Tom Ascol on the Future of the SBC

Last week, I shared my take on Baptist Press throwing Mark Driscoll under the bus, including the underlying factors that come into play.  One of the main factors was the competing visions of the SBC.  On point five, I wrote the following:

There are two competing visions for the SBC going on right now: the Great Commission Resurgence under the direction of Danny Akin and David Dockery headquartered at SEBTS, and the Baptist Identity Movement under the direction of Paige Patterson and Malcolm Yarnell headquartered at Southwestern Seminary.  Prior to the Annual Meeting in Indy last year, the Baptist Identity boys were blazing the Internet with series of blogposts talking about Baptist distinctives and in particular “ecumenical compromise.”  From the Annual Meeting forward, however, the Great Commission Resurgence has won the day, leaving the Baptist Identity crowd in the wake full of a separatistic, landmarkist agenda.   Having Driscoll (and Mahaney) who do not share the same ecclesiology and distinctives lead Patterson and his camp to consider the actions of Akin and SEBTS as Baptist compromisers.   The BP article on Driscoll is an indication, in my mind, of an attempt to discredit the leadership of Akin and undermine the Great Commission Resurgence movement in the SBC.  Fortunately, most Southern Baptists are not buying it.

Last night, Tom Ascol wrote a very important article about the future of the SBC in relation to these two competing visions.  In it, Ascol explains the DNA and direction of each group and why he has firmly place both feet with the Great Commission Resurgence (as have I).  Towards the conclusion of his article, Ascol writes:

As a reformed, Southern Baptist pastor, my feet are firmly planted in the GCR camp. I believe that it is time for Southern Baptists to come together on the basis of our commitment to the gospel. I believe that where this solid, authentic commitment exists, we can find ground for cooperation and fellowship that will enable us to serve the purposes of God better than if we hold each other at arm’s length because of suspicion, fear or disdain.

I invite both my Calvinist and non-Calvinist brothers and sisters to join me in encouraging and working for this kind of future in the SBC. Let’s work together to come to deeper understandings and applications of the gospel. We may disagree at points, but such disagreements, if handled with gospel grace, can work to strengthen our grasp of divine truth rather than to further divide us. That is my hope, and that is my prayer.

Whether you are a Calvinist or not, we can and should all heartily say “Amen” or “right on” or “Boom” (depending on whatever generation you are in).  Let us get on with the glory of the Gospel–living it out in our lives, our churches, and in our world.

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3 Comments on “Tom Ascol on the Future of the SBC”

  1. Jay T. Robertson Says:

    For the glory of God and the good of our lost world, may the Lord be pleased to multiply this spirit of gospel cooperation among all ages of Southern Baptists.


  2. Thanks, Dr. Robertson, for that encouraging comment. I trust all is well at UM these days. If you perchance run into Dr. Foley, please tell him that Tim Brister (the guy who did the block party thing on campus a long time ago) said hello.


  3. […] not all that up-to-date on all things Baptist, but this appears to be a positive […]


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