Wednesday, June 14, 2006

President Page and Former President Paige

Frank Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylor, S.C. is the newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention (elected by the messengers of local churches on June 13th). I personally would not have voted for Page, though not for any personal reason. I am sure he is a godly man with a heart for the Lord's work. Rather it is on the grounds of theological differences that I would hesitate to cast my vote in his corner. As I was unable to attend the Annual meeting this year, however, I did not cast my vote for anyone.

The concerns I have over Page surround the materials from his 2000 released book "Trouble with the Tulip: A Closer Examination of the Five Points of Calvinism." Certainly I do not object to having a non-Calvinist president, I am not so stubbourn, but Page's book is not an objective or even a closer look at Calvinism at all. Tom Ascol has reviwed this book and concludes several important things: 1) "The Tone of the book is, for the most part, very gracious towards those who are convinced Calvinists." (2) "Dr. Page is a very kind man, faithful pastor, and would be wonderful to know as a friend." (3) "for the most part his views are little more than restatements of positions that have taken long before, including the confusion of 'Five Point' Calvinism with Hyper-Calvinism." (4) "Page also rehashes the old canard that Calvinism always kills evangelism" (5) and lastsly "if Dr. Page genuinely believes what he has written about Calvinism, then no amount of kindness can justify his willingness to work with the kinds of people he has described in his book!"

Read the full review at What is interesting to note about the election of this new non-Calvinist Page president is that it coincides with the discussion of Calvinism by a former Paige President. Paige Patterson and Albert Mohler Jr. discussed their differences over the doctrine of election on Monday June 12th of the Convention's annual meeting. During this discussion Patterson is said to have warned his non-Calvinist friends not to accuse Calvinism of being anit-evangelistic and anti-missional (exactly what Dr. Page has done in his book). This is a common misrepresentation of Calvinism, and will only be done away with when people truly do the research and study the Calvinist authors themselves. President Page could learn a thing or two from the former President Paige on this matter. I guess these are just two different pages in the book of the SBC encounters with Calvinism.


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