I’ve been thinking and have come to a conclusion of sorts about what could be the next point of discussion in the Southern Baptist Convention. I could be dead on… in left field… or not even in the park. Only time will tell. First a little reminder of recent Southern Baptist theological history because if I’m right, there may be a few heated discussions to come.
In the late 1970s through the early 1990s there was a fight among SBC leaders to restore the supremacy of Scripture in seminaries. Most agree this did occur for good or bad, depending on your perspective and evaluation of the event. However, as with many movements, the continuing results were not expected by those who initiated it.
The first result of a more conservative convention dedicated to Biblical infallibility was that students of The Word took the Bible more seriously. That was a good thing to those in power at the time. However… students went further than some of the SBC reformers expected. Eventually a doctrine bubbled to the top of teaching, preaching, and application they didn’t expect: The absolute sovereignty of God.
My goal in this post is not to discuss that issue. Instead I’d like to suggest what I believe will be the NEXT point of discussion which… if the past is any indicator… could be a test of fellowship including whether or not a person is called as pastor of a church. This topic may cause as much discussion, debate, pastoral transitions as inerrancy or the absolute sovereignty of God.
The doctrine I believe will cause this is Eschatology, the study of Last Things… the events leading up to the return of Christ.
People will be confronted with the truth there is more than one way to understand End Time events. Millennial views may come under examination. The timing of the rapture might be questioned and discussed. The definition of “the last days” could be changed for many. Passages like Matthew 24, 2 Thessalonians 2, and The Book of The Revelation will be preached… taught… studied… and examined like they haven’t been in years. People who’s theology is akin to Hal Lindsey and The Left Behind series might find their views being challenged. It is always a good thing for people to be driven to the Scripture to affirm their beliefs and “rightly handle the Word of Truth.”
In my mind… the discussions to come regarding eschatology are needed… just as much as those on the topics mentioned earlier. My prayer, if I am right, is that Christians will be much more patient… gracious… understanding… and merciful toward those who have a different view from themselves than in the past.
Will eschatology be discussed as much and opposing views (Whatever they may be) vilified as many have done regarding Biblical infallibility and the absolute sovereignty of God? Possibly to probably is my answer… but I’ll have to revisit this thought in 10 to 20 years. I guess that means we’ll talk again in 2019 or 2029…