Over on Calvin 500 a new series is commencing titled Calvinism and the Baptist Church.
A perennial debate among Baptists heated up when a group of prominent Southern Baptist leaders signed and published “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation” on May 31. The document addressed a major point of discord between Baptists who hold Calvinistic views and those who do not: Baptists who disagree, that is, on election.
Election, defined as “God choosing a person or people group for a specific purpose, mission, or salvation,” is historically connected to the concepts of predestination, foreknowledge, and free will. The non-Calvinistic viewpoint (often associated with Arminianism) asserts that election is conditional and that any man can, by free will, choose to receive the grace of God. Calvinism, however, emphasizes the total depravity of man and the inability of the individual to receive the grace of God—and, thus, salvation—on his or her own.
Where is the intersection of Calvinism and Baptist history? What are the major differences between Arminianism and Calvinism? Within Baptist thought, where does Calvinism live today? What was the role of Calvinism in the Reformation? We want to weigh in on some of these issues, so we’ve asked two terrific writers to do just that. Contributing to this miniseries are Jim West and Michael DeWalt.
Read the rest. And watch for further developments.