We had an Interim Pastor, a professor from the local SBC Seminary, that would speak on a regularly basis for us when we were between pastors in my childhood church. One talent this particular interim pastor had was speaking about something without really saying anything about it. I remember on numerous occasions my father confronting this interim pastor about something he said but he would debate how he had not said it. Upon further investigation the nuanced words revealed that the pastor did not say what my father thought he heard him say. It wasn’t that my father did not understand words and their meanings but it was the fact the interim would say things in such a way to make one believe he was saying something different.
As a result of this experience I have been very careful to read statements and books making certain they say what we are told they say. Also, I am not alone in examining endorsement statements in particular. Dr. Timothy George, one of the signers below, examined the Billy Graham endorsement of Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and came away with anything but Graham endorsing Romney. His explanation was that Graham was endorsing a stand for three things; a Christian world view, the sacredness of life, and the dignity of marriage as God intended. Thus, according to Dr. Timothy George, Dr. Graham was not endorsing Mitt Romney he was endorsing the three things he held dear while meeting with Mitt Romney.
The Calvinism Advisory Group (CAG) report is one such document I want to examine in the same way Dr. George examined Dr. Graham’s “endorsment” of Mitt Romney. As Dr. George, I have noted unless some say exact words their statements are more what they believe than what they are endorsing. Thus, while we as Southern Baptists believe these signers are saying they agree with and believe the statement they placed their names on, we really do not know that is the fact unless they say so exactly. With that in mind let’s examine the comments of the signatories on the CAG to determine if they truly affirm the statement.
Those who clearly state an affirmation (Emboldened):