Home Church Showdown looms over SBC and Calvinism By Bill Bumpas

Showdown looms over SBC and Calvinism By Bill Bumpas

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A longtime Southern Baptist leader warns there is a theological civil war brewing over the influence of Calvinist leaders within the denomination.

Land, Dr. Richard (SBC, ERLC)Richard Land, the former head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, says he supports Ken Hemphill to lead the SBC as president in order to preserve the gospel message and to defend the role of evangelism.

Hemphill, 69, the former president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, announced Feb. 1 that he is seeking the nomination of SBC president in June.

The current president is Steve Gaines, who pastors Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis after the retirement of the late Dr. Adrian Rogers.

Hemphill is currently on staff at North Greenville University, where he leads the Center for Church Planting and Revitalization, which began as the SBC’s Empowering Kingdom Growth initiative.

There have always been Calvinists within the Southern Baptist Convention, observes Land, who likens their influence to the “harmony and never the melody” of the 15-million member denomination.

He describes the current struggle over the next leader as a battle between the “Billy Graham wing” of the SBC versus the “John Calvin wing.”

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