Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Taking a Closer Look at What the Bible Says about God's Sovereignty, Man's Responsibility, and Salvation
Within the Southern Baptist Convention there always seems to be some sort of disagreement brewing. Today is no different.
One of the main disagreements continues to be the debate over God's sovereignty, man's responsibility, and how these relate to salvation. We now even have different seminaries taking different positions on this issue.
Unfortunately, this theological disagreement has led some within the convention to basically fight with one another over the internet. It has caused others to abandon the SBC altogether.
I would much rather see folks within the SBC and beyond be willing to look in the bible, do their best to determine what it says about these issues, and then discuss what they think the scriptures say. I wish this would be done in a cordial manner, and also be treated as an issue that does not need to lead to separation.
That said, over the next few months, I'm going to look at several different bible passages that relate to this issue. I plan to look at those passages that focus more clearly on God's sovereignty, and at those passages that point more toward man's responsibility. My goal is to objectively look at scripture to see what it says.
Let me be up front. I realize that we all bring biases to scripture as we read it. We often see what we want the bible to say instead of what the original writers meant. This is a challenge we all face.
Let me also say that I am a Calvinist. I'm Reformed. I hold to the Doctrines of Grace.
I'm also a Baptist. I'm a Southern Baptist.
I strongly believe in evangelism and missions.
I hope I have placed "my cards on the table."
Beginning with the next blog post, I'll take a look at various passages dealing with God's role, man's role, and salvation. I'll appreciate comments, objections, concerns, and other forms of input. Regardless of position, my hope is that when this process is complete I will have a better grasp of this issue, and will also better understand those who disagree with me.
I also hope that this can be a model of civil discourse regarding an issue that far too often leads to discord and disunity amongst Christian brethren.