Eric Hankins, nominee for Second Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, recently heavily contributed to a non-Calvinist soteriological statement presented at SBCToday.com Hankins came onto the blog scene back in April with posts advocating a soteriological position distinct from Calvinism and Classical Arminianism. It is obvious that these posts played a role in setting the ground for the Statement now being discussed across SBC life.
Recently, Tom Ascol documented how Hankins’ soteriological statement would exclude Southern Baptist statesman W.A. Criswell as the document denies a particular call of salvation, affirming only a general non-salvific call that cannot save apart from the cooperation of man and his libertarian free will. Ascol posted a sermon from Criswell detailing Criswell’s Calvinistic soteriology.
In a discussion on SBCToday.com back in April, Hankins chided me for daring to surmise that most Southern Baptists in the pew do not understand the biblical doctrine of man and man’s utter incapacity to seek God without some type of intervening grace brought by God. Hankins cited the soteriology of W.A. Criswell as not only being in agreement with the soteriology of Adrian Rogers, but also as a position that Hankins himself could affirm.
I think men like Adrian Rogers and W.A. Criswell represent where most Southern Baptists are in their soteriology. Do you think they were semi-pelagian? If you do, I wouldn’t go around saying it. I don’t think most churches need a “building up of orthodox doctrine” (which mainly means indoctrination into Calvinism).
Ironically, Hankins would go on to draft a document that, as Ascol has documented, dear brother Criswell could not affirm.
Whatever this “traditionalism” is, it is more narrow and unaffirmed than the non-Calvinist “traditionalists” have led us to believe.