While making my daily phone call to my parents last night, my father was unusually perky. His first words was, “Tim, you won’t believe this!” I believe a lot of things, so that exclamation really said something to me. He went on to tell me that our Baptist state paper, The Alabama Baptist, published not one, but seven (7) articles on “Dortian Calvinism.” Six of the articles were written by Dr. James Leo Garrett, and the seventh was an editorial introduction by Bob Terry.
Those of you in The Heart of Dixie know that our state has not been too kind to Calvinism in the past, so this has the potential to be the start of something good. Furthermore, contrary to previous state papers (such as Lonnie Wilkey from the Tennessee Baptist and Reflector and Nelson Price/Bill Harrell from Georgia’s Christian Index), these articles could be the start of some helpful and constructive conversation in state papers. You see, the thrust of the antagonism against Calvinism is not coming from the younger generation of Southern Baptists (who by and large do not read state papers) but the elder generation who are quite committed to reading their Baptist state paper. While the younger generation know most of the SBC bloggers, they haven’t a clue who Bob Terry, Lonnie Wilkey, James Smith, or Gerald Harris are, but the elder generation (who probably don’t know what a blog is) are quite familiar with these men.
So with that said, I look forward to reading these articles and perhaps interacting with them in the future. I also am needing to update my compilation which I hope to revise and make available (again) in the near future. In the meantime, consider reading these articles which could make for good future discussion (note: you may want to print these articles out and save a hard copy as Baptist papers do not have an expansive archive of past articles).
Understanding Calvinism: A Resource (editorial) – Bob Terry
Articles by Dr. James Leo Garrett: