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Read the Summer 2012 Issue

From Enrichment Executive Editor George Paul Wood:

Statement on the Summer 2012 Cover

On behalf of the editors of Enrichment, I would like to apologize for any offense or confusion caused by the cover art of our summer 2012 issue, “21st-century Challenges to the Gospel.” By grouping “Calvinism,” “Annihilationism,” and “Eternal Security” together with various non-Christian ideologies and religions, the cover implied that we believe certain forms of Christianity are as equally challenging to the gospel as outright denials of it. This offended fellow believers who advocate these doctrines, and confused members of our own Fellowship regarding our stance toward those with whom we have principled theological disagreements.

Moreover, the cover miscommunicated both our personal beliefs and the actual content of the issue. My editorial on pages 20,21 clearly states that “not all challenges … are created equal.” It distinguishes those challenges in terms of their respective origins (“nonbelievers” or “Christians”) and effects (“block [the gospel] at its source” or “muddy the clarity and purity of the [gospel].” It also described Christian advocates of these positions as “well-intentioned but theologically misguided.”

We stand by the content of the articles themselves, however. Though fellow believers advocate limited atonement, nonviolent theories of the Atonement, eternal security, annihilationism, and universalism, such doctrines are not part of the Assemblies of God’s theological witness. For example:

The Assemblies of God does not have a formal statement on limited atonement. However, what might be referred to as “unlimited atonement” has biblical support (e.g., John 3:16,17; Romans 14:15; 2 Corinthians 5:18,19; Colossians 1:19,20; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; 1 John 2:2) and is testified to in the various systematic theologies and doctrinal primers that have been published by the Assemblies of God over the years. It is the common teaching of our Fellowship.

Nonetheless, the cover art caused offense and confusion, and we regret the error.

For questions regarding this statement, please contact George Paul Wood, executive editor of Enrichment, at gpwood@ag.org or at (417) 862-2781, ext. 3024.

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