A Statement from the Calvinism Advisory Committee

Next week, SBC Life will publish the official statement from the Calvinism Advisory Committee that was established last summer by Dr. Frank Page. We have made it available for you here at Between the Times. It is also available at the SBC Life website. The full document is titled “Truth, Trust, and Testimony in a Time of Tension.” You may download a copy of it by clicking on the link below.

Truth, Trust, and Testimony in a Time of Tension

It is our prayer that Southern Baptists will read this statement, resonate with its clarity and charity, and take to heart its recommendations. Please join us in praying for unity among us as we labor together to advance the Great Commission among the unreached and underserved peoples of the earth.

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  1. Randall Cofield   •  

    This Committee, representing a broad spectrum of leadership within the SBC, has charted a clear course by which our Convention may sail through dangerous seas. If embraced by all, this document will enable the old Ship of Zion to carry the glorious Gospel of Lord Jesus to heretofore unreachable shores.

    I rejoice with joy unspeakable at the continued mercy, grace, and guiding hand of our God upon our Convention.

    Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

  2. Eric Lockhart   •  

    The document is good, but, of course, doesn’t really address any of the differences. This is what I thought was ridiculous about this whole ordeal. First, the name is both laughable and sad simultaneously: “Calvinism Advisory Committee”. Really?

    But, honestly, we all knew this was the outcome that would occur; did we not? We knew it would be a committee that came together decided we had co-existed and should continue to co-exist – a call for unity and a statement that the BFM can encompass both. We knew that. At least we should have known that; I cannot think that some actually thought there was a chance that they would come back advising to kick out all the Calvinist. Yet, we commissioned it. This is the sort of bureaucracy that is crazy.

    Thankful for those on the committee, but the fact that they had to be on this committee is ridiculous. And, honestly, what does it change? Nothing.

  3. David Price   •  

    My Dad taught me that we were Baptists because, unlike the sprinkling denominations, we baptize believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Humans don’t come into this world with a ticket to hell if their folks don’t get water poured on their heads. They reach the age of accountability and they accept or reject Jesus. Accepting the free gift of salvation in Jesus, they are baptized all the way under the water in the assembly to which they are joined.
    Sounds to me as if a lot of smart people talked about a lot of things but avoided the implications of calvin’s (or any of those other sprinklers’) imagination on the key topic of baptism.

  4. Nathan Finn   •  


    Accept in that section where it addresses the differences.


  5. Emerson   •  

    Dr. Finn,

    The section in the report/statement that highlights the differences between Calvinists and other Baptists in the SBC does not address the question I posed in your other post, “Calvinism, Cooperation, and the Southern Baptist Convention.” Several of the bulleted points listed on page 5 merely say that there is disagreement about (among other things) sin, the imputation of guilt, the scope of the effects of sin on each person’s faculties, human freedom, the operation of grace, and the logical order of regeneration in relation to faith.

    I would like to see someone explain how these disagreements can be relegated to third level issues. Why do these disagreements not fall into the first and second levels of importance? The report says, “But these particular differences do not constitute a sufficient basis for division and must not be allowed to hamper the truly crucial cooperative effort of taking the Gospel to a waiting world.” But no explanation or argument is made as to why the differences aren’t sufficient for division.

    Respectfully, I believe the consistent failure of SBC leaders to answer this question and the constant unsupported assertions warrant the criticism Eric Lockhart made above. These statements/reports appear to be nothing more than bureaucratic politics.

    I am honestly seeking an explanation here. I am not trying to be critical or condemning. But many of us simply do not understand the conclusions made because no explanation is given.


  6. Eric Lockhart   •  

    Dr. Finn,

    I agree with Emerson in that the document addresses that there are differences; it does not address the differences.

    Is the “imputation of guilt” and third level doctrine. Honestly, it doesn’t seem to be. If it is, why is it?


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