Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Biggest Problem With the SBCToday Critique of The Gospel Project

It could easily be argued that the Conservative Resurgence was a battle for the Bible.  We fought hard to ensure that Southern Baptists would continue to be a “people of the book”. Through those tumultuous years Baptists displayed that we believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and the sufficiency of Scripture. 

Fast forward to the year 2012. 

Calvinism and Traditionalism is all the talk within the SBC.  The Gospel Project curriculum from Lifeway has been one prominent locale for this battle to wage.  And that is my biggest problem with the SBCToday critiques, thus far, concerning The Gospel Project; it’s more about whether or not it’s written by those with Calvinistic convictions than if its biblical. 

As noted in an article yesterday the first substantive critique from Pastor Ralph Green is filled with logical fallacies.  What bothers me most about that is not the existence of logical fallacies but the prominence of the genetic fallacy.  The genetic fallacy is “committed when an idea is either accepted or rejected because of its source, rather than its merit.” 

The center of the argument so far has been that more non-Southern Baptist theologians (often Reformed) have been quoted instead of Southern Baptist theologians that are not Reformed.  Therefore, the material is Calvinistic and ought to be rejected by Southern Baptists that are not Calvinist. 

It has yet to be considered whether or not what John Piper says in a quote is biblically correct.  Or whether Matt Chandler is proclaiming the gospel and biblical truth.  Or if at this point Francis Schaeffer absolutely nails it.  No, what has been considered is whether or not they are Reformed.  And that bothers  me because it means that we are no longer “a people of the book” because our criteria for accepting or rejecting an argument appears to no longer be the Scriptures but a particular theological leaning.

If you go through the Gospel Project and honestly find that it is not biblically accurate or biblically dangerous then by all means lets reject it.  But if it proclaims biblical truth, exalts Christ, and promotes a solid biblical theology let us embrace it even if we don’t agree with every jot and tittle of the theology of every contributor and person quoted. 

Are we a “people of the book” or a people that are more concerned about someone being Baptist than biblical?   

7 comments:

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. If this is indeed what has been claimed, a calvinistic indoctrination tool, then I need to see the content which is aimed at accomplishing this purpose. But the here's the thing Mike... the Gospel Project is not even close to calvinistic indoctrination material. It is soundly Biblical and is probably the best material Lifeway has ever produced, leaps and bounds better than the fluff we were getting in the late 90s and early 2000s which drove me to switch to a different company altogether for some depth. Seeing the Gospel throughout the Scriptures is such an excellent way to look at it. I thank God for this new curriculum and it is no wonder that it is being attacked as it is, since the enemy certainly doesn't want it in the hands of Baptists.

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  2. What about Calvinism seems to bother you?

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    1. Not much of anything since I am a Calvinist.

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  3. Do you believe John Calvin was a believer in Jesus Christ?

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    1. Absolutely. Though one cannot know for sure...but Hs Institutes, commentaries, and life and ministry seem to indicate a deep love for the Lord and a biblical understanding of the gospel.

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  4. I agree I think he was an incredible Christian man. I just got the impression that you were against Calvinism. Personally i have been a southern Baptist for over 25 years, but over the past 15 have stumbled onto the Tulip and other Calvinist systematics and have been greatly oppressed and discriminated against. Because people are constantly given baby formula instead of the meat of the word, and introduced to not only to the bible but also to theologies supported by God's word. It is both frustrating and sad. Churches should teach bible and systematic theology.

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    1. Where did you get the impression that I'm against Calvinism? (I don't say that with a heated tone...just generally asking). I'm a Calvinist so I find it funny that my writing would appear opposed.

      Read as much John Newton as you can get your hands on. I trust the Lord will use him to help with your frustrations.

      Blessings.

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