Patterson = Martin Luther

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Re: Patterson = Martin Luther

Postby Michael Wrenn » Sun May 05, 2013 1:39 am

I had never heard OSAS described as a Baptist distinctive, either -- as being something essential to being a Baptist.
Michael Wrenn
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Re: Patterson = Martin Luther

Postby Sandy » Sun May 05, 2013 8:22 am

Michael Wrenn wrote:I had never heard OSAS described as a Baptist distinctive, either -- as being something essential to being a Baptist.

I'm sure you are quite familiar with Baptist history, understanding the various lines in the origin of those churches which have come to be identified as Baptist. Walter Shurden identified his "four freedoms," that characterize Baptist identity as Bible freedom, Soul freedom, Church freedom and Religious freedom, and I would agree that those four things are the essence of being Baptist. The very nature of those things makes it possible for the spectrum of theological beliefs among Baptists to be broader, and incorporate wider differences between Baptist denominations, groups, and individual churches, than between Baptists and the rest of Protestant and Evangelical Christianity. That's why we characterize major doctrinal themes as "historic and traditional" rather than "distinctive and essential." OSAS is not a Baptist distinctive because it is not taught by all Baptists, and it is taught by Christians who are not Baptist. But it is a very strong doctrinal theme among most Baptists. It is a hallmark of the Independent, Fundamental Baptist movement which accounts for about a fourth of all Baptists in the US, it is the view taught at all six SBC seminaries and as a consequence, is overwhelmingly predominant among Southern Baptists, who account for almost half of all Baptists in the US, it is in the doctrinal statement of the two largest African American Baptist denominations, which account for another large percentage of all Baptists. So I think it can be considered historically and traditionally Baptist.

It is certainly more traditionally Baptist than the idea of a hierarchial denomination. With Bible freedom, Soul freedom and Church freedom being characteristic of Baptist identity, having "The Baptist Church" capital C, apply to a structure other than a local church is not consistent with Baptist principles. They may use the name, but they are not Baptist in the definitive sense of the term.
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