Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Important Interview with President Page

Baptist Press now features an important interview with SBC President Frank Page.  Dr. Page was interviewed by James Smith, editor of the Florida Baptist Witness.  The interview covered significant theological issues ranging from the role of women in the church to the Charismatic gifts and Calvinism.

On Women in Ministry:

As a seminary doctoral student who was committed to the truth of Scripture — inerrancy before the subject had become a central issue in the SBC conservative resurgence — Page said, “I was trying very hard to conform biblical passages to some cultural preferences of the time.” Shortly after receiving the Ph.D., however, Page became convinced “through personal study and prayer” that his dissertation was not exegetically sound and reflected the work of an “immature theologian.”

As a result, “I changed and recanted those rather extreme views” and he has never advocated women as pastors or even deacons in any of his pastorates of more than 30 years in ministry, nor does he support the ordination of women.

On Doctrinal Parameters:

Page said that it is proper for the IMB to set theological policies which are not explicitly addressed in the Baptist Faith and Message. “There are a multitude of issues that have to be dealt with within the trustee framework that go way beyond the Baptist Faith and Message. … There are many things that the Baptist Faith and Message just simply doesn’t deal with.”

One example Page agreed the Baptist Faith and Message does not address, but that the IMB properly can address in its policies, regards the charismatic practice of speaking in tongues in public worship.

“I believe there should be serious criteria that would exclude persons from service in that regard,” he said of those who advocate and practice tongues.

On Baptism:

As to the IMB’s baptism guideline, while Page said he was not familiar with the details, he affirmed that he believes re-baptism is necessary in the case of a person who was baptized by immersion following salvation in a church with “incorrect theology,” including one which rejected eternal security of the believer — which is the requirement of the IMB baptism guideline.

The entire interview is a must-read.  Read it at the Florida Baptist Witness or Baptist Press.