Arminian Theologian on “Traditional Statement”: so obviously and blatantly semi-Pelagian

The “Traditional Statement” continues to generate a lot of talk. I’m here at the SBC annual meeting in New Orleans, and it’s the subject of many whispers. I’ve already shared my own thoughts on the document.

Stirring up the waters, in part, is this article by Christianity Today reporting on the controversy. Perhaps the most striking portion is the quote from Roger Olson. Olson, an Arminian and no Calvinist-sympathizer, is the author of Against Calvinism. He had this to say about the “Traditional Statement”:

This is what many laypeople believe that they shouldn’t, and pastors and theologians should be correcting… My surprise is that the framers of this statement didn’t immediately go back and rewrite it because it is so obviously and blatantly semi-Pelagian.

The concern about the theology presented in the “Traditional Statement” goes beyond the more Calvinistic elements of Baptist life. Those who support it should humbly reconsider their wording and clarify their theology.

On another note, David Platt gave the most courageous, clear message on the gospel I’ve heard at a SBC Pastors’ Conference. His text was John 2:23-3:16. His main three points were:

  • Many have a sincere belief in Jesus that is not saving faith (2:23-25)
  • The supernatural work of the new birth is required for being saved (3:1-15)
  • We must take the gospel to the world that God loves (3:16)

Powerful, powerful stuff. At one point he said we do not need to be debating the gospel when the world needs us to be proclaiming it. I’ll post video when/if it becomes available.

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