Skip to comments.SBC Leader Cites Calvinism as Top Challenge
Posted on 10/29/2011 10:01:19 PM PDT by marshmallow
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (ABP) A Southern Baptist Convention official says one of the top challenges facing the nations second largest faith group behind Roman Catholics is the increasing influence of Calvinism in churches.
I think one of the issues which is a tremendous challenge for us is the theological divide of Calvinism and non-Calvinism, Frank Page, CEO of the SBC Executive Committee said in a blog interview posted Oct. 18 at SBC Today.
Everyone is aware of this, but few want to talk about this in public, elaborated Page, who assumed the post of president and CEO of the SBC fiduciary and executive agency last year. The reason is obvious. It is deeply divisive in many situations and is disconcerting in others. At some point we are going to see the challenges which are ensuing from this divide become even more problematic for us. I regularly receive communications from churches who are struggling over this issue.
Page, a former South Carolina pastor who served as SBC president 2006-2008, authored an 80-page booklet in 2000 titled Trouble with the TULIP: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism. In it he termed Calvinism a man-made doctrine not supported by Scripture and defended what he called "the true teachings of grace."
The book countered a common acronym for the five main points of Calvinism, a theological model named after Protestant reformer John Calvin. They are: Total depravity, Unmerited election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace and Perseverance of the saints.
Page presented an alternative acronym of GRACE. Given through Christ, Rejected through rebellion, Accepted through faith and Christ died for all that summarized four points of a counter view of Calvinism called Arminianism. Pages final E departed from Arminian thought with everlasting life/security of the believer, a Calvinist doctrine held by most...........
(Excerpt) Read more at abpnews.com ...
Interesting, the Federal government is arguing that Church governance exists only to the extent that the Federal government says it does.
Calvinism (as defined in this century, not necessarily Calvin), is causing a failing away.
It's a modern version of fatalism.
Also, it is AGAINST the philosophy of Sola Scriptura. Essentially shortly after leaving the Catholic church due to extra-biblical doctrine, we (the protestant/reformers) adopted another.
If modern 5 point Calvinism is evident from the bible, then why is the doctrine required, and called Calvinism? If not evident from the bible, then it should not be considered as gospel (obviously).
I am sure there will be lots of offended people - they defend Calvinism with more zest than biblical doctrines. I usually find that staunch Calvinists are anti-zionists (this is called replacement theology). What is funny is that the whole “God has written out” the Jews theology militates against God's Omnipresence, Omnipotence and Sovereignty.
Not to offend anyone, but it seems after doing some reading that Calvinism is the height of arrogance. Also explains what I found when searching for a church a few years back.
True Calvinism doesn't have anything to do with arrogance (although many debates over the theology end that way).
True Calvinism is about reassurance of the saints.
The one who believes what Calvin taught (and Paul and Augustine before him BTW) will walk in peace and assurance. And that's a wonderful thing.
Fatalism, determinism and ‘salvation from God’.
I wouldn’t be the first to note that Calvinism and atheism rose in the West.
The SBC is getting just as PC as the rest of them.
If you accept “tax free” or “non-profit” status from the IRS, they own you. Do not register your church or anything taxable and you will have free speech.
Unfortunately it was preordained from the beginning of time that I do so.
Oh yeah, and going around proclaiming that you are "born again" is really PC. Right.
“If modern 5 point Calvinism is evident from the bible, then why is the doctrine required, and called Calvinism? “
The term “Calvinism” is just shorthand for a system of theology. So is “Arminianism,” and a lot of other “isms.”
Why call the “Trinity” the trinity? Why speak of “Creationism?” What is the purpose of the word “Dispensationalism?”, “inerrancy,” etc.?
Don’t object to Calvinism just because it is a shorthand word. If all of our discussions avoided shorthand words we’d be re-explaining ourselves all day.
“Calvinism is the height of arrogance. “
I find this to be a strange conclusion, because the main point of the Calvinistic viewpoint of salvation is, God alone saves. Man can’t save himself.
Agree with that or not, it isn’t arrogant.
“I wouldnt be the first to note that Calvinism and atheism rose in the West.”
So did Christianity!
No causation by correlation. A whole lot has risen in the West.
“Unfortunately it was preordained from the beginning of time that I do so. “
Indeed, God knows all things and is not caught by surprise. By any of us.
What those who oppose this truth don’t seem to want to acknowledge is, that this does not absolve us of responsibility. Nowhere in God’s word does He absolve us of the responsibility for our actions.
God hardened Pharoah’s heart. Yet, it was Pharoah that sinned.
“It’s a modern version of fatalism.”
I disagree (obviously) - no proper Calvinist denies that God hold him accountable for his behavior.
God Sovereign; Men Free. A seeming contradiction, yet, that is what we find in Scripture.
God hardened Pharoah’s heart. Yet, Pharoah sinned.
Happy Ref Sunday!
The arrogance stems from the Brahminical attitude of "me and my kids are an upper caste Elite Elect (Covenant Theology)"
yes, it was predestined for marsh to post it, for you to reply and for me to reply to you. All pre-programmed -- sins and all... we are just robots who follow a program :)
Persevero: So did Christianity!
Not really -- Christianity arose in the East, technically in Asia and for centuries, in fact arguably for most of the first millenium, the "action" was in the East. The Assyrian Church converted people as far as Mongolia, while the Marthomites were busy in Southern India etc.
Christianity is not a "Western religion"
As usual, that's not true...
I take it that you’re infralapsarian?
That may be your perception.
To Calvinists, it is perceived as Knowing where you're going. Knowing why. and Living in accordance to this knowledge.
Personally I have all my faith in a Jewish Carpenter.
The first problem here is lumping all “Calvinists” in one bag. There are many degrees of Calvinism, the fatalistic perspective/anti-Israel perspective being on the fringe.
The Reformed Baptist churches are growing (they are Calvinists) while the SBC is shrinking, and they see this as a threat.
I have never been a part of any denomination and worked among believers of all stripes and colors, but spent more time amongst SBC than any single group. For them to call Calvinists arrogant is incredible, as I’ve found many SBC pastors to be most arrogant.
The problem is fairly simple: man’s mind cannot comprehend the apparently conflicting truth of scripture: God is sovereign, man is reponsible.
So to reconcile not being able to comprehend one aspect of God, His truth, man camps out on one side or the other.
Either side to an extreme is wrong. Period.
(How’s that for arrogance???????)
By the way, Charles Spurgeon boasted that he indeed was a Calvinist while the Baptists in England fought against what was referred to as ultra-Calvinism - the extreme......
We don't comment if your non-Christian cult wants to argue with others about whichever Hadiths or suras it likes.
and yet, technically, since Calvinism does not believe in free-will and that everything is predestined, shouldn't it technically read that you were predestined to have this pre-programmed faith in a Jewish Carpenter? Or, if later you change, then you were pre-destined and pre-programmed to do so?
authored an 80-page booklet in 2000 titled Trouble with the TULIP*: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism.
Worth pointing out that the so-called "Five points 'o Calvinism!" come from the five heads of doctrine in the Canons of the Synod of Dordt in 1619, a full century after Brother Martin kicked over the apple cart. The synod was called to deal with errant teaching ("Arminianism") that had arisen in the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, and the document it produced was a narrowly focused polemical document.
All of which is to say, there's more to "Calvinism!" than 5 caricatured points about soteriology.
Happy Reformation Sunday, y'all............
*(TULIP isn't an acronym that works anywhere but English, and wasn't used until sometime early in the 20th century. Noone has quite tracked down where it was first used.)
Happy indeed. Much that is good would not have happened without it. Yet divisions within the church are never happy. That same Paul who brought us the challenges of Romans 9 et al, also warned us in the last chapter of that same book to mark those who stir up trouble and division among believers, and avoid them. The motive for such behavior is not love, but self-satisfaction. There is no upside to that. Wars over such doctrine are almost always "Islamic" in character, i.e., "if you don't like my position you are an infidel." A family member of mine was nearly destroyed by such a fight. I will never go there again. If you put your faith in the triune God and the resurrected Jesus, I take you to be family, though we may disagree on a multitude of issues. But I often find my love is not reciprocated, unrequited, as it were. I am one of those despised "Calvinists" and worse still a "Protestant," so I am deemed by those who should love me as an infidel, though we both labor at serving the same Master. This is tragedy, not comedy. Your tone is misplaced. Save your mockery for those who hate the Gospel, not those who love it.
Unfortunately to fully comprehend Calvinism, you need a stiff drink or two.
It's actually referred to as Hyper-Calvinism; and Spurgeon was no Hyper-Calvinist. He did not believe in predestination as applied to all people. He believed that God desires that all men be saved; and not that God predestined each particular individual to either Heaven or Hell.
One would never know that by listening to most of the Calvinists on FR.
Thank you for your post. If Christ is our focus, then what we have in common is more important than what divides us.
St. Augustine was overly influenced by his Manichaeanism. The Greek fathers were completely opposed to St. Augustine’s excessive rejection of free-will.
The Western Church suffered from an excessive reliance on St. Augustine rather than the broader view provided by the other Church fathers.
I'm not as certain as the typical Calvinist. For humans with our limited abilities and knowledge to claim absolute certainty in any area goes against all the evidence we have, not to mention basic logic, and is indeed a form of arrogance as has been stated by others on this thread.
Even if one limits one arguments in favor of a particular theology to the Bible, one has to admit that there are numerous conflicting interpretations of the text. To claim that one's particular interpretation is the correct one is the height of arrogance. To claim that one's reading of the Bible is not in fact an interpretation, but is the only clear straight reading of the text, is borderline delusional.
Currently I'm leaning to Molinism...
Knowing where you're going:
Can you (Calvinists) be wrong?
I think that most sbcers don’t care one whit about calvinism vs arminianism. They are doctrines of man not docttrines of G+5.
Should read: They are doctrines of man, not doctrines of God.
My mother in law’s church was destroyed by this controversy; It no longer exists. The Calvinists gathered together and tried to carry the argument to another church. After a year of their demands the Pastor threatened to resign and the board told the Calvinists to leave. Some of the went to yet another church and started it up again and they were told to leave.
Their fruits were dissension and closed churches.
“Not really — Christianity arose in the East, technically in Asia and for centuries, in fact arguably for most of the first millenium, the “action” was in the East. The Assyrian Church converted people as far as Mongolia, while the Marthomites were busy in Southern India etc.
Christianity is not a “Western religion””
I must disagree. From the earliest days in the church, in New Testament writings, we find believers not only in Greece and Cyprus but also in Rome. Unless you consider Rome “the East,” Christianity was not exclusively eastern.
Our fate is not decided by God.
God hardened Pharaoh’s heart after Pharaoh's had already decided, many times, in very obvious circumstances to ignore God. This did not determine Pharoah’s fate, Pharaoh's did.
Calvainism is "another gospel".....If you doubt, why do we call it "Calvinism"? Instead of Markism, Or Johnism, or Matthewism? Or Bibleism? I believe in SOLA SCRIPTURA.....If you can't argue your position from the bible, then you are NOT a Christian, you are something else. For example in the end times, people (according to Revelation) would rather curse God and die as they hide under rocks than acknowledge that he is God.
If you want to understand WHAT God did to Pharaoh, and why, and who's decision it was, read Romans Chapter 1 - it describes how God deals with people who suppress the truth.
My bad. Yes, but I figured most folk here didn’t need and wouldn’t understand the term “Hyper-Calvinism” and wouldn’t be aware of the battles in England that Spurgeon fought.
Funny...I haven't seen this from anyone on the board.
Most Calvinists I know, have known and whose work I have read stress the sovereignty of God. Tht is, they do NOT KNOW who's saved because only God is sovereign.
What they DO know, however, is that salvation is the gift of God.
I freepmailed you a couple of names. The biggest one of these has been dormant for months, and it is definitely not you who displays that attitude. Perhaps I need to change my perspective on Calvinists, but it will take time — we had three years of non-stop nyaahs and it will take time to forget...
I never said it was "exclusively" eastern. I objected to your point that it "rose in the West" -- Christianity "rose" in Asia, spread to the West but for much of the early centuries the "action" was in the East
Christianity is not "exclusively" either Eastern or Western even though it arose in the East.
I think it also taps into a primal urge “we are an upper-caste elect and better than you”
That was inadvertently funny :) “doctrines of G+5” :)
couldn’t they get along together?
“Christianity “rose” in Asia,”
Could you not say it just as much rose in Rome? There were believers in Rome, apparently quite a going concern, for years before Paul’s death.
“God hardened Pharaohs heart after Pharaoh’s had already decided, many times, in very obvious circumstances to ignore God. This did not determine Pharoahs fate, Pharaoh’s did.”
As a Calvinist I don’t essentially deny that. I agree that Pharoah hardened his heart (the Bible says he did). I also believe that God hardened Pharoah’s heart (the Bible says He did).
How can both things be true? I don’t know. I don’t know how Jesus turned water into wine, either. But if the Bible says God hardened Pharoah’s heart - He did.
“Calvinism is “another gospel”.....If you doubt, why do we call it “Calvinism”? “
I might say why do we call your persuasion “Arminianism?”
Because it is a shorthand term for some specific beliefs.
I could say I believe mankind is totally lost with no possibility of saving himself, that he is elected to salvation by God before he fulfills any particular condition, that Jesus died specifically for His chosen people, that no one can resist God, and that anyone who is truly saved can never be lost.
Or I can say I’m a Calvinist. It’s shorthand.
You are no doubt a Trinitarian, an inerrantist, an Arminian, a dispensationalist. None of these terms is another gospel. They are shorthand words, that’s all.
Of course I have read Romans, more times than I can count, and as you know Romans describes predestination/election more succinctly than any other book in the Bible, although most if not all books refer to it.
Summed up so beautifully in Romans 9:
“What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.
So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
You will say to me then, Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will? But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, Why have you made me like this? Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”
What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”