Still More on Southern Baptists and Calvinism

Tom Ascol is a guy I like. He is a scholar and a pastor. He is gracious and shows great care in what he writes. Dr. Ascol, a Southern Baptist pastor in Florida has been a pivotal player in the discussion about Calvinism in the SBC. He has brought dignity to the discussion while many others have only thrown fuel on the fire.

In a recent post at the Founders blog Dr. Ascol addresses three issues that have fostered further division and confusion within the SBC regarding the issue of Reformed theology.

He writes:

"Three events over the last few weeks have called fresh attention to one of the serious doctrinal issues currently brewing in the SBC. There are others, and they are not unimportant, but the one that looms large on the horizon is the debate over Calvinism or reformed theology. Terminology matters, so let me quickly assert that what I mean by "Calvinism" is exactly what the great Southern Baptist statesman, John Broadus, meant when he wrote,

The people who sneer at what is called Calvinism might as well sneer at Mont Blanc. We are not in the least bound to defend all of Calvin's opinions or actions, but I do not see how any one who really understands the Greek of the Apostle Paul or the Latin of Calvin and Turretin can fail to see that these latter did but interpret and formulate substantially what the former teaches.
"What we are talking about is the sovereignty of God in salvation including unconditional election, total depravity of sinful nature, definite atonement of particular sinners by the death of Christ, the monergistic work of the Spirit in regeneration and the preserving grace of God operating in the life of every believer. We are not talking about sprinkling babies.

"The three events that have put the spotlight on this issue recently have come from those who are not merely non-Calvinists, but are more accurately described as anti-Calvinists. They profess to have no axe to grind against Calvinism but their tone and treatment are unhelpful to the kind of fraternal dialogue that Southern Baptists desperately need to be cultivating at this point in our history."

Read the entire post HERE.

You may also be interested in reading the dialogue between Dr. Ascol and Dr. Malcolm Yarnell of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in the comment thread.