There is a bit of a controversy within the Southern Baptist Fellowship at the moment over the issue of Calvinism and Traditional Baptist theology. Dave Black links to a great article on the subject.
Within the framework of Calvinism verses otherisms I rarely argue doctrine on this blog in any great depth. Note my emphasis is on argue. I have done way too much of this in the past and now I believe it leads to a weakening of the Kingdom and doesn’t strengthen it.
I totally believe that doctrine and theology is important. After all every person, whether a believer or not is a theologian of some kind. However, I believe that way too much of our doctrines and theologising’s stem out of propositional truth, whereas I firmly believe we need to engage in more narrative truth.
Its my observation through the Scriptures that the early church was not concerned about how people were saved through any particular doctrinal position, which explains in details just as to how they were saved…rather, it was their practice to just tell people Christ died for their sins, and allowed the Holy Spirit to do his job of convicting them of their very need.
In many ways I believe that the devil is having a great laugh at the division between us. For the truth is, that salvation is simple…we are called to believe on Christ. I believe we are at great risk of distorting the scriptures if we go past the narrative of what the authors of Scripture taught and how they taught it. Simply put, I do not find any of the authors of Scripture plainly teaching the doctrines of TULIP, or many of the other kinds of theological methodology of which we take great pains to teach.
Perhaps in many ways we are making a mockery of our God, by trying to delve into the secret things of him, where we elevate certain doctrines with a priority that Scripture doesn’t truly allow them to have. Have we replaced the working of the Holy Spirit with mans thinking? With all our striving towards correct doctrine, have we forgotten about right living before God and all of humanity for whom Christ died.
I ask, does the narrative story of our Christianity match the narrative living of the early church? Does our narrative preaching, match the preaching of the early church? By narrative I mean by the way we emulate what they preached and how they preached it. I challenge anyone to show me in Scripture how Paul and any other author of Scripture, made TULIP and other theological methodologies a priority of their plain teaching to the church.