Baptists urged to agree to disagree on Calvin

The RNS is reporting that the Southern Baptists Convention is being urged to “agree to disagree” about internal rifts over Calvinism.

The convention received a report on divisions over theology that the RNS summarized this way:

The 3,200-word report calls for mutual respect among the differing factions, saying opponents should talk to each other rather than about each other, especially on social media. Churches and would-be pastors also need to be honest about whether they embrace or shun Calvinism, it said.

The story quotes an interesting passage from the report:

“We deny that the main purpose of the Southern Baptist Convention is theological debate,” it says, noting that the next generation of Southern Baptists don’t want to wonder if the denomination is “on mission or merely a debating society.”


6 thoughts on “Baptists urged to agree to disagree on Calvin

  1. They also list the “unmovable” positions SB hold.

    Four central issues have become clear to us as we have met together. We affirm together that Southern Baptists must stand without apology upon truth; that we do indeed have some challenging but not insurmountable points of tension; that we must work together with trust; and that we must encourage one another to testimony.


    The Bible

    “We affirm that the Holy Scriptures are the inerrant, infallible, and totally trustworthy Word of God and our supreme authority on all matters of truth. We affirm that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the great theme of all Scripture and that the Bible is sufficient to reveal all we need to know concerning God’s purpose to save sinners”.

    “We deny that any human system of thought or any theological tradition can assume supreme authority or be allowed to supplant dependence upon the Bible and all that it reveals.

    Do you think the UMC of today would make such a statement?

    1. Our Articles of Religion and Confession of Faith certainly do not make such broad claims for Scripture. We affirm Scripture as the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.

      1. And what exactly does that mean?
        I know what the Articles say but I see what the UMC does.
        I listen to what the UMC says and those Articles of Faith seem to take a back seat on many issues with many people.

  2. I’ve never known the Southern Baptist Convention to be anything but a theology debating society. Ideological purity has replaced spiritual fruit as the measure of discipleship. It only took me 25 years to get off that ship. I think Calvinism is attractive to so many Baptists because it seems more theologically hard-core even though it goes completely against the historic convictions of Baptist theology. Every fundamentalist eventually becomes a Calvinist it seems like. I wonder if Methodism will eventually go Calvinist too.

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