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#57881 Wed Jul 13, 2022 10:02 PM
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John_C Offline OP
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I've heard some Southern Baptists refer to the doctrine of soul competency. It seems as if they use it as a way to say the Holy Spirit may speak to them in a way differently than He may speak to others.

What is the doctrine of Soul Competency?


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
John_C #57882 Thu Jul 14, 2022 5:16 AM
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Soul competency

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Soul competency is a doctrine specifically articulated in a Southern Baptist context, first by E.Y Mullins in The Axioms of Religion (1908). This view emphasizes that each person (soul) is individually and personally accountable to God and "competent" to relate to God without mediation through other humans or human institutions. It may be properly related to, but not the same as, the doctrine of the Priesthood of all believers. One clue to the significance of The Axioms of Religion by Mullins is found in the sub-title: a new interpretation of the Baptist faith.

The effect of Mullins' emphasis on soul competency has been criticized by some as planting the seeds of experientialism within the Southern Baptist Convention, thus undermining the importance of its founding Baptist theology and biblical doctrine.
Soul Competency

Quote
The Meaning of Soul Competency

What does “soul competency” mean? Various terms have been used for this concept, such as soul freedom, freedom of conscience and soul competency. Basically it means the God-given freedom and ability of persons to know and respond to God’s will. Baptists believe that God gives people competency—that is ability—to make choices. Human beings are not puppets or machines.
Is Soul Competency THE Baptist Distinctive?


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A couple problems that jump out at me.

1. The phrase "without mediation through other humans or human institutions." It could be inferred from this that institutions such as the Church, the family, or even Scripture itself can be overridden by individual choice. E.g., claiming that God gave them the OK for some sort of lawless behavior, even though it is explicitly forbidden by Scripture.

2. "the God-given freedom and ability of persons to know and respond to God’s will." If this is referring to any other than the elect only, then it is a denial of Total Depravity. All people are in bondage either to sin, or to Christ.


Aspiring student of Christ
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1. Yep it could, although I'm not sure what "without mediation" entails. It could be an apologetic against paedobaptist presumptive regeneration?? The phrase has been around from at least the late 1800's and taught at The Southern Baptist Convention and Seminary. I'm not privy to the history of the SB but for a long time it has held to rank semi-Pelagianism with a very small group of Calvinists trying to change that.

2.Yep, again! I got the 'impression' that it was a defense of "free-willism". Some have taken it to new contemporary social "freedom" to include LGBTQ+ christians, etc. etc., ad nauseam. E.g. see here: In praise of soul competency and actively open-minded thinking. The author's bio information should be enough to reveal the total rejection of biblical truth. igiveup


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Tom Offline
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I am definitely not a Southern Baptist; but I have a lot of respect for some of them, such as Founders Ministries and Tom Ascol, who have dedicated their ministry to try to get the SBC to return to their 1689 LBCF roots.

Soul Competency is a new term on me; but I think it is fairly safe to say the founders of the SBC did not believe in it.


As you probably know by now, similar to other denominations the SBC has been slowly sinking more and more into liberalism on a number of fronts.
For example CRT is a real hit button in the SBC.

Tom Ascol and many others in the more Calvinist and Conservative side of the denomination are fighting tooth and nail against this.
However, I would not be surprised if many of them including Tom Ascol left the denomination.

Tom

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Tom Offline
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Wow!
You are definitely correct about the author, who is supposedly a Baptist minister.
The last I heard, the SBC voted against having women pastors.

I believe that is one of the reasons why Beth Moore left the denomination.

A Church that has a female pastor; does not have a pastor.

Tom


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