Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Patterson & Mohler De-scussion over Election

Patterson, Mohler: Calvinism shouldn’t divide SBC

I found the last two paragraphs by Dr. Patterson interesting.

Patterson urged Southern Baptists not to follow the example of the English Baptists who divided over the issue. After the split, those who held to limited atonement (the particular Baptists) became "anti-missionary and anti-evangelistic," while those who held to general atonement (the General Baptists) emphasized doctrine so little that they "became universalists," Patterson said.

“The splitting of the two did them no favors and pushed them in opposite directions that were very unfortunate,” he said. "… If we allow Satan to have his way, we'll divide up over it, as we certainly should not," Patterson said.

What sayeth ye?


Josh Brisby said...


Good question. I would say that, while the fact that there are denominations is indeed a saddening thing, it is still vitally necessary.

We are to earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints. I think therefore that denominations are necessary, while one does not have to be a Reformed Baptist to be saved.

I take joy in calling those from Presbyterian or Southern Baptist or Methodist or what not my brothers and sisters. In fact, I would venture to say that anyone who longs to obey God's will and believes the Bible to be His inerrant Word is indeed my brother.

Paul and Peter were brothers and apostles--and once Paul had to oppose Peter publicly to his face.

So, we can lovingly discuss our differences. Denominations are a good thing in that sense. We are striving toward that unity of the faith as God leads us into all truth.

I love Ephesians 4:11-16 in this regard!

In Christ,
Josh Brisby

Russ said...


Thanks for the great comment. I agree. It seems that this discussion, while too irenic for some, was Drs. Mohler & Patterson's way of trying to live out Eph 4:15, and it seems they did a great job, even though I would strongly disagree with Dr. Patterson on several issues. But that is what makes it good, that we can be Berean about it and examine their words by *the* word.

I was wondering if Dr. Patterson was saying that we *need* these two streams of Baptist thought in order to keep the other in line? If this is what he is saying, I was curious at to how much truth is in that statement. I would never say error should be encouraged, but how healthy is it to think that others who may be in error, are still used by God to "grow [us] up in all aspects into Him who is the head".

Just thinking out loud here.

Anonymous said...

Well I think that I'd like to hear Ergun Caner's thoughts on that idea. I'm not sure that he would say the two different factions could live together. But then again I don't know that Caner is allied with the SBC so it may all be moot.

Russ said...


It is my understanding that Liberty and Dr. Falwell's church are SBC affiliated now.

Yea, we can probably guess that Dr. Caner does not think having a "virus" around is very beneficial.

Brother Bob said...

Dr. Patterson had an interesting comment. I think what he is saying makes sense, in that having differing views work together in the same denomination tends to keep both viewpoints from going too far to the extreme.
In Baptist history, the General Baptists pretty much disappeared, and it was the Particular Baptists who became the real ancestors of modern-day Baptists, so the Calvinist tradition is the strongest influence today. However, the impulse to evangelism from people like William Carey and the Second Great Awakening and revivalism in the 1800s served to keep the Calvinistic views of Baptists from going into hyper-Calvinism.

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