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Jun 25 12 7:33 AM

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Albert Mohler writes an article on the brouhaha among some Southern Baptists. These are PARTIAL QUOTES from the article and the URL is posted below.

"A recent statement on the doctrine of salvation has received a good bit of attention in recent days. Since it deals with matters of current controversy, it has generated some heat.

The document, identified as “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation” was written and released by a group of Southern Baptists who clearly intend to make a theological argument.

We are not debating the inerrancy of the Bible. That matter is settled among us. We are privileged to be having a debate among those who affirm the total truthfulness and authority of the Bible. Otherwise, we would surely be debating the issues that have consumed the more liberal denominations, such as same-sex marriage, the ordination of practicing homosexuals to the ministry, and feminine God-language.

I wholeheartedly and emphatically agree with some of the statement’s most important declarations, such as when it denies “that salvation is possible outside of a faith response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ” and when it affirms that “the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned His church to preach the good news of salvation to all people to the ends of the earth.” I rejoice in its statement that “the proclamation of the Gospel is God’s means of bringing any person to salvation.” It is certainly correct in denying that any person is regenerated “apart from hearing and responding to the Gospel.”

That said, I could not sign the document. Indeed, I have very serious reservations and concerns about some of its assertions and denials. I fully understand the intention of the drafters to oppose several Calvinist renderings of doctrine, but some of the language employed in the statement goes far beyond this intention. Some portions of the statement actually go beyond Arminianism and appear to affirm semi-Pelagian understandings of sin, human nature, and the human will — understandings that virtually all Southern Baptists have denied. Clearly, some Southern Baptists do not want to identify as either Calvinists, non-Calvinists, or Arminians.

That leads me to make another qualification. I do not believe that those most problematic statements truly reflect the beliefs of many who signed this document. I know many of these men very well, and I know them to be doctrinally careful and theologically discerning.

Fourth, the last thing Southern Baptists need, now or ever, is the development of theological tribalism among us. We must all repent of the sin of building a tribe when we are called to serve the Kingdom of Christ. The more Calvinistic Southern Baptists, and here I include myself, are deeply theological and passionately concerned to get the Gospel right. The Calvinists I know are transforming their beliefs into an absolute renaissance of missionary comissionings and Gospel church planting. At times, however, Calvinists can be tribal and elitist, more concerned with counting points of doctrine and less concerned with pointing us all to the mission of the Gospel. Such a tribalism is inconsistent with the very beliefs we cherish. This goes to show that we, too, can be inconsistent in faith and practice. Of such tribalism we must all repent. E. Y. Mullins, Herschel H. Hobbs, and Adrian Rogers were statesmen, and their theological commitments were never tribal. END OF QUOTES

Does this remind you when in 2009 the Manhatten Declaration was written and signed by some theologians and not by some such as  Tim Challies, John MacArthur, Micheal Horton, R.C. Sproul, Alistair Begg and James White among others. Albert Mohler did sign it with stated reservations though he did not sign this one.

About the Manhatten Declaration Horton said, "My concern is that the document (like ECT) confuses the gospel with the law. We are not justified by doctrinal accuracy, but we are justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Believers may believe that wonderful gospel confusedly, but to deny it–even to anathematize it–is an act of apostasy," (Gal 1:8-9).

Is this a sign of apostasy creeping into the church? Or even boldly galloping in?

I still think it is important, for so many reasons, that the ones that can go to church go not only for fellowship but to help members recognize apostasy. We all have different functions and to be one body we must all work together with our different gifts. I come in here to be fed what I don't know by all of you. And, if someone comes in with false teaching and if I don't see it I have the rest of the body to bring it to light.

I do see what Mohler speaks of in his article about triabalism. Are we guilty of that? Even a little?

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Jun 25 12 6:49 PM

Frankly, I for one do not subscribe to either Calvinism or Arminianism because they are belief systems designed primarily through the thought processes of man that have needlessly complicated the simplicity that comes straight out of the Bible, if the later were to be uniformly used for the design of any statement of faith and the guidelines for our salvation from the words of Jesus and the apostles.  Ineed, the So. Baptists are into tribalism theology.

A positive advantage for me, a non-denominationalist who thrives on doctrine and theology exclusively from the Bible.


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