Bobby and David Planting TULIPS
Upon perusing some recommended blogs, I came across the deal with Bobby Welch, the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and David Cox, pastor of First Baptist Daytona Beach, FL. In their recent church newsletter, Bobby Welch attempts to show through the research of Dr. Steve W. Lemke, Provost and Professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, that Calvinism is bad for the Great Commission and therefore should be seen as problematic if not destructive for the SBC. In Lemke's research, he attempts to show how churches affiliated with the Founder's Fellowship are less evangelistic, lower in attendance, and baptize less folks. However, upon reading up on this, I can only predict only inevitable outcome of this article. I believe that what Bobby Welch has attempted to do in trying to give Calvinism a black eye, has in effect, shown the error of his presuppositions and therefore spawned an increasing interest in Calvinism. What was a hope (I presume) to eradicate the SBC of the Calvinistic resurgence has only fueled even greater interest in the truth of the doctrines of grace. If you would like to read the four part responses of the Founder's Fellowship, led by Tom Ascol, I believe it will be helpful to see the fallacy of Bobby Welch in his hastiness to report on what seemed credible information. I feel like there is some similarity to Dan Rather and Bobby Welch here. Anyway. This deal is blowin' up on the blogdom, especially among SBC bloggers, and could potentially result in irreconcilable differences between those who take every opportunity to bash Calvinism and those who simply say what the Bible says. David Dockery, President of Union University and well-noted scholar, has recently sought for common ground in this ever-increasing debate. He says that "if you believe there are people in the world who are sinners and need salvation, that God initiates salvation and that the means for salvation are necessary within the sovereignty of God, then we have common ground." I think that there should be common ground sought, especially from the SBC leaders. Preachers like Johnny Hunt who take every opportunity to make outlandish statements against Calvinism and Bobby Welch, who uses his presidential powers and influence to drum up "support" for the Great Commission by means of attacking the rich roots of Southern Baptists and the missions movement as a whole are definitely NOT setting the example. I guess we must look elsewhere. But where I wonder? That question for now is left unanswered. To read what some other bloggers are saying, click on these: Joe Thorn Scott Slayton Alex Forrest Tim Ellsworth Marty Duren Steve McCoy William E. Turner Jr. James Thompson Paul Lamey David Phillips Oh . . . and that reminds me - you might want to read/re-read Jim Eliff's article called SBC: An Unregenrate Denomination. My commentary on this to come later . . .