My Chronological Compliation of the Calvinism Controversy in the SBC

It’s a work in progress, I know.  But I thought this might provide a little historical perspective and why SBF exists today.  To download a PDF of my research go here

This project is ongong, so if you have any information, articles, or research that could help fill in any gaps in my chronology, please let me know.  And those of you who take a look at it, let me know what you think.


Explore posts in the same categories: General, Resources, Southern Baptist Convention

13 Comments on “My Chronological Compliation of the Calvinism Controversy in the SBC”

  1. Les Puryear Says:


    What a wonderfully exhaustive document. Good work! Maybe I missed it, but did you include the motion from the 2006 convention that the SBC study the effects of calvinism on evangelism? That seems pretty important to me. 🙂


  2. Les,

    Indeed, it was included. The details says:

    February 2006
    John Connell sends letter to President Bobby Welch requesting a study of “Calvinism’s current impact on SBC churches as well as its implications for the future of the great Convention”

    I will be provided an updated version of this document in a week or two. I have already added about ten additional sources since last night (when I made the PDF version).

  3. Les Puryear Says:

    Brother, you are good. 🙂


  4. Timmy,

    Sorry I failed to mention sooner: At the 13th annual Southern Baptist Founders Conference, in addition to the lecture on Boyce, President Mohler also gave a talk entitled “A Theological Biography of the Southern Baptist Convention.” This other lecture was significant in that Mohler argues that the controversy over inerrancy was a result of Southern Baptists forsaking their Reformed heritage (a heritage with such a well-developed doctrine of Scripture), and that if the Conservative Resurgence is going to last, then a more comprehensive theological worldview (than simply affirming inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture) is necessary.


  5. Barry Says:


    I think it’s fair to suggest that if the “Conservative Resurgence” doesn’t last that questions of inerrancy only play a part of a bigger picture. The mid-term elections in this country gave stark indication that American’s are definitely at odds with the way conservatism has played out in administering to this country’s overall well-being. I think it is equally fair to suggest that mis-steps (and I include the current Pope) in religious leadership worldwide has made people take a step backward and re-evalutate who is leading us and if the direction we are headed is extreme and of benefit to only a few.

    Palms 146:3 “Put not your trust in princes, in man, in whom there is no salvation”.

  6. Timmy Says:


    That reminds me of what Douglas Baker wrote in a recent Baptist Press article entitled “Inerrancy Isn’t Enough.” He told me he caught all kinds of flack from that article, but it was dead on.

    Nathan Finn recently wrote on SBC Witness arguing that we need to realize that the Conservative Resurgence is over and need to get on to recovering the gospel and the reformation of the churches.

  7. genembridges Says:

    Contact Scott Morgan, I’m sure he could give you a mountain of material on the sermons preached @ Johnny Hunt’s church.

    Don’t forget to add Frank Page’s book.

    Don’t forget Nelson Price’s material.

    You can add Adrian Rogers’ sermons, as well as several that James White has covered in the past on the DL. See if you’ve missed any. If you look in the DL archives, or contact him directly in his chat channel, you should be able to find them.

    Did you include Dr. White’s Open Letter to Dave Hunt? My eyes got crossed after a bit.

    The Bob Wilkin/James White debate on Lordship was also a challenge to Calvinism. Wilkin’s theology is held by many in the SBC.

    Also, Olsen’s book has been challenged by Paul Helm, I believe. His blog should have that information. I know Pyromaniacs reviewed it as well.

    Steve Hays wrote a response to Dr. Paige Patterson as well. It’s in the 2004 archive at Tblogue, if my memory serves correctly.

    Oh, and I might add, as a secondary argument from the opposing side, charges of “Presbyterianism.” If you’ll notice, Calvinism, plurality of elders, and the IMB baptism policy “scandal,” oh and the arguments for Resolution 5 on the internet have all at one time or another invoked the “P” word. It’s part of the script. If you can trace sermons mentioning that, you could put them in a section on “related issues,” since they all parallel.

    Oh, and FYI, I’m shunting as much email as possible to now in an effort to keep an email addy for general stuff and theological stuff separate. I’m on vacation through July, though, so comment threads are the best place to find me, as well as Tblogue. Keep an eye out there for me in threads dealing with Eastern Orthodoxy. If you see I’ve commented in one, just pop in and say, “Gene I need you to email me” or something.

  8. Timmy Says:


    Great to hear from you man. And thanks for the info.

    I do have Frank Page’s book on the list, but none of Nelson Price’s material (other than his moronic, I mean, oxymoronic statement). I do need to get that info from Scott on Hunt’s messages. I failed to chronicle his rants.

    I will take a look at that additional info as I plan on updating the document really soon. BTW, I am praying for your health situation.

  9. genembridges Says:

    I might also point out that the recent book by Lifeway on baptism is pretty much from a Calvinist standpoint, which makes sense since it primarily addressing Presbyterian argumentation.

    Also, you’ll find Perspectives on Election in the Five Views series by Broadman and Holman contains Bruce Ware’s doctrine alongside Robert Reymond. You may want to add that to your list.

    You might also want to get with Dr. Nettles on recent publications in Baptist history. Remember Emir and Ergun are trying to trace Baptistery via Anabaptism and overturn the prevailing thesis placing us in English Puritanism for our roots. Emir was Prof. of Anabaptist studies @ SEBTS under Patterson and has since moved to SWBTS undergrad under Patterson. Estep published his book on Anabaptistery and holds, as best I can tell, the same thesis. IMO, we’re seeing an attempt to revise Baptist history or at least put forth this particular thesis to counter Calvinism, as it’s a common argument we get. I don’t keep up with Baptist periodicals on history, but Dr. Nettles can help.

    Also, re;ated to that are the articles and books by Richard Muller, Robert Clark, and Carl Trueman, like Protestant Scholasticism: Essays in Reassessment, Christ and the Decree (Muller), Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (Muller) and the series under Dr. Muller’s sponsorship on Bullinger, Calvin, Olevianus, Luther, and others. These all address the “Calvin v. the Calvinists” arguments and “Beza the rationalist” arguments of previous scholarship on which many anti-Calvinists rely. These books are all being published with a specific aim: to address those arguments. The list is fairly long, so I’ll just point you to this one and you can glean the list from it (it is published in the front of the book): Architect of Reformation: An Intro. To Heinrich Bullinger, ed. by Bruce Gordon and Emidio Campi. I believe Dr. Wells at SBTS would be able to direct you to these. I mention them, because I have personally and publically asked Dr. Yarnell to actually interact with this scholarship when he discusses Calvinism in history when he decided to discuss these issues at SBC Outpost. Basically, he made the “rationalism” comment and I called him out on it and pointed him to this body of literature (which has been developing for at least a quarter century now), and told him that he needs to either stop making that bare assertion as fact or interact with this body of literature if he makes that claim. We get this all the time, and I, for one, am mighty tired of it. One would think that a man of his stature would be capable of such interaction.

    Thank you.

    One more surgery on my scalp in July. Am trying to get a doctor to take a good look at my left hip. Hopefully tomorrow will be the day. Oh, and the car died, so I’m having a new motor installed. Ho-hum. Make all checks payable to me ;).

  10. genembridges Says:

    Oops, just saw you got the Perspectives book.

  11. genembridges Says:


    I found the URL for Steve’s response to Paige Patterson from 2004.


  12. Thanks Gene! I have been getting some great feedback from folks. Some of that will come out in a day or two . . .

  13. genembridges Says:


    Here is Helms’ review of Olsen:


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