Oxford Baptist Underground

Originating From a Secret Bunker Dug By William Hosea Holcombe and J.B. Gambrell Somewhere Off the Square in Oxford, Mississippi

The Traditional Statement, Trajectories, and An Inconvenient Truth

In the preamble to A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of
God’s Plan of Salvation, Dr. Eric Hankins writes:

While some earlier Baptist confessions were shaped by Calvinism, the clear trajectory of the BF&M since 1925 is away from Calvinism. For almost a century, Southern Baptists have found that a sound, biblical soteriology can be taught, maintained, and defended without subscribing to Calvinism.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Eric Hankins’ first premise above is correct, namely, that since 1925 “the clear trajectory” in the SBC has been “away from Calvinism.”  But what else was going on in Southern Baptist life during the last century? Hmmm . . . it was something that began in approximately the 1920’s, came to a head in the early 1960’s, resulted in the election of Adrian Rogers as SBC president in 1979, and sparked a nearly two decade war within the Southern Baptist Convention. What was it?  A “clear trajectory” away from the inerrancy and primacy of Scripture in the collective lives of Southern Baptists.

But now, post Conservative Resurgence, the Bible has been theoretically restored to its proper place in Southern Baptist life.  Consequently, what was present before the drift away from the Bible has returned – Calvinism (thus the supposed need for the Traditional Statement).  Could it be that, maybe just maybe, something akin to the Doctrines of Grace are actually contained in the Holy Book?  And now that Southern Baptists are again focusing on what the Bible actually teaches, could that be a reason why a growing number of these Baptists profess to be Calvinistic?  Inquiring minds want to know.


2 responses to “The Traditional Statement, Trajectories, and An Inconvenient Truth

  1. Harry Rakes September 28, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    If Calvinism is to be believed then these scriptures and many others are disingenuous, completely false. In Genesis 4 Cain is clearly given the opportunity to be accepted if he chose to do the right thing. He had to know what was expected and also be able to comply. Was God’s offer to him a lie? It would be if only the “elect” could respond to God’s call. Jesus made this statement, (Luke 10:12-14) But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. 13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you. Now those in Tyre and Sidon must not be the “elect” because they refused to repent and are long since dead and awaiting judgment. How could a greater revelation of truth have made a difference when by Calvinist doctrine salvation is a predestined and irresistible election by God’s choice? Jesus said this only because salvation is a free will choice in response to the revelation God has given.

    • Obu October 25, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      In Genesis 4:4-5, it says, “. . . the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering; But unto Cain and his offering he had not respect. . .” I fear that many subconsciously understand that passage to teach that the LORD delighted in Abel because he first delighted in Abel’s offering; while the LORD rejected Cain’s offering and as a consequence refused to respect him. But Hebrews 11:4 disabuses us of that notion. It reads, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” It was Abel’s faith that sanctified his offering, and it was Cain’s lack of faith that spoiled his offering. But where does faith come from? It proceeds from the heart. Romans 10:10 says, “For with the heart man believes unto righteousness . . . .” So Abel’s sacrifice was accepted by God because Abel was a righteous man. That is, God “had respect unto Abel” first, then his offering.

      But being reckoned as righteous in scripture comes in either one of two ways – either by works or by faith. The LORD tells Cain in Genesis 4:7 “If you do well, shall you not be accepted?” So was the acceptance offered Cain grounded on a works based righteousness (his doing of the right thing) or a faith based righteousness? God’s Law says “Do this and live.” Or to put it another way, “Do well and you will be accepted.” If Cain or any man did perfectly keep the Law of God, he would be accepted by God. But no man save Christ has ever kept the Law. The Law then is used in this sense as a schoolmaster to point us beyond ourselves to the Lord Jesus. Thus, I don’t see how Calvinism would make this passage disingenuous in any way.

      The second passage you cited was Luke 10:12-14. I found it really interesting that you quoted this scripture as if it strengthened your position. Indeed, the people of Tyre and Sidon will face judgment because of their sin. And the Lord Jesus did say they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes if the miracles performed in Chorazin and Bethsaida had been performed before them. But that begs the question – why then were those miracles not performed in Tyre and Sidon? Certainly the Almighty had the power to do it, but He chose not to. Notice: He chose (elected) not to.

      Romans 9:16

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