Since news came out about Phillips, Craig and Dean signing a statement affirming the Baptist Faith and Message (I’ve written about this story here and here), I’ve seen a few posts and tweets stating they have have not anywhere rejected modalism. I now post this, the statement they signed and gave to the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, to show that posts and tweets to that effect are not accurate. You will can read for yourself the statement below.
I certainly understand the tendency to be skeptical and the calls for discernment. I would hope anyone who knows me or has spent any time reading me or talking to me knows I take such a need in the church very seriously. I respect anyone’s right to continue to be skeptical. I simply post this to show that there is a place and a time where they have explicitly rejected modalism (Sabellianism), and here it is…
You can also download the statement in PDF format here.
Grace and peace to you.
Late Sunday night I posted The elephant is in OUR room: Shaking hands with Sabellius in the Southern Baptist Convention. I’d venture to say it is by far my most widely read and disseminated post in almost fifteen years of blogging, which isn’t saying much, except to say that people read it and commented on it. A couple of others sites picked it up and/or linked to it.
If you haven’t read it I encourage you to do so, but in a nutshell, the purpose of the article was to bring to attention the inclusion of CCM group Phillips, Craig and Dean (PCD) to the lineup of those speaking or performing at the Empower Conference, an evangelism conference sponsored by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC). They would be joining prominent Southern Baptists such as SBC President Fred Luter, ERLC President Russell Moore, former SBC President Johnny Hunt, and Lifeway’s Ed Stetzer. And it would not have been newsworthy were it not well known beforehand Phillips, Craig and Dean’s links to modalism.
Modalism is an ancient heresy which distorts the orthodox (and biblical) understanding of the Godhead. Christians believe in one true God who eternally exists in three Persons — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and that they are co-equal and co-substantial, one in nature and essence. Modalism, also known as Sabellianism (Sabellius was the ancient proponent of this heresy), teaches there is one God who reveals or manifests in three distinct ways — Father, Son, and Spirit, but when He is the Father He is not the Son, and when He is the Son He is not the Spirit, and when He is the Spirit He is not the Father. Hence, God manifests Himself in different modes.
For almost 2000 years Christians have consistently taught and believed that to deny the orthodox understanding of the Trinity was to deny the orthodox understanding of God, and thus place oneself outside of the realm or orthodox Christianity and salvation itself, which is why it was alarming to me that PCD was included in that conference lineup, for up until then there had never been a public denial of modalism by the members of the group. Continue reading “A cause for careful celebration?: On Phillips, Craig and Dean and Trinitarian Christianity”
[UPDATE THURS JAN 9, 2014 – 8:06PM: In light of new developments in this story, I have chosen to keep this posted but also point you to my new post — A cause for careful celebration?: On Phillips, Craig and Dean and Trinitarian Christianity. Please read it.]
Is the doctrine of the Trinity something worth standing resolute on anymore in the Southern Baptist Convention? The question, seemingly obvious among the people who turned back the liberal tide and fought for the inerrancy of Scripture 35 years ago, must be asked in the early days of 2014 when one looks at the schedule for the 2014 Empower Conference, an evangelism conference put on by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC).
Go ahead. Take a minute to look and then come back. Continue reading “The elephant is in OUR room: Shaking hands with Sabellius in the Southern Baptist Convention”
I have been teaching on the doctrine of God on Wednesday nights at my church and last night our topic has been “God Is Creator and Sustainer.” It’s been a good time, a fruitful study, a kind of bird’s eye view of what Scripture teaches us about God. I had employed Psalm 8:1-4 into my lesson to show how God as Creator and Sustainer of all things still cares for every thing, including each and every person.
So I went about reading the text in the Bible study and something caught my eye. I hadn’t looked into the Hebrew or gone deep into this particular passage in my study because, again, this study is a bird’s eye view of the things of God. In just a plain reading of my NASB, I saw language in the English that indicated something deeper potentially going on in the Hebrew — an indication of plurality within the Godhead. Continue reading “David the Trinitarian: A nugget of biblical awesomeness from Psalm 8”