Thursday, February 23, 2006

Have You Been Following This?

This post from Tom Ascol at the Founders blog has generated about 65,000 words worth of comments. It's an interesting post about who would make a good SBC president, but has morphed into a heated exchange between certain SBC factions.

iMonk, BTW, has a multi-part companion series to this that is worth a read.

There's so much that could be said about this, and I don't have the time right now, so I'll just ask this question (by way of observation, not indictment). If Reformed Baptists, Sovereign Grace Charismatics, and Presbyterians can set aside their differences to be "Together for The Gospel," can those in the SBC do the same?

7 comments:

Carla said...

Matt,

I know this is going to go over like a lead balloon, but I have to ask this question.

You said "If Reformed Baptists, Sovereign Grace Charismatics, and Presbyterians can set aside their differences to be "Together for The Gospel," can those in the SBC do the same?"

My question is should RB's, charismatics and presbies be setting aside differences?

The differences are huge, doctrinal issues. I know many believers have this idea that if we are in agreement on the 5 points then everything else is secondary... but I can't agree with that. In fact, I can't disagree strongly enough. When we start out with the mindset that the Christian life centers on the 5 points, we're neglecting so much about Christianity that should never be neglected.

Differences that are being set aside here are issues such as baptism, Sola Scriptura and local church government (just to name a few). To me, as a Baptist that holds to sovereign grace (not to be confused with a SG Baptist), I have a hard time believing this is something to be set aside to begin with.

I know I'm not the only one that feels this way, and at the same time I also know that the whole point of setting aside these differences is to focus on the gospel.

I don't like to be the one to rock the boat, per se, but this is just one of those things that doesn't seem to make sense to me, as a Baptist.

(Matt, please don't let your commenters tar and feather me for being the dissenting voice! lol)

SDG,
Carla

Gummby said...

Yeah, all ten of them.

BugBlaster said...

Wow, that's a lot of opinions.

SBC is kind of a distant topic. The succssion is important, but we don't have SBC here, so my interest in the outcome is only as much as it would be for a church association in any other foreign country.

Carla, I really like this: When we start out with the mindset that the Christian life centers on the 5 points, we're neglecting so much about Christianity that should never be neglected.

I don't know what I think about RB's, charismatics and presby's getting together, but I do think that there is way too much emphasis on the 5 points in calvinist circles and not enough emphasis on the rest of Christianity. I think I'm getting beat up at Fide-o for saying that. Gene Bridges rebutted me... no winning that debate.

Kelley said...

I'm not a SB either, but this quote from CS Lewis seems appropriate:

"When all is said, and truly said, concerning the divisions of Christendom, there remains, by the grace of God, an enormous common ground."

Gummby said...

BB: I wouldn't try to go toe-to-toe w/Gene either, but I agree with you.

Hey, Kel. That's exactly what I'm trying to get at.

How's your mom? I haven't seen a recent update on your blog.

Sojourner said...

In all fairness to those who are spending gobs of money to go to the Together for the Gospel gathering, I have a few thoughts for food...a little food for thought...whatever. And yes, I'm spending gobs of money to go.

Carla,

No tar and feathers here. Just some wood and stake. Muhahahaha! No seriously. Look at what the conference is there to do: Talk about the gospel. I seriously doubt that Al Mohler is going to burst out in tongues, or that Ligon Duncan is going to give up his paedo-baptistic ways, or that any of the other very important issues are going to be settled. That isn't the point of the conference.

These men aren't setting aside their convictions on these things, and I am certain that they will debate them in the future as passionately as they have in the past.

The sad reality is that evangelicals have no clue what the gospel is. If you don't mind a little shameless advertising, you bounce over to my place and read my latest on "Do We Even Know What the Gospel Is?" After reading through my LifeWay materials, I am convinced that the average evangelical really thinks that the gospel is presented in the movie The Matrix.

Gummby said...

I think you've got a point. Great post, BTW.

I think this may also be why the SBC is divided--not just over theology in general, but over what the gospel is. And if I'm right, then there can never be common ground.

Perhaps what's most amazing is that the iMonk's posts were what started me thinking about this. Can't endorse everything there, but when he's right, he's right. If you read this, tks, Michael.