Follow Up to My Immediately Preceding Post Re: The SBC Statement about Calvinism

This is to those of you who have responded critically or plan to–arguing that my objection to portions of the statement “Truth, Trust, and Testimony in a Time of Tension” as possibly disingenuous (please re-read my post for the main example) is wrong.

Please! Respond to my questions! (These were in my post and I was hoping for and expecting people who support the statement to respond.)

1) Do you think it would be fully ingenuous (candid, frank, simple, fully honest and revealing) for an Arminian to say to a group of people interested in knowing what he believes that he believes God elects some people to salvation and does not believe in free will to choose to be saved or not to be saved–without immediate further explanation or qualification?

Any informed, self-respecting Arminian can say those things. I can say them and will say them–but only with the proper qualifications immediately following. Without those qualifications, I would know that at least some, if not all, of my listeners or readers would be misled about what I believe.

2) Does the statement mean, do all its signers believe it means, that neither Calvinists nor non-Calvinists will henceforth pressure SBC-related agencies, institutions and organizations to use either Calvinism or non-Calvinism as a doctrinal test for hiring and promoting people?

I read it that way. I don’t know what other purpose it could have. Of course (!) both Calvinists and non-Calvinists are free to attempt to persuade fellow SBCers (and others) to adopt their view. That’s a given. The only purposes of the statement, so far as I can see, is to attempt to stop dishonest practices (such as misrepresenting the other view) and pressure tactics to enforce one view within the SBC.

In my opinion, we will only know if the statement is working if candidates for ministry positions become fully revealing about their Calvinism or non-Calvinism when interviewing and if Calvinists and non-Calvinists both stop misrepresenting the other view and using pressure tactics to marginalize or exclude its adherents.


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  • Can anyone actually, ever, put their finger precisely on what the Southern Baptist Convention holds to it as its doctrinal standard? It always feels to me like trying to get ahold of a bunch of jello.

    • Roger Olson

      That was, of course, a motive for the SBC adopting the BF&M as its official consensus statement in 1925 and again (revised) in 1963 and again (revised) in 2000.