Keith D. Stanglin
Austin Graduate School of Theology
The recent document, A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of Gods Plan of Salvation, drafted by a number of Southern Baptist pastors, was an attempt to respond to the growing influence of Calvinism in the Southern Baptist Convention. The document, which strongly resists this "New Calvinism" claims to represent the majority opinion within the denomination. The present article responds to the document by raising some critical questions. First, whom does this document represent, and what is the significance of its claim to represent the majority? Second, is the traditional Baptist position on the security of the believer consistent with its anti-Calvinism? Third, can assurance of salvation be understood in a way that is consistent both with Scripture and with the concerns of this Baptist document? Finally, in light of this document and recent polls, what can be said about the avoidance and use of theological labels?
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