A Statement Of The Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding Of God’s Plan Of Salvation -- By: Eric Hankins
JBTM 9:2 (Fall 2012) p. 14
A Statement Of The Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding Of God’s Plan Of Salvation
Eric Hankins is Pastor of First Baptist Church, Oxford, Mississippi. He is the primary author of “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation.”
Every generation of Southern Baptists has the duty to articulate the truths of its faith with particular attention to the issues that are impacting contemporary mission and ministry. The precipitating issue for this statement is the rise of a movement called “New Calvinism” among Southern Baptists. This movement is committed to advancing in the churches an exclusively Calvinistic understanding of salvation, characterized by an aggressive insistence on the “Doctrines of Grace” (“TULIP”), and to the goal of making Calvinism the central Southern Baptist position on God’s plan of salvation.
While Calvinists have been present in Southern Baptist life from its earliest days and have made very important contributions to our history and theology, the majority of Southern Baptists do not embrace Calvinism. Even the minority of Southern Baptists who have identified themselves as Calvinists generally modify its teachings in order to mitigate certain unacceptable conclusions (e.g., anti-missionism, hyper-Calvinism, double predestination, limited atonement, etc.). The very fact that there is a plurality of views on Calvinism designed to deal with these weaknesses (variously described as “
We propose that what most Southern Baptists believe about salvation can rightly be called “Traditional” Southern Baptist soteriology, which should be understood in distinction to “Calvinist” soteriology. Traditional Southern Baptist soteriology is articulated in a general
JBTM 9:2 (Fall 2012) p. 15
way in the Baptist Faith and Message, “Article IV.” While some earlier Baptist confessions were shaped by Calvinism, the clear traje...
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