“Calvinism” in “Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009)”- excerpts from the book by Dr. Gregory A. Wills, Part 3c.

3: The “Calvinism” of the SBTS founders

[After the following heading, the remainder of this post is a quote from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1859-2009).]

c. The “Calvinism” of William Williams and Basil Manly Jr. (96)

Williams also argued the Calvinist distinctives in traditional fashion. He taught that God’s decrees determined “whatever takes place” and included “all things.” He taught that God imputed Adam’s guilt to his posterity, resulting in “universal total depravity,” in which all persons lacked the “moral ability to do what is spiritually good” and were “totally destitute of any love of God or any inclination to do his will or engage in his service.” He explained that scriptural election was “God’s eternal and unchangeable choice of certain persons to salvation of his sovereign will.” He taught that Christ’s death was a “limited atonement,” because a “true substitution and satisfaction” necessarily involved specific “persons whose place is taken and not an indescriminate mass,” and because the Bible taught that the atonement actually purchased and procured faith, repentance, and salvation. He held that the Holy Spirit’s work of “imparting spiritual life and renewing the will” was “irresistible grace” and was granted to “the elect only.” He taught also that the “perseverance” of the saints was a “necessary inference from the doctrine of election” and from the nature of the union between the Christian and Christ.”

Basil Manly evidently held similar Calvinist positions, but he published relatively little material explaining his views of doctrine. He affirmed his confidence in God’s complete sovereignty in many places and drafted the seminary’s Calvinist statement of faith, the Abstract of Principles.

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