Tom Ascol, the executive director of Founders Ministries, has a good series of posts (charitable and thoughtful) on the recent SBC statement released. It is a five part series and he brings up many of the points that are circulating around the blogs (such as a misunderstanding of original sin and historical myopia), but he also brings up the following point which I think is worth stating.
The authors authoritatively set themselves up as spokesmen for the “majority” of Southern Baptists, stating 1) “the majority of Southern Baptists do not embrace Calvinism,” 2) “the Southern Baptist majority has fellowshipped happily with its Calvinist brethren while kindly resisting Calvinism itself” and 3) “asserting that the vast majority of Southern Baptists are not Calvinists and that they do not want Calvinism to become the standard view in Southern Baptist life.” My short response to this is, “Prove it,” the impossibility of which highlights a problem that I could wish these brethren were as concerned about as they are Calvinism. No one–not even the FBI–can even find the “majority” of Southern Baptists, much less authoritatively declare what they believe. More substantively, however, is the danger of trying to do theology by majority–something that sends an icy chill up my Baptist spine. Further, when well over 60% of Southern Baptists don’t even show up for worship on Sunday, I’m not sure that I would take much pride in declaring that my views represent “the majority.” Finally, I can more readily prove that the “majority” of Southern Baptists deny regenerate church membership, corrective church discipline, the necessity of holiness and the authority of Scripture than the authors of this document can prove that their views of salvation represent that same majority. All I have to do is appeal to the inerrant words of our Savior, who said, “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:15-20; cf 21-23). The framers of this document will have to find the majority of Southern Baptists before they can ever hope to speak for them. Confidently asserting they can do so is disingenuous at best.