Response to NOBTS interview of Dr. Nelson Price, Part 4

[Continued from Part 3]

4. What would you say is the most significant theological issue confronting Southern Baptists in this generation?

Calvinism is foremost, but glossology is emerging once more also. There are so many different schools of Calvinistic thought that no matter what is said to be a belief there are those of other schools who deny it. There are many admirable aspects of Calvinism with which most Souther Baptists agree. A high regard for the authority and integrity of Scripture, the belief that salvation is by grace alone, the atonement of Christ, and the belief that everything should be to the glory of God are broadly held concepts among Baptists. However, irresistible grace which teaches those predestined to be saved cannot resist salvation and limited atonement which says Christ died only for those predestined by God to be saved is where the road forks. This is where the introduction of the doctrines of Calvinism into a traditional Southern Baptist church becomes divisive.

Dr. Price says, “There are so many different schools of Calvinistic thought that no matter what is said to be a belief there are those of other schools who deny it.” The background to this statement is found in the many objections brought to Dr. Price’s attention regarding his infamous ‘bus illustration’ (found on his website HERE) that he has used to depict Calvinism. Dr. Price’s response to these objections is to say, basically, ‘Well, different Calvinists believe different things.’ But we must be very clear: NO Calvinist would accept the ‘bus illustration’ as an accurate depiction of what we believe.

Notice again the appeals to tradition (fairly recent tradition at that) and pragmatism regarding what doctrine should be introduced to the church. This pragmatism that runs throughout Dr. Price’s answers to questions #2-4 is what I intended in my assertion that his answer to question #1 contradicts these responses. In other words, Dr. Price usually seems to desire to avoid “divisive”-ness within the congregation at all cost. Yet, when it comes to the question of whether a church should leave the SBC, he says, “Don’t even consider leaving as an option.” What if many members of the congregation felt the church should leave the SBC? Wouldn’t the decision to remain in the Convention then be “divisive” to the local congregation? These considerations seem to indicate that Dr. Price holds a wrong view of Baptist ecclesiology in which denominational unity trumps both commitment to the local body and, it seems, careful biblical exegesis in a pastor’s decision-making process.

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3 Comments on “Response to NOBTS interview of Dr. Nelson Price, Part 4”

  1. charles m crabtree Says:

    Cavinism and legalism is the two most devisive issues facing the christian church.

  2. Barry Says:

    Well Charles, that sure is biting off alot to chew on.

    When you say “Calvinism and christian church” I’m wondering if you’re refering to Baptist or all christian movements. Big difference. And, even there (were it Baptist alone) you should explain your view.

    As far as “Legalism” being one of THE most divisive issues in the christian church I would say no. Sure, there has been and always will be the following/not following (or believing in codes and Mosaic artifices) and the never-ending faith/conduct jousts. That’s been going on for quite some time.

    If there are divisive issues going on affecting Christians, and I think there are, it isn’t the two you mention. Not even close.

  3. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Calvinism is foremost, but glossology is emerging once more also.

    Are these even on the same level. That would be scary if in fact people cannot draw a distinction between these. It is like saying that the color of the nursery is as important as the the cross. They’re not even in the same category. Beside, the term is glossolalia, and might be called glossolaliology, if you’re a not a T-totaling Souther Baptist, but glossology is the study of the tongue, language and its developement, et cetera, not not the peculiar practice of speaking in ecstatic tongues.

    Calvinism, forks the road, eh. There are two paths you can go back but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on, and he’s buying a stairway to heaven, at the right Price. With two associations Price first makes Calvinism a cultish aberration connecting it with tongues, then makes it a deviation from the truth. Yeah, those aren’t fighting words, no way, he opposes divisionalistic tactics… doesn’t he?

    I’ve gotta go watch Fiddler on the Roof. Tradition, tradition. It’ll kill ya.


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