Calvinist, non-Calvinist: United as Southern Baptists
by Mark Kelly (LifeWay Press Release, November 30, 2007)
The three-day gathering, "Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism," was co-sponsored by Founders Ministries and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and held at
Challenges to cooperative unity
Ascol said Southern Baptists face numerous challenges to their cooperative unity in working together to make Jesus Christ known to an unbelieving world. "Mere denominational affiliation can no longer sustain such cooperation, if indeed it ever could," he said. "If Southern Baptists are going to work together in any kind of meaningful way, we must find common ground on which we can stand so we can link arms legitimately, and with integrity, for the sake of making Jesus Christ known."
Ascol said Southern Baptists must come to an agreement on three doctrinal issues about which they can no longer assume agreement: What is the Gospel? What is a Christian? What is a church? He also said Southern Baptists must be willing to obey the truth and learn to live in love.
Why and how?
In the closing address, Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., said Southern Baptists -- Calvinist or not -- can work together toward a "Great Commission Resurgence" because they agree on seven issues:
Southern Baptists -- Calvinist or not -- can come together for "Great Commission Resurgence," Akin said, if they focus on five truths:
‘We agree on more than enough’
"The modern missionary movement was birthed out of evangelical Calvinism, both in
"I believe our Baptist fellowship is big enough in all the right ways," Akin added. "We may not agree on everything, but we agree on more than enough to work together for our Lord Jesus in fulfilling the Great Commission.
"Will we come together for life or fracture apart in death? I’d make my choice for life. It is my hope and my prayer that you will join me in doing the same." Audio podcast downloads of all the presenters are available at LifeWay.com/InsideLifeWay . ( emphasis added)