Drawing Near

A Pastoral Perspective on Biblical, Theological, & Cultural Issues | The Personal Website of James B. Law, Ph.D.



June 2012



“Trad”/Calvinism Debate, Elephants, Dr. Fred Luter and Meeting in the Big Easy: My Brief, Simplistic Process of the Last Two Weeks

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I have been challenged greatly over the last two weeks with the launch of the “Trad” document on soteriology by Dr. Eric Hankins et al. I have followed the posts on SBCToday, and other places, and have read seriously their arguments on a host of issues. Many of their points have led me to a further search of the Scripture and church history. I have spoken to brothers and friends who have signed the document, and while we will probably not find agreement on many of these issues in this life, I am committed to love them and seek to fulfill the Great Commission as the Spirit of God gives us grace and strength.

In these weeks, I have been personally edified by this serious plunge into the doctrine of salvation which has produced within me a greater resolve to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified to a lost and dying world.  I am especially grateful for Dr. Tom Ascol for his helpful theological and historical response to the “Trad” document (www.founders.org). His work “on the fly” has been anything but “exceedingly stupid.”

These type of debates can fray emotions and give rise to the sound of war in the camp.  I am prayerful as we have hard discussions about “the elephant in the room” that we can move forward with respect and conviction.  This is a time for us as a convention to behold the preeminence of Christ, so that He may have first place in everything we do. (Col. 1:18)

Next week will be filled with excitement with the election of Dr. Fred Luter! In the fall of 2007, he preached at First Baptist Church Gonzales. As I introduced him to a packed house, with many coming from the African-American community, I explained with sorrow that in the 100 year history of our church, he was the first African-American preacher to preach from this pulpit on a Sunday morning. His ministry to us on that day has been blessed tremendously, and our church is beginning to resemble more and more the diversity of the redeemed of heaven. (Revelation 7:9)

In thinking about the election of Dr. Luter, let’s be clear, his election is not an accommodation. This dear Brother is eminently qualified to lead Southern Baptists.  From his exaltation of Jesus Christ in his preaching, to his love for the local church, to his contagious leadership, to his evangelism and mission mobilization, and to his thorough understanding of SBC work, we will be well served by Dr. Fred Luter as president of SBC!

Looking forward to being with the SBC family next week in New Orleans and praying that the love of the brethren would continue (Hebrews 13:1)!


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