Dr. Adam Harwood, Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia in a commentary response to “A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation” begins by saying, “Roger Olson is correct: Traditional Southern Baptists are Not Arminians.” Dr. Harwood is referencing comments in an article written by Olson on the same statement where Olson makes the following statement, “It doesn’t matter what “most Baptists” believe or what is the “traditional Southern Baptist understanding.” For a long time I’ve been stating that most American Christians, including most Baptists, are semi-Pelagian, not Arminian and not merely non-Calvinist.” Dr. Olson’s comments may be read in their entirety by CLICKING HERE.
Dr. Harwood writes, “Your post attempts to link the Statement in question with both Arminianism and Semi-Pelagianism. In this reply, I will address the significant challenge facing your post, which is your faulty assumption concerning the group of Baptist signatories. The faulty assumption which undergirds your post is that this group is unknowingly committed to Arminian theology. In your view, the group that affirmed this Statement is comprised of (to borrow a phrase from Karl Rahner) Anonymous Arminians.”
Harwood continues, “In recent years, several Southern Baptist theologians have attempted (apparently with little success) to explain that a rejection of Calvinism does not necessarily entail a commitment to Arminianism. (Consider as an example the book you cited, Whosoever Will.) This newly-released Statement is yet another attempt by a segment within the SBC to declare that they are neither Calvinists nor Arminians but Baptists. (I borrowed this line from the title of a paper on this topic. See Malcolm Yarnell, “Neither Calvinists Nor Arminians but Baptists,” by CLICKING HERE.
Happily, your incorrect assumption serves to make our case. Thank you.
First, after quoting Article 2 (“The Sinfulness of Man”), you write, “A classical Arminian would never deny that Adam’s sin resulted in the incapacitation of any person’s free will.”
Precisely! We assert a biblical-theological claim which would not have been made by classical Arminians. The reason is simple. We’re not classical Arminians. We’re “Traditional” Southern Baptists.”
Dr. Harwood’s article can be seen in its entirety at SBC Today, by CLICKING HERE.