Monday, March 06, 2006

Hail to the Chief

Dr. Danny Akin is the president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, which I currently attend and from which I hope to graduate later this year. Tom Ascol at Founder's blog links to and analyzes an article by Akin on a Southern Baptist response to divine sovereignty and human responsibility. I largely agree with the postition Akin articulates, but my appreciation actually has more to do with his courage than his theological position.

In a convention atmosphere marked by ridiculously dishonest caricatures the doctrines of grace from key SBC leaders, many of whom send substantial numbers of students to SEBTS, Akin might well have lain low. Some of his own students won't like this article at all. As to the faculty, I won't even hazard a guess.

This quote seemed to be rather significant:
Pelagianians, Arminians and Open Theists will not find a home in our Southern Baptist family. We will love them while also disagreeing with them. Is there a place for differing positions on the issues of election, the extent of the atonement and calling, as well as how we do missions, evangelism and give the invitation? I am convinced that the answer is yes. Further, I believe we will be the better for it theologically and practically as we engage each other in respectful and serious conversation.
The mere fact that anyone might not be welcome in the SBC might come as a shock to some folks, let alone this suggestion that Arminians could be among those out in the cold. Perhaps Akin's article is more evidence of a broader trend towards a willingness to stand on theology rather a pragmatic ministry philosophy that evaluates success and leadership by inflated growth statistics and cooperative program giving. Something's happening in conservative evangelicalism, but it's too soon to say exactly what that is. I hope my cautiously reserved optimism is vindicated.

2 comments:

Dave said...
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Ryan Martin said...

The irony here is that some fundamentalists, then, would not be welcome in the SBC.

Now that's funny.