Friday, February 29, 2008

An Antioch Network Statement of Cooperation

Next Monday night and Tuesday morning several pastors and laymen will gather for fellowship and discussion about forming a network of churches for the purpose of fellowship, partnership and encouragment in the expansion of Christ's kingdom. The blueprint of what Dwight McKissic proposes be called 'The Antioch Network of Churches has not been crafted, but Dwight did ask me to present on Monday night a doctrinal confession and statement of cooperation that will be open for discussion, amendment and possible adoption. If you are in or near Arlington, Texas next Monday and Tuesday feel free to join us for this time of fellowship. Details may be found here. The proposed confession and doctrinal statement are offered below. I will post my thoughts on the meeting beginning Monday night.


An Antioch Network of Churches Doctrinal Confession and Statement of Cooperation

The gospel is the story about Christ, God’s and David’s Son, who died and was raised and is established as Lord. Churches forming the Antioch Network desire to join together to proclaim the good news that God's Kingdom has come in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the Lord and Messiah, in fulfillment of the Word of God.

The gospel we declare evokes faith, repentance and discipleship --- its accompanying effects include the forgiveness of sins, justification, reconciliation, adoption, wisdom and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Southern Baptists accompany our proclamation of the gospel with cooperative works of compassion and mercy for those in need or distress.

We strive to advance Christ’s kingdom on earth with the confession, proclamation, and application of the good news. The Bible is undoubtedly central to our cooperation, but Jesus Christ is the center of it. Therefore, we resolve to cooperate with one another, affirming the essentials of the gospel and our identity as Christ followers in these five doctrines:

(1). We affirm the authority, sufficiency and reliability of God’s infallible revelation to man in both His written Word and the Living Word Jesus Christ.
(2) We affirm both the full humanity and deity of Jesus Christ.
(3). We affirm Christ’s substitutionary death for sinners, His resurrection from the dead, and His gift of eternal life to all who are in relationship with Him by grace through faith.
(4). We affirm baptism as the public testimony for those who have come into covenant relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
(5). We affirm that those apart from a relationship with Christ will face God’s judgment.

The sole authority for faith and practice among the Antioch Network of Churches is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Doctrinal confessions, including this one, are only guides to interpreting the Bible, and have no authority over the conscience. Christians have historically differed in interpretation on finer points of doctrine not essential to Christian faith. Yet, with all our differences on secondary issues, we who form the Antioch Network of Churches desire to cooperate in ministry because of our love for the gospel.

Therefore, we intentionally put aside our differences on secondary issues for the sake of cooperative gospel ministry. We desire unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essentials, but charity in all things. This statement of cooperation defines the necessary essentials which must be affirmed in order to participate in the cooperative ministries and fellowship of the Antioch Network of Churches.

We desire to send to the world and our evangelical brethren through this statement of cooperation a sure and certain message: It is the gospel that unites us, and what unites us is greater than anything that might potentially divide us.


Michael Ruffin said...

Never before have I wished that I lived near Arlington, TX, but now I kind of wish I did so that I could attend what sounds like a very interesting and hopeful meeting.

Wade, your statement sounds very Christian and Baptist to me. Please resist any pushes you might get to make it "tighter" or "looser."

Blessings to you all from a Georgia boy who would like to be there.

Anonymous said...

In point 1 how about changing the word "man" to humankind or humanity?
Mona Loewen

Michael Ruffin said...

I like Mona's suggestion. That is, after all, what you mean.

Anonymous said...


I like it. However, if you don't have the word "inerrant" in (1), there are those who will accuse the network of having a liberal view of Scripture. Not that that should bother you. You've stood up quite well against those charges for the past couple of years.

Also, you must have inadvertently left out the prohibitions of private prayer language and baptism in churches that don't believe in eternal security. :)

God bless you and the Antioch Network. I wish I could be there for the meetings. I'll be praying for you all.

Michael F. Bird said...


There is something strangely familiar about that doctrinal statement ... :-)

If this is the future of the SBC then the future is bright indeed.

Also, if any one takes a dig at you for not including the word "inerrant", I would point out that the Reformed tradition has a 500 year old tradition of using the word "infallible" and that has done the job for us and continues to do so (e.g. London Baptist Confession; Westminster Confession, etc). Alas, there actually were Christians prior to B.B. Warfield. I am amazed how (only in North America) one can become a liberal by standing firm on 500 years of Reformed tradition by continuing to use the word "infallible" over "inerrant".

Valerie Calderon said...

How utterly fundamental it is to call for "charity in all things." Charity, or love, is the paradigm in which followers of Jesus Christ are required to live. Love is the defining characteristic of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, it ought to be the motivating factor for every good work, inform even the most brilliant of strategies, and provide the framework for every debate!


Thank you for your insight and courage in posting yesterday. And thank you for the gracious spirit you showed in the comment stream.

Gary Snowden said...

I would echo Mike Ruffin's encouragement to resist efforts by others to force the group to tighten or loosen the confession. While it is nowhere nearly as comprehensive as any of the versions of the BF&M, I understand its purpose is to unite folks around the simplicity of the gospel for cooperative missions networking. The Kingdom of God is certainly bigger than the Baptist expression of it and I commend you for the effort to recognize and cooperate with other Great Commission Christians who perhaps don't dot their "i's" and cross their "t's" exactly as we might.

Jack Maddox said...


I do not believe your exclusion of the word inerrant is problematic at all. I would however ask you is this statement a minimum standard or is it maximal? It would seem you give yourself a lot of room for freedom of interpretation, which is good, however, if the statement is minimal, then how would the Garner motion hypothetically effect the way committees and task forces in your new organization formulate policy?


Anonymous said...

I could not wait till I could participate with your network...however I am not and never have been Southern Baptist. Would you consider loosening that restriction. Wade you might be suprised how many non-Southern Baptist follow your blog and way of thinking and would welcome an opportunity to "formally" work together with you and your network of Pastors and churches.

God Bless you for all you do for the Kingdom of God.

One of thousands of Bapticostals looking for a home.


Anonymous said...

"Infallible" conveys the idea that something is incapable of fallibility or error, while "inerrant" conveys simply that it has no errors. Infallible is a much stronger statement concerning the nature of the Scriptures as that which cannot possibly be (or ever have been) incorrect. Inerrancy is subsumed by infallibility, therefore to affirm the latter is to automatically affirm the former.

(1) Is this Antioch Network intended to be composed of Southern Baptists only, or other groups? The statement says "We as Southern Baptists", but other than that there is nothing distinctively "Baptist" about it. (Not saying that is a bad thing in relation to missions cooperation, just curious as to the intended scope of participation.)

(2) Re: the sentence "The gospel we declare evokes faith, repentance and discipleship --- its accompanying effects include the forgiveness of sins, justification, reconciliation, adoption, wisdom and the gift of the Holy Spirit. -- is the gift of the Holy Spirit an effect? Would Calvinists affirm that?

(3) The deity and humanity of Christ are indeed essentials, but is not a Trinitarian view? (Is modalism ok?)

(4) Re: item # 5 -- is there no sense of "relationship" between God and unbelievers? Isn't "enemy" one kind of relationship?

It's a good confession/statement, so I'm not intending to pick at it -- just raising questions for consideration, as precision in communicating one's intent helps avoid disputes down the road.

Anonymous said...

"Infallible" is often used to denote a more limited form of inerrancy.

Some seminaries have accepted infallibility while rejecting inerrancy. It all depends on what one means by "infallible."

I know that Wade doesn't mean it in the neo-orthodox sense, but I made my original comment because I'm aware that there are people out there who enjoy trying to come up with a bad motive for everything Wade does.

Anonymous said...

Good luck on the new venture.

All good observations by those providing comments about "infallible" vs. "inerrant." I think that Matt makes the salient point for context purposes.

Infallible is a great word, and has been used historically until some people twisted its meaning to mean something less than, well, infallible.

Inerrancy was the watchword of the CR and was useful in helping draw out how to some "infallible" meant "fallible." The Chicago statement on inerrancy (did I get that right?) is a great document.

Using infallible vs. inerrant in the post CR SBC world is theologically obtuse.

I don't know if the new group's use of infallible is a conscious, intentional theological departure from inerrant, though I somehow doubt that it is.

I suspect that it may be Wade's and this new group's way of making a political separation from the way they see things in the SBC today.

I guess, however, until and if the new group makes a clarification, people will just be left guessing, and will have to believe what they want to believe about the new group.

So, being theologically obtuse may, by itself, serve some purpose for the group.


Bruce said...

Can we do a wholesale replacement of this statement with the BF&M 2000 and call it a day?

Anonymous said...

matt said...
"Infallible" is often used to denote a more limited form of inerrancy.

Some seminaries have accepted infallibility while rejecting inerrancy. It all depends on what one means by "infallible."

Yes, 'tis true ... "what's in a name?" Another demonstration of the importance of precision in words, especially in a confession of faith.

I realize there are disengenous folks who mince words to hide duplicity, which is what is being done when someone uses the plain sense of the word "infallible" to affirm something less than inerrancy. But not everyone re-defines infallible in that way, thus:

"The Bible in its entirety is God's written word to man, free of error in its original autographs, wholly reliable in history and doctrine. Its divine inspiration has rendered the Book 'infallible' (incapable of teaching deception) and 'inerrant' (not liable to prove false or mistaken). Its inspiration is 'plenary' (extending to all parts alike), 'verbal' (including the actual language form), and 'confluent' (a product of two free agents, human and divine). Inspiration involves infallibility as essential property, and infallibility in turn implies inerrancy." (Clark H. Pinnock, A Defense of Biblical Infallibility)

Speaking of Pinnock -- I think he would affirm everything in the Antioch Network Statement -- plus Open Theism (the idea that God doesn't know the future with absolute certainty). Anybody consider that an issue for cooperation?

Anonymous said...



This is the most hilarious thing I have heard in a long time. You already have folks changing and tweeking and altering the wording of your liberal, general Baptist confession, which by its wording, would allow 99% of all Christians in the world to join. Your little Association is going to be full of women and homosexual preachers and folks who like yodel and whoop and holler in the spirit and all manner of heretical things. Good luck with all that Mr. Conservative...


Btw, you really ought to run your little liberal, general Baptist Confession by some real theologians. I might suggest giving it the Mohler/Kelley/Patterson/Land test.


Anonymous said...

K. Michael Crowder said...
You already have folks changing and tweeking and altering the wording

I just re-read all the comments, and no one has done any such thing. I've probably come closest, and all I did was raise questions on things that might need clarification or explanation.

... of your liberal, general Baptist confession,

Liberal? Because of what it doesn't say? That's a stretch ...

Anonymous said...

"how about changing the word "man" to humankind or humanity?"

"if you don't have the word "inerrant" in (1), there are those who will accuse the network of having a liberal view of Scripture. "

"I do not believe your exclusion of the word inerrant is problematic at all."

"everything in the Antioch Network Statement -- plus Open Theism "

Even the very fact that Mona Lisa brings up the gender card is proof positive that this meeting is going to be the most liberal group to meet since the formation of the CBF.

Yet good can still come from this. "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may." Then the SBC can just ban rosebuds.

This will go down in history as the Baptist rosebud Heresy.

What began is 1979 will now be complete 30 years later with the "Rosebud Resolution."

What a great name for the documentary. At the end, you would see me laying a single red rose on the grave of the late Dr. Adrian Rogers.


Anonymous said...


I really like your opening line. Bringing in David and ending it with "established as Lord" is a nice touch. Also, hitting on the note of "fulfillment" at the end of the first paragragh is nicely done as well.

There are some things I don't understand about "The Bible is undoubtedly central to our cooperation, but Jesus Christ is the center of it."

I don't understand the need to contrast the Bible and the Christ.

I don't understand the need to have a "The Bible is...but..." statement.

I don't understand the nuance I am supposed to pick up on between "central" versus "the center".

It seems to possibly go against the New Hampshire Confession [which I'm not claiming is perfect, but of course has had an enormous impact on Southern Baptist history] which states "We believe that the Holy Bible...and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, THE true CENTER of Christian union..." (emphasis mine)

Anyway, I hope the meetings are filled with God's blessings.



Anonymous said...

k. michael crowder,

Complementarians hold that both genders are made in the image of God.

Therefore, the put down of a woman named Mona Loewen by referring to her as "Mona Lisa" is inconsistent with Complementarianism.

It also is inconsistent with the BF&M 2000 which Dr. Adrian Rogers affirmed.

But most important of all documents, it goes against the Holy Bible.



Anonymous said...

K. Michael Crowder said:

"Your... confession... by its wording, would allow 99% of all Christians in the world to join."

-I believe that's precisely the point (except I have not heard Wade say he wants to exclude 1% of those in Christ).


-jack- said...


Good suggestion.

Michael Bird,

Without your help a statement like this would not be possible. Thanks for your generous approval to use your wording and credit shall be given where credit is due.

Wade said...

Michael Crowder,

If certain readers with an attitude like yours choose to exclude themselves from the ANC because the confession of faith does not go far enough, then we will have accomplished our goal with the confession.


Wade said...

Anonymous Ron,

I believe there will be churches and pastors present at the ANC meeting who are not Southern Baptist but are baptistic in beliefs. said...


Since the confession is not binding on the conscience, it is neither a maximum or minimum statement.

The Bible is the sufficient authority for all involved.


Anonymous said...

Why does it say We as Southern Baptists? Why not we as followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?? (Or something similar). why does the statement itself already limit the group to something less than the Church? I thought this was a cooperative statement for any church who agrees with the confession. Even if as you say there are some who aren't SBC, it strikes me that the language does not appear to intend for that to occur.

Anonymous said...

KMC, wouldn't it be fantastic if all Christians could come together ??- that is what Jesus prayed for. said...


That was a typo. There are other churches that are Northern Baptist, Independent, etc . . .

Unknown said...

Wade: I am curious. Did you leave out immersion as the mode of baptism by oversight or intention? said...

The statement speaks for itself.

Ask your President, Dr. York, if a pastor/teacher who believes in infant baptism can teach your students for a week of revival at Southern. I believe it has happened on more than one occasion.

Therefore, cooperation for kingdom ministry with those who may not view baptism as I is as consistent as the practice of the man for whom you work.

Is it not?



Anonymous said...

Isn't every Baptist church independent, missionary, and fundamental?

Anonymous said...

'We will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ'

Anonymous said...


This is the most hilarious thing I have heard in a long time. You already have folks changing and tweeking and altering the wording of your liberal, general Baptist confession, which by its wording, would allow 99% of all Christians in the world to join. Your little Association is going to be full of women and homosexual preachers and folks who like yodel and whoop and holler in the spirit and all manner of heretical things. Good luck with all that Mr. Conservative...

LOL .... Now THAT was worth repeating. Every now and then a real nuget of truth is found on this blog. It ain't often though.

Anonymous said...

"If certain readers with an attitude like yours choose to exclude themselves from the ANC because the confession of faith does not go far enough, then we will have accomplished our goal with the confession."

Now now Wade, hold thou tongue. Lest your readers render your words and your new denomination exclusionary.


You said. "Complementarians hold that both genders are made in the image of God."

Both Adolf Hitler and Madalyn Murray O'hair were made in the image of God as well. So I fail to see your point. My condescension toward Mona was completely appropriate and in good taste. Keeping her "God-image" and her possible "Christ-likeness" in tact whilst slapping with a fake rubber chicken. :) So stop being so overly dramatic.


You said "I believe that's precisely the point (except I have not heard Wade say he wants to exclude 1% of those in Christ)."

No, Wade simply needs a new denomination whereby he can stake his claim on history. For it shall not happen within the SBC.


You say: "KMC, wouldn't it be fantastic if all Christians could come together ??- "

Absolutely not! The very idea is absurd, illogical, and not a mandate of Scripture. Hence, the reason and purpose of the Local Expression. There must be unity within a church or fellowship of churches. Not with the perceived whole of Christendom. Are you reading the Bible with your emotional glasses again? Is it possible that you are blinded by your view of the love of God?


You say in response to Dr. York: "The statement speaks for itself."

HUH??? The statement does NOT speak at all. Infact, it lacks most of the Biblical and Baptistic "1st tier" doctrines, and some of the ones it does list are so poorly worded...

Wade, with all due respect and with all the love I can muster, you are the poster-boy for neo-liberalism.

While our pedobastist and landmark brothers and sisters might be a bit overly concerned with who is and who is not in the Covenant, your liberal and Arminians friends seem to have no care at all. In fact, I might suggest you check your seed more closely, for the fruit appears to be tares.

MARK 4:14!


Jack Maddox said...


So can I hold to a different mode of baptism and be a part of the AN? Your statement really does not address Believers baptism. It is fine if I can, I am just curious if this is going to be a baptistic entity or simply evangelical


Jack Maddox said...


Sorry, I should have read before I posted. It is obvious that you folks are not going to hold Believers Baptism as a doctrinal standard, according to your political response to Dr. York. You just as well take Baptist out of the equation...thats fine if it is what you want, but your Antioch Network is proof iin the pudding of exactly why so many have a hard time with your vision for the SBC.

wade, you are truly becoming the Clark Pinnock of the 21st century, not so much in the arena of what you believe, but in and that you are far from the same guy that used to be. "Poster boy for neo - liberalism"? I don't know about that, but certainly you are firmly in the "Moderate" category with this move.


Paul Burleson said...


"In fact, I might suggest you check your seed more closely, for the fruit appears to be tares."

I would suggest to you that the point of the parable of the 'tares' is that one can't tell the difference by looking and would do great damage to attempt should leave that judgment to the angels who, at the end of the age, will be able to make the distinction. To separate BECAUSE one decides another, who testifies to a relationship with Christ, is, in fact, a 'tare,' violates the scripture, it would seem to me.

If a group fellowships around the gospel being declared worldwide and wants their new organization to be a means of that happening, it would seem to me, to be a good thing. As to who is/is not a "tare" is His to reveal in His time.

Dave Miller said...

I am having a little trouble figuring out what this whole thing is going to be.

Is it a new denomination?
Is it like a lobbying group within the SBC?
A political party within the SBC?
Is it a fellowship group?

I have no real trouble with the doctrinal statement, though, frankly, I would use the word inerrant. It is more distinct.

But I am just not seeing the reason to have this group.

I guess I will have to wait and see, but I am having trouble figuring out what purpose there is for the Antioch Network.

Not that annoying K. Michael Crowder isn't a noble thing, but there has to be more than that.

Anonymous said...

Michael Crowder,

There must be unity within a church or fellowship of churches. Not with the perceived whole of Christendom.

I know you are in your first pastorate and may not have read the whole book yet but start reading John 17 (its in the back). I would imagine that the prayer of Jesus might accurately reflect His desires for the Body.

Anonymous said...

I have been called "Mona Lisa" countless times. I've never been able to discern if it is condescending. But I can say that when they sing the "Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa ..." song that it is excruciating.

Mona Loewen

Anonymous said...

"Ask your President, Dr. York, if a pastor/teacher who believes in infant baptism can teach your students for a week of revival at Southern. I believe it has happened on more than one occasion. "

And a pastor who believes and teaches baptismal regeneration preaches at SBTS chapel. I know because he used to be my pastor and he is not SBC, either.

If you guys are going to be so nit-picky, start with the seminary first. It is amazing what is allowed to be taught there that is NOT SBC.


Debbie Kaufman said...

Jack: I can tell you don't get it or you would never have written the last line in your last comment. What fruit did Christ say shows that someone has been truly born again? The answer can be found in Matthew 22:37. The liberal and moderate label being thrown around every time you disagree on something is just getting old. I'm almost tempted to say that I would rather be liberal or moderate where kindness is more abundant than Conservative, where battle is abundant but then you would label me as well.

Lin said...

"There are some things I don't understand about "The Bible is undoubtedly central to our cooperation, but Jesus Christ is the center of it.""

I hope I am understanding it correctly as the Holy Sciptures are a means to an end: Being Christlike.

One can know correct doctrine and be a brilliant theologian still not have the power of the Holy Spirit on them to become Image Bearers of Christ.

Anonymous said...


Your words are a mephitis. I am sorry to smell such an odor from one who is a fellow pastor.


Jack Maddox said...


Thanks for your response. I have not heard from you in a while : )

My comment is only bothersome to you if you take the term moderate in a pejorative sense. The tension between Jesus's call for unity and doctrinal fidelity has always been a challenge. My comment was in context of believers baptism. If believers baptism is not a requirement then it is safe to say that the AN is moderate in this area of doctrinal agreement. By the way, I have not been unkind in my remarks...I have only asked some basic questions.

BTW Debbie, a little historical perspective. The Moderates of the 80's and 90's were not men and women who lacked conservative credentials or convictions. They simply did not believe that the issues held dear by the CR gang was something that needed to be an issue in cooperation as a Convention (Inerrancy, abortion, female ordination, etc) They were more 'moderate' in their views and acceptance if differing positions.

Does that not represent the views of Bro. Wade and the the rest of the 'Neo - reformers'?


Jack Maddox said...

btw Debbie...I have never thrown the liberal label around. You have never heard me accuse Wade of being liberal...not once.


Unknown said...

Dave Miller,
I am thinking that this is not a denomination in a formal sense such as the sbc who has a bureaucracy that rules over it's constituents with denominational rules and standards. I am guessing that this is an informal organisation where christians of all types that affirm the doctrinal statement and want to spread the Good News of Christ to all nations can gather and cooperate towards their goal. Now though their beliefs might be different in the minor points; cooperation is the overarching goal(eg if you don't want to cooperate don't join). I sure hope that this is not part of the sbc. I mean the sbc might technically join but it does not take precedence(and I don't think it will join anyway, it doesn't like cooperation).

Tim G said...

Which news services will be covering the meeting so that we might follow the progression of the development of this fellowship?

Rex Ray said...

You said, “All good observations by those providing comments about ‘infallible’ vs. ‘inerrant’. I think that Matt makes the salient [most important] point for context purposes…The Chicago statement on Inerrancy is a great document.”

(I’m using you like ‘John the Baptist’ was used to introduce the next person, and in this case it is Matt.)

Matt, you call attention to:

This states: “Biblical infallibility is the theological term to describe the belief that the Bible is free from errors on issues of faith and practice. This stance is also known as Limited Inerrancy. In contrast, Biblical Inerrancy is the belief that the Bible is free from errors in spiritual areas as well as in the natural (geographical, historical, scientific. etc.).”

This states two definitions as “Limited Inerrancy” and “Biblical Inerrancy”.

There are those who want everyone to believe that the 300 scholars that met in Chicago in 1978 gave only ONE definition of ‘Inerrancy’ {as Louis mentioned in his comment), but the group gave EIGHT definitions of ‘Inerrancy’.

I forgot the name of the definition that I liked, but it said all speeches were reported in truth but not all speeches were true.
It did not specific the topic of speeches which means they could be on anything including how men were saved.

Matt, if you know the names of the other six definitions of ‘Inerrancy’ would you tell us? If you don’t know or can’t find out, then I guess the ‘cover up’ that I experienced at SWBTS was far and wide.

Many years ago, at SWBTS I was stopped from passing out the eight definitions of inerrancy. When I complained that the freedom at SWBTS was no different than my missionary son experience in Israel, I was told the question would be brought up at the next trustee board meeting with the words: “We have a new board and we can do anything we want.”

Dave Miller said...

Contrary to Rex Ray's assertion, the Chicago Statement is a cogent and coherent statement of inerrancy, defining not only what we believe, but what we do not believe.

His assertions on its confusion impress me like those who say the Garner motion was confusing. If you don't like what something says, you say it is confusing.

Rex, you are grounded for a week.

Dave Miller said...

At the risk of oversimplifying, Jack Maddox is at least partially right in his defining of terms in the "Controversy" - known now as the Conservative resurgence.

There were liberals in the convention. They were a small percentage - someone estimated 5% or so, focused mainly in a couple of seminaries and a few hotspots around the convention.

There were conservative/fundamentalists (whatever term you used) who saw the need to imposed doctrinal standards on seminaries and employees of the convention. Essentially, this was the inerrancy group.

Then, there was a large group of people whose actual beliefs were essentially indistinguishable from the conservative/fundamentalists, but they either did not see the need for the enforcement of the inerrancy standard or they did not like the way the conservatives were doing it. That group came to be called moderates. Men like Dan Vestal and Winifred Moore were not liberals by any standard. They just did not support the conservative movement.

As a support of the CR, let me say that I consider the greatest failure of our movement was that we treated men who believed the Bible but did not support our cause fully as if they were evil. We questioned the validity of belief in the Bible on the basis of loyalty to the political cause.

All that to say that the term "moderate" often did in fact refer to people with conservative beliefs who did not support the conservative resurgence.

greg.w.h said...

If believer's baptism is the common practice, then it doesn't need to be written.

And the fact that you accept or even practice pedo-baptism doesn't make you a moderate or a liberal. It makes you a Catholic, a Presbyterian, an Anglican, an Episcopalian, a Lutheran, or a Methodist. Someone coming from one of those traditions into Baptist life could be a moderate, could be a liberal, or could be VERY conservative.

I think the question you meant to ask, Jack, was not whether believer's baptism would be the regular practice for new believer's,--which in all cases is likely among those who call themselves Southern Baptists (as the AN does)--nor whether it would be by immersion. The question that I'm sure was so very close to your heart is whether the intention is to require fellowshipping churches in the Antioch Network to consistently adopt practices such as re-baptism of believers that received infant baptism followed by confirmation or baptism by sprinkling instead of immersion.

If I'm reading the Statement of Cooperation accurately, there is no intention to force specific interpretations of secondary doctrine or practice on cooperating churches. In the case of believer's baptism--in part because of how close we believe Baptist practice is to the practice instituted by Jesus--I suspect that such an approach will lead to vigorous and I hope peaceful discussions about how Jesus intended unity and how that unity will play out over time. That probably will include a discussion of how to handle differences on primary doctrine and practice.

If it were me, though, I'd admit that--while I disagree that pedo-baptism is modeled in Scripture as the desired form of baptism--it is the faith that matters more than the mechanism. And the fact that Baptists haven't been able to admit that out loud without people claiming they're doctrinally defective is not a matter of pride for Baptists but a matter of shame in my opinion.

I see the same thing being mostly true for more obviously secondary issues such as private prayer language, public expression of tongues (with an interpreter in a biblically conforming way...i.e. orderly), and even women serving in leadership over men. These are secondary issues. We can see that the Bible offers a statement on each of these subjects. And we can see that the God sometimes steps outside of the general guidelines that he has given and sometimes does things differently.

If CB Scott can stand firmly against anyone ever questioning Paige's salvation, then I will also stand firmly against those who question the salvation and the good intentions of those who adopt somewhat less than mainstream positions on things that really aren't that important. I think I'm standing on exactly the same principle CB is standing on: we both believe that God and only God can see into the heart of the believer and judge that heart. So we're going to have to tolerate a little give and take until he reveals--as Paul so graciously put it--which stems are wheat and which are tares.

In the meantime, I see the Antioch Network as a new approach to how we deal with the seeds of tares dropping near them or being blown by the wind across the field. The intent of the Antioch Network is clearly to deny the tares soil by planting and harvesting the densest field of wheat that it can through faith in God made visible through loving action towards unbeliever and believer alike coupled with faithful broad- and narrow-casting of the truth of the the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Is it a new movement? A new denomination? A "Third Way"? Perhaps, perhaps not.

But it is a breath of fresh air filled with the earthy fragrance of honest hope seemingly coming directly between the parted lips of our Lover and Bridegroom.

Now that's what I call Good News!

Greg Harvey

P.S. Michael Bird & Wade and all. Thank you so much for the effort to keep the word count in the Statement of Cooperation to something more manageable in length than--for instance--recent Confessions. I think that having the functional equivalent of policy interpretations that do not change the original text of this document as a way of guiding the collection and dissemination of resolutions of theological, doctrinal, and practical discussions might be a good way to retain that directness and simplicity. And I offer the Constitution of the State of Texas as a cautionary tale in why the OTHER approach should be avoided.

Michael Ruffin said...

By Dave Miller's definitions, I reckon I'm a moderate. There, I said it. I feel so much better.

As a moderate, I agree with the assessment he offered in his last comment. I hope that my agreement with him does not cause some to cast aspersions upon him.

After all, some out there are very practiced at guilt by association. I suspect they will be quite good at finding some "guilt" in this new "association" (OK, "network") as well. said...


Dead on.

Good assessment of the purpose of the ANC


Anonymous said...

KMC, you start a sentence in response to me with the following:

"Absolutely not! The very idea is absurd, illogical, . . . ."

To that I would say:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."[

1 Corinthians 1

And, yes, I will boast in a God who can bring us all together. I know I can't. I believe He can and He will. I hope you can join me in that.

All too often these words get quoted against those perceived to be too liberal:

3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

I wonder if the charge is once again upside down, just like the Kingdom of God typically is, and those who stubbornly trust in intellect and reason are the ones who say the things to itch ears.

And you are right I do not understand the love of God. I still haven't gotten over that He loved me so much that He died for me and gave me eternity and life abundantly. And I hope I never wilt from telling others about that same exciting love! said...

Tim Guthrie

You can follow the progress of the ANC by reading your daily source of information for truth, justice and the evangelical way - SBC Outpost of course.



Anonymous said...

KMC, what are these verses (and others that I am not listing since I have already taken so much space) all about???

Romans 14:19 - Make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.

Ephesians 4:3 - Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Hebrews 12:14 - Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy.

2 Peter 3:14 - Make every effort to be found spotless and at peace with Him.

Ephesians 2:14-22 - For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility . . . you are . . . fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.

John 17:20-26 - My prayer is . . . for those who will believe in me . . . that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. . . May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Valerie Calderon said...


Thank you for taking the time to record the salient scriptures regarding the imperative of a unified Church which is to be reflective of the fellowship of the Godhead. I hope KMC's comments were not really reflective of his ecclesiology.

shadrach said...

So I do not mean this to be demeaning, it's just a question. If the sole purpose of this Antioch Network is baptistic unity, why don't you guys just jump in with the New Baptist Covenant crowd? They have stated that their goal is unity and rather than being simply theological, it has a very strong social message.

Unknown said...


First of all, don't assume I haven't discussed such things with my president. Second, I am not responsible for who is invited to preach in chapel, so that is irrelevant to my question. By the same logic, a person of another denomination could say you have no right to speak on matters of gender equity since you are a Southern Baptist and SWBTS fired Dr. Klouda. Third, I asked a serious and honest question and feel that you attempted to obfuscate it by responding with a "What shall this man do?" (John 21:21) deflection. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that by posting this on your blog you wanted honest reflection, discussion, and even suggestions how it might be stronger. If that was not your intent, then I apologize for misreading it. If my comments are not welcome here, then tell me that and I will not trouble you again.

I don't think I have ever seen a Baptist confession of faith or doctrinal statement that does not mention the mode of baptism. Recently men whom I greatly respect like John Piper and Alistair Begg have lowered this historic standard and I, for one, am greatly troubled by it. My disagreement with them is as strong as my personal affection and respect for them, and I confess that I am dismayed when I see Southern Baptists relaxing what is both a biblical and a historic Baptist position. I would encourage you to maintain that standard and insist on baptism by immersion.

Anonymous said...

"First of all, don't assume I haven't discussed such things with my president. Second, I am not responsible for who is invited to preach in chapel, so that is irrelevant to my question. By the same logic, a person of another denomination could say you have no right to speak on matters of gender equity since you are a Southern Baptist and SWBTS fired Dr. Klouda."

With all due respect, Dr. York, if this issue is of such importance, how can you stay at SBTS? Why not take a stand and resign?

Is the Emperor wearing clothes?


Unknown said...


I am limiting my comments to the topic: "An Antioch Network Statement of Cooperation." Not only does the emperor have clothes, he knows how to stay on message.

Dave Miller said...

Dr. York,

Your mistake was trying to ask a direct, sincere question. I have found that a sincere question is the quickest way to get ignored on blogs.

I think people generally assume you are asking rhetorical questions trying to trap people. I don't know.

I only know that almost every time I have asked a direct question, that question is almost uniformly ignored.

Bruce said...

"I guess I will have to wait and see, but I am having trouble figuring out what purpose there is for the Antioch Network."

Dave Miller, are you serious? How can anyone read that mission statement then make a comment like that?

Go ye therefore and teach all nations........ Uh, I'm sorry Jesus, but I'm having trouble figuring out what is our purpose.....

greg.w.h said...


Sometimes Wade will set aside responding and posting during the weekend. If you don't mind me asking in the meantime:

Is your concern primarily with the baptismal mechanism for new believers? Or does it extend to rebaptism of all incoming believers?

The reason I ask is that CB Scott made a comment on SBCOutpost that really caught my eye:

I know some Roman Catholics who profess Christ as their savior. They have testimonies of faith no different than do many Baptists. Some articulate their faith in Christ better than may Baptists.

If one of those people had been born into the RC church, then they would have experienced baptism as an infant, strong training in the Catholic catechism, and confirmation as a teenager. Do you think that rebaptism causes any change in the essential faith of someone who accurately articulates a statement of faith and demonstrates appropriate spiritual fruit?

Or is it just a ritual action designed to demonstrate the willingness to subject themselves to the authority of the new local church that they are presenting themselves to for membership?

Greg Harvey

P.S. That's not designed as a logic trap, by the way. I fully recognize you might have other opinions on it than just those two. I'm offering them as two viewpoints that I was able to think of for emphasizing the need for rebaptism.

GeneMBridges said...

Even the very fact that Mona Lisa brings up the gender card is proof positive that this meeting is going to be the most liberal group to meet since the formation of the CBF.

I never thought the day would arrive in which I would find someone saying that a group of men, many of whom can (and do) subscribe to the First and / or Second London Baptist Confession of Faith would be called "liberal." Truly unbelievable....

Since the confession is not binding on the conscience, it is neither a maximum or minimum statement.

The Bible is the sufficient authority for all involved.

Wade, I understand you want to make this confession quite broad and inclusive. However, that last statement can mean a lot of things, and I have to say that I do share some of the questions that some of your detractors here have with respect to the boundaries.

I would suggest that some sort of draft statement be made using negative articles that will clearly delineate the errors that will not be considered acceptable. This is a rarely used, and often forgotten, technique you can find in the older theologies of the Reformed tradition.

You could, for example, welcome soteriological differences ranging from Five Point Arminianism to Five Point Calvinism. On the other hand, you can state clearly something like "We reject Open Theism, the rejection of the Virgin Birth, etc..." That way you could be clear (and stifle some of your detractors) over what is and is not to be tolerated.

Another way might be to list a series of broadly evangelical confessional documents that supply the basis of a credible profession of faith and thus are acceptable for cooperation. These could include, but not be limited to: The 3 Forms of Unity, the BFM (any edition), The First and Second London Confession, the WCF, the Belgic Confession, etc.

If it was me, I'd go with a series of very brief Positive Articles, as you have here,and a corresponding series of Negative Articles placed not in the confession itself but an prologue or epilogue, analogous to the prologue of the BFM2K. In fact, I'd go so far as to offer you my personal services in drafting them. You can email me via the email in my profile.

Positive articles include the doctrines previously noted as primary and consist mainly in affirmations of saving truth. For example, “Christ is the Son of God; Christ is the ransom for our sins,” are positive affirmations., brief and pointed, like the ones you have already.

Negative articles within a confession identify errors of two sorts: immediate errors and indirect or secondary errors resulting from application of incorrect logic in doctrinal matters. The reason I bring that up is because you talk here about "secondary issues" but nothing is stated that defines what you have in mind by that term. As one who has taught through confessions yourself, I know you are aware that you need to define the terms.

Blatant heresies, like Arianism or justification by merit fall into this first category of error. In the second category, a doctrine may controvert an error in the first if it is consistently followed. For example, the Reformed Orthodox of the High Orthodox era dealt with an Arminianism that was friendly with Socinianism and which tended to conflate justification and sanctification, depending on its “flavor.” Ergo, negative articles might name Arminian errors in their day. In our own context, negative articles might name closed communion imposed upon all churches, not merely the local church – not because it is blatantly heretical, but because it lends to errors in ecclesiology and sacramentology that are necessary for the health of the church and/or smacks of control freakery in a group that wants to be inclusive of those holding to both open and closed communion. PPL might be another good example.

Those persons in the first class are all infidels and unbelievers. Since you seem willing to include Paedobaptists, like the T4G folks, you wouldn't need to include anything about Paedobaptism or Ecclesiology. Those in the second class are schismatics and should be treated on a case by case basis.

Another, even more simple method:

You could state something as simple as a list of areas of legitimate dispute within your confessional boundaries: 5 Point Calvinism/Arminianism, PPL, open/closed communion, to take three examples. You could then anathematize areas that are NOT within the bounds of the confession: Open Theism, Modalism, Justification construed as merit, to take three. Again, be short, sweet, and clear, and not overly complex. If it was me, I'd go with this method.

If believers baptism is not a requirement then it is safe to say that the AN is moderate in this area of doctrinal agreement

A nonsequitur if ever there was one. If believers baptism is not a requirement, it is safe to say the AN is inclusive of those evangelicals who disagree with believers baptism by immersion and/or organize their churches along lines different from those of Baptists. If you think the PCA or OPC is "moderate" then I suggest you don't know what a theological "moderate" is. It seems to me that your stance,Brother, is made from a position that nigh well sees these ecclesiological and sacramental matters as essential to the function of a local church. I would agree, they are - within the local church. I have no problem cooperating with a PCA session in the formation of a Reformed Baptist church. Indeed, out West, in that area that the SBC considers the mission field (the Pacific NW), there are PCA churches with Reformed Baptists in them because they can't find Baptist churches and are tired of being consider aliens in the non-Calvinist churches. A group like the AN would be a great network for them to find assistance in forming a Baptist church with the help of a PCA or OPC session, which will, with AN help, supply them with a "home missionary," likely a recent seminary graduate who will be the lead elder. I say "Kudos!"

Contrary to Rex Ray's assertion, the Chicago Statement is a cogent and coherent statement of inerrancy, defining not only what we believe, but what we do not believe

Generally speaking, I agree with the Chicago Statement, bu I also wouldn't go so far as to give it quite this much praise. Dr. Maurice Robinson and I had a conversation a few years ago in which we both agreed that there are, in fact, some fuzzy areas in the CSBI that could be improved.

Jack Maddox said...


I do not mean to jump in to your conversation with Dr. York, however, may I ask a question? Are you equating the infant baptism of a sincere Roman Catholic, even one who you say may be saved, to simply a different mode of baptism. Isn't it true that any Baptists would not recognize this particular baptism. In fact, it would not be 're baptism', for the candidate had never been baptized in the first place. What say you?


Jack Maddox said...


My comment concerning a 'moderate' stance on Baptism has nothing to do with theological liberalism or a theological moderate. With all due respect to your obvious expertise, I certainly do know the difference between a moderate of the theological ilk and my example in my post. I simply was making the point that the AN would not hold to a stringent "Immersion Only" or non padeobaptism position. I would contend that they are then a evangelical body and not necessarily a Baptistic body.

I will say this however, I do not believe that a Daniel Vestal or a Winfrid Moore, both SBC Moderates, would be comfortable with a body that did not insist on believers baptism and the proper mode.


Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
Your comment to me was the old rule: ‘If you can’t answer the question, change the subject.’

If you were speaking for Matt, why didn’t you answer my question to him by naming the eight Chicago definitions of inerrancy?

Why are you afraid that Chicago made eight definitions?

Dave, you said, “Contrary to Rex Ray’s assertion…”

The only assertion I made was there were eight definitions of inerrancy.

Why didn’t you answer that assertion? Instead, you said, “His assertions on its [Chicago Statement] confusion…”

Strange? I don’t remember saying that.

In December, I remember you saying in reference to the Chicago Exposition C, paragraph 6: (and I’ll copy paste)

“The phase ‘illusions’ in the exposition does not refer to the Bible, but to those apparent contradictions in the Bible. No part of the Bible is an illusion, but the contradiction itself is an illusion.”

You asked, “Why would you trust a book with a thousand errors?”

I answered: “The same reason you trust a book with a thousand illusions.”

You asked, “How do you determine what parts of the Bible are true?”

I answered: “The same way you determine what parts of the Bible are illusions.”

Dave, do you think you should share with me some of that being grounded?

Morris Brooks said...


Allow me to wade in on the baptism question/issue. I was raised Methodist, confirmed, joined the church, and was baptized by sprinkling. After college I joined FBC Lubbock by a statement of faith, and was baptized by immersion. Then, by His grace, God saved me, and I was baptized again by immersion at Prestonwood Baptist in Dallas.

To join FBC Lubbock, I had to be immersed, and coming from a Methodist background, I felt it a little absurd to have to go through it again. However, after being truly saved, I wanted to be baptized again out of what I saw as the Scriptural pattern and command. The issue really is one of obedience to Scripture, and it should trump church/denominational tradition.

We can be together for the Gospel, and gather round the Gospel, as T4G has shown, but we can't be Baptists unless we gather around immersion. Our distinctive is not missions, the Christian and Missionary Alliance is very very good at missions and they are all over the map on baptism. Our distinctive is our name and what it represents, and it begins with baptism by immersion subsequent to salvation. So I think Hershael York's question was a fair and straight forward one and should have gotten a fair and straight forward anwser without the obfuscating swipe at Mohler.

Morris Brooks

greg.w.h said...

I think I covered it all in my question, Jack. The key elements are:

1. A person coming from another faith tradition.

2. Having been baptized as a infant.

3. Completed the requirements for confirmation (or the equivalent) within their home faith tradition: i.e. demonstrated by their action submission to the requirements of the tradition they grew up in.

4. As a result of and concurrent with #3, also meets CB Scott's observation of having a statement of faith that would be sufficient to be baptized in a Southern Baptist Church.

I used Roman Catholics specifically in my example because CB Scott used them specifically in his comment. But that would be the framework for generalizing the question if one intended to do that.

Greg Harvey

greg.w.h said...


I understand where you're coming from. At Jack's prodding I tried to create a more generalized framework. The fact that you felt you did not actually make a profession of faith until you were at Prestonwood would--within that framework--mean that it was appropriate for you to present yourself for believer's baptism again at that church.

The whole issue has to do with Article VI of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. The comment regarding what some might call the universal church doesn't seem to indicate an inadequacy of baptism among "all of the redeemed." Wade's comments so far have indicated that the Antioch Network churches intend to not make an issue regarding this point. The only reason to have the discussion is to wonder whether the traditional Baptist approach is completely necessary or is just tradition.

I offer that your baptism at FBC Lubbock was a traditional rebaptism while the Prestonwood one was a true, initial believer's baptism. Perhaps I'm making a differentiation where there isn't or shouldn't be one. But I think it might be an important distinction.

Greg Harvey

Jack Maddox said...


Then is it safe to say then that the Antioch network is by it's very stance on baptism, a non baptistic fellowship. In other words, to just put the cookies on the bottom shelf where we can all grab them, the mode or position or even tradition of baptism of those wishing to fellowship or be a part of the AN is not an issue. This does not make it bad, but it would be a horse of a different color for those who are simply looking for another avenue to cooperate with fellow Baptists.


Jack Maddox said...


allow me to re phrase the last statement. It would be a horse of a different color for those who wished to cooperate with fellow baptist if they take believers baptism as a requirement for such fellowship.



greg.w.h said...

Your latest comment leaves me thinking you have an answer to my questions within the additional framework you prompted me to offer. Care to share?

Greg Harvey

Anonymous said...

Um, what Gene Bridges said.

Excellent work, Gene. You captured the idea quite nicely, it seems. I hope that your expertise would be leaned upon in this case. You could only strengthen whatever statement is adopted, I would think.

truth, not religion said...

What does it say about a person who claims to to called to be a pastor yet, has not learned that there is only ONE CHURCH, THE ONE THAT WAS BOUGHT BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST AND IS HIS BRIDE.

Yet, this person who claims to be called to be a pastor seems to think there are many churches.

There are many man made, not for profit organizations, but only ONE CHURCH. That churches FOUNDER said "this is how people will know you are mine....that you love one another".


NO LOVE OF HIM IN YOUR HEART, NO LOVE OF OTHERS. Many love others in their man made not for profit clubs in an earthly kind of love, few show the love of Jesus Christ.


(can we call that a "pino"?)

(pastor in name only)


Jack Maddox said...


I really do not know what you mean??? I am simply trying to see what importance believers baptism will hold with this body. The reality is simply this...many folks hold different positions on the importance of baptism and its mode. It sounds like the AN will not place a great deal of importance on the mode or the order. Thats fine, just don't call it a Baptist is evangelical, but it is not Baptist. Thats is fine also, I cooperate with several organizations that are not 'Baptist" but evangelical. I am not saying ther is anything wrong with that. But it would be slightly disingenuous to claim this as a baptist body if the current statement stands.

truth, not religion

I have no idea who you are talking about.


Anonymous said...

You men (in the narrow, not generic, sense) are picking this thing to death. Why?

A legitimate comment is Mona's to use a gender inclusive term about God's revelation to ____. Otherwise (since you are picking over almost every other word) some could assume that they think God's revelation is only for men (in the narrow sense) - a belief which many seem to adhere to, as in the idea that God reveals to males who then interpret it to females who are not qualified to interpret on their own. Don't try to tell me the BF&M 2000 doesn't have a touch of this idea.

As for the rest of it: They said they consider themselves Southern Baptists - that implies a lot there. (Of course it used to imply a lot more until some people started changing things from the top down.)

They say they are organizing to do missions and ministry. Isn't that why Baptists first organized beyond the local church?

If you want to cooperate with them, do so. If not, don't knock it. There's too much of that around already. And what good does it do?

I know Baptists are argumentative, but enough is enough.


Anonymous said...

I'm confident Wade's new plan is an answer to many prayers. Several Baptists I know have been praying for a couple of years now that Wade would just leave and start his own denomination. So I see God working in this.

Anonymous said...

25so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

...leading right into the most excellent way: love...

9But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Dave Miller said...


It is admirable that you do not allow your opinions to be swayed by facts. But the Chicago statement is a unified whole.

there is a summary statement. That is followed by 19 articles of affirmation and denial, explaining the process further. That is followed by 6 full expositions of scripture that buttress the statement. It can be found many places on the net.

I have no idea why you keep saying there are 8 definitions. This is the Chicago Statement, agreed to by the luminary theologians of the 20th Century.

You can say you disagree with the statement, but you should not continue to misrepresent it.

Dave Miller said...

The link above was incorrect. Just google Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and you can read the report (not 8 different ones) on several sites.

Anonymous said...

"I am limiting my comments to the topic: "An Antioch Network Statement of Cooperation." Not only does the emperor have clothes, he knows how to stay on message."

I am sorry. I do not know your rules. I guess this statement from your comment confused me since it included a personal analysis of Wade's comments that is not 'on topic':

"By the same logic, a person of another denomination could say you have no right to speak on matters of gender equity since you are a Southern Baptist and SWBTS fired Dr. Klouda."

I guess I was trying to use some of that 'same logic' in wondering how you can speak to Wade about Baptism and the AN statement since your employer freely includes those who do not hold to SBC Baptism beliefs allowing then to teach and speak at SBTS.

I guess there are rules and then there are 'rules'.


Anonymous said...

An AntiochNetwork Condition of Coopertion. Explanation,
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is unique to the church age. The basic reference is 1 Corinthians 12:13, which states, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” That this ministry of the Spirit began at Pentecost can be seen by comparing Acts 1:5, which indicates the baptizing work is still future, with Acts 11:15, which indicates the “beginning” of this work was at Pentecost in Acts 2. The baptizing work did not occur in the Old Testament; it is unique to the church age which began at Pentecost.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit includes all believers in this age. The emphasis that “all” are baptized by the Holy Spirit is stated in several passages. In 1 Corinthians 12:13 it indicates “we were all baptized.” In Romans 6 all who were baptized (v. 3) are those who have been united to Christ (v. 5), hence, all believers. In Galatians 3:27-28 it indicates “all of you” were baptized into Christ and became “one in Christ,” no matter whether they were Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit brings believers into union with other believers in the Body of Christ. There is absolutely no distinction concerning those coming into union with one another: Jews, Gentiles, slaves, free people, men, women—all come into union with one another (1 Cor. 12:13). It is also noteworthy that the spiritual condition of the believer is not a factor—the Corinthians were noted for their carnality, yet all were included.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit brings believers into union with Christ. The very ones that were “baptized into Christ” (Rom. 6:3) were also “united with Him” (Rom. 6:5). This truth prohibits the baptism of the Spirit from being a work subsequent to salvation.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not experiential. Since this is a work done to the believer and not by the believer, and since the baptism occurs simultaneous to salvation, it is not experiential.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is performed by the Holy Spirit. There are not two baptisms by the Spirit. Some groups distinguish between 1 Corinthians 12:13, “by one Spirit,” suggesting the placing into the Body and Acts 1:5, “with the Holy Spirit,” suggesting a subsequent act of empowering for service. However, the same Greek preposition en is used in both phrases, and it is precarious at best to attempt a distinction where the same Greek phrase is used in both passages. The Holy Spirit is the agent of the baptism (Acts 1:5; 1 Cor. 12:13).21-48

greg.w.h said...


I apologize for the confusion. It appears this forum is joining with my own shortcomings to prevent me from being clear.

My two questions to Hershael are the last two sentences before my signature. There is one explanation of the context for the questions in that post and a second , expanded framework for the questions in the later post that leads from "The key elements are:" to four enumerated points.

I'm not expecting you to answer, but I gathered from your earlier post that you had arrived at an answer, so I just was encouraging you to comment on the questions.

But in hindsight, there really isn't a need for you to address the questions unless they interest you. I actually hope that the Antioch Network will be guided solely by those that participate and not feel locked into respecting these conversations.

Said differently: as much as I appreciate my own opinion, I would only want it to be helpful commentary and not be seen as restrictive or manipulative. I would only expect more influence if I were fully engaged and active in participation. What is sauce for the goose, after all, is sauce for the gander.

Greg Harvey

truth, not religion said...

Brother Jack if you will email me we can discuss my post.


Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
It seems talking to you is like water off a duck’s back. You don’t respond to questions. You just stay in an ‘attack mode’.

You said, “I have no idea why you keep saying there are 8 definitions. …Just Google Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and you can read the report (not 8 different ones) on several sites.”

That’s like saying: ‘Go to Google dogs’ and concluding there are no other animals in the world except dogs because that’s all Google reported.

I agree if you go to BIBLICAL Inerrancy, there will be only one definition.

Try Google on this: “eight definitions and twelve qualifications of inerrancy”, and see what you find. You will probably read:

“Current leaders in the BGCT such as pastors Charles Wade, James Denison, Bob Campbell, Phil Lineberger, and other associates…Denison claims there are ‘eight definitions’ and ‘twelve qualifications’ regarding the use of the word ‘inerrant’ in relation to the Scriptures, and he concludes that ‘inerrancy is a term so variously defined’ it has lost its value as a simple, common test of anything.”

Dave, at one time you said you had been fooled into being a water-boy for the C/R, SBC, or something and you would be a water-boy no longer.

How about finding out about the EIGHT definitions of inerrancy and you might stop being a water-boy for inerrancy.


Tom Parker said...

Rex Ray,

I believe the word "inerrancy" is thrown around by so many who really do not know what definition they hold. It is really sad what has happened to our denomination.

Dave Miller said...


The eight definitions you talk about are not part of the Chicago statement. They are the product of an outspoken opponent of inerrancy (a Dallas area pastor) whose criticisms border on the ridiculous.

The so-called eight definitions are simply variations of the same principle - inerrancy states that the Bible's autographa were preserved from error. The idea that there are eight conflicting definitions of inerrancy is absurd.

While not every issue of inerrancy is settled, there is certainly fundamental agreement between inerrantists on the meaning of the term.

ONly those who reject the doctrine maintain the confusion of the term - I am guessing a manifestation of wishful thinking.

There are NOT 8 separate or conflicting definitions of inerrancy.

shadrach said...

May I have a response to the issue raised earlier of why this theological group does not simply join with another 'unity seeking, baptistic' group that also has the benefit of being socially active.

I believe they have much in common so why does the AN not just join up with the New Baptist Covenant?

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller and ALL,
Ah, a week before my 76 birthday, I discovered what I was prevented from passing out at SWBTS.
I did a Goggle Search “James Denison eight definitions inerrancy”. Then clicked on “Untitled Document”.

Here are the eight definitions of ‘inerrancy’ and the twelve qualifications of the definition chosen by the SBC.

Article Archive
Dr. James C. Denison, November 4, 1993
*Dr. Denison, former pastor of FBC Midland, is now pastor of Second Ponce De Leon Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia
In an address to the 1993 statewide meeting of Texas Baptists Committed, I made the statement that “inerrancy” is a term with some eight definitions and twelve qualifications.1 In recent days several persons have requested more information regarding this statement. This paper is intended to be a brief, nontechnical documentation of my statement and thus an answer to these requests. I will conclude with a brief statement of my own approach to the “inerrancy” of Scripture.
The word “inerrancy” first came into common use in the nineteenth century.2 Across subsequent years, numerous definitions and characterizations of the word have been suggested. In fact, the word has been employed in such divergent and contradictory ways that in 1978 some three hundred scholars gathered in Chicago to attempt a general definition of the term.3 Unfortunately, this noteworthy effort has not served to resolve the confusion which still surrounds the word.
Today at least eight different definitions of “inerrancy” are to be found in the works of leading, conservative scholars. This list is by no means exhaustive, as still other approaches will undoubtedly continue to be formulated. However, the following list illustrates the difficulty in using inerrancy as a simple test of orthodoxy today.
First, we might state a “general” definition for inerrancy. Here Clark Pinnock’s statement would describe what is probably the most popular approach to the term: “Inerrancy simply means that the Bible can be trusted in what it teaches and affirms.”4 This definition would use “inerrant” in the simple sense of “trustworthy.” As a common-sense description, then, “inerrant” would simply mean that we can trust the Bible. Used in this way, the word provides no clarification over what Baptists have always believed and said about the Bible.
Second, “formal” inerrancy makes the claim that “Scripture does not contradict itself.”5 Adherents of this approach would argue that the Bible contains no contradictions with its own claims, but would not necessarily contrast biblical statements with those of scientific and other extra-biblical materials.
Third, “material” inerrancy expands the above definitions greatly: “Scripture does not lie or deceive or err in any assertion it makes. 6 The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy offers a similar definition: “inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.”7 Some interpreters refer to this approach as “strict” or “full” inerrancy. This definition claims that the Bible contains no “errors” of any kind, and is often what so-called “inerrantists” mean by the term. However, they qualify this definition in important ways, as will soon be shown.
Fourth, there is an approach which might be termed “soteriological”: the Bible is “inerrant” in all its teachings regarding salvation. The Roman Catholic Church adopted this definition at Vatican II: “the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching firmly, faithfully, and without error that truth which God wanted to put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation.”8 In this understanding, the Bible speaks without any error when it leads to saving faith, but may or may not contain errors in other areas.
Fifth, adherents of “limited” inerrancy claim that the Bible is without error in matters of faith and morals, but may or may not contain errors in other areas such as science, geography and history.9 This approach would expand the scope of inerrancy beyond soteriology, but not to the point of the “material” definition.
Sixth, there is a less common approach is called “indefectibility.” By this definition the unified truth presented by the Bible is considered to be reliable or “inerrant,” but not necessarily its individual words or statements.10 In this method the overall doctrines and truths of Scripture are without error, but the specific words or claims of the texts may or may not contain errors.
Seventh, “secondary” inerrancy applies to the quotations and speeches recorded in Scripture. Adherents of this definition would argue that the Bible records these speeches inerrantly, but this does not guarantee the inerrancy of the content of these speeches.11 For example, Luke records Stephen’s speech of defense exactly as he delivered it (Acts 7), but this does not guarantee that Stephen’s words were themselves inerrant.
Eighth, there is a very popular approach called “purposive” or “intentional” inerrancy. This definition states that the Bible is inerrant in accomplishing its intended purpose, whatever that purpose might be. As Pinnock claims, “inerrancy is relative to the intention of the text.”12 Advocates of this approach would note that the Bible does not intend to be a book of science, history, or geography, and thus would not purpose to speak without error in these areas. God has preserved an inerrant text in all areas which he intends the Bible to address.
As one can easily see, these eight definitions vary significantly with one another. Each can claim conservative, scholarly adherents. This diversity of approaches to the meaning and usage of “inerrancy” demonstrates the unsuitability of the word as a general test of orthodoxy regarding the Scriptures.
The “material” view of inerrancy is by far the strongest claim of the eight definitions sketched above. Those who adhere to this definition insist that the Bible is “free from all falsehood or mistake and so… is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.”13 It is important to note, however, that even these “strict” inerrantists accept several very important qualifications to their definition. A brief survey of these qualifications will further show the unsuitability of “inerrancy” as a simple test for belief in the trustworthiness of God’s word.
One: all “inerrantists” will immediately note that their claim applies only to the original manuscripts of the Bible, not to the copies we possess today. They will admit along with all responsible exegetes that the copies now extant have many problems, some more significant than others. There are contradictions between manuscripts, omissions and additions. While we can trust that the copies we now possess provide the substance of the original texts with a high degree of accuracy,14 no one can responsibly claim that our copies mirror exactly the original texts. And since these original “autographs” no longer exist, it seems that we will never possess their exact content.
As a result, “inerrancy” is claimed for documents we cannot possess or examine. It is not claimed for the texts we do possess. Two related, damaging results follow. One, this claim can be a depreciation of the texts we do possess. Their preservation is a miracle of God,15 one made less significant by this claim that only the originals are “entirely true and trustworthy.” Two, this claim can cause us to have even less confidence in the Bibles we now own. If a text must be inerrant to be “entirely true and trustworthy” and our current Bibles are admittedly based on manuscript copies which do not possess this character, then our modern texts could be seen to be less than true or trustworthy today. In this case the argument for inerrancy produces the exact opposite of its desired effect. And yet this qualification is claimed by all who call themselves “inerrantists.”
Eleven other qualifications of “inerrancy” follow. They are taken from Robert Preus’s paper, “The Inerrancy of Scripture,”16 and are chosen for this purpose because Preus is himself a strong defender of “material” inerrancy in fact, I cite his definition of the term above).17 They will be numbered two to twelve below.
Two: “Inerrancy does not imply verbal exactness of quotations.” 18 This means that the New Testament writers may or may not quote the Old Testament or other extrabiblical documents with precise accuracy.
Three: “Inerrancy does not imply verbal or intentional agreement in parallel accounts of the same event.’’l9 Since different writers work from different perspectives and/or purposes, their accounts will naturally differ.
Four: inerrancy does not preclude figurative speech, rounding of numbers, and other imprecisions of language.20 In other words, the Bible does not employ “modern scientifically ‘precise’ language. 21
Five: inerrancy does not preclude popular phrases and expressions used in its day. Here Preus cites such phrases as “bowels of mercy,” “four corners of the earth,” and the statement that Joseph is the father of Christ,” and claims: “No error is involved in the use of such popular expressions.” 22
Six: inerrancy does not require scientifically precise language in describing the things of nature. For example, biblical statements that the earth is motionless and circled by the sun (see Eccl. 1:4-5) and that a bat is to be classed with birds (Lev. 11:19) are phenomenal and thus not “errant.”23
Seven: inerrancy does not preclude the use of mythology or folklore, language which would be considered unscientific today (see Job 3:8 and Is. 34:14).24
Eight: inerrancy does not require historiography of modern standards. Chronology, genealogy, and other matters of historical record can be imprecise or interpretive.25
Nine: inerrancy does not require that the biblical author understood the “full divine implication” of all his words.26 In this way the New Testament writers do not commit error when they offer a new and/or different interpretation of Old Testament statements (for example, see Matthew’s use of Hosea’s prophecy, Matt. 2:15/Hosea 11:1).
Ten: inerrancy does not preclude the use of non-precise descriptions of the biblical books by their authors and/or editors. For example, the book of Proverbs begins with the self description, “The proverbs of Solomon” (Prov. 1:1). While Solomon did not write the book per se or even all its contents (see chs. 30- 31), this title is a non-precise, general, and thus acceptable description for the book.27
Eleven: inerrancy does not require that etymologies in the Bible conform to modern analysis or usage. As Preus states, “The ancients are not thinking of etymologies in the modern sense.”28
And twelve: inerrancy is to be accepted as a faith assertion, not the result of an inductive study of the evidence at hand. Preus makes this claim clear: “inerrancy is always to be accepted on faith!… no corroborating evidence for Biblical assertions is necessary or sought for.”29 Belief in the inerrancy of the Bible is not founded on or subject to evidences for its veracity. As a result, no evidence can dissuade an inerrantist from his conviction.
In addition to Preus’s qualifications, two others may be mentioned briefly. First, many inerrantists preclude as “error” apparent contradictions in the Scriptures which may one day be harmonized. Two, many use their word with the qualification that other problems with the Scriptures which cannot be solved now may be solved one day when more information is available. By the use of these qualifications a apparent problem with the Scriptures can be dismissed.30
For the sake of clarity and emphasis, three conclusions should be restated. First, “inerrancy” is a term so variously defined that common usage as a test of orthodoxy is impractical and misleading. When one is asked if he is an “inerrantist,” his or her first response must be: “By what definition?” Surely a “limited” inerrantist and a “material” inerrantist do not share an identical view of Scripture. They are both “inerrantists,” and yet by each other’s definitions they are not. The word is flawed as a simple test for one’s belief in the trustworthiness of the Bible.
Second, “inerrancy” applies only to the original manuscripts, and thus is a theoretical claim at best. Since we do not possess these documents, we cannot test this claim. And further, this claim can actually depreciate our trust in the documents we do possess. Since they admittedly do not mirror exactly the originals, they do not meet this necessary test of truthfulness.
Third, “inerrancy” is so qualified by its employers that again, common use as a test of orthodoxy is untenable. When asked if we are “inerrantists, we must ask, “With what qualifications?” Those accepted by some will be rejected by others.
For these reasons, I do not use the word “inerrant” to describe my personal understanding of God’s word. I do, however, believe that the Bible is exactly what it claims to be: “God-breathed” in its entirety (2 Tim. 3:16). I personally believe that every word was given by God, through men. In a mystery akin to the Incarnation, I believe that the Bible is both divine and human. The words of Scripture bear the characteristics of both their Author and their authors. They are absolutely trustworthy as the words and word of God.
I further believe that God has preserved his word in the texts we possess today. Our copies of the original autographs have been given to us through a process which God has protected. I therefore reject the implication that since only the originals are “inerrant” our copies are somehow less acceptable. I have given my life to preach, teach, and seek to live by the word of God I have today.
My rejection of the word “inerrant” is thus in no way a challenge to the absolute trustworthiness of God’s word. This trustworthiness I accept and preach wholeheartedly. Rather, it seems clear to me that any word with at least eight definitions and twelve qualifications has lost its value as a simple, common test of anything. Let us cease insisting on certain words of men and return to proclaiming the word of God. The one is not the other.

1See the transcript of my address: “Standing For Freedom and Grace: A Personal Response,” Texas Baptists Committed (October 1993), 4.
2Mark Noll, “A Brief History of Inerrancy, Mostly in America,” The Proceedings of the Conference on Biblical Inerrancy, 1987 (Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press, 1987), 9; hereafter cited as Proceedings.
3This statement, with nineteen articles of affirmation and denial, is called “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.” It has been widely circulated; one record of the statement in full is Evangelicals and Inerrancy, ed. Ronald Youngblood (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984), 230-9; hereafter cited as Evangelicals.
4Clark H. Pinnock, The Scripture Principle (San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1984), 78.
5Robert Preus, “The Inerrancy of Scripture,” Proceedings, 49.
7“Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy,” in Evangelicals, 237; italics theirs.
8Dei Verbum, art. 11; quoted in Richard J. Coleman, “Reconsidering ‘Limited Inerrancy,’” Evangelicals, 163.
9See Coleman, 165-66.
10See Coleman, 166-67.
11See Rex. A. Koivisto, “Stephen’s Speech: A Case Study In Rhetoric And Biblical Inerrancy,” Evangelicals, 217-29.
12Pinnock, The Scripture Principle, 78.
13“Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy,” 237.
14Here it is comforting to note the often-quoted assessment of the outstanding textual scholar F. F. Bruce: “The variant readings about which any doubt remains among textual critics of the New Testament affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice” (F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?, 5th ed. rev. [Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1960], 19-20).
15A number of excellent treatments of this fascinating story are available. One of the best is F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1988).
l6Robert Preus, “The Inerrancy of Scripture,” in Proceedings, 5l-55.
l7See note 6.
18Ibid, 51.
20Ibid, 52.
23Ibid., 52-53
24Ibid., 53.
25Preus, 5 4 .
27Ibid., 54-55.
28Ibid., 55.
30For further discussion of problems with the use of “inerrancy,” consult Clark. H. Pinnock’s articles, “What Is Biblical Inerrancy?” and “Parameters of Biblical Inerrancy” in Proceedings, 73-80 and 95-101.
July 1994

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
OK…You’re right and I’m wrong…The eight definitions did not come from the Chicago Group of 1978.

Like Paul…I didn’t remember correctly. Even so, I think the shoe fits.

Denison is the pastor whose secretary called and asked me not to pass out his paper. I think he had been a former professor at SWBTS and one of his friends had called and told him what I was trying to do.

I disagree with you saying, “The idea that there are eight conflicting definitions of inerrancy is absurd.”

Number seven, “Secondary” fits me since I believe Peter and James’ speeches oppose each other. I was glad that I was just not some ‘crazy nut’ because Denison said, “Each can claim conservative, scholarly adherents.”

Seventh, “secondary” inerrancy applies to the quotations and speeches recorded in Scripture. Adherents of this definition would argue that the Bible records these speeches inerrantly, but this does not guarantee the inerrancy of the content of these speeches. For example, Luke records Stephen’s speech of defense exactly as he delivered it (Acts 7), but this does not guarantee that Stephen’s words were themselves inerrant.

Anonymous said...

Jack, just because you have not seen the evil going on in the takeover, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.That is not to say there are not problems in all camps of these issues but the evil that has come from the Patterson, Mohler, Ledbetter bunch is pure evil. They have left a blood trail and many victims in their wake. You are just blind to these things. I have seen tens of thousands of good men be fooled just like you. I have also seen thousands of evil acts. Yes, the norm for your camp is to start screaming to prove it, however those of us who have been scorched by the evil have moved on and there are now dozens of other schools and missionary sending agencies and churches. Yes, hundreds of thousands of folks have been save in our churches. All you can do is slander all you disagree with. Remember, most of us are pro life, anti-homosexual, pro- american, inerrantist who just got fed up with the darkness enveloping the Dark Hiddeness of the leadership and the minions who follow it blindly.

Anonymous said...


It was not my intent to place the last post to Jack Maddox on your blog. I posted it on his blog. Please remove it from here.

Dave Miller said...


Paul probably did have a faulty memory. Isn't it good that he had the Holy Spirit to carry him along to truth and to prevent him from saying anything that was in error?

Have a happy birtday.

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
I believe you’re one of those that the twelfth qualification speaks of ‘accepting inerrancy by faith’, and not the result of evidence at hand.

So there’s no need to tell you that Paul said he appealed to Caesar AFTER he talked to King Agrippa while the King said Paul appealed BEFORE he talked to him.

With you, that goes in one ear and out the other because like you said, ‘the Holy Spirit would prevent him from saying anything that was in error.’

It’s been said before if you don’t stand for truth, you’ll fall for anything. Early Christians did that and became Catholic.

In my opinion, Baptist leaders are making a Catholic road faster that the opponents of Paul.

Thanks for the reply and thanks for telling me to Google. That Goodge is amazing. The first thing I found interesting; I tracked down to a comment on Wade’s post written by me. ha But I finally got a birthday present early…Denison’s paper.

truth, not religion said...

Rex Ray,

Some interesting thoughts herre on inerrancy:


Gram said...

good Lord, you baptists....