Was W.A. Criswell A "Founders-type" Calvinist?In reponse to Dr. Eric Hankins' "A Statement of the Traditional Southern Baptist Understanding of God’s Plan of Salvation," Dr. Tom Ascol at Founders Ministries is claiming that W.A. Criswell was a Calvinist. Ascol quotes from some old sermons of Dr. Criswell, including one in which he said, "I am a Calvinist." Naturally, Tom's sycophants have taken up the cause and are blogging about Dr. Criswell. One sycophant (name withheld to prevent from embarrassment) declared Dr. Criswell to be a "five-point Calvinist."
According to Ascol and his Founder's followers, case closed.
But was Dr. Criswell's Calvinism the same new/hybrid/hyper/Reformed/neo Calvinism that Dr. Ascol wants to use to "reform" the Southern Baptist Convention?
I hold in my hand The Criswell Study Bible (Thomas Nelson, 1979). Yes, you read it right. The CRISWELL Study Bible. Criswell as in "W.A." The notes on Romans 8:30 say,
An order of salvific events may be deduced from this passage combined with insights from other passages. The order of events is in some cases chronological, but many of the aspects happen simultaneously, making the order primarily logical rather than chronological: (1) foreknowledge, (2) predestination, (3) calling, (4) contrition (2 Cor. 7:10), (5) repentance (Luke 13:3), (6) faith (Heb. 11:6), (7) regeneration (Titus 3:5), (8) justification, (9) reconciliation, (10) sanctification, (11) adoption, and (12) glorification.
Article Five of Dr. Hankins' statement says,
Article Five: The Regeneration of the SinnerConcerning the order of salvation, Dr. Criswell held repentance and faith to be prior to regeneration, unlike the "regeneration before faith" Southern Baptist Founders Calvinists of today. Whatever Dr. Criswell meant by the words, "I am a Calvinist," his theology was nothing like Dr. Ascol and his Founder friends.
We affirm that any person who responds to the Gospel with repentance and faith is born again through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is a new creation in Christ and enters, at the moment he believes, into eternal life.
We deny that any person is regenerated prior to or apart from hearing and responding to the Gospel.
What about it, Tom? Wanna come out and play?