PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
"Southern Baptists are in general agreement on the concept of the security of the believer known as “once saved always saved” or preservation of the saints.
There is a slight semantic difference in what Calvinists believe on this topic. They believe in the perseverance of the saints.
(The following two paragraphs are a sidebar to the book review.)
Put side by side the difference becomes clear.
SOUTHERN BAPTIST CALVINIST
Preservation of the saints Perseverance of the saints
God does it Man does it
It is based on God’s promises It is based on man’s performance
It is absolute It is relative
Contrary to the concept of “it is all about grace” this last point actually means the Calvinists position on the subject is works based. This leaves some Calvinists hoping they have done enough good work. Baptist know for sure God has done a perfect work."
Our Comment: We have contacted Dr. Price to protest against this blatant and ridiculous straw man argument. He has not seen fit to respond or to take this outright falsehood down from his site. Like the bus illustration, it remains up. Yet Dr. Price knows it is false. We have sent him quotations from every Calvinistic Confession and Catechism we could lay our hands on to prove that this stayement is a LIE (let us use plain language), and yet Dr. Price continues to promote the idea that Calvinists believe their salvation is conditional on their good works.
When the Calvinist says as he does that
Yes, I to the end shall endure
As sure as the earnest is given;
More happy, but not more secure
The glorified spirits in heaven.
He does so on good grounds. God has chosen him from eternity, has given His only begotten Son to die in his place, bearing his sins, and has drawn him to Himself by His sweet yet irresistible grace. Dr. Price's doctrine of 'eternal security' is potentially antinomian, and has no foundation at all. Indeed, if Free Will is so important to his God, why does God not give men free will to abandon Him after they have been converted? The teaching of eternal security in a Free-willer's system is like a pair of columns we have seen at the front of an old chapel. They were of wood, and had originally appeared to be holding up an ornate arch behind the pulpit. When a new organ was introduced these columns had been cut off, so that the capitals appeared to be supported by nothing. Such is Price's doctrine of eternal security, it has no foundation in his system.
"When the Southern Baptist Convention was organized in 1845 five traditions were represented. One was known as the Charleston tradition, which was Calvinistic. The Sandy Creek tradition discounted Calvinism and emphasized evangelism. The Georgia tradition represented the Southern regionalism of the Convention. The Tennessee tradition emphasized the distinctiveness of Baptists churches. The Southwest tradition stressed evangelical-denominationalism. The Convention sided against the Calvinist tradition and with the evangelical persuasion. The Sandy Creek tradition prevailed. That is the doctrinal foundation of most Southern Baptist churches. Their heritage is other than Calvinistic. There have always been some in the ranks of Southern Baptists with Calvinistic leanings. Some are people of note. However, the denomination in general has always supported the position of its founders who sided against the Calvinistic tradition."
Our Comment: It has been shown by James White and Tom Ascol, not to mention Tom Nettles, that the Sandy Creek Association was in fact Calvinistic to the core. The statement that they were free-willers is a LIE, and can only be held if we imagine that Calvinism and Evangelism are opposed. But we have shown the two are in fact closely connected. A host of writers have demonstrated that the founders of the Southern Baptist Convention were in fact Calvinists, and the heritage of the denomination is solidly Calvinistic. We point our readers to Dr. Tom Nettles fine books 'The Baptists' (Fearn, Christian Focus, 3 volumes) and By His Grace and For His Glory (Founders Press). It will bear stating this again.
Article 4 of the Sandy Creek Association's Principles of Faith states:
IV. We believe in election from eternity, effectual calling by the Holy Spirit of God, and justification in his sight only by the imputation of Christ's righteousness. And we believe that they who are thus elected, effectually called, and justified, will persevere through grace to the end, that none of them be lost.
If this is not Calvinism, we do not know what is!
"Humphreys concluded that in light of this Southern Baptists who resist Calvinism may be called traditional Baptists in the sense that the first Baptists resisted Calvinism, and in the sense that today most Southern Baptists resist it."
THE WAY WE WERE, by Fisher Humphreys, Smyth & Helwys, Macon, Georgia, revised 2002, pp. 67-73.
Our Conclusion. Humphreys and Price are both in error. They are promoting falsehoods, and Price has been repeatedly corrected by us and others. Yet he refuses to confess his errors and blatant falsehoods and continues to pretend that he is an expert on Calvinism. He is bearing false witness against the brethren, and by his sin he is harming the Churches. Our advice to him is that he repent.