Saturday, June 16, 2012

Statement on Calvinism sparks blog discussion

A May 30 statement aimed at critiquing Calvinism launched a discussion within the Southern Baptist Convention nearly immediately when it was posted online, and the debate has yet to slow down.

The document, "A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation," was posted at and has received more than 800 comments. All total, when including other stories about the statement, more than 1,800 comments have been logged.

But that's just scratching the surface, as various Baptist-centric blogs have been dominated by dialog on the 10-point statement. Since May 30,, another Baptist blog, has seen more than 1,800 comments -- about the same as -- on various blog posts dealing with the statement.

The statement -- which affirms what the signers call the "traditional Southern Baptist" understanding of the doctrine of salvation and draws a distinction with the beliefs of "New Calvinism" -- includes signatures from two entity presidents (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's Paige Patterson and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary's Chuck Kelley), seven state executive directors (Georgia's Bob White, Florida's John Sullivan, Mississippi's Jim Futral, Louisiana's David Hankins, Alaska's Mike Procter, Colorado's Mark Edlund, Indiana's Cecil W. Seagle), and in addition to Patterson, five other former SBC presidents (Bailey Smith, Jimmy Draper, Jerry Vines, Morris Chapman and Bobby Welch).

Much of the discussion in the blogosphere has centered on a column written by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's president, R. Albert Mohler Jr., who explained why he did not sign the statement. Read more

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