Thursday, August 02, 2007

Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism Press Release

The formal announcement for the upcoming conference at Ridgecrest, North Carolina, November 26-28, 2007 is now available at the LifeWay website. Registration information is available there, as well. Speakers include Al Mohler, Danny Akin, Tom Nettles, David Dockery, Sam Waldron, Ken Keathley, Nathan Finn, Malcolm Yarnell, Greg Welty, Thom Rainer, James Merritt, Charles Lawless, David Nelson, JD Greear and Voddie Baucham.

The conference is being sponsored by Founders Ministries and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. LifeWay is hosting the event.

I am personally very encouraged at the prospect of this conference. The Lord has worked in wonderful ways already in the planning. It is time for Southern Baptists to quit talking past one another on important theological issues. The issue of Calvinism has become increasing prevalent in the minds of many over the last several years. Brother and sisters in Christ ought to be able to discuss such an important topic like this without condemning those with whom we disagree.

This conference will provide a forum for just such a dialogue. We have a significant lineup of excellent theologians and expositors who represent what Scripture means when it says iron sharpens iron. This conference is an opportunity for Southern Baptists to experience the kind of theological sharpening that takes place when brothers and sisters come together to learn from one another and to challenge each other to follow our Savior more faithfully.

I hope there will be a wide cross-section of Southern Baptist life represented by those who come and participate in this conference. It promises to be a historic gathering. Please join me in praying that the Lord will use it in a mighty way to encourage and strengthen pastors, leaders and churches throughout the SBC and beyond.

16 comments:

ReformTheSBC said...

LifeWay spelled Calvinism wrong. They spelled it "Calvanism." I think we're already in trouble when they're not sure how to spell it.

Rev. said...

I'm not familiar with "Calvanism."

Greg Welty said...

"Calvanism" is the increasingly popular philosophy that underlies new techniques in refinishing your military firearms or hunting guns.

For more info, cf. Calvan.com.

I thought everyone knew this.

;-)

Tom said...

Rev and reformthesbc:

That just goes to show how truly historic this conference will be! It's been so long in coming that we have forgotten how to spell Calvinism. :-)

Of course, it is an honest mistake and will be corrected shortly. It probably made all the Armenians happy, though! ;-)

Tom said...

Greg:

I always thought that was "Galvanism." I have been misspelling it all these years. Thanks for correcting me! ;-)

pregador27 said...

I have had no real issues with people being against my being a "Calvanist" or a "Calvinist" for that matter. After reading some of the things in the media, I became a bit paranoid, but thus far no problem. I guess when you become more well-known it ruffles the feathers of "the big dogs."

Greg Welty said...

Tom,

Your sad confusion of "Galvanism" and "Calvanism" -- indeed, for years on end! -- is clearly an indication of the theological sloppiness that is so prevalent today. Those ancient worthies who debated at the Council of Nicaea would surely rebuke you for overlooking the importance of just one letter.

I will pray for you, my brother.

;-)

Darby Livingston said...

Tom, based on history, I hope this isn't a preview...

"Calvinism glorifies God because it credits Him alone with salvation. The Founders of the SBC were Calvinist."

"No, Calvinism is arrogant, unloving and kills evangelism. What about this verse?"

"Well you see it your way, and I'll see it God's way."

I'm going to start praying right now that this conference truly gets beyond that classic standstill. I am an unashamed Calvinist, btw.

Scotty Karber said...

Where are Jerry Vines, Johnny Hunt and the Caner brothers? How can we take seriously the commitment of Lifeway and Founder's Ministries when they have eliminated the most capable advocates among the non-calvinists? At least tell me that they will be introduced or their names mentioned with their views or something! How else will the people know that their views are being properly represented? ;)

Scotty Karber said...

here are Jerry Vines, Johnny Hunt and the Caner brothers? How can we take seriously the commitment of Lifeway and Founder's Ministries when they have eliminated the most capable advocates among the non-calvinists? At least tell me that they will be introduced or their names mentioned with their views or something! How else will the people know that their views are being properly represented? ;)

Tom said...

Greg:

Please! Let's not divide over one little letter! How unloving can you be! Oivay...or Ovay, as the case may be. ;-)

Darby:

I share you hopes and prayers.

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Darby,

I, for one, am very thankful that Dr. Vine, Dr. Hunt, Dr. Caner, and Dr. Caner are not on the program. These men, despite the many positive contributions they have made to the work of the Lord in other ways, have been a dreadful hindrance to previous attempts at reasonable discussion of Calvinism. There is reason to hope that with this slate of speakers, the messages will be delivered in a generous, loving spirit.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

IN HIS NAME said...

Dr.Greg Welty,

Dr. Greg,
That was a funny trip to that web site and thanks for the lighter side.
I would have thought Dr. John Frame would have taught you how to spell correctly. If not my wife who is a Master of the English Language can assist you in the Queen’s English.
Hope to visit your church one day and meet you in person.

In His Name
Wayne Smith

Greg Welty said...

Hi "in his name" (Wayne Smith),

Hey, I didn't misspell a thing! It was those zany Lifeway folks :-) [now since corrected at their webpage]

BTW, I'm heartened by you listing in your Blogger profile Adrian Rogers as the author of one of your favorite books. The fact that he's sandwiched between Martyn Lloyd-Jones and John Piper speaks volumes to me about the kind of appreciation we should have for sound and faithful Bible teachers and pastors, Calvinistic or not.

IN HIS NAME said...

Dr. Greg Welty
I was just kidding about your spelling after chasing your Calvanism lead.

http://www.calvan.com/

Have you read any books written by Dr. Edmund Clowney’s. I just started reading His last book (How Jesus Transforms the Ten Commandments) written before his death.
In His Name
Wayne Smith

Greg Welty said...

Hi Wayne,

Ed Clowney was both a winsome preacher and a profoundly helpful professor. I had him for Doctrine of the Church while at WTS-CA. I've found his books _The Church_ and _Called to the Ministry_ very useful.

I did get on his case once for remarking in class that "Baptists don't have confessions," but that was just a friendly comeback :-)