Mark Dever Confirms Veep Nomination
Yesterday the Associated Baptist Press reported that Mark Dever, "a neo-Calvinist" (what is that?) may face Keith Fordham in the race for 1st VP of the SBC. According to the ABP reporter, Dever will allow himself to be nominated. He turned down the opportunity to be nominated for president for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the time commitment. It's no secret that Dever is a key leader in the SBC and larger evangelical world. Having him in a leadership role in the SBC would be a healthy change, especially since he is not in the inner circle. One particular note of interest is the strikingly different views of evangelism and conversion these two men hold. To read about Fordham's view, go here, and for Dever's view of extending invitations, consider the following quotations in his book The Deliberate Church. This excerpt is from the chapter "Doing Responsible Evangelism."
When we invite them [people to believe], we need to make sure that they cannot confuse any other response with the only saving response. The stakes are high here, because if we allow ambiguity on this point, then we're actually helping deceive people about their own spiritual state by encouraging them to be assured of their salvation when they may not have genuinely repented or believed at all. The two responses that seem to be most commonly confused with genuine repentance and belief today are praying a prayer with someone and coming forward at a church service. (52) We are wiser to discontinue ambiguous evangelistic practices rather than allow them to continue confusing people as to what constitutes a saving response to the Gospel. Granted, allowing ambiguity may increase the numbers on our membership rolls. But it deceives unsaved people into thinking they are saved--the cruel hoax of all. It also wreaks havoc on the purity of our churches and their corporate testimonies, allowing into our membership many professing Christians who are later discovered not to be Christians at all because they eventually revert to lifestyles that simply cannot characterize a true Christian convert. (53-54)Evan May, a fellow contributor to SBF, has written an article on the interview with Fordham which I highly recommend. Our local churches in the SBC are in true need of reform, and the potential of having Dever in the leadership of the SBC could be a real opportunity to face the threats to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the healthiness and purity of the churches in our denomination.