1. Both denominations believe that Christ died for all mankind. Both reject the Calvinist doctrine of Limited Atonement.
2. Lutherans and Southern Baptists believe that good works merit nothing when it comes to our salvation. We are saved by faith alone.
3. Both denominations believe that Scripture is the final authority on doctrine and that the Bible must be read and believed literally.
So if we agree on these three fundamental principles, what is it that separates us?
The doctrine of Free Will!
If Baptists could only see that Scripture does not support their doctrine of Free Will, then the issue of when God saves us could be resolved. If our salvation is totally dependent on God and not on our free will “decision”, then hopefully Baptists would see that God can save when and where he chooses: in baptism as a child or at the moment that an adult hears the Gospel and believes.
This is the issue that separates Lutherans and most Baptists from sharing a common doctrine. After this issue is agreed upon, issues like the Real Presence in the Lord’s Supper should be much easier to resolve. After all, both conservative Lutherans and conservative Baptists believe in reading the Bible literally. What can be more literal an interpretation of “This is my body. This is my blood.” than the belief in the Real Presence of Christ in Holy Communion?