It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 8: Realistic Substitution

This eight-part series introduces the new perspective of Realistic Substitution, which unties the knots and answers the questions that previous theories could not. It is the ancient Realistic view of Adam further developed and applied to Christ. Leon Morris, in The Cross in the New Testament, was not optimistic regarding the possibility of a "full and final … Continue reading It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 8: Realistic Substitution

It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 7: Traducianism

This eight-part series introduces the new perspective of Realistic Substitution, which unties the knots and answers the questions that previous theories could not. It is the ancient Realistic view of Adam further developed and applied to Christ. Traducianism is the belief that the immaterial nature (the spirit or soul) is propagated from one or both parents. … Continue reading It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 7: Traducianism

It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 6: The Realistic View of Adam

This eight-part series introduces the new perspective of Realistic Substitution, which unties the knots and answers the questions that previous theories could not. It is the ancient Realistic view of Adam further developed and applied to Christ. The parallel between Adam and Christ is striking, as evident in Rom. 5:12-21. Inadequacies in our understanding of how Adam's … Continue reading It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 6: The Realistic View of Adam

It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 5: Under Wrath Until Reconciled

This eight-part series introduces the new perspective of Realistic Substitution, which unties the knots and answers the questions that previous theories could not. It is the ancient Realistic view of Adam further developed and applied to Christ. A One-Sided Reconciliation? The logic of a one-sided reconciliation, in which God is reconciled to us but we are … Continue reading It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 5: Under Wrath Until Reconciled

The Role of the Holy Spirit in Justification

By Ken Hamrick We are justified by faith in Christ. But is that justification a mere legal fiction, as the Catholics object? While many look for the answer in the analogies of marriage and adoption, there is a more explicit answer: it is the spiritual union of Christ in the believer, effected by the Holy … Continue reading The Role of the Holy Spirit in Justification

It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 4: Union with the Substitute

This eight-part series introduces the new perspective of Realistic Substitution, which unties the knots and answers the questions that previous theories could not. It is the ancient Realistic view of Adam further developed and applied to Christ. Old Testament Pictures of Union with the Substitute One vital principle of substitution is union with the substitute. How … Continue reading It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 4: Union with the Substitute

It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 3: Unquantifiable & Nontransferable

This eight-part series introduces the new perspective of Realistic Substitution, which unties the knots and answers the questions that previous theories could not. It is the ancient Realistic view of Adam further developed and applied to Christ. The Unquantifiable Nature of Sin-Debt, Wrath, and Atonement How many sins did Adam commit before he stood in need … Continue reading It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 3: Unquantifiable & Nontransferable

It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 2: Faith is Required

This eight-part series introduces the new perspective of Realistic Substitution, which unties the knots and answers the questions that previous theories could not. It is the ancient Realistic view of Adam further developed and applied to Christ. Old Testament Requirements for Atonement As we have rightly looked to the Old Testament to define atonement, it is … Continue reading It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 2: Faith is Required

It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 1: Definition

This eight-part series introduces the new perspective of Realistic Substitution, which unties the knots and answers the questions that previous theories could not. It is the ancient Realistic view of Adam[1] further developed and applied to Christ. The Traditionalist contends that Jesus died for everyone. The Calvinist counters that since not all will be saved, not … Continue reading It’s Time for New Thinking on Atonement, Part 1: Definition

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

Realism & Retroactive Identity in Christ

By Ken Hamrick John Murray’s treatment of sanctification, particularly his essay, “The Agency in Definitive Sanctification,” makes some surprising inroads toward grasping the believer’s retroactive, realistic identification with Christ.[1] He does not go as far as to acknowledge that the reality of the spiritual union of Christ in the believer brings a title to all … Continue reading Realism & Retroactive Identity in Christ

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

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