Trouble with PAGE: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Frank Page - Total Inconsistency
If you have read P&P over the past couple of weeks, you know that I wrote at length about Dr. Ronnie Floyd and his nomination for the
I. Total InconsistencyFrank Page, in the various interviews he has participated in, has shown himself inconsistent in his positions on leadership and participation. Let me explain.
In an interview with Tad Thompson, Page said the following working with Calvinists:
I have also stated publicly that I believe that the Southern Baptist Convention is big enough for all conservative Christians who have a kind spirit and an evangelistic heart, as well as a deep belief in the integrity of God’s Word. I have attempted to be kind to all groups. As I have said in another interview, I have Calvinists within my church with whom I work well. One of my dearest friends in this state is a five-point Calvinist. I can work with almost anyone if they have a sweet spirit, an evangelistic heart, and a commitment to the integrity of God’s Word.
Page has stated that his is a “big tenter” and that he has been kind to all groups. Now let’s look at two quotes he made about Calvinism, one from a Baptist Press interview, and the other from his book Trouble With Tulip: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism:
“We must have honesty about this issue. There are churches splitting across the convention because pastors are coming in quietly trying to teach Calvinism or Reformed theology without telling the pastor search committees where they stand. The vast majority of Southern Baptist churches are not Calvinistic in their theology and it’s causing some serious controversy.”
"There are many persons belonging to churches that officially believe 'five point' Calvinism. Many of them express surprise when they are told what their church truly believes. I would like to challenge all who truly believe in five point Calvinism to stop being closet Calvinists! If you truly believe these doctrines, then let others know about it. They need to know what you believe." (P. 42)
These two statements are unfair and unkind because he has not been faithful to the truth nor has he been consistent with his position of disclosure of potential pastors. First, the truth is that there are a great number of churches that are Calvinistic in their theology, and the controversy comes from unsubstantiated statements he and others have been making. It appears that he might have been a faithful reader of BaptistFire and their infamous “Crept in Unawares” article. In one breath he says that he has a five-point Calvinist on staff in his church, and the next breath he argues that such Calvinists are splitting churches and causing serious controversy. Moreover, he is calling for honesty from “closet Calvinists” and for integrity through disclosure. This admonition must cut both ways. If we are going to call for disclosure, then let’s expect that from all pastors with all their theological and doctrinal positions. Let’s put all the biblical support these positions, the Baptist confessions, and Baptist history on the table. When the biblical, historical, and theological arguments are held, these search committees I believe would much rather have a Calvinistic pastor than the alternative.
Do you want a pastor who does not believe God is sovereign in salvation? Who does not believe in a Trinitarian salvation? Who espouses freewill theism unsupported in Scripture? Who practices a functional belief in decisional regeneration where conversion is self-determined, and that accomplished by man? Who does not take into account the whole counsel of God’s Word and skips over passages such as Ephesians 1, Romans 9, and John 6?
Frank Page has exemplified total inconsistency in his treatment of Calvinists in the