Southern Baptists and Calvinism (cont.)

Michael Spencer had the following to say about the recent John 3:16 Conference:

The fundamentalists who run the Southern Baptist Convention are after the Calvinists again. Obviously despairing that the “Building Bridges Conference” didn’t give the right preachers the opportunity to call Calvinists the right names, and faced with nagging possibility that out and out lies don’t go over as well when the guys you’re lying about are present in large numbers, the fundamentalists had a “John 3:16″ Conference at SBC President Johnny Hunt’s church. Speakers preached about the five points of Calvinism and straightened everyone out.

No recordings are posted, but Calvinistic live-bloggers were present (See their posts at My favorite part is the Caner Contention; the continual denial that Southern Baptists have any theological heritage at all except what the Bible says. We aren’t Arminians or Calvinists or anything else, they say. We’re just plain ‘ol Bible believing Baptists. Biblicists.

Bring up those crickets, Van Til. Thank you.

That’s a lie from anyone who says it. Not ignorance. Lying. They all know better.
I’m not a Calvinist, and some Calvinists ought to be put far, far away from the rest of us. But in general, the Calvinists in the SBC are more Gospel-centered and missionary than the rest of the convention. (Guess what seminary has sent the most IMB missionary candidates to the field the last decade? Yep, Southern. Where, of course, they can’t believe in missions. (jn)

The John 3:16 crowd is a sloppy bunch when it comes to scholarship, as Justin Taylor deftly and embarassingly demonstrates on his blog. Just about their every sentence at this kind of meeting makes an informed student of theology pause and wince. But they have Jerry Vines on their side, hawking his products and telling you what the greek really means.

Really, this is silly. Just silly. Calvinists in the SBC are doing far more good than harm, and the truth is that the fundamentalists need someone to blame for the fact that Jerry Falwell-style Evangelicalism is falling apart. One live-blogger said that 90% of the audience was middle-aged and over. That’s your problem old white guys: younger SBCers aren’t even listening to you anymore. You are talking to yourselves.