generalize. I find myself compelled to defend Bro. Perry, regardless of any personal theological leanings, to give balance and fairness to the debate. Yes, there were many Calvinistic Baptists in the historic Baptist family tree but you will find just as many Arminians. Then, there are those, especially among today’s Baptists, who lay claim to neither system but rather profess themselves to be Biblicists. IMHO, we cannot force them to swear allegiance to either system. This, by the way, is not an ignorant copout as some would argue but rather it is an intelligent recognition that some beliefs cannot be reconciled and systematized.
    Not necessarily. There are extreme and hyper forms of Calvinism, among some of the Primitive Baptists for example, that most Reformed Baptists would repudiate.
    Martin, this is a low blow. You are stereotyping your opponent. No, there are other non-Calvinist interpretations of these passages. You are misconstruing your opponent in much the same way that Calvinists claim their critics misconstrue them.
    How do you know? Make your argument. Your unsupported statement carries no more weight than Bro. Perry’s who may say nay, not so.
    Calvinists do have a very consistent, although selective, theological system. However, this may be part of the problem when concepts beyond our comprehension are molded to fit the system. This, IMHO, is the inherent weakness of any system, Calvinistic or Arminian. Remember Deuteronomy 29:29.
     
  11. paidagogos

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    Physician heal thyself!

    By education, Calvin was a classical humanist. He read and admired the Greeks. A knowledgeable person will easily recognize and find it in his writings. How do you reconcil this with your emphatic assertion? There is still reading and learning for all of us.
     
  12. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    Grace...and being Gracious

    :saint: To all of you who have responded to my post I'd like to say thank you for your comments even though I can't agree with the "push" for all things Calvinist. First and foremost I am a Bible-Believer and whether or not that means I land on the side (or opposite from) "historic Baptists", Presbyterians,Calvinists or any other "system" of belief is no matter to me. I simply believe that God saves by His GRACE ALL who will accept His free gift of salvation in and through the shed Blood of His dear Son,Jesus Christ through His finished work on the cross. NONE OF US are smart enough to figure out WHO will or won't believe and accept the truth so.......we are(once we are saved) commanded and expected to spread the Gospel (as defined in 1 Cor.15:3-4) to a lost and dying world that we are LEFT IN while we are DAY BY DAY in the process of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29) by His Holy Spirit in hopes that my life will become more like His blessed and holy life as outlined in Galatians 5:22-25. Therefore, I just can't seem to get interested in endless arguing about a questionable system of doctrine such as calvinism that seems to do nothing more than divide otherwise civil christian brethren. Besides...if I read my history correctly(and I'm sure many would disagree...and you have that right) Calvin never did completely cut ties with his Catholic roots(or their ungodly methods for dealing with those they disagreed with.) If you,my brethren,are comfortable with your calvinism then by all means have at it. BUT...I'd strongly recommend you seek to be as evangelistic as you possibly can so you can contribute as much to the coming Kingdom of Heaven as possible. By the way...Jesus will "bring that in" when He is good and ready but we are commanded to be watchful.....and busy. God bless you...let the debate proceed.

    :type: :laugh: In His Service...Gregory Perry Sr.
     
    #12 Gregory Perry Sr., Aug 18, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2007
  13. UZThD

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    as an aside: there is more to Calvin than 5 points

    While we think of Calvinism usually in soteriological contexts, I like Calvin's Christology more than Arminius' or Erickson's. Arminius says that Christ is not God from Himself as He is eternally generated. Erickson says God the Son is willingly limited (with the implication of a confining) in the humanity of Christ. Calvin rejects both Arminius' eternal begetting and Erickson's form of kenoticism.

    BTW, There is evidence in at least two of Calvin's writings that he rejected limited atonement as often understood.
     
  14. Rippon

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    PAID , you need to pay attention . I said that Calvinism is pure , unadultrated , biblical teaching . I wasn't referring to Calvin's works as such . Although he stuck closer to the biblical text than many fundamental/conservative commetators do these days .

    You , as so many others here , constantly confuse Calvinism with John Calvin's works .
     
  15. Paul1611

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    Amen brother! Very well put.
     
  16. Rhetorician

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    Paul Response

    Hey Paul,

    I was wondering. Many times the issues of Calvinism falsely (and overly simplistically) turn on the misuderstandings and "lighten-rod" terms of "election." I would like to know if you and the others who are arguing against the Doctrines of Sovereign Grace mean those doctrines that have to do with election only? If so, then I would appreciate the information for the furtherance of the discussion.

    Whoever is a serious Bible student will have to deal with the issue(s) of election such as: Abraham, Israel, Christ, Judas Iscariot, those given to Jesus--John 6 & 10--, Romans 9--Pharoah, Ephesians 1, etc., et al. What has been denigrated as "a system" is only a systematic approach applied in a humble manner to endeavor to understand these Biblical and doctrinal issues.

    Albeit there are times when the issues are pushed out-of-shape. I would counsel anyone, if you have in your library even one "Systematic Theology" or have read one such, then you have betrayed what you have spoken or written on this page.

    It does not matter if one follows a system that may happen to have a certain theologian's name attached, you still must give some account in a systematic manner of what God does and how it does it in the "arena of election" called commonly by some as Calvinism.

    FWIW!

    The moderators may want to move this post.

    sdg!:thumbs:

    rd
     
    #16 Rhetorician, Aug 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2007
  17. Paul1611

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    Rhet,
    I should have been more clear in my post. My purpose in replying to Bro. Gregory was not to get into a debate about Calvinism. I simply agree with the "spirit" in which he posted. Instead of calling everyone a bunch of nasty names, insulting their intelligence, and questioning their salvation, he gave some Scripture to help encourage people to do something for the Kingdom while we have the time. I guess I should have quoted the part of the message that I was replying to. As far as Calvinism is concerned I am still studying all that out myself. I am currently reading two books on the subject plus the journals of George Whitefield. I was surprised to find out that Whitefield was a "Calvinist" and found his letters to John Wesley very interesting. Anyways that is all that was meant by my post.
     
  18. Rippon

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    Paul1611 , if you just came across the common knowledge fact that Whitefield was a Calvinist -- I'd say that you need to do a lot more reading of Church history . Calvinists pop up all over the place . Evangelists/preachers/authors/educators alike are found among the Calvinistic groups of various denominations ( and non-denominations like the Plymouth Brethren . )
     
  19. Gregory Perry Sr.

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    It Doesn't Matter....

    :saint: Rippon, respectfully,I'd say it doesn't really matter or count for much which individuals or denominations might have embraced Calvin's teaching either in the past OR in the present age in which we live. Regardless of the doctrinal stance you wish to accept(or reject) we are all just fallible men who are subject to error. The only hope we have is the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.....and for our part....a TOTALLY surrendered heart and spirit about us. I personally believe God honors a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17)(actually the whole chapter..Psalm 51! ) and will lead,guide,and protect a man like that and NOT allow him to be misled doctrinally or otherwise. In any case there is no place for PRIDE of any sort. We must,as saved men(and women) seek God's truth for HIS SAKE....not ours. Thank God ,He IS sovereign....and not because ANY man said so. Praise God for His Mercy,His Grace...and His Word. By the way,Thank you Paul1611 for your kind comments.

    Greg Perry Sr.:jesus: :type: :saint:
     
  20. Rippon

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    GPS , I was just referencing the fact that being somehat conversant with Church history is a good thing . The more you know of events and the people involved in the events it will help you put some things together . It will assist you doctrinally as well . Get some readable biographies of bygone saints . You will be able to flesh-out a number of things . AND , some of your prejudices regarding Calvinism may evaporate . It will drive you to the Bible to sort things out . I'd suggest William Cunningham's volumes on Historical theology for starters .
     

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