Yesterday, we examined the tenents of Calvinism, and TULIIP theology. One of the contentions we made is that the Total Depravity doctrine should be written Total inability.
Another contention I made is that it is nearly impossible to derive from solely a reading of the Bible Calvinist doctrines. Plain sense readings of the Bible lead one to believe that man is a sinner, in need of salvation – but that all he has to do is repent and call on the Lord, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Why do I say this? Because that’s what the Bible says.
The first thing a Calvinist needs to understand is – there is a huge difference between a Baptist and an Armenian. That’s a contradictory thought to Calvinists. The standard Calvinist belief is that one is a Calvinist, or an Armenianist.
The recent poll at Lifeway was clearly written by a Calvinist. The two choices were: “My church is theologically Reformed or Calvinist” or “My church is theologically Armenian or Wesleyan.”
That’s a trap. You’re falling into the trap of the Calvinist of defining one as Calvinist or Armenian. Baptists are Baptists. That’s why more than half answered they were not Calvinist (52% strongly disagree, 14% somewhat disagreed – total of 66%), and half answered strongly disagreed they were not Armenian. Why? Baptists are Baptists, not Armenian or Calvinist. And 61% said they were concerned about the impact of Calvinists in the Southern Baptist convention. I think whoever conducted the poll at Lifeway was a little perplexed by the results.
I’ll point out a Methodist minister I know had trouble with this point, when I said I was neither Calvinist nor Armenian. The look on his face was priceless. “What are you then???” was the obvious question he wanted to ask. Knowing me well, he decided to let it alone.
One of the major problems in the Southern Baptist convention is that Baptists are left with no name to call their belief system. Al Mohler claims it is offensive to Calvinists for Baptists to define their doctrine as “baptist doctrine”.
Uh, okay. It IS Baptist doctrine. You’re not Baptists, you’re Calvinists. Baptist doctrine defines salvation as “whosoever believeth.” Calvinism claims “The elect…” If you believe “The elect…” you are a Calvinist – not a Baptist.
However, since Calvinists moved into Baptist congregations once it ceased being illegal to be one (in other words, once Calvinists stopped burning Baptists at the stake, they began calling themselves Baptists), we’ve had to differentiate between Calvinist “Baptists” and Baptist Baptists.
British and American Baptists at first differentiated by calling them “General” baptists and “particular” Baptists. A “Particular Baptist” was one who was a Calvinist. You believed salvation was only for particular people – i. e., the Elect. Baptists were called “General” Baptists – we believe Salvation is for all persons, if they repent and come to Christ.
However, today we use terms like “traditional Baptist”, “historic” Baptist, and “Biblical” Baptists. All three are synonymous. And all three offend Al Mohler.
Uh, okay. Sorry. You’re leaving Baptists without a name to call ourselves. Because we’re Baptists, not Calvinists. You’re a Calvinist, not a Baptist.
“So you’re saying that Charles Spurgeon was not a Baptist!”
A Baptist by definition believes in Biblical doctrines. If you adhere to solely Biblical doctrines, and believe in the Baptism of adult believers, you’re a Baptist. Calvinism is not Biblical (as I’m going to spend all January proving) – thus Spurgeon was mixing Baptist doctrine with unBiblical and partially Roman Catholic doctrine. As such, he could really be called something other than Baptist. A Roman Anabaptist, perhaps.
However, this is me speaking. you may not (and probably don’t) agree. So we’ll move on. I’ll just use the terms “historic Baptist”, “traditional Baptist” or “Biblical Baptist” to avoid confusing anyone. Mr. Mohler is recommended to avoid my blog so that he is not offended.
Because of the TULIP theology, I’m going to have to spend some time analyzing whether or not man is “totally depraved”. As I said yesterday, Calvinism really teaches “Total inability” rather than total depravity.
We’ll start that tomorrow.
- Doctrines of Men v. The Word of God. (cracked-pot.com)
- A Special SBC Tomorrow Critique: James White and Fred Phelps (peterlumpkins.typepad.com)