Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism

Building Bridges:
Southern Baptists and Calvinism

November 26-28, 2007
Ridgecrest Conference Center, NC
$75 (w/o meals) $104 (w/ meals)
Sponsored by SEBTS and Founders Ministries

Topics Being Discussed:

In addition to scheduled worship times, subjects to be addressed during the conference are:

* The Historical Record
* Calvinism: A Cause for Rejoicing, A Cause for Concern
* The Atonement: Its Design, Nature, and Extent
* Theological Stereotypes: Let’s Be Fair and Honest with Each Other
* Election and Calling: A Biblical/Theological Study
* Working Together to Make Christ Known

Here is the massive line-up of speakers:

• David Dockery, president, Union University, Jackson, Tenn.;
• James Merritt, pastor, Cross Pointe, The Church at Gwinnett Center, Duluth, Ga.;
• Malcolm Yarnell, assistant dean of theological studies/associate professor of systematic theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas;
• David Nelson, senior vice president of academic administration, dean of faculty, professor of theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C.;
• Charles Lawless, dean, Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.;
• Nathan Finn, instructor of church history, Southeastern Seminary;
• Ken Keathley, senior associate dean, professor of theology, Southeastern Seminary;
• Greg Welty, assistant professor of philosophy, Southwestern Seminary;
• J.D. Greear, pastor, Summit Church, Durham, N.C.;
• Sam Waldron, academic dean and professor of theology, Midwest Center for Theological Studies, Owensboro, Ky.;
• Voddie Baucham, church planter and pastor of preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church, Spring, Texas;
• Jeff Noblit, senior pastor, First Baptist Church, Muscle Shoals, Ala.;
• Tom Nettles, professor of historical theology, Southern Seminary;
• Thom Rainer, president and CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources;
• Brad Waggoner, vice president of research and ministry development, LifeWay;
• Ed Stetzer, director, LifeWay Research and resident missiologist, LifeWay;
• R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president, Southern Seminary;
• Danny Akin, president, Southeastern Seminary;
• Tom Ascol, senior pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, Fla., and executive director, Founders Ministries.

From Tom Ascol:

“We intend to follow the example of those who have gone before us by rediscovering the spiritual vitality that comes from humble, honest theological dialogue,” said Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Fla., and executive director of Founders Ministries. “We have a significant lineup of excellent theologians 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.”

From Danny Akin:

“The Word of God calls us to love the Lord with all of our heart,” said Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary. “It also calls us to love Him with all of our mind. Thinking biblically and theologically, therefore, is essential to a balanced and healthy Christian life.

“Calvinism has generated a lot of interest in recent years in Southern Baptist life,” Akin noted. “Unfortunately we have often talked at and not with one another. Unhealthy rhetoric and misrepresentations from all directions have led to confusion and even ill will among brothers and sisters in Christ. We hope this conference will demonstrate how important theological issues can be discussed with grace, integrity and love.”

From Brad Waggoner (LifeWay):

“The goal of LifeWay Research is to provide relevant information to people and churches for the purpose of reaching people for Christ,” Waggoner said. “Calvinism is obviously something that a lot of people have discussed over the past couple of years. Anytime Christians can come together – especially those within the same ‘family’ – and seek deeper biblical understanding, the entire Body of Christ benefits. LifeWay Research’s desire is to stimulate and inform those types of discussion.”

>> For more information or to make reservations, contact LifeWay Ridgecrest at 800-588-7222 or online at

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4 Comments on “Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism”

  1. This line-up of speakers is off the charts

    I think much good “could” come from this conference.

  2. Nathan White Says:

    Wow, what an impressive list of speakers. This is extremely exciting.

    One thought though: “Building Bridges” is an eerie name given this weeks tragedy. This is a bit off topic (well, maybe not considering this conference is on the Sovereignty of God), but I enjoyed Piper’s thoughts on this:

    The word “bridge” does not occur in the Bible. There may be two reasons. One is that God doesn’t build bridges, he divides seas. The other is that usually his people must pass through the deadly currents of suffering and death, not simply ride over them. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (Isaiah 43:2). They may drown you. But I will be with you in life and death.

  3. Sam Hughey Says:

    I think the term Building Bridges can give a wrong impression. When one builds a bridge, an attempt is made to unite to ends. The ends of which I am referring is, of course, the Calvinistic view and the anti-Calvinistic view. I’m not implying there will be an attempt to make the two opposing views compatible or acceptible by the phrase Building Bridges and I am certain at least one side will attempt to show where the two sides must meet in order to honor God. However, this has the potential of building a bridge between fire and water, either the fire will evaporate the water or the water will extinguish the fire, or the two sides will never come close enough to affect a change in either view. I am praying for the outcome to be honoring to God, opening sincerely fruitful discussions on both sides and exposing the fault line which will inhibit a serious bridge building.

  4. Drew Says:

    Perhaps we should take up a collection to send Dr. Caner to the conference. That’s a joke, but maybe not a bad idea…

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