Welcome to the Connect 316 website! We are a ministry fellowship celebrating the Hobbs-Rogers tradition in Southern Baptist life. That’s a fancy way of saying that we believe in the kind of salvation doctrine one might hear at a Billy Graham Crusade. God loves you. He has a wonderful plan for your life. He sincerely wants you to be saved. Jesus died for your sins and the sins of the whole wide world. If you are willing, then you are certainly able to respond to the Holy Spirit’s drawing through the gospel. Jesus has already said, “yes” to you. You can say “yes” or “no” to Him.
Connect 316 strives to strike the proper tone as we distinguish ourselves from brothers and sisters in Christ who hold opposing views. Although we disagree on certain issues with our Calvinist friends on the one hand, and our Arminian friends on the other, we truly love, respect and appreciate them as part of God’s family. Our situation can be compared to the arrangement of churches in the small town where I serve. The Baptist Church is located midway between the Methodists and the Presbyterians. Theologically, this is where we find ourselves as well—and we are committed to maintaining this stance, especially as the pressures of New Calvinism inch us ever closer to the Presbyterians.
We do realize our ideas will often clash with the ideas of others—just as certainly as theirs clash with ours. For this, we make no apology, for it is good when Christians share what we believe and engage in discussion. On principle, we resist any suggestion that unity can only be fostered if we press the mute button, muzzle our conversation or simply go away. No one can justify, under the pretense of fostering unity, any effort to stifle the voices or shame the concerns of others. Such tactics are disruptive of the sweet unity sought by all people of good will. We believe in making peace through open, honest and transparent conversation.
Be assured our engagement is a family discussion among brothers and sisters in Christ whom we love, respect and appreciate. It is not our desire to drive anyone from the family, but merely to make certain we ourselves continue to have a place setting at the dinner table. We respectfully disagree with the New Calvinist notion that our denomination needs to grow more reformed theologically. During our very best years, in the latter half of the Twentieth Century, Calvinism had little influence in our convention as the Hobbs-Rogers tradition clearly prevailed. During this time, we grew into the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, developed the most extensive seminary system in the world, established the largest religious publishing house on the planet and formed the greatest missionary sending body in world history.
Southern Baptists do not need to be reformed. We need to be restored. Welcome to Connect 316.
Dr. Rick Patrick