a baptist perspective


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Jason Sampler
New Orleans, Louisiana

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B.A. History Education, SWOSU
M.A. Theology, NOBTS
Th.M. Theology, NOBTS

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Thoughts on Theological Disagreement from a "Young Leader"

I was conversing with a friend the other day about the term "Young Leader". I'm reluctant to use that term self-referentially because I don't feel 'young' when I get out of bed and, more importantly, 'leader' should not be a self-bestowed title. I'm just not comfortable with the phrase, but I know what others mean by it. Nevertheless, tonight I was reading essays from a book as I sat at a table at Cafe Du Monde (no intention of starting another reformation in the convention; I just needed out of Gentilly and wanted some beignets). I ran across a statement from one worthy of the moniker "Young Leader".

In the book Why I Am A Baptist, coeditor Russell D. Moore contributed the concluding essay entitled "Baptist After All: Resergent Conservatives Face the Future". Moore writes:

Baptist confessionalism is not a political movement. Still, if we bear the responsibility for carrying Baptist identity into a new century, we must recognize that we face a similar quandary. During the inerrancy controversy, conservatives could see easily how necessary it was for us to coalesce common commitment to biblical authority and confessional fidelity. As the Baptist left isolates itself further from denominational life, conservatives must avoid organizing ourselves into narrowly defined special interest groups of competing theological emphases.

There will be complete doctrinal unanimity among Baptist conservatives, but it will not be achieved until the millennial reign of Christ. Until then, we may never even agree on where it there will be such a millennial reign. On the foundational doctrines we must stand united and constantly work for even greater doctrinal consensus. But, contrary to the spin control of our critics, confessionalism does not mean lockstep groupthink. My coeditor and I understand differently what the Bible teaches about the relationship between Israel and the church, about the appropriate method of public invitation, and about various other second-order issues. We differ on these things, however, in the unity of a common submission to a larger framework of biblical truth.

The statements that seem most apropos at this juncture are Moore's comments about avoiding narrow factious groups and how confessionalism does not mean lockstep groupthink. His writing/editing relationship with the coeditor, Tom Nettles, demonstrates that cooperation can occur among Baptists of differing beliefs.

Not so, though, among the IMB trustees.

posted by Jason Sampler at 10:13 PM


Blogger art rogers said...

Good thoughts, here, Jason. Sorry I couldn't stay up late enough for you to post them last night.

How were the begniets?

5:50 AM, May 06, 2006  
Blogger Dorcas said...

Jason -

Glad you are back to posting on your blog.

6:32 AM, May 06, 2006  
Blogger D.R. said...

Ahh...beignets. Those were the days! I do miss Cafe Du Monde, though that may be exemplary of all that I miss of New Orleans -- the food. I don't miss much else, especially not the weather, which I am sure you can attest to. How many pounds did you lose sweating while eating those beignets?

8:43 PM, May 06, 2006  
Blogger Jason Sampler said...


I'm glad to hear you liked the food while here in New Orleans because you certainly didn't like to do school work or get out of bed before noon :)

I holla

9:59 PM, May 06, 2006  
Blogger Gary said...

Dear Baptist/evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ,

I ask you to consider these points:

1. When God said that he would preserve his Word, what did he mean? Did he mean that he would preserve the original papyrus and parchment upon which his Word was written? If so, then his Word has disappeared as none of the original manuscripts remain.

Did he mean that he would preserve his word in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek only? He would not preserve his Word when it was translated into all the other languages of the world?

Or did God mean that he would preserve his Word…the message/the words…the Gospel: the free gift of salvation, and the true doctrines of the Christian Faith? Would God allow his Word/his message to mankind to be so polluted by translation errors that no translation, into any other language from the three original languages, continues to convey his true words?

2. There is NO translation of the Bible, from the original ancient languages, into ANY language, ANYWHERE on earth, that translates the Bible as the Baptists/evangelicals believe it should be translated.

No Bible translation on earth translates Acts 2:38 as, “Repent and believe in Jesus Christ every one of you and you will receive the Holy Ghost. Then be baptized as a public profession of your faith.”

Why would God allow EVERY English translation of the Bible throughout history to be mistranslated or use such confusing language as to suggest that God forgives sins in Baptism? And not only all English translations, ALL translations of the Bible have retained these “mistranslations or confusing wording”.

Do you honestly believe that God would allow his Word to be so polluted with translation errors that EVERY Bible in the world, if read in its simple, plain interpretation, would tell the people of the world that God forgives sins in water baptism??

3. Why is there not one single piece of evidence from the early Christians that indicates that ANYONE in the 800-1,000 years after Christ believed that: Water baptism is ONLY a public profession of faith/act of obedience; sins are NOT forgiven in water baptism? Yes, you will find statements by these early Christians that salvation is by faith, but do Baptists and evangelicals really understand how a sinner obtains saving faith? THAT IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION, MY FRIENDS! Does the sinner produce faith by his own free will or does God provide faith and belief as a gift, and if God does provide faith and belief as a free gift, with no strings attached, WHEN exactly does God give it?

4. Is it possible that: Baptist-like believers, at some point near or after 1,000 AD, were reading the Bible and came across verses that read “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” and “Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved” and established their doctrine of Salvation/Justification first, based on these and similar verses alone, and then, looked at the issue of water baptism, and since the idea that God forgives sins in water baptism didn’t seem to fit with the verses just mentioned, these early Baptists re-interpreted these verses to fit with their already established doctrine, instead of believing the “baptism verses” literally?

Is it possible that BOTH groups of verses are literally correct?? If we believe God’s Word literally, he says that he saves/forgives sins when sinners believe/call AND when they are baptized? Why not believe that God can give the free gift of salvation in both situations: when a sinner hears the Gospel and believes and when a sinner is baptized?

Should we re-interpret God’s plain, simple words just because they don’t seem to make sense to us?

God bless you and keep you!

3:24 PM, June 09, 2013  

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Current Reading

A Treatise on Church Order by John L. Dagg

Christian Doctrine by W. T. Conner

Future Reading

The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today (Revised Edition) by Wayne Grudem

Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12-14 by D. A. Carson

Previous Posts

The SBC, Confessions, and the IMB Trustees
Contemplating Hell By Contemplating the Cross
Some Pics of Our Work in New Orleans
Another New Orleans Update
Update from New Orleans
News from the Crescent City
I'm Back, Baby!
A Lesson on the Kingdom
Second Annual Younger Leaders Meeting


The views presented on this blog do not represent the opinions or positions of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the SBC, any local, or state Baptist association, or of Edgewater Baptist Church. The views represented here are solely the personal views of the author. Also, it should be made public that I am a rabid University of Oklahoma sports fan . . . BOOMER SOONER!


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