Saturday, July 14, 2012

"Traditional" Southern Baptist Statement on Soteriology Signatory list shut down

Randall Cofield, in a comment left on yesterday's post, informed me that the editors SBCToday have removed the signatory list from their "Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God's Plan of Salvation." The statement has been available on their website for signatures since it was released June 1, 2012. Certain SBC institutions and individuals also promoted it during the annual meeting of the convention in New Orleans last month.

In their announcement today the editors of SBCToday state,
There was never a “magic number” of signers in anyone’s mind and there was never any organized campaign to enlist signatories. It seems to us that to leave the list open further unnecessarily shifts attention to who has or has not signed the document, which is not the point. We never assumed we were speaking for all Southern Baptists.
The statement itself does claim to represent the "majority" of Southern Baptists, however. The last report I heard indicated that the document had garnered around 800 signatures. If 1000 people signed the statement that number would represent .0000625 of all Southern Baptists.

Though the release and promotion of the statement has resulted in some occasional rancorous dialog among its defenders and detractors, it has called attention to the great need for serious theological education and conversation within the SBC. Pray that this will take place without distraction from the shrill voices giving apocalyptic warnings and the sound of banging war drums, both of which can be found in various theological camps within and beyond the SBC.

You can read the complete statement about the closing of the signature list here.


The Squirrel said...

I wonder if the list was removed not only due to the relatively low number of signers, but because some of those signers are now embarrassed that they did, in fact, sign such a semi-Pelagian document?

The Squirrel

R.C. said...

Hate to be a math nazi, but I'm pretty sure your numbers are off. 1000 is .0001 percent of 1,000,000,000, that is, a billion. And you have more zeroes than that. Perhaps the trouble is with "percent", which means hundreth, essentially adding two more zeroes to your number. Well, it seems I like being a math nazi. I am grateful for the post, even more grateful for your faithful service within the SBC and to the broader evangelical church

R.C. said...

Even with notorious Baptist perseverance of the rolls, I don't think there are a billion sbc folk

Tom said...

You are correct! Thanks for pointing out the mistake. I have altered the original post by taking out "percent." Math was never my forte...I should stick with what I know! ;-)

DoGLover said...

@ R.C.: "Baptist perseverance of the rolls"
Thanks for the chortle.

@ Tom: Maybe now we can get back to the business of proclaiming the gospel of grace.

Bob Cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...

I wonder if they have the guts to ask for signatures from those who disagree with the statement?

Dale Pugh said...

I asked this question over at SBC Today--"Where's the beef?"
It really doesn't matter to me who signed it. What matters is what it says.
Is the content of the Statement making a difference anywhere? How many churches have now embraced it as their own confession? Is anyone besides Hankins using it as a launching pad for their own preaching/teaching ministry? Is anyone going to abandon other confessions in order to affirm this one? Will it ever supersede the BFM? Is it really that strong of a statement? I don't think so.
As one who is just a rank-and-file pastor in the SBC, I have to wonder if any of this is more than an attempt to put a face on who's in charge.

Pastor David Pitman said...

Perhaps the strategy is to abandon a quantitative approach (list of signatures) for a qualitative approach (personal anecdotes from "recovering" Calvinists. Fascinating. ;)

Hughuenot said...

Dale Pugh" It really DOES matter who signed it.

If "What matters is what it says," then who signed it is very important.

You aslo ask: "Is the content of the Statement making a difference anywhere? How many churches have now embraced it as their own confession?"

These are vital questions, and who signed it is of utmost importance. As is the fact that the signatories have disappeared.

Cowards hiding their dirty work?