The 3rd Rail: Can a Loving God Determine to Save So Few?

By Ken Hamrick This is the last post in this series, and concludes my attempt to provide a compelling articulation for the middle ground on which so many Southern Baptists stand—holding that God is the ultimate Determiner of destinies and that men have free will in the matter (but without going to the lengths of … Continue reading The 3rd Rail: Can a Loving God Determine to Save So Few?

The 3rd Rail: Unconditional Election is Not Restrictive

By Ken Hamrick See all the posts in the series, 'The 3rd Rail' The posts in this series are not in any particular order; but it may be helpful, before reading this one, to read the following posts: "The 3rd Rail: Inability of the Will is Never Literal," and, "The 3rd Rail: The Fallacy of … Continue reading The 3rd Rail: Unconditional Election is Not Restrictive

The 3rd Rail: God Does Good, Men Do Evil

By Ken Hamrick See all the posts in the series, 'The 3rd Rail' It is possible to put so much emphasis on one Biblical principle that another equally important Biblical principle becomes obscured in the shadow, and eventually rejected. Baptist Centrists going all the way back to Andrew Fuller have recognized this problem in the … Continue reading The 3rd Rail: God Does Good, Men Do Evil

The 3rd Rail: Inability of the Will is Never Literal

By Ken Hamrick See all the posts in the series, 'The 3rd Rail' We in the middle watch with dismay as justification for the extremes of one side is claimed to be based on the extremes of the other (in the ongoing Calvinism/Traditionalism debate). Why ignore the middle position? There are more than two choices … Continue reading The 3rd Rail: Inability of the Will is Never Literal

The 3rd Rail: The Call to Believe is Not Without a Promise

By Ken Hamrick See all the posts in the series, 'The 3rd Rail' Imagine how sinners would react if the gospel offered no promise of eternal life to those who believe. If there were no amazing grace, no opportunity for forgiveness, no loving heavenly Father to welcome us into His family, no Savior who gave … Continue reading The 3rd Rail: The Call to Believe is Not Without a Promise

The 3rd Rail: Why the Middle View is Here to Stay

By Ken Hamrick See all the posts in the series, 'The 3rd Rail' Calvinists and Traditionalists have been arguing, with varying degrees of amity and enmity, since the SBC was formed. But between these two (with slight overlap of both) is a less argumentative and more cooperative middle view. Because this middle view has commonalities … Continue reading The 3rd Rail: Why the Middle View is Here to Stay

Unwillingness & Inability: A Summary of Andrew Fuller’s Solution

By Ken Hamrick The theology of Andrew Fuller, as set out in his greatest work, The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, is centrally located between those Calvinists who see sinners as walking corpses---no more able to believe than a dead body is able to raise itself from the dead---and those of the other side who … Continue reading Unwillingness & Inability: A Summary of Andrew Fuller’s Solution

Fuller & Inability: A Centrist Response to Tom Nettles

An Addendum, incorporating the Rejoinder, was added, 11-25-2014. by Ken Hamrick [13,200 words...] The focus of the debate between Calvinists and Traditionalists returns ever more often to Andrew Fuller. His theology is ideally suited to bringing the two closer together---not merely by a spirit of cooperation, but closer in doctrinal view---the usual argument over his … Continue reading Fuller & Inability: A Centrist Response to Tom Nettles

Toward Theological Reconciliation: Atonement

Also posted at SBC Open Forum and at SBC Voices. by Ken Hamrick What you will find below is neither an argument for the Calvinist view nor one for the Traditionalist view of atonement. Both ends of the spectrum have been asking the wrong questions, and the best perspective transcends that old debate. By emphasizing that Christ stood … Continue reading Toward Theological Reconciliation: Atonement

Who is Guilty of Adam’s Sin? A Centrist Response to Adam Harwood

Also posted at SBC Open Forum and at SBC Voices. by Ken Hamrick Adam Harwood spoke at the 2013 John 3:16 Conference, and the paper he presented there is available on the conference e-book at SBC Today. Like Dr. Harwood, I deny that anyone is born condemned for Adam's sin; but unlike Dr. Harwood, I find … Continue reading Who is Guilty of Adam’s Sin? A Centrist Response to Adam Harwood

Expanded SBC Calvinism-Arminianism Spectrum Chart

The chart is intended to represent the spectrum, with those doctrines that are least likely to be held by Calvinists at the top, and those least likely to be held by Traditionalists at the bottom, but with incremental steps toward the middle mapped out. As you move toward the middle of the chart, you find more … Continue reading Expanded SBC Calvinism-Arminianism Spectrum Chart

Beyond Traditionalism: Reclaiming Southern Baptist Soteriology

Also Posted at SBC Open Forum. By Ken Hamrick [15,400 words...] In May of 2012, Eric Hankins published A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation[1]. It has created quite an uproar. The statement does not provide any real depth of argument, and my initial impression was that it was … Continue reading Beyond Traditionalism: Reclaiming Southern Baptist Soteriology