Thursday, June 15, 2006

Correspondence Regarding Frank Page's Election

Dear Denny,

I noticed on your blog that you made the following statement concerning the recent election of Dr. Frank Page as SBC President:

"Page's election certainly will not end the controversy but it perhaps does signify that a substantial number of Southern Baptists have decided to hold their ground against such doctrines as limited atonement and irresistible grace."

But what you may not know is that Dr. Page was a candidate that was endorsed by a number of Calvinists, including Wade Burleson, the man at the center of the real controversy of the convention which was the potential narrowing of the theological agreement in order to cooperate with the SBC. Several well-known Calvinists spoke their minds concerning Dr. Page's book and comments that he made about Calvinism. However, in the end, he was supported by many Reformed leaders in the SBC, including almost every Reformed SBC blogger, because of his desire to broaden the respect for all theological perspectives that fall within the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

Dr. Page has promised to honor his committment to appoint trustees who are committed to inerrancy and come from the broad spectrum of theological perspectives which find agreement in the BF&M.

Please take note of this and understand that many Calvinists feel that the consistent Reformed-bashing rhetoric that has been occuring for the last year among SBC elites may draw to a close under Dr. Page's leadership.

Soli Deo Gloria,

D.R. Randle

Mr. Randle,

Thanks for the information.

Not being a Southern Baptist, I wasn't aware until reading through recent BP stories about the growing controversy over Calvinism within the SBC -- though the matter is certainly making waves throughout other evangelical circles.

The key purpose of the post on Vital Signs Blog, of course, was to direct readers to the article featuring Mohler & Patterson which I thought was thorough, revealing and fair. Anyhow, though I am not a Calvinist, I hope you're take is correct about Page's election softening or even eliminating altogether the "Reformed-bashing rhetoric" you mentioned. Honest dialogue, humility and a willingness to pull together on those priorities the Bible emphasizes are always in order.

Again, thanks for your note and I promise to check out your blog later today.

Blessings in Christ,

Denny Hartford
Director, Vital Signs Ministries


Thanks for the prompt response and I am glad that you found the information helpful and hopeful. I agree that "honest dialogue, humility and a willingness to pull together on those priorities the Bible emphasizes are always in order." And I hope this type of action will be spurred on by Frank Page's election. May God bless your ministry on the Internet.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Daniel "D.R." Randle