Below is a recording of my review of Tom Ascol’s latest book confronting the view of the Traditionalist’s Statement, but I’m intentionally going to stick to the scriptural matters. I’m not going to engage over these 2 major points of the book:
1) The SBC was started by Calvinists so that’s the real “tradition”
I don’t care who started the SBC or what they believed. They have been shown to have many errant beliefs and are not our authority. Plus, the SBC became the largest denomination in the world under “Provisionism,” not Calvinism. We could waste time debating labels but frankly, the labels really do not matter, I want to focus on scripture.
2) The Traditional statement is semi-pelagian.
“Semi-Pelagian” a man-made term used to label and dismiss rather than engage the biblical content. You could as easily call us “semi-Augustinian” but that wouldn’t serve the purpose of the boogie man fallacy. We could call determinists “semi-Gnostics” but would that be profitable? In fact, by this standard, all Trinitarians could be labeled “semi-Catholic” so as to dismiss the perspective. When people who extoll The 5-Solas (namely Sola Scriptura) resort to this fallacious argumentation it is out-right hypocritical. (More on this “boogie-man” fallacy can be found HERE.)
The main biblical argument Ascol seems to focus on, at least early in the book, is John 6 and Rom 8:7-8. These are his proof texts for the Calvinistic doctrine of “Total Inability,” which is the foundation for the entire systematic. Of course, neither of these texts come close to saying what needs to be said to support the Calvinistic premise. This will be my primary focus.