The Founders Say We Need Calvinist Pastors. I Say We Just Need Loving, Christian Pastors.

The role of the pastor is to embody the gospel. And of course to get it embodied, which you can only do with individuals, not in the abstract. Eugene H. Peterson link


Who are the Founders?

For those of you who are new to this game, The Founders describe their history this way.

In 1982, a group of men committed to the doctrines of grace met in Euless, Texas to think about, pray for and plan efforts to encourage church leaders not only to see the full authority of God’s Word but also to affirm its sufficiency in all matters of faith and practice. After spending the morning in prayer, plans for a conference were developed and the first Founders Conference was held in Memphis, Tennessee the next year. The conference met annually there for the first 8 years, moved to Birmingham, Alabama from 1991 to 2004, and was hosted by churches from in following years. Past speakers have included John MacArthur, J. I. Packer, Iain Murray, Al Mohler and John Piper. Themes have included missions, evangelism, revival, preaching, pastoral ministry, sanctification, the doctrines of grace, law and gospel and the church.

What do the Founders believe?

In case you didn't pick this up, they believe in *the doctrines of grace* and that only men were involved in the founding of this group.This means they are 5 point Calvinists. Be aware that they use the doctrines of grace to mess with the heads of unsuspecting churches who are searching for new pastors. 

Here is how they describe their purpose.

Founders Ministries is committed to encouraging the recovery of the gospel and the biblical reformation of local churches. We believe that the biblical faith is inherently doctrinal, and we are therefore confessional in our convictions. We recognize the time-tested Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) as a faithful summary of important biblical teachings and the abstract of that confession known as the Abstract of Principles.

How do the Founders share their beliefs?

Founders encourages the recovery of the gospel and the biblical reformation of local churches through providing biblical instruction in a number of ways. The Founders Journal is published four times a year, highlighting pertinent theological and ecclesiological issues.

  • They also have conferences, lots and lots of conferences.
  • Here is an overview of their ministries. They are particularly interested in reforming local churches. As you read this blog and others which discuss the covert takeovers of churches by hardcore Calvinists, think about this group.
  • Here are their leaders.
  • Here is a link to their blog which you should check from time to time to keep up with their thinking.
  • Here is a link to some of their writers. You will recognize some of them like Kevin DeYoung and Mark Dever.

In other words, the Founders is another one of those Calvinist affinity organizations like The Gospel Coalition, CBMW and Acts 29. However, they emphasize Calvinism in the SBC.

Churches, Get a Calvinist Pastor!

This post was written on March 22,2017 by one of the Founder's leaders, Tom Nettles. His biography states:

Tom Nettles is widely regarded as one of the foremost Baptist historians in America. He has most recently served as the Professor of Historical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he was Professor of Church History and Chair of the Department of Church History. Prior to that, he taught at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Along with numerous journal articles and scholarly papers, Dr. Nettles is the author and editor of nine books. Among his books are By His Grace and For His Glory; Baptists and the Bible, which he co-authored with L. Russ Bush; Why I Am a Baptist; James Petigru Boyce: A Southern Baptist Statesman; and Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Spurgeon.

Given Nettles interest in church history, it is no wonder that he builds the case that the SBC had its roots in Calvinism. He says that these historical preachers were Baptist Calvinists. You can read the short history at the beginning of the post. He then goes on to sound the alarm. In italics, he pronounces calamity that has come upon the SBC.

Today, however, some Southern Baptists are warning the churches against them. 

Following his short history, he proclaims that the SBC needs preachers like those Calvinists of old in order to maintain and assure, read this carefully, 

the spiritual and doctrinal health and fervor of the churches. 

Here is a reminder of the 5 points of Calvinism.

Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

Are his attempts at differentiation between Calvinism and Arminianism successful?

 

1. The perseverance of the saints must always be linked to the doctrines of grace exclusively

Quoting James Boyce

In his analysis of the doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints, Boyce wrote, “This doctrine is inseparably associated with the other doctrines of grace which we have found taught in God’s word. So true is this, that they are universally accepted, or rejected together."

…Boyce’s conviction at this point challenges the contemporary position of many Baptists who still maintain a doctrine of perseverance but separate it from the rest of the biblical pattern, the doctrinal system, of which it is intrinsically a part. 

This makes little logical sense. If one accepts one particular doctrinal point, one must accept all points of a discrete system. My husband calls this *package Christianity." Ken Ham is a known purveyor of such tactics. In his view, one must accepts 7/ 24 hour days of creation, a 6,000 year old earth, and world-wide flood in order to truly accept the doctrine of atonement. That is a made up paradigm, as is the one presented by Nettles.

There are some non-negotiables when it comes to the orthodox Christian faith. These are summed up nicely in the Nicene Creed from 325 AD. The problem with many other package deals throughout the millennia is that they include doctrinal assumptions based on a particular interpretation of Scripture.

I am sorry that Mr Nettles has not seen the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints taught outside of his bubble of the Reformed universe. However, I can assure him that many non-Calvinist also subscribe to this doctrine and it is not inconsistent with free will as some Calvinists like to claim. Roger Olson discusses this here.

So, on this point, one does not need a Calvinist preacher. We need a loving Christian pastor.

2. With such a pastor one could more easily sense *divine grace.*

Now Calvinists are appealing to *feelings?*  I wonder what Nettles would say if I told him that I sensed divine grace from the moment I came to Jesus ? I have sensed if in many of the churches I have attended along with small groups with which I have been associated. I have sensed it in working with some parachurch organizations, on the Navajo Reservation and looking at the glaciers in Alaska. One does not need to be a Calvinist in order to *sense* grace.

Some congregations, however, might desire to consider why Baptists for so long guarded their confessional Calvinism with great care and endured many storms undergirded by that foundation. They might consider that opening themselves to embrace that which is truly “traditional” could elevate the sense of the divine presence of grace in their lives.

3. A Calvinist firmly believes in the divine inspiration of Scriptures and non-Calvinists messed things up.

It appears we are supposed to need a Calvinist because lots of Calvinists have written on this subject. It was the decline in commitment to Calvinism that led to those who are opposed to the inspiration of the Scriptures. I totally disagree. It was the decline in the belief of orthodox Christianity as stated in the Nicene Creed that led to the liberalism of the 1900s. Once again, we don't need a Calvinist to clear things up.

 A large number of cogent defenses of the inerrancy of Scripture have been written by Calvinists. Some would say that these are among the most profound ever produced in Christian literature. Calvinism provides a more consistent rationale for inerrancy than other theological systems

…. One of the most often repeated objections to the divine inspiration of Scripture is that its assumption of perfect divine control of the process runs roughshod over human freedom and does not give sufficient room to human finiteness or human sin. These were objections, concurrent with the decline of commitment to Calvinism, that landed many leading voices of twentieth-century denominational life in a position opposed to inerrancy and verbal inspiration. 

4. A Calvinist firmly believes the biblical doctrine of the Trinity because the doctrine of grace are a manifestation of the Trinity.

Yes, I know. There are many of you scratching your heads on this one. I am banging my head on the table. I became a Christian when I was 17 and I have been a member of a number of evangelical churches in many denominations- Christian Reformed, nondenominational, Methodist, SBC, Episcopalian, Lutheran, etc. Each and every one of them stressed the Trinity. Only two of those church would be considered Reformed.

When I got to this point, I began to think the author was being a bit sneaky on how he represented the Calvinist point of view. He was alluding that this is what you were going to get with a Calvinist preacher that you won't get with non-Calvinist Christian. Codswallop!

Calvinists believe that their perception of salvation has an intrinsic dependence on the Trinity as is manifest in no other theological system. They believe the doctrines of grace are themselves a manifestation of the necessary co-equality of the persons in the Trinity.

…The Father elected in his infinite wisdom, the Son in obedience to the will of the Father procured in a way full consistent with the honor and glory of the Father,, and the Spirit, honoring the will of the Father and the obedience of the Son, works effectually in divine omnipotence to establish that salvations in the personal experience of the elect person. Because every aspect of salvation requires one of infinite power and glory to bring it about, Calvinism rests its soteriology on the doctrine of the Trinity. If a church gets a Calvinist pastor, she will never find him uneasy with the doctrine of the Trinity, 

5. A Calvinist firmly believes the doctrine of substitutionary atonement.

Nettles argues that believing the Christ died exclusively for the elect is the only way to get to this doctrinal truth. In fact, he claims that not believing that Christ died for only for the elect puts the work of the Trinity on hold.

This is not true. Substitutionary atonement was stressed in every church that I attended. Just as Calvinists believe in *irresistible grace* non-Calvinist believe in prevenient grace. We are dead in our sins but the grace of God gives us the ability to freely accept the gift of Jesus. 

If I hear one more Calvinist say that this point of view means that non-Calvinist believe that they participate in their own salvation, I will slap them upside the head. Each and every non-Calvinist that I have met and talked with would deny this with all of their being. Nettles needs to be careful in how he represents those who are not Calvinists and stop trying to divide us unnecessarily.

Sorry, but we do not need a Calvinist preacher to hear the doctrine of substitutionary atonement preached.

To assert an atonement that is substitutionary but makes its effect merely potential puts the entire work of the Trinity on hold and subject to the decision of a sinner dead in his trespasses and sins. 

6. A Calvinist firmly believes in religious liberty. 

Huh? And a non-Calvinist doesn't? Once again, according to Nettles, this all has to do with the pre-chosen elect. If one does not buy that doctrinal point, one cannot believe in religious liberty. This is getting just batty. Non-Calvinist believe in religious liberty and a Calvinist pastor is not needed for this issue.

The rationale for this position, beyond the fact that the Bible assumes its truthfulness, is clearly Calvinistic. Because of the fall, the human will is in bondage; only the effectual call of God can open the heart to believe. God is determined that all his elect shall come and no power of hell can keep him from saving his elect and thus building his church.

…God builds his church through the preaching of his called and sent ministers, and not through government sponsorship or carnal intervention. If a church has a Calvinist pastor, she has a man that believes strongly in religious liberty.

7. A Calvinist firmly believes in missions and evangelism.

So does every non-Calvinist Christian that I have ever met. Now I am beginning to think that Nettles is deliberately misrepresenting non-Calvinists. In this section, Nettles seems to believe that God's special call in missions only rests on those who are Calvinists. Baloney. I support two missionaries who are not Calvinists and have been missionaries for their entire adult lives.

the great commission “requires us to preach the gospel to every creature; and we ought to be foremost in obeying it.” He pointed to the far-reaching consequences of the obedience of William Carey and the English Baptists as well as the providential conversion of Judson and Rice to be regarded as “as a special call of God on American Baptists to labor for the spread of the gospel throughout the earth.”

8. A Calvinist firmly believes in Christ-centered preaching.

A non-Calvinist preacher does not? I can truthfully say that I clearly heard Christ proclaimed via the vehicle of expository preaching far better in non-Calvinist churches in Boston and Dallas than I did in a Calvinista Baptist church in Raleigh. My greatest growth as a Christian took place in those churches.

The Calvinist believes that God operates by means that are consistent with his character, and the only one in whom salvation resides in a way consistent with the character of God is in Christ.13 If a church has a Calvinist as a preacher, she has a preacher that will consistently and joyfully preach Christ in the fullness of his saving power.

9. A Calvinist firmly believes in holiness of life.

Nettles has not read this blog. There is absolutely no question in my mind that the Calvinists do not outshine non-Calvinists when it comes to holiness. To pretend that they do means Nettles is either deliberately misrepresenting Calvinists or has his head stuck firmly in the sand. Let's remember two: Dr Iain Campbell (the Calvinist's Calvinist) and Mark Driscoll. This statement is pure baloney. Today's Calvinist movement needs a good dose of humility and reading CJ Mahaney's book on Humility doesn't cut it. In fact, that may be the problem.

For the Calvinist, the divine purpose in election, atonement, and effectual calling, is the gathering of a people zealous of good works (Titus 2:13, 14). Because regeneration is an immediate and sovereign operation of God, it alters the affections and necessarily gives rise to hatred of sin and remorse for it.

…The Calvinistic Baptist, in a way consistent with his system, expects holiness in increasing measure in all the people of God.

10. A Calvinist firmly believes in regenerate church membership.

For those of you who don't know, regenerate means one has been reborn in a spiritual sense. Some Calvinists use this to get away from the words like  *saved* or *born again.* Somehow, they think it sound cooler. Here is the deal folks. All the Christian churches that I have joined in my life required me to meet with some leader in the church to explain what I believe. I never once used the regenerate word. I spoke of how I came to Jesus and why I know that I am a believer.

Also, every church to which I have belonged would discipline a person who was involved in a serious outward sin such as adultery. Frankly, it was a non-Reformed church church to which I belonged that handled discipline effectively and it was the Calvinista Baptist church which screwed it up badly.

There is a huge Calvinist church in North Carolina No matter what they say about discipline, it is impossible to do so in massive churches. I can assure you that there are serious things that need to be disciplined but they are not because no one knows it is going on. 

Having been a Christian for a long time, I have seen many Calvinists as well as many non-Calvinists walk away from the faith. 

One need never fear that a Baptist who is a Calvinist will go lightly on this Baptist distinctive of regenerate church membership. The gradual compromise of the ideal of regenerate church membership as indicated by our deceitful numbers has coincided with the loss of two practices essential for maintaining this distinctive; one, care in receiving members, and two, care in maintaining spiritual health in the entire congregation through close attention to both formative and corrective discipline.

Here is what Nettles concluded with.

Churches, while you receive advice from others that encourage you to avoid a Calvinist, also seriously consider, for the sake of your souls and the glory of God, calling as your next pastor a historic Baptist Calvinist. As Boyce said, they make “good and effective preachers.”

Here is what I have to say.

Find a pastor who is a committed believer and who knows how to stress the essentials and downplay the nonessentials as he seeks for unity. Stay away from anyone who thinks that discipline is to be stressed over love and find one who knows how to discipline the serious things with love and compassion.

Find an honest person who doesn't think he is in control of your life and uses his gifts to encourage you in your Christian walk. 

I have attended both Reformed church and non-Reformed churches. I currently attend a liturgically based church. Except for two of them,  I have served in all of them and enjoyed the pastors because they got the love angle right. These were folks who loved their people, enjoyed being in their presence and exuded a humility that I rarely see in the churches and pastors that I have written about on this blog.

Folks, the church needs loving, kind, Biblically-literate, Christian pastors who love to answer questions far more than play the hard-line doctrinal hound dogs who think their purpose is to whip the sheep into submission.

Nettles didn't get it because he didn't ask the right question. Why do people not want a Calvinist pastor? Have they had a bad experience with one? He never once addressed the fact that there are arrogant, control freak jerks in Calvinism just like there are arrogant, control-freak jerks amongst non-Calvinists. 

In the basics ,there are commonalities in belief between the two groups. It is time to acknowledge this as opposed to trying to drawing lines in the sand. Except for the issues surrounding election and irresistible grace, we are not that far away from each other. Maybe we should try to see if we can actually get along and show *grace* to one another?

As one of our readers said recently, Jesus asked Peter "Do you love me?" three times.

Whatever the reason for the three-fold “do you love me?” question, Jesus was impressing on Peter how important his new role of tending the flock of Christ’s followers would be. When someone repeats instructions to us over and over, we quickly understand that it’s extremely important for us to heed them. Jesus wanted to make sure Peter understood this vital charge He was tasking him with and the ultimate reason for it, to follow Him and glorify God (John 21:19).

Comments

The Founders Say We Need Calvinist Pastors. I Say We Just Need Loving, Christian Pastors. — 435 Comments

  1. I took Dr. Nettles for Baptist History at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was dreadful, it should have been called Calvinism indoctrination. Every class session emphasized Calvinism and how it is foundational to Baptist History as a whole and to the Southern Baptist Convention.

  2. The Founders successfully used Al Mohler to launch a reformed movement within SBC. Mohler and his band of “New” Calvinists are accomplishing what the “Old” Calvinists could not via their behind-the-scenes “Quiet Revolution”. The Founders may not agree with the method and message of their neo-brethren, but they put up with the YRR because they are accomplishing what the old boys could not … Calvinization of the largest non-Calvinist denomination in America. There has been nothing loving about their approach to disrupting majority Southern Baptist non-Calvinist belief and practice.

    I find it incredible that Al Mohler was not challenged in the early days of his rebellion against SBC’s non-Calvinist majority. His 1993 convocation address at Southern Seminary entitled “Don’t Just Do Something; Stand There!” was filled with warnings which SBC leadership at that time should have more effectively dealt with while the window was open. In his charge to rally his Southern troops around the Abstract of Principles, he made the following statements:

    “The Abstract remains a powerful testimony to a Baptist theological heritage that is genuinely evangelical, Reformed, biblical, and orthodox … We bear the collective responsibility to call this denomination back to itself and its doctrinal inheritance. This is a true reformation … ”

    More like a rebellion, than a reformation, as an YRR army continues to assault SBC life, breaking fellowships and splitting churches. What love is this?

  3. When I first started investigating New Calvinism a couple of years ago I was wondering if I was becoming some kind of a conspiracy theorists. Could all of the connections be true? Then I pulled a thread on Founders after learning about Founders here at TWW. Dr Stan Reeves is the Founders webmaster. He also founded Grace Heritage Church in Auburn, AL. That church is listed on the TGC and 9Marks church directories. He is one of two elders at the church, and has close ties with 9Marks (the church's website has links to 9Marks articles). He is also one of the leaders and speakers for the Auburn University Christian Faculty Network. He is surprisingly public with his personal information: http://www.eng.auburn.edu/~sjreeves/personal/ (I've always been trained to not put so much personally identifiable information on the web). His personal philosophy link highlights his identity as a Christian Hedonist and his deep indebtedness to John Piper. The links among all these New-Calvinist ministries are very clear through "ministries" such as this. I wonder if the same thing is happening at other universities. In this case I just followed a very well laid out trail. I did not feel like looking into other universities – this one example gave me more info than I wanted to know. In any case, links like this make it easy to believe in the conspiracy.

  4. Just want to throw something out there. I enjoy this blog and agree with “outing” the hypocrisy and downright crimes that plague Christian “leaders”. But, Calvinism in and of itself is not the problem, nor is complementarianism. The problem is pride, arrogance, and double standards. For every issue that we wish to blame on Calvinism, the culture-at-large has an issue that they want to blame on Christianity in general. A doctrine that is being manipulated by wolves does not necessarily mean that the doctrine itself is false. That is almost the same as saying that when a hate crime is committed against a gay couple that the Christian view of opposite sex marriage must be flawed.

    So, I agree that the Calvinistas are to blame for a lot of issues, but there is a rich history of reformed tradition that has many qualities. I am tempted myself to throw the baby out with the bath water, but we lose a lot when we do that.

    Anyway, I like the blog, I look forward to reading a few times a week. I agree with what was said about needing pastors that love!!!!

  5. Ken F wrote:

    When I first started investigating New Calvinism a couple of years ago I was wondering if I was becoming some kind of a conspiracy theorists.

    I also felt like that for a while, Ken … until the New Calvinists started giving us so much evidence to support the theories! Now that the reformers are pretty much in charge of the SBC, they have no reason to operate behind the curtain any longer. Theories are now reality.

  6. @ George:
    Thanks for chiming in. I believe there is room at the theological table for the kind of Calvinism you describe. Dee and I have friends we love dearly who are Calvinists. Wade Burleson, whom we feature on our weekly EChurch, is one of them.

    I see quite a difference between how Wade ministers and how those whom we identify as Calvinistas do.

    Glad to have you as part of our TWW community!

  7. This post outlines further "misrepresentations" by the NeoCal crowd….. they really do seem to be "challenged" with respect to be open and "truthful" … my experiences with a variety of Christian groups mirror Dee's..

  8. “Maybe we should try to see if we can actually get along and show *grace* to one another?” (Dee)

    Can two distinctly different soteriologies really co-exist in a single denomination? Is it possible to agree to disagree on God’s plan of salvation?! Are Southern Baptists of two distinct stripes supposed to get along to go along and make room under the big tent for diverse theologies? Some say that’s always been the case within SBC – Calvinists and non-Calvinists co-existing. But for the past 150 years, non-Calvinist belief and practice has been the default theology for millions of Southern Baptists. SBC mission programs and evangelism have been based on “whosoever will” preaching/teaching across the world, which placed God’s sovereignty in harmony with man’s free will. New Calvinism is intent on changing that. Can millions of Southern Baptists agree that Christ’s sacrifice is a limited atonement not intended for everybody? To do so would be to forfeit SBC’s identity and return to its Calvinist roots … after distancing itself from that theology for the past 150 years.

  9. Deb wrote:

    I see quite a difference between how Wade ministers and how those whom we identify as Calvinistas do.

    Yes, there is hope for Wade. 🙂

  10. With a name like the “Founders Ministries” why would we not believe that they’d lead with humility?

    It is hard to have a charitable and loving conversation with someone so convinced they are right that they posit the only good pastor is a Reformed pastor. Cannot they not see how arrogant that stance is? So what about the Christians in the 1500 years prior to Calvin? Were all those pastors sub-par? Come on!

  11. George wrote:

    So, I agree that the Calvinistas are to blame for a lot of issues, but there is a rich history of reformed tradition that has many qualities. I am tempted myself to throw the baby out with the bath water, but we lose a lot when we do that.

    My investigation into New Calvinism opened my eyes to the early church. I have not read nearly as much as I would like, but the little I have read is getting me excited. Here’s an example of an Easter sermon that has been preached every year for the 1600 years: https://oca.org/fs/sermons/the-paschal-sermon (note that this is not an expository sermon that goes on for more than 45 minutes – 9Marx would not consider this an appropriate sermon). The writings of Athanasius are also pretty amazing.

    The more I look at the early church, the more I am becoming convinced that everything beautiful about reformed theology is even more beautiful in early church theology. I am beginning to think that Reformed theology is all bathwater and no baby. The problem with the Reformation (in my mind) is the reformers did not go back far enough. They seemed to have stopped with Augustine. Had they dismissed him and looked earlier and more broadly then the Reformation could have been much more powerful.

  12. George wrote:

    But, Calvinism in and of itself is not the problem, nor is complementarianism. The problem is pride, arrogance, and double standards. For every issue that we wish to blame on Calvinism, the culture-at-large has an issue that they want to blame on Christianity in general. A doctrine that is being manipulated by wolves does not necessarily mean that the doctrine itself is false.

    I couldn’t disagree with you more, George. The NeoCalvinists are teaching false doctrine as though it were The Gospel. It’s not. Complementarianism is a false teaching. Perhaps you don’t care so much about it because you’re a man and you still benefit from such a false teaching/doctrine, whereas I a woman lose out. You are defending corrupted men and their self-serving Scripture twisting.

    We are equals in Christ is Jesus’ message to us.

    The words that are used on this website are the same ones the NeoCals use to promote their false doctrines. We are all a smart crowd here and we get that some of the serious problems in the NeoCals are rooted in “pride, arrogance, and double-standards”. But that’s obvious.

  13. What am I missing?? If you believe God chose those that are saved/are the ‘elect’ from before the creation of the universe, why would you do missions or evangelise? The elect have already been chosen. You just waste money and time. AND some “non-elect’ may believe they ‘accept Christ as their Lord and Savior’ only to horribly learn that they had been condemned before their birth, that they were NOT one of the elect. Ìt’s a terribly cruel, gigantic con game being played on them. . . if the ‘limited atonememt’ part of the TULIP is true.

  14. From Dee’s Post: “I have served in all of them and enjoyed the pastors because they got the love angle right. These were folks who loved their people, enjoyed being in their presence and exuded a humility…”

    … sounds like Jesus – “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35.

  15. Old-time Lutherans* teach that the role of the pastor is to preach the Law and the Gospel in its purity; and to teach so that people can understand these things fully and take them into their lives into the world, telling others of Christ

    I never realized the beauty in this til recently, reading about the YRRs.

    * No idea what the new hip happenin Lutherans expect of pastors. Not intending to find out, either.

  16. ‘Ken Ham is a known purveyor of such tactics. In his view, one must accepts 7/ 24 hour days of creation, a 6,000 year old earth, and world-wide flood in order to truly accept the doctrine of atonement’…… I was ‘saved’ at 13yo and was an active believer in my adult life. In my 50s, a woman joined our church who wanted us to embrace this belief as a necessary one for salvation. She organised a conference with top creationist speakers. So for the forty years before I learned of this, had I not been a believer at all? Her narrow-minded insistence innoculated me against such teaching – as did the guy who came along and said true christians had to be pro-Israel. Where does it end, you can’t be a christian if you have/don’t have a beard? Or wear long skirts and definitely saintly christian women don’t wear yoga pants???

  17. Nancy2 wrote:

    Oy! The “Founders” want ESS to be included in the BFM:

    Of course. Tom Nettles wrote this article for the summer 2016 Founders Journal: http://founders.org/2016/08/13/god-and-the-holy-trinity/

    Those who accept the doctrine of eternal generation should accept eternal submission. If not, they omit one of the chief means of expressing the order implied in that inter-personal, inner-trinitarian relationship consistent with the natural moral goodness of the submission of children to parents (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1,2).

    As stated above the reality of eternal submission is both natural and voluntary, thus godlike and necessary.

    ESS is a form of Ariansim.

  18. “Now Calvinists are appealing to *feelings?* I wonder what Nettles would say if I told him that I sensed divine grace from the moment I came to Jesus ?”

    I find the inclusion of feelings to be hysterical. Normally, in male-dominated church crowds, “feelings” are treated as silly feminine things as opposed to being signs of a legitimate connection with God. I guess only manly “feelings” are legitimate then? In that case, must they also be 5-point Calvinist feelings as well? And only come from a pastor, not anyone else in the congregation?

  19. I’d like to believe we could all just get along, put aside our differences….how divine.
    Unfortunately, as long as the calvanistas extol the ,Calvinist pastor only position, as representing the true gospel, that’s likely to happen when pigs can fly.

    If the elect are already chosen, and the rest of humanity is unelected, then what is the purpose of forcing all to believe as the elect do, when in Calvanist reality, it’s impossible for the unelect to achieve?

    Nope, not going to accept Calvanism, not now or ever. Thank God I have accepted Jesus as savoir, or I’d be up the creek without a paddle.

  20. Long time reader, first- time commenter. I myself am reformed but more open minded than I used to be and much more aware of the fact that certain things are much more important than others. The best example of someone who was a Calvinist who was a good Christian that I knew growing up was a guy named Jim who never talked about the fact that he was a Calvinist. He didn’t make a big deal of it and didn’t push it on others. He loved others, preached the word and is now a missionary doing work overseas in his 60’s when he could have a cushy pastor job (he has 4 degrees it wouldn’t be hard). That, to me, is someone who loves Christ.

  21. Nancy2 wrote:

    Oy! The “Founders” want ESS to be included in the BFM:
    http://founders.org/2017/04/20/two-proposed-revisions-to-the-baptist-faith-and-message/

    That’s not surprising. The Founders have been whittling away at the Baptist Faith & Message for years! They really scored big with the BFM2000 revision, thanks to Al Mohler on the revision committee – paving the way for New Calvinist belief and practice to come under the SBC umbrella.

    In Russell Dilday’s analysis of BFM2000, he lists the following “troubling factors” in the 2000 revision:

    1. The deletion of the Christocentric criterion for interpretation of Scripture.

    2. The diminishing of the doctrines of soul competency and the priesthood of the believer.

    3. The trend toward creedalism.

    4. The diminishing of the doctrine of autonomy and freedom of the local church under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

    5. The trend toward Calvinism and mistrust of personal Christian experience.

    6. The trend shifting Baptist identity from its Anabaptist, free church tradition to a reformed evangelical identity.

    7. The narrow interpretation of the role of women in marriage.

    8. The narrow interpretation of the role of women in the church.

    9. The “Pandora’s box” concern – a fear of repeated future revisions to include favorite opinions.

    10. The trend toward including a catalogue of specific sins.

    11. The false accusation of neo-orthodoxy.

    12. Inconsistency.

    http://www.centerforbaptiststudies.org/hotissues/dildayfm2000.htm

    Because of Dilday’s bold stand against the Calvinist Resurgence, he was fired as President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (they may have stated other reasons, but that was at the root of it). Yep, the grace boys disgracefully threw Dr. Dilday, a constructive conservative, under the bus. They are such a loving bunch (not).

    Thanks Nancy2 for flagging the latest maneuvers by the Founders to strip Southern Baptist identity away from the masses. Besides inclusion of an ESS statement in a future BFM revision, they want to dilute this statement of faith even more by chopping any “whosoever will” clauses. Their latest proposal is to remove/rephrase the following: “Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.” They just don’t like preaching/teaching that God’s salvation plan is available to ALL people – to EVERYONE and ANYONE who repents and believes in Christ.

  22. Mae wrote:

    If the elect are already chosen, and the rest of humanity is unelected, then what is the purpose of forcing all to believe as the elect do, when in Calvanist reality, it’s impossible for the unelect to achieve?

    Since we are on the topic of Founders, here is the latest from their website: http://founders.org/2017/05/26/predestination-is-practical/

    God is meticulously writing the story of history according to his own script. Though we speak of “accidents,” really, there are no accidents. Nothing will take place today that hasn’t been carefully planned before in eternity past by an all-powerful and good Creator.

    This means that god meticulously plans every form of abuse and evil that has or will ever be done. It leaves no room for human choice in the matter. And their view of predestination means god has eternally purposed a divine division between the haves and the have-nots. And to make it worse, do a search on “evanescent grace” to see what Calvin wrote about it. It basically says that no one can be sure whether or not they are among the elect because god fools some people into believing they are among the elect only so he can punish them harsher for their false belief.

    I find this theology repulsive – and it’s not just New Calvinists who believe it. It’s as old as Calvin himself. I suppose I was predestined to reject Calvinism.

  23. If Calvinism is correct in what it says about God, then we are all duty bound and required to believe it and adjust our thinking and lives accordingly.

    If Calvinism is wrong in what it says about God, then we are all duty bound and required to reject it not only for ourselves but also for any whom we may be responsible for and/or influence. If Calvinism is wrong then we must not compromise in our complete rejection of any and all error from Calvinism just as we would not compromise should error come from any source.

    I see this as a flaw in SBC history. The idea that we can all sit on the same pew and all ‘respect’ each other’s ideas about God is not so. Respecting alternative ideas about God is no more possible that it would be possible for slave owners and abolitionists to respect each other’s ideas about slavery. In some things there can be no compromise. We can respect each other as persons, but we cannot compromise on traditional, orthodox and historic beliefs about the person and nature of God. Not even to build a big denomination with lots of money and lots of projects.

  24. Matilda wrote:

    She organised a conference with top creationist speakers.

    Founders also pushes young-earth creationism. Their current journal is about creation and one of the articles goes into the importance of believing in six literal 24-hour days: http://founders.org/2017/02/24/creation-and-the-decree/

    There are many, many other passages that press the reader of Scripture to believe in a literal six day creation. This writer knows Christians who do not believe in a six day creation period. One must be gracious in this matter but also contend for what is clear in the Scriptures. Hermeneutics is paramount in this discussion. If one follows the hermeneutics of passages that are interpreted concerning miracles, the Trinity and Salvation, etc., in interpreting the six days of Genesis 1, this writer believes you will be a creationists holding to six literal days of creation.

  25. okrapod wrote:

    Respecting alternative ideas about God is no more possible that it would be possible for slave owners and abolitionists to respect each other’s ideas about slavery.

    Interesting that you use that analogy. SBC Founders (the original ones) included Calvinist slave-holders prior to the Civil War. They believed that sovereign God was on their side during the War, until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. After the War, Southern Baptists began to distance themselves from that theology … and remained non-Calvinist in belief and practice, until the New Calvinist movement started dragging the denomination back to its “doctrinal inheritance” as Al Mohler likes to refer to it.

  26. @ Ken F:
    It is repulsive to promote hopelessness. Damned before birth, dammed during life, damned for eternity. Woo hoo, what a god!

  27. Questions:
    Is Complementarianism a mandate of Calvinism?
    Is the Subjugation of Women as the Son is subject to the Father a mandate of Complementarianism? of Calvinism?

  28. @ Scott Osattin:
    Hi Scott,
    are you now a minister?

    I am not Baptist, but my grandmother was and she never spoke of Calvinism that I remember (she passed when I was thirteen and now I am old).

    First time I heard of God predestining people to hell, I knew it was wrong, instinctively. I guess many people have that response when first encountering such teaching, as it doesn’t ‘fit’ what they knew of God growing up in their Churches.

  29. Deb wrote:

    @ George:
    Thanks for chiming in. I believe there is room at the theological table for the kind of Calvinism you describe. Dee and I have friends we love dearly who are Calvinists. Wade Burleson, whom we feature on our weekly EChurch, is one of them.

    I see quite a difference between how Wade ministers and how those whom we identify as Calvinistas do.

    Glad to have you as part of our TWW community!

    Yes! Wade is a good example. I can vouch for the Dutch Reformed Church in Wyckoff NJ who oversee Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat where my son is a resident. They are beautiful Christian people and so far from anything the neo-Cal types represent in how they treat people.

    These neo-Cal folk must be some kind of ‘hybrid’ of their own kind. They are so destructive and seem not to be morally accountable for the harm they do to innocent people …. and that ‘stealth’ thing they do is absolutely evil.

  30. @ Ken F:
    I can fairly quickly put together an arguement using fundamental laws of physics and constants ( we all live/use these laws daily whether we know it or not) that will show that the earth is more than 6,000-10,000 years old. So, is my professional life a lie? Am I wrong to use these laws and constants? Am I evil to teach them to my students, just because it conflicts neo-cals/founders theological interpretations?
    In my opinion, this is NOT a minor issue… Telling people, especially young people that the physics has to be “wrong” when it IS VERY well proven is a BIG DEAL!

  31. @ Jeffrey Chalmers:
    maybe the ‘alternative’ truth of the 6 thousand year old Earth is some kind of ‘loyalty’ test …. that if a person is ‘loyal’ enough to a group, they will believe ANYTHING they are taught from the ‘on high’ leadership, even if it insults their God-given intelligence and their God-given reasoning abilities and their God-given powers of observation …

    it’s not about what is ‘true’ is it with the cult people?
    it’s about who is ‘loyal’ enough to follow the ‘leader’ into …… well, they will do as they are told, I guess, even if they know it’s morally wrong and intellectually an insult to God’s gifts

    The natural world reveals itself to human-kind. The cult people have ‘alternate’ agendas that are not kind to the truths about the natural world. And so, comes the ‘alternate’ teachings that line up with their political as well as cult agendas.

  32. __

    “Religious Wargames?”

    hmmm…

    The Calvinists are playing ‘EL DEGUELLO’, can’t you hear it, Dee?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=21Hl7XW2QEU

    Q. “Want to play a religious game?”

    huh?

    After 500 years, they (the Calvinists) are still playing their religious theology game, and they have started another proverbial religious war. Calvin taught them how to win at this religious theology game. Create a religious theological system that straps on to the bacK of Christianity , which makes their rules, the only rules. If you play their game, you will loose. The only way to ‘win’ is not play their game.

    What!?!

    Jesus said that God is asking you to believe in His Son.
    Jesus’ apostles said that God is asking you to believe in his Son.
    Best game in town.
    If you listen to John Calvin’s present day ‘apostles’, you will loose…

    PLEASE UNDERSTAND: You can prove their theology (Calvinism) is wrong until hell freezes over, and it won’t matter a dang thing. Calvin design his theological system so that anyone who entered ‘the argument’ would end up playing by his rules (logic). So the only way to win is simply not to play Calvin’s religious game.

    “Amazing what a little ole harmony will do.”
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DwdxtxlsDv8

    Q. Is there any way for Calvinism to play itself?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NHWjlCaIrQo

    Yes, Make the number of players zero.

    A.T.B.

    Sopy

    🙂

  33. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    In my opinion, this is NOT a minor issue… Telling people, especially young people that the physics has to be “wrong” when it IS VERY well proven is a BIG DEAL!

    On the one hand, I don’t think it matters much whether one believes in a new or old earth because the Bible does not say it matters and neither does any church tradition until very recently. On the other hand, I think it matters a great deal if we are taught that we cannot believe what our senses are telling us. If we are told that god created the universe with the appearance of age, then how do we know it was not created yesterday, with all of our memories being created to give the appearance of age? Taken further, how can we believe that the existence of anything is real if god purposely creates illusion? It’s not a good move to teach people to deny evidence. So yes, it is a very big deal. But I suppose that I believe this because god predestined me to be this way – it’s not my fault.

  34. Mae wrote:

    It is repulsive to promote hopelessness. Damned before birth, dammed during life, damned for eternity. Woo hoo, what a god!

    What is the difference between that god and Satan? I think the main difference is that Satan has no power to put his plans into action whereas their god has the actual means to both plan and execute all of the evil. Instead of saying”the devil made me do it” it would be more accurate to say “god made me do it.” Calvinists will strongly deny that their god authors evil, but there is no way to say that he causes everything without also saying that he causes evil. Or one could argue that he is not sovereign over evil, but that is nothing more than dualism.

  35. @ Ken F:
    Remember, my IFB, and Ken Ham for that manner, are not 5 pointers… so, not sure where that leaves you!

  36. big al wrote:

    The best example of someone who was a Calvinist who was a good Christian that I knew growing up was a guy named Jim who never talked about the fact that he was a Calvinist.

    He sounds like a classical Calvinist (so was my sweet Presbyterian grandmother with a university education in science from the 1920’s, who worked on the teams of Nobel Prize-winning researchers, who was the first woman dean of a California public college, and who died at 102 years of age). There is a world of difference between the classical Calvinists and the new breed of hateful, rabid NeoCalvinists.

  37. Christiane wrote:

    I can vouch for the Dutch Reformed Church in Wyckoff NJ who oversee Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat where my son is a resident. They are beautiful Christian people and so far from anything the neo-Cal types represent in how they treat people.

    Exactly, Christiane. There’s a world of difference between classical Calvinists and hateful NeoCalvinists.

  38. @ Ken F:
    It’s a convenient clause to say, it’s a mystery how God predetermined all, BUT not evil. Really?

    God takes no pleasure in sin….in fact, he has supplied a means to escape the consequences of a fallen nature….a free gift of salvation, open to all.

    Why God’s goodness, love, mercy, grace, fellowship with him, has been turned into a repulsive crap shoot of election, a maybe yes, a maybe no, but we’ll find out at death who is elect, is so against the character of God almighty.

    Tyranny is my view of Calvinism, past in Geneva, presently in our churches.

  39. Scott Osattin wrote:

    Every class session emphasized Calvinism and how it is foundational to Baptist History as a whole and to the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Your comment is interesting. It is strange how nettles seems to imagine that only *Calvinist* pastors do all the things he mentions.

  40. Max wrote:

    they put up with the YRR because they are accomplishing what the old boys could not … Calvinization of the largest non-Calvinist denomination in America. There has been nothing loving about their approach to disrupting majority Southern Baptist non-Calvinist belief and practice.

    I love the history lesson in your comment. Thank you,

  41. JYJames wrote:

    Questions:
    Is Complementarianism a mandate of Calvinism?
    Is the Subjugation of Women as the Son is subject to the Father a mandate of Complementarianism? of Calvinism?

    I haven’t seen anything on their site about eternal subordination of women, but they are hard complementarian, bordering on patriarchy. There’s a lot of stuff on Eph. 5, creation order, and and submit, submit, submit. …….. a husband sanctifies his wife and is responible for her spiritual growth (uhm, can a single woman really be saved?) It’s like women were created for the purpose of serving men!

    If a wife is saved and the husband isn’t: if the husband doesn’t want the wife to go to church, she shouldn’t go to church……….. If the husband is hateful and verbally abusive towards the wife, she should suck it up and “win him over” with her behavior (Peter said so)…. (Uhm, what if the husband is not one of the elect??? Huh???)

  42. Ken F wrote:

    Dr Stan Reeves is the Founders webmaster. He also founded Grace Heritage Church in Auburn, AL. That church is listed on the TGC and 9Marks church directories. He is one of two elders at the church, and has close ties with 9Marks (the church’s website has links to 9Marks articles). He is also one of the leaders and speakers for the Auburn University Christian Faculty Network. He is surprisingly public with his personal information:

    I had to laugh. His bio starts of like this. ” First of all, I go by Stan.” As you know, the Deebs are *daughters of Stan!!

  43. George wrote:

    But, Calvinism in and of itself is not the problem, nor is complementarianism. The problem is pride, arrogance, and double standards

    Please understand the intent of this post. It was not to denigrate the Calvinists. It was to say that the attributes he mentioned are not exclusive to Calvinism.

    Note: I attended a concservativeChristian Reformed church on the Navajo Reservation for 2 years. The Christian Reformed tradition has done much in the way of providing health care to Native Americans.

    I taught 5th grade Sunday school and loved the services which combined the Navajo and English language. Back in those days I knew little of the Calvinism debate. Yet I never once felt concerned by the teaching from the pulpit on this matter.

    The only reason we left the church was my husband had to continue his training back east.

  44. Max wrote:

    Now that the reformers are pretty much in charge of the SBC, they have no reason to operate behind the curtain any longer. Theories are now reality.

    I agree with you.

  45. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    my experiences with a variety of Christian groups mirror Dee’s..

    I am glad to hear it. One of these days I would love to meet you and sit down and talk.

  46. Nancy2 wrote:

    It’s like women were created for the purpose of serving men!

    What do you mean ‘it’s like’? I thought that was exactly what they believe. Help. To help men. Funny they don’t ask what was lacking in Adam in the garden story that he needed help. And if they thought it was only wink wink that Adam lacked, then they would have to give up all the rest of the control freakery. But if it was more than wink wink what was it and why not discuss it and maybe tell the men to say ‘thank you’ once they determine whatever it was, of course.

  47. As I’ve wrote before, my son goes to church with some of the Baptist Seminary students in Fort Worth, TX. He said some of them are sort of screwy. He came to visit me this weekend and showed me a book that one of his seminary students had asked him to read. It was by John Piper. I about lost it. I told him some of the background of Piper. He said he wasn’t going to get pulled into that mess. But anything that he read in Piper’s book that he didn’t agree with he was going to check out in the Bible. If he has any questions, he knows also to ask me. I warned him also about reading about Driscoll, Mahaney and their co-horts. My son is also beginning to question things about the Baptist church he goes to in Fort Worth. The more you ask and study, the more you find out.

  48. Max wrote:

    Can millions of Southern Baptists agree that Christ’s sacrifice is a limited atonement not intended for everybody?

    I do not think so. In fact, I believe that Calvinists have a hard road ahead of them. The sticking point will be, both now and until the Lord returns, is whether God has chosen the elect before eternity and that the non elect have absolutely no chance of being saved. They will go to hell and this is for the glory of God. They also believe that God specifically ordains horrific deeds on this earth-children abuse, 9/11, etc.

    They claim that Arminians have the same problem.This is where they are wrong. Most everyone is able to understand rebellion and suffering the consequences of free will. I do not believe that God specifically ordained my daughter’s brain tumor. But I believe He entered the situation to bring comfort to that awful time in her life.

    I believe that hardcore Calvinism will always be in the minority within orthodox Christianity. But I could be wrong. I also believe that there are quite a few people attending Reformed churches who do not believe in the Calvinist doctrine of election. I know because I have met some.

    As I struggled over the Bible verses, as well as reading Calvin, et al. I had been a Christian for a very long time. I could not come to a peace with the basic doctrines of the Calvinism and it was not from a lack of reading or a lack of willingness to do so. The long I studied, the more I came to understand that God would have to strike me with lightening in order to do so.

    In the end, I found that the doctrine of prevenient grace in general took care of my basic concerns. That is why I always tell folks to question what people mean by the word *grace.* There is a huge difference between prevenient grace and the doctrines of grace.

  49. Divorce Minister wrote:

    Cannot they not see how arrogant that stance is?

    No-they cannot. They also claim that stating the truth as they see it is not arrogant. Yet arrogance is often brought up when it comes to such Calvinists.

  50. dee wrote:

    ” First of all, I go by Stan.” As you know, the Deebs are *daughters of Stan!!

    Hmmm! The plot thickens – so it turns out you are connected to Founders by blood. None of us saw that coming…

    But I thought you were daughters of Satin.

  51. dee wrote:

    I also believe that there are quite a few people attending Reformed churches who do not believe in the Calvinist doctrine of election. I know because I have met some.

    Just like Max points out that most SBC attenders don’t know SBC theology, I am sure the same is true in Reformed circles. The gracious Calvinists are gracious because of who they are in spite of The Doctrines of Grace. In this case ignorance really is bliss.

  52. TomkeinOK wrote:

    why would you do missions or evangelise?

    They believe that God has commanded them do so and that this is method that He has chosen to bring the Word of God to the elect.

    However, I believe that you have a point. They do have a get out of jail free card. If someone rejects them and the message, then they can chalk it up to the person not being elect. However, it could be that the person rejected them because of how they handled the delivery of the message along with being a poor example of love and kindness. They could also reject them because the message bearer follows a celebrity pastor like Mark Driscoll who is obnoxious.

  53. JYJames wrote:

    “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.

    Yes! That is why I have loved the churches that I loved. The pastors were so loving and engaged the folks in their church.

  54. Spartacus wrote:

    Old-time Lutherans* teach that the role of the pastor is to preach the Law and the Gospel in its purity; and to teach so that people can understand these things fully and take them into their lives into the world, telling others of Christ

    I love this. I agree. Lutherans do that very well.

  55. Matilda wrote:

    She organised a conference with top creationist speakers. So for the forty years before I learned of this, had I not been a believer at all? Her narrow-minded insistence innoculated me against such teaching – as did the guy who came along and said true christians had to be pro-Israel. Where does it end, you can’t be a christian if you have/don’t have a beard?

    You were wise to pick up on this. I, too, had been a Christian for a long time before I found out about YEC and that my very salvation might be dependent on it or that my ability to read the Bible correctly was in danger.

    I laughed the first time I heard that until I realized that the poor person was deluded. So many people try to add to the true Gospel. They are the ones who may be leading people away from the true faith.

  56. Ken F wrote:

    ESS is a form of Ariansim.

    ESS is also an example of people playing games with Scripture to back up their own peculiar beliefs. This deal came about due to a wish to keep women in their proper place throughout eternity.

  57. Sam wrote:

    I find the inclusion of feelings to be hysterical. Normally, in male-dominated church crowds, “feelings” are treated as silly feminine things as opposed to being signs of a legitimate connection with God. I guess only manly “feelings” are legitimate then? In that case, must they also be 5-point Calvinist feelings as well?

    I am so glad you caught this as well.

  58. big al wrote:

    Long time reader, first- time commenter.

    Welcome, Big Al!
    big al wrote:

    The best example of someone who was a Calvinist who was a good Christian that I knew growing up was a guy named Jim who never talked about the fact that he was a Calvinist. He didn’t make a big deal of it and didn’t push it on others. He loved others, preached the word and is now a missionary doing work overseas

    I know some people like this as well. That is why we invented the term *Calvinista* to differentiate the good guys from the zealots.

  59. Ken F wrote:

    This means that god meticulously plans every form of abuse and evil that has or will ever be done. It leaves no room for human choice in the matter.

    They call this a divine mystery.

  60. okrapod wrote:

    If Calvinism is correct in what it says about God, then we are all duty bound and required to believe it and adjust our thinking and lives accordingly.

    Good point. If Calvinism is true, what adjustments would we need to make to our lives besides attending a calvinist church?

  61. Mae wrote:

    It is repulsive to promote hopelessness. Damned before birth, dammed during life, damned for eternity. Woo hoo, what a god!

    I have asked a few Calvinists how it makes them feel to know that no matter what they do, their kid could be one of the damned.

    The calvinists have come up with a solution. Their kids must be elect since they were sent to live with their parents who are elect. Cognitive dissonance.

  62. JYJames wrote:

    Is the Subjugation of Women as the Son is subject to the Father a mandate of Complementarianism? of Calvinism?

    The ESS doctrine has been primarily promoted by the Calvinists. Those who are not simply believe in submission to the husband as stated in Scripture.

  63. Christiane wrote:

    I can vouch for the Dutch Reformed Church in Wyckoff NJ who oversee Eastern Christian Children’s Retreat where my son is a resident. They are beautiful Christian people and so far from anything the neo-Cal types represent in how they treat people.

    I know some of those folks. One of my dear friends is in Wyckoff and attends such a church. I knew her before she moved there and was with her when she became a Christian. Since she moved there, (20 years ago) I have not heard one word about election, etc.

  64. Ken F wrote:

    f we are told that god created the universe with the appearance of age, then how do we know it was not created yesterday, with all of our memories being created to give the appearance of age?

    I like this! I call it the Matrix argument. We are all lying in a tub of goop.

  65. Mae wrote:

    It is repulsive to promote hopelessness. Damned before birth, dammed during life, damned for eternity. Woo hoo, what a god!

    Mae, yes, the “god” a toxic cult, whether some want to acknowledge it or not. And to think people are going to “celebrate” the Reformation (which they see as an act of their “god”) later this year. And to suggest we’re simply living out life as being the story as pre-written by their “god” is simply put: blasphemous. Simply think wat it means (in their twisted, cultic reality).

  66. My own dear grandmother was a Presbyterian, as were cousins, aunts, uncles. We attended one another’s churches, no big deal. As my nana would explain, some of us are Presbyterians, some of us, aren’t. No lectures scoffing,
    We were all, believers,’ nuff said.

    Trouble is, it’s not like that anymore. Stealthy Church takeovers ( supposedly for our own good), mixed with the odious hubris of being THE elect, has stamped upon me the need of becoming, a protester.

  67. Scott Osattin wrote:

    I took Dr. Nettles for Baptist History at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It was dreadful, it should have been called Calvinism indoctrination.

    That’s because he is a true hyper-Calvinist who teaches that the Atonement is sufficient only for the Elect. Calvinists teach that the Atonement is sufficient for all but efficient only for the Elect. I had to read that part of his book several time to believe what I was reading.

  68. @ Mae:
    My dad grew up in a Presbyterian church, and he is a God-fearing man! He never uses terms like ‘elect’ in our spiritual discussions.

  69. @ Deb:
    Yes! There wasn’t the conflict there is presently. My grandfather was raised, Anglican, was a gentle, loving man, who loved the Lord.

  70. @ dee:
    @ dee:
    I can share that my son was born with trisomy-21 and also with some difficult medical problems also, among them, a severe seizure disorder. He does not speak but has learned some ‘signing’.

    One of God’s gifts to my son is that he is able to walk. One day, I watched him get up and walk to a shelf. He chose a musical toy and carried it over to a stretcher-bound resident and very, very gently, laid the toy into his hands. The staff tell me that my son will frequently show kindness in this way.

    To witness this made me a very, very proud mother indeed, as I prize ‘kindness’ above all ‘signs’ of God’s presence in the life of any human person in whom the image of God is seen 🙂

  71. dee wrote:

    p their own peculiar beliefs. This deal came about due to a wish to keep women in their proper place throughout eternity.

    I propose that we use ESS to promote the idea that all sons submit to their fathers, especially in the YRR circles. These boyz shouldn’t have any legal rights as adults until their fathers are deceased. If Jesus never gets to be an adult, neither should they!

  72. If they believe their doctrine is the best interpretation of Scripture and then also believe in Scriptural innerrancy due to their doctrine, isn’t that circular logic?

  73. dee wrote:

    The sticking point will be, both now and until the Lord returns, is whether God has chosen the elect before eternity and that the non elect have absolutely no chance of being saved.

    Some have taken the logical step to eternal justification. If God has chosen the elect from eternity past then why can he not have justified the elect from eternity past?c

    Theological speculation can go in lots of weird places. And really, much of theology is pure speculation.

  74. Ken F wrote:

    But I thought you were daughters of Satin.

    I am their spiritual sister. Thus, my screen name is a fabric: Velour.

  75. @ Jeffrey Chalmers, Ken F, Christiane, & dee :

    I think that like the Bible, science is a great and wonderful thing. And like the Bible it has two dangers. Making way more of it than it is at one extreme, and not giving it the credence it deserves at the other.

  76. Rather than ESS, I propose this to be considered by the SBC for inclusion in it’s BF&M:

    ““And how, indeed, hath He any greater than Himself Who is one with the Father in Godhead? Where there is unity, there is no dissimilarity, whereas between greater and less there is a distinction. The teaching, therefore, of the instance from Scripture before us, with regard to the Father and the Son, is that neither is the Father greater, nor hath the Son any that is above Him, inasmuch as in Father and Son there is no difference of Godhead parting them, but one majesty.”
    (St. Ambrose 340-397 A.D., a Father of the Church, and a Doctor of the Church)

    I think Ambrose has more cred than Grudem anyday.

  77. srs wrote:

    If they believe their doctrine is the best interpretation of Scripture and then also believe in Scriptural innerrancy due to their doctrine, isn’t that circular logic?

    Yes.

    In my opinion, they aren’t known for being the sharpest tools in the shed.

  78. Velour wrote:

    n my opinion, they aren’t known for being the sharpest tools in the shed.

    If only they would stay in the shed.

  79. Velour wrote:

    I am their spiritual sister. Thus, my screen name is a fabric: Velour.

    I could take naugahyde, but it’s too hard to spell.

  80. @ Muff Potter:
    wise words

    you may also find this to be a good reflection on the issue:

    “methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God.

    The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conservor of all things, who made them what they are”
    (Gaudium et Spes, a pastoral letter)

  81. @KenF, the problem is not just that they stopped with Augustine. The problem is that they cherry-picked Augustine. His ecclesiology and sacramental theology are thoroughly Catholic. So, they dismissed those parts. They twisted and misrepresented his soteriology, too.

  82. I am dying to know what the huge Calvinista church in Charlotte is! Is it the one associated with Sovereign Grace? A friend of mine is a member there. 🙁

  83. Ken F wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    I think Ambrose has more cred than Grudem anyday.

    The next reformation will be a return to the early church, sans Augustine.

    Please do not dismiss Augustine just because some Calvinists (and Eastern Orthodox polemicists) misrepresent him. He is foundational. And far more complex and multifaceted than his critics concede.

    The Catholic Church wisely repudiated Augustine’s more deterministic views at the Council of Orange. But we never threw out the baby with the bathwater.

  84. dee wrote:

    Mae wrote:

    It is repulsive to promote hopelessness. Damned before birth, dammed during life, damned for eternity. Woo hoo, what a god!

    I have asked a few Calvinists how it makes them feel to know that no matter what they do, their kid could be one of the damned.

    The calvinists have come up with a solution. Their kids must be elect since they were sent to live with their parents who are elect. Cognitive dissonance.

    Yes, I’ve heard that one, too! I always wonder what they’ll think if one of their kids rebels and jettisons his or her faith. It happens!

  85. Ken F wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I am their spiritual sister. Thus, my screen name is a fabric: Velour.
    I could take naugahyde, but it’s too hard to spell.

    I like it!

    You only have to spell it once in the box and then you’re good to go.

  86. Ken F wrote:

    @ Velour:
    What about burlap? I’ll ask my wife what she thinks is best for me.

    Ken F., You are on a roll!

  87. Nancy2 wrote:

    haven’t seen anything on their site about

    Is there a culture (i.e., cult?), lifestyle, and/or code, within [the high-minded, deeply spiritual theology of] Calvinism? YRR? What is the unwritten secret sauce? The “in” dos and don’ts that somehow everyone knows and everyone else must figure out or be ghosted?

    Like Dee and Deb note, “What does it look like?”, as, in reality, talk [words, theology] is cheap.

  88. Ken F wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    I think Ambrose has more cred than Grudem anyday.

    The next reformation will be a return to the early church, sans Augustine.

    I WISH there was more connection among Protestant people to the early Church Fathers and the Doctors of the Church. Gosh, I would settle for there just being more connection with the Creeds, but I realize that there is much that divides the denominations even on those most basic Christian creeds.

    About Augustine, he wrote over many years and went through much change ….. on his journey from heresy to orthodoxy, he was a student of St. Ambrose who was at that time the Bishop of Milan. So perhaps Ambrose helped Augustine in formative ways.

    I do believe Augustine’s writings are ‘cherry-picked’, as CGCrasher has indicated. Unfortunately, because his writings are so extensive and span a long, long time in his development, it is easy to pick from where he was in error rather than from the times of his more orthodox arrival ….. even then, taken out of context, Augustine’s writing can be manipulated.

  89. Velour wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    @ Velour:
    What about burlap? I’ll ask my wife what she thinks is best for me.

    Ken F., You are on a roll!

    A burlap roll! (They’re sold at Amazon. People use them to make decorations for wedding receptions. Not making this up.)

  90. Ken F wrote:

    I am their spiritual sister. Thus, my screen name is a fabric: Velour.
    I could take naugahyde, but it’s too hard to spell.

    I am Kevlar!!!

  91. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    A burlap roll! (They’re sold at Amazon. People use them to make decorations for wedding receptions. Not making this up.)

    I have bought colored burlap at the Dollar Store and used it to make fall wreaths with #11 fencing wire, and grape vines. A tomato cage flipped upside down makes a gorgeous Christmas tree with green, red, and gold burlap!!!

  92. Christiane wrote:

    I WISH there was more connection among Protestant people to the early Church Fathers and the Doctors of the Church.

    Too ROMISH.

  93. @ Nancy2:
    black burlap made a great background for my old, falling-apart bulletin boards in the inner city. I measured, went to the fabric store, got it for very little and staple-gunned it up: what a beautiful background!!!

    burlap is highly under-rated 🙂

  94. Nancy2 wrote:

    Ken F wrote:

    I am their spiritual sister. Thus, my screen name is a fabric: Velour.
    I could take naugahyde, but it’s too hard to spell.

    I am Kevlar!!!

    Totally fits you! Plus Kevlar was invented by a woman scientist in the lab! I learned this from A Mighty Girl website/post on Facebook.

  95. dee wrote:

    The calvinists have come up with a solution. Their kids must be elect since they were sent to live with their parents who are elect.

    Hereditary Aristocracy by Divine Right.

    Applying the Ressegue Regression, how do the parents KNOW that they are really The Elect? Because Calvin wrote that God can send “false Election” to the Reprobate making them THINK and Believe that they are Elect.

  96. dee wrote:

    I believe that Calvinists have a hard road ahead of them. The sticking point will be, both now and until the Lord returns, is whether God has chosen the elect before eternity and that the non elect have absolutely no chance of being saved. They will go to hell and this is for the glory of God. They also believe that God specifically ordains horrific deeds on this earth-children abuse, 9/11, etc.

    “In’shal’lah… Al’lah’u Akbar!”

  97. Max wrote:

    Now that the reformers are pretty much in charge of the SBC, they have no reason to operate behind the curtain any longer. Theories are now reality.

    The New Order has begun. Heil und Seig.

  98. Max wrote:

    More like a rebellion, than a reformation, as an YRR army continues to assault SBC life, breaking fellowships and splitting churches. What love is this?

    Love of POWER.
    To be Calvin in Geneva or Kim Jong-Un in North Korea…

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only POWER.”
    — Lord Voldemort

  99. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    🙂

    let’s see:
    okay, I’ll grant you Clement of Rome, so ‘check’

    but then there’s
    Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna, both studied under St. John the Evangelist

    and don’t forget all of those early Greek Fathers:
    Justin Martyr, Irenaeus of Lyons, Clement of Alexandria, Athanasius of Alexandria, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, the Cappadocian Fathers (Basil of Caesarea, Gregory Nazianzus, Peter of Sebaste, Gregory of Nyssa), Maximus the Confessor, and John of Damascus …..

    I guess the ‘Latin’ Fathers are too what is that word ‘Romish’?
    but what about the wonderful Desert Fathers?

    I say let people read and decide for themselves, at least as many of the Fathers as can be found prior to the first Schism with the Orthodox, when the Church was ‘one’.

    Gosh, reading Chrysostom alone is worth the effort….. wow!

  100. Good gracious my goodness how do you say bologna in Greek or Hebrew?

    The job of the pastor is most definitely NOT repeat NOT to embody the gospel. That job has been taken in the incarnation of Christ.

    Anybody coming to me claiming to “embody” ANYTHING about the faith will get the left boot of Christian disfellowship in a NY minute.

    Their job is to preach the gospel. Not be my shrink, my God with skin on, my business guide or financial planner or clothier or florist or hairdresser.

    Guys, quit trying to be God and just preach Jesus.

  101. dee wrote:

    I need to do some more reading on this point.

    Bruce Gourley’s book “Diverging Loyalties: Baptists in Middle Georgia During the Civil War” is a good read regarding the role Calvinism played among early Southern Baptists, who viewed the Civil War as God’s providential hand guiding the Southern cause. https://www.amazon.com/Diverging-Loyalties-Baptists-Middle-Georgia/dp/0881462586/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495920848&sr=8-1&keywords=Diverging+Loyalties%3A+Baptists+in+Middle+Georgia+During+the+Civil+War

    It took Southern Baptists 150 years to corporately repent of the sin of slavery in a racial reconciliation resolution at their national meeting in 1995. http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/899/resolution-on-racial-reconciliation-on-the-150th-anniversary-of-the-southern-baptist-convention

    SBC has a checkered past in a lot of ways … and they are still moving the checkers around!

  102. dee wrote:

    I love the history lesson in your comment.

    One of the benefits of age is that you are part of the historical record and can speak from experience based on direct observation.

  103. okrapod wrote:

    If Calvinism is correct in what it says about God, then we are all duty bound and required to believe it and adjust our thinking and lives accordingly.

    If Calvinism is wrong in what it says about God, then we are all duty bound and required to reject it not only for ourselves but also for any whom we may be responsible for and/or influence.

    If, as a non-Calvinist, I am wrong for believing and proclaiming that everyone is within reach of God’s salvation through the Cross of Christ, then I will stand guilty before the throne for loving everyone too much. But if a Calvinist is wrong …

  104. Max wrote:

    If, as a non-Calvinist, I am wrong for believing and proclaiming that everyone is within reach of God’s salvation through the Cross of Christ, then I will stand guilty before the throne for loving everyone too much. But if a Calvinist is wrong …

    That is the way I see it.

  105. Christiane wrote:

    but I realize that there is much that divides the denominations even on those most basic Christian creeds.

    That is quite true. Also, there is a stream of thought that it is the very idea of the councils and creeds and fathers and early theologians that ‘misdirected’ Christianity as compared to the church in the first century. I don’t see any bridge between those divergent ideas.

  106. Max wrote:

    If, as a non-Calvinist, I am wrong for believing and proclaiming that everyone is within reach of God’s salvation through the Cross of Christ, then I will stand guilty before the throne for loving everyone too much. But if a Calvinist is wrong …

    thought-provoking comment, Max

    you write like what I think Francis de Sales must have written when his brochures won back the French Calvinists to the Catholic faith

    I wonder if part of our ‘trial’ isn’t God finding out how ‘exclusive’ we are of those we reject with ill will and how ‘inclusive’ we are of those we embrace with good will

    how big a circle do we draw around people to bring them ‘in’ 🙂 ….. especially in light of Christ’s own Incarnation

    in the Gospels, God notices the proud Pharisee pointing his finger and belittling the penitent Publican in the temple …..
    God notices, yes
    It’s ‘in the bible’, but still we point the finger.

  107. okrapod wrote:

    That is quite true. Also, there is a stream of thought that it is the very idea of the councils and creeds and fathers and early theologians that ‘misdirected’ Christianity as compared to the church in the first century. I don’t see any bridge between those divergent ideas.

    but still these same people ‘accept’ the work of the Councils in identifying and affirming the canon of the New Testament ….. that acceptance is strange indeed

  108. @ dee:
    wikipedia –
    “Prooftexting (sometimes “proof-texting” or “proof texting”) is the practice of using isolated, out-of-context quotations from a document to establish a proposition in eisegesis.”

    I had to look it up. There is a language, a lifestyle, an agenda, it seems, that escapes the normal average go-through-life-in-the-work-a-day-world person.

    JYJames wrote:

    code

    Crafty and complex, unless the endgame is to simply take orders.

    Some friends recall they were in a Christian group where everyone (professionals, CEO’s, too) parked their brains at the curb. How did they learn how to do this?

  109. Max wrote:

    believing and proclaiming that everyone is within reach of God’s salvation through the Cross of Christ

    How could this possibly be wrong?

  110. @ Max:
    My faith walk and belief in the Bible is not so crafty. No wonder they require conferences, books, DVD’s, and special speakers to “get it” or to get on the inside track.

    Oh well, better to stay on this outside of this well-crafted web.

  111. JYJames wrote:

    Max wrote:

    believing and proclaiming that everyone is within reach of God’s salvation through the Cross of Christ

    How could this possibly be wrong?

    I don’t think it IS wrong. For a very long time, the Church has explored this great hope. Here is one expression of it:

    “”If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the death dwells in you, then He who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also bring to life your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).

    Pressing upon the Christian to be sure, are the need and the duty to battle against evil through manifold tribulations and even to suffer death. But, linked with the paschal mystery and patterned on the dying Christ, he will hasten forward to resurrection in the strength which comes from hope.

    All this holds true not only for Christians, but for all men of good will in whose hearts grace works in an unseen way. For, since Christ died for all men, and since the ultimate vocation of man is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this Paschal Mystery.”
    (Gaudium et Spes, a pastoral letter)

  112. Velour wrote:

    Nancy2 wrote:
    Ken F wrote:
    I am their spiritual sister. Thus, my screen name is a fabric: Velour.
    I could take naugahyde, but it’s too hard to spell.
    I am Kevlar!!!
    Totally fits you! Plus Kevlar was invented by a woman scientist in the lab! I learned this from A Mighty Girl website/post on Facebook.

    @Nancy2,

    The woman chemist who invented Kevlar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOnosMNLNjA

  113. Max wrote:

    If, as a non-Calvinist, I am wrong for believing and proclaiming that everyone is within reach of God’s salvation through the Cross of Christ, then I will stand guilty before the throne for loving everyone too much. But if a Calvinist is wrong …

    That is a very interesting question. I was raised to believe that universalism is heresy. But now I am not so convinced. It seems that many in the early church were at least hopeful universalists – hoping for the eventual salvation of everyone. The word to look up is apokatastasis. Gregory of Nyssa apparently believed in it, which means it is something that we should probably not discard without thinking through it. Here’s an interesting article that touches on the subject: https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxyandheterodoxy/2012/08/28/salvation-for-everyone/. From what I think I’m learning, hopeful universalists believe that God’s presence (which will be bliss for people who want it and hell for those who don’t) will eventually result in everyone freely choosing God’s love – even if it takes a very long time. In that case, there is hope for everyone. I’m still trying to understand this – haven’t made up my mind one way or another yet.

  114. @ Velour:
    My wife suggested spandex because it is revealing (hides nothing) and is very difficult to work with. But I think the visual image would be too much. Cheesecloth might also be good.

  115. Ken F wrote:

    This article is interesting:

    It is interesting! Thanks.

    Here is a comment that follows the article, posted by Max – TWW Max? Compelling explanation!
    “These young “pastors” spread New Calvinism within SBC by one of two pathways: (1) takeover an existing traditional work, or (2) plant a new church. The former approach is a harder row to hoe in that the pastoral candidate finds it necessary to lie to search committees regarding their theological persuasion. Once the pew becomes savvy to pastoral intent, weeping and gnashing of teeth leads to a split … leaving the young pastor with a church to which he can recruit like-minded followers. The other approach (church planting) is a much easier journey for a young man fresh out of seminary. He may have to start in a store-front somewhere, but he can launch his reformed agenda relatively unhindered, enlist some 20-30 year old “elders”, and get to it. While the takeover artist passes the offering plate, the church planter is blessed by parent church financial support and/or NAMB funds to keep the lights on. Both of these techniques to Calvinize SBC are spreading like wildfire across the SBC landscape. Long-time Southern Baptists, like the decent people in the mill town you note, lament the loss of their church … good people who love the Lord and offer what they have to Him … folks who have come to a saving knowledge of Christ on the other side of a sinner’s prayer.

    I wonder daily when God will stop this rebellion.

    Posted by: Max | Nov 04, 2014 at 09:23 PM

  116. JYJames wrote:

    Oh well, better to stay on this outside of this well-crafted web.

    “Come into my parlor”, said the spider …..

  117. Ken F wrote:

    My wife suggested spandex because it is revealing (hides nothing) and is very difficult to work with. But I think the visual image would be too much. Cheesecloth might also be good.

    Chainmail???

  118. Ken F wrote:

    It seems that many in the early church were at least hopeful universalists – hoping for the eventual salvation of everyone.

    They were hoping that everyone would come to the knowledge of Christ, repent, and accept Him as Savior. Peter taught “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Universalists believe that all humankind will eventually be saved, as opposed to hoping they will be. But it all boils out to an individual choice (contrary to Calvinist teaching) to accept or reject Christ. O.C.S. Wallace, a Southern Baptist in the early 20th century put it this way “Salvation comes to the soul that comes to salvation. Forgiving Savior and penitent sinner meet.” Belief and repentance are essential … whosoever will may come.

  119. Max wrote:

    “Salvation comes to the soul that comes to salvation. Forgiving Savior and penitent sinner meet.” Belief and repentance are essential … whosoever will may come.

    Thank you.

  120. “The Founders Say We Need Calvinist Pastors. I Say We Just Need Loving, Christian Pastors”

    So, if Burleson is the rare (seemingly super-rare) exception to the rule (Calvinism), don’t you think he’d say that part of loving someone would be encouraging them (to some degree or another) to see the world through his lense of Calvinism (albeit somewhat tamer)?

    I ask this fully aware of the difference between his ideology and that of the Founders – in particular he’s not forcing it down anyone’s throat and can fully accept a differing view, but still wonder if he would see the title of this post as a mutually exclusive supposition?

    Most of the readers comments regarding posts on this topic of Calvinism ultimately seem (to me) to put *anyone* who holds to this doctrine (not just the neo guys) as unloving, yet Burleson (a Calvinist) always seems to get a pass because he’s not forcing it on anyone. Seems like it’s encroaching on a double standard to me. He’s a good guy even though his theology is badly flawed?

  121. kin wrote:

    yet Burleson (a Calvinist) always seems to get a pass because he’s not forcing it on anyone. Seems like it’s encroaching on a double standard to me. He’s a good guy even though his theology is badly flawed?

    Wait A Minute!
    Whatever and however Wade ‘believes’, he has been producing some good fruit for a long time, consistently;
    so I would say that ‘good guy’ doesn’t even begin to speak to his witness to Jesus Christ. Did you know that he stood up for people who were being badly treated during the ‘takeover’ when 70 missionaries were fired? And he stood up for people like Dr. Sherri Klouda who was a Hebrew professor, much beloved, at SWBTS who was fired by Paige Patterson because she was a woman. At the time, her husband was extremely ill, making her dismissal a very cruel and difficult ordeal. Wade Burleson stood up for this people, and HE was persecuted for it.

    Compare this with the way neo-Cal folk have abused innocent people and you see the ‘difference’.

    I’d say Wade is living in good conscience and is showing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in how he helps people …. all kinds of people….. you want to know the quality of a person’s ‘theology’? Examine the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives as evidence of their faith in Jesus Christ.

  122. Divorce Minister wrote:

    With a name like the “Founders Ministries” why would we not believe that they’d lead with humility?
    It is hard to have a charitable and loving conversation with someone so convinced they are right that they posit the only good pastor is a Reformed pastor. Cannot they not see how arrogant that stance is? So what about the Christians in the 1500 years prior to Calvin? Were all those pastors sub-par? Come on!

    These kind of Calvinists would not call it “arrogance.” Rather, they would say something to this effect: That truth when it is spoken is offensive. Hence, it is your pride that is offended by the truth. Because, after all, these Calvinists are the only purveyors of the truth.

  123. Ken F wrote:

    The more I look at the early church, the more I am becoming convinced that everything beautiful about reformed theology is even more beautiful in early church theology….. The problem with the Reformation (in my mind) is the reformers did not go back far enough. They seemed to have stopped with Augustine.

    I concur, Ken. Which is why I am now an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

  124. @ Christiane:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Christiane. I still think there is a disconnect in how you argue his theology is ‘good’ (due to his taking a stand in the aforementioned circumstances) even though his clear Calvinistic views are very bad, potentially harmful, and erroneous (according to most of the commenters on threads like these).

    Just doesn’t make much clear sense to me at this point.

  125. @ Ken F:
    From your link: “Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free.”

    Thanks for sharing!

  126. kin wrote:

    He’s a good guy even though his theology is badly flawed?

    Yes he is. Pastor Burleson is a kind and good man. Goodness stands on its own, completely separate from religion, creed, and ideology.

  127. okrapod wrote:

    If Calvinism is correct in what it says about God, then we are all duty bound and required to believe it and adjust our thinking and lives accordingly.
    If Calvinism is wrong in what it says about God, then we are all duty bound and required to reject it not only for ourselves but also for any whom we may be responsible for and/or influence. If Calvinism is wrong then we must not compromise in our complete rejection of any and all error from Calvinism just as we would not compromise should error come from any source.
    I see this as a flaw in SBC history. The idea that we can all sit on the same pew and all ‘respect’ each other’s ideas about God is not so. Respecting alternative ideas about God is no more possible that it would be possible for slave owners and abolitionists to respect each other’s ideas about slavery. In some things there can be no compromise. We can respect each other as persons, but we cannot compromise on traditional, orthodox and historic beliefs about the person and nature of God. Not even to build a big denomination with lots of money and lots of projects.

    Okrapod, I wanted to highlight the most important parts of your comments above, but then I realized that everything you said is Spot On. All of it deserves to be highlighted. I attended a Calvinist church for a decade, yet could not submit to its teachings on: Unconditional Election, Limited (particular) Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints, Regeneration Precedes Faith, & Monergism. One Sunday, I looked around the congregation and was filled with dread when I considered the implications of Calvinism being true. I came to the conclusion that I could not accept the Calvinist teachings on God and salvation. My husband and I left that church and we have NO regrets.

  128. Ken F wrote:

    @ Velour:
    My wife suggested spandex because it is revealing (hides nothing) and is very difficult to work with. But I think the visual image would be too much. Cheesecloth might also be good.

    LOL.

  129. kin wrote:

    Most of the readers comments regarding posts on this topic of Calvinism ultimately seem (to me) to put *anyone* who holds to this doctrine (not just the neo guys) as unloving

    I think you should re-read this thread. People here have distinguished between classical Calvinists who are loving and respectful versus the rabid, intractable, hateful NeoCalvinists.

  130. Mae wrote:

    @ Ken F:
    It is repulsive to promote hopelessness. Damned before birth, dammed during life, damned for eternity. Woo hoo, what a god!

    How is this the Good News that Jesus preached?

  131. Christiane wrote:

    @ Scott Osattin:

    I am not Baptist, but my grandmother was and she never spoke of Calvinism that I remember (she passed when I was thirteen and now I am old).
    First time I heard of God predestining people to hell, I knew it was wrong, instinctively. I guess many people have that response when first encountering such teaching, as it doesn’t ‘fit’ what they knew of God growing up in their Churches.

    Shock and horror was the reaction of our teen-aged son when our friend, who had turned into a Calvinist, was preaching at him in our living room. Actually, it brought him to tears. My husband and I walked in on a very disturbing sight. Christiane, I knew it was wrong instinctively as well. Such a teaching does not represent a God Who is Love.

  132. Christiane wrote:

    you want to know the quality of a person’s ‘theology’? Examine the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives as evidence of their faith in Jesus Christ.

    Precisely, Christiane.

  133. Ken F wrote:

    @ Velour:
    What about burlap? I’ll ask my wife what she thinks is best for me.

    Tweed is nice as well. 😉

  134. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    dee wrote:
    The calvinists have come up with a solution. Their kids must be elect since they were sent to live with their parents who are elect.
    Hereditary Aristocracy by Divine Right.
    Applying the Ressegue Regression, how do the parents KNOW that they are really The Elect? Because Calvin wrote that God can send “false Election” to the Reprobate making them THINK and Believe that they are Elect.

    Exactly, HUG. This was one of the very disturbing conclusions I arrived at while attending a Calvinist church. How could I really know if I was one of the elect? What’s even more disturbing is that in such a paradigm, God is the actual deceiver. I believe that such a deceiver wouldn’t be God, but a false god.

  135. okrapod wrote:

    Christiane wrote:
    but I realize that there is much that divides the denominations even on those most basic Christian creeds.
    That is quite true. Also, there is a stream of thought that it is the very idea of the councils and creeds and fathers and early theologians that ‘misdirected’ Christianity as compared to the church in the first century. I don’t see any bridge between those divergent ideas.

    Yep, that stream of thought teaches that the church fell off the rails after all the Apostles died and it took the Reformation to make things right again. Unless, of course, one holds to the Trail of Blood proposition. In that case, there were Baptists waaay back in the First Century and they survived throughout the centuries to be known today as the Landmark Baptists. 😉

  136. Darlene wrote:

    Ken F wrote:
    @ Velour:
    What about burlap? I’ll ask my wife what she thinks is best for me.
    Tweed is nice as well.

    But we must reserve Tartan for Nick from Scotland!

  137. I think any attempt to absolutely define ourselves by a human-developed theology framework is not what God intended. That includes saying both “I am Calvinist” AND “I am Arminian”.

    For one thing, Paul told us not to do that in 1 Corinthians 3. I think Paul meant both being overly dedicated to a teacher or their theology. Personally, I would apply that to denominations, too, but since it’s so hard to find a decent church nowadays, I say choose people that love over whether or not you go with a denomination. But I think overall it is very unwise to dedicate ourselves to any framework.

    Also, I think it’s just human nature to try to make human formulas and frameworks fit the Bible, instead of the other way around. My guess is that everybody gets it wrong in big ways and God will probably have a lot to say to those who pushed a framework upon people like it was His gospel. And we all know that many people make formulas and frameworks and write books and speak and heavily sell on social media because they want to make money from them. Sadly, many Christians accept that as normal and encourage it without much thought.

    One huge problem I see in church history is the reduction of a belief down to “this” or “that”. There are always more than two viewpoints to any issue. There are probably infinite viewpoints on predestination, and they are just as valid as double predestination and ultimate free will, nor are they necessarily between those two viewpoints. I think a representation of viewpoints is probably more like a circle than a line. We all might totally miss the mark on that issue, because predestination is a concept of time which God does not have to follow. I’m inclined to think both predestination and free will are true, but humans just cannot comprehend how that would be because we are linear beings who live inside time. But I may be wrong.

    Like others here, I find limited atonement problematic according to the Bible. When I discuss this with Calvinists, even classical ones, they explain it away or change the subject. Some of the neo-Calvinists have said to me, “If you don’t accept limited atonement, there’s no point in believing in the Bible”, but they can’t explain from the Bible why that would be true. All of their arguments have been extra-biblical or try to explain away verses like John 3:16. Do I understand it fully? No. Am I going to believe anyone that says they do understand it fully? Not a chance.

    I am okay with having contradictions in my beliefs. I figure God will explain them eventually. But I do think that being absolute on everything is a way bigger problem, because it means that a human is trying to tell God what truth is though they probably can never fathom the entire truth here on Earth. Many times, it’s simply down to pride and wanting to be more right than others.

  138. Darlene wrote:

    How is this the Good News that Jesus preached?

    I would be good news for the elect. But that pesky evanescent grace means the good news is bad news.

  139. Christiane wrote:

    but still these same people ‘accept’ the work of the Councils in identifying and affirming the canon of the New Testament ….. that acceptance is strange indeed

    No, they do not. I will explain this again. They accept the validity of the gospels and epistles because of the evidence of when they were written and by whom they were written. This is the very same reason as why the atheist textual critic Bart Ehrman accepts the validity of the early manuscripts. This is how the historians and textual critics arrive at conclusions, not by listening to pronouncements from religious or other groups.

    You have said something like this before, and I have answered like this before, but apparently either I have not made myself clear or else you just can’t believe that this could possibly be true. So let me say it one more way. Whether or not some organization, the Catholic Church or other, makes some decision about something one way or the other does not remotely mean that everybody accepts that decision as the definitive statement on the issue.

    I do not know how else to make this issue clear. The Catholic Church does not carry the weight in Protestant thinking that perhaps some people may think it does. I personally believe the researchers and the historians and the textual critics more than I believe the Catholic Church. That does not mean that I discount everything that the Catholic Church has done over the centuries (though some of it has been pretty bad) but it does mean that I do not base my faith on councils or fathers or papal writings or any such thing. I do think that it is valuable, but I do not think it is de facto true.

    IMO much protestant thinking is so essentially and basically different from much Catholic thinking that it is difficult, perhaps painful, for each to look at the other and arrive at any sort of understanding much less empathy for the other position.

  140. ishy wrote:

    I think any attempt to absolutely define ourselves by a human-developed theology framework is not what God intended. That includes saying both “I am Calvinist” AND “I am Arminian”.
    For one thing, Paul told us not to do that in 1 Corinthians 3. I think Paul meant both being overly dedicated to a teacher or their theology. Personally, I would apply that to denominations, too, but since it’s so hard to find a decent church nowadays, I say choose people that love over whether or not you go with a denomination. But I think overall it is very unwise to dedicate ourselves to any framework.
    Also, I think it’s just human nature to try to make human formulas and frameworks fit the Bible, instead of the other way around. My guess is that everybody gets it wrong in big ways and God will probably have a lot to say to those who pushed a framework upon people like it was His gospel. And we all know that many people make formulas and frameworks and write books and speak and heavily sell on social media because they want to make money from them. Sadly, many Christians accept that as normal and encourage it without much thought.
    One huge problem I see in church history is the reduction of a belief down to “this” or “that”

    Well said.

  141. Darlene wrote:

    How could I really know if I was one of the elect?

    Very unsettling.

    Some pastors/leadership go the opposite. They teach the assurance of salvation to the repentant, and repentance requires fruit, i.e., not cheap grace.

  142. ishy wrote:

    Also, I think it’s just human nature to try to make human formulas and frameworks fit the Bible, instead of the other way around. My guess is that everybody gets it wrong in big ways and God will probably have a lot to say to those who pushed a framework upon people like it was His gospel.

    Yes.

    But I am a tad more radical in why I think that is so. I think that we, like the old Eden story said, want to be like God. We want to be the one to ‘know’ about ‘good’ and ‘evil’. The tempter who wanted to exalt his own throne about the throne of God tempts us also to exalt ourselves above what God has enabled us to do, and so we make up our own ideas and reasons and explanations and then develop enforcement processes to make other people believe us and obey us. Similar to the Pharisees of old it seems.

    That mess won’t get past the judgment. We will not ‘know’ until we ‘see Him as He is’ and the ‘know as we are also known’ and when we try to usurp that procedure, seize power now and for ourselves, we are following the wrong path. We ”know’ what has been revealed; we do not ‘know’ some weird idea we had one morning with our morning coffee. Or late some night before some exam. Or much less in some flash of ‘insight’ just when we realized how important ‘we’ are to God.

  143. Darlene wrote:

    Exactly, HUG. This was one of the very disturbing conclusions I arrived at while attending a Calvinist church. How could I really know if I was one of the elect? What’s even more disturbing is that in such a paradigm, God is the actual deceiver. I believe that such a deceiver wouldn’t be God, but a false god

    You got it, Darlene. False gospel; false god.

  144. Velour wrote:

    I think you should re-read this thread. People here have distinguished between classical Calvinists who are loving and respectful versus the rabid, intractable, hateful NeoCalvinists.

    Thanks, I surely did. Been reading here for the past five or six years with approx. the same on Wade’s site. My beef is not with Wade whom I respect – I would be closer to his theology than I would be with Roger Olson.

    There seems to be a certain level of intellectual dishonesty when you guys say Wade is a “good pastor” even though he holds to a very “disgusting/distasteful/unbiblical/unorthodox” (tons of other negative modifiers from the majority of commenters here over the years) view of salvation.

    Again, I say that knowing the difference between his ideology and those of the neo-calvanistic camp, which I was part of many years ago.

  145. JYJames wrote:

    repentance requires fruit, i.e., not cheap grace

    Amen! True repentance is birthed from a godly sorrow over sin that results in a changed life (2 Cor 7:10). Lord, do we need an outbreak of that sort of sorrow in the 21st century church!

    Cheap grace … Dietrich Bonhoffer referred to it this way “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves … Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance … Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system … Grace without price; grace without cost!” That’s the sort of “grace” being served up in New Calvinism.

  146. @ okrapod:
    ‘the weight of evidence’ ….. I would ask for ‘sources’, yes

    what I hold to is this:
    for many, many centuries, the words of sacred Scripture were hand-copied in scriptoriums and then carefully checked for accuracy to what had been ‘handed down’,
    so that what was being copied represented the treasured and guarded ‘deposit of faith’ inherited from the Apostles and passed down to their followers who became ‘the Servants of the Word’.

    Even the first portion of early Christian worship was known as ‘the Service of the Word’

    and that word ‘catholic’ comes also from something that helped to validate WHICH writings belonged to that deposit of faith:
    those writings which OVER TIME were read aloud during these services consistently over the wide ‘catholic’ or ‘universal’ Church that had spread out from Jerusalem to the first centers of the Church: Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, etc.

    Even the Muratorian fragment was kept safely and guarded by the Church

    I trust the flow ‘outward’ of ‘The Word’ into the world by all means and all ways, but I do respect any attempts by Christian people to guard that what they are passing on is faithful to the original ‘deposit of faith’ and I am VERY encouraged by them what tried to halt the ‘re-wording’ of the ESV by the neo-Cals …. THAT was awesome, and in the great tradition of preserving the original ‘deposit of faith’ in so far as is humanly possible 🙂

  147. @ kin:
    I think some of the Wartburgers are defending good ministers, without defending their theology. Pastors with good hearts come in all theological flavors. Some of them even come around to a correct view of God’s plan of salvation after a while.

    As a 60+ year non-Calvinist Southern Baptist, I have worshiped alongside several classical Calvinists. I have found them to be civil in their discourse and respectful of mainline non-Calvinist SBC belief and practice. While I may not agree with their theology, I have respected these “Old” Calvinists as being good people who have done good things. Now, this “New” Calvinism is a totally different beast … the YRR army is militant, mean-spirited, aggressive, arrogant, and unloving. There is not much good that one can point to.

    While both “Old” and “New” Calvinists have a wrong view of God’s plan of salvation, in my humble but accurate opinion, they are as different as night and day in their ministries. I’ll leave it to God to determine if good men (in character and deed) who preach wrong theology will tip the balance as dead-wrong at the end of the day.

  148. okrapod wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    but still these same people ‘accept’ the work of the Councils in identifying and affirming the canon of the New Testament ….. that acceptance is strange indeed

    No, they do not.

    some don’t, I realize this, and we see that whenever ‘Who Christ Is’ is re-worked by people with an agenda that will even devalue Him to accomplish their own ends (example: the ESS heresy).

    And the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity: the Creeds defended it against many who were in error and today we see that in some circles ‘God’ is used to reference ‘the Father’, but unlike orthodox and catholic and creedal Protestants, there are some circles that place little mention of the Second and the Third Persons as ‘God’ in a unified understanding of ‘The Holy Trinity’ ….. and it shows shockingly in their writings and sermons.

    Yes, I understand this. But once departed from the concept of preserving the deposit of faith, that wandering takes on a mind of its own and ‘agendas’ become prime as the old ways fade in importance which is how you can end up with a religion that worships ‘male headship’ as ‘essential to the gospel’. Yes, I see.
    Adherence to the old Creeds is not something valued, but those Creeds tell of a history of the whole Church coming together to say ‘NO’ to those with their own agendas that departed from the deposit of faith handed down from the Apostles. That is why I wish that there was more knowledge of Church history among those into whose hands a bible comes …. how the bible got to them in its present form is because a lot of people cared deeply that this happen, and those people are still, having passed on, members also of the Body of Christ and I honor them for their guardianship.

  149. Max wrote:

    True repentance is birthed from a godly sorrow over sin that results in a changed life (2 Cor 7:10).

    And by His Grace, He does change our lives when repentance is sincere. Ever grateful – praise Him. Compelling testimonies bear witness: George Müller, for example.

  150. Max wrote:

    That’s the sort of “grace” being served up in New Calvinism.

    And for unknown multitudes, who can’t know whether they’re amongst that number or not, it may be the “evanescent grace” of faux election. I can illustrate this with “effervescent grapes” served up by the fictional Calvin (BFF of Hobbes). Here’s how it works. I know that if I eat cheap grapes, my teeth will be set on edge. But Calvin throws the cheap grapes into his transmorgrifier, and out pops this Riunte. Calvin has transmorgrified cheap grapes into effervescent grapes. It tastes like koolaid, so I drink Calvin’s koolaid
    Tiny bubbles In the wine Make me feel happy Make me feel fine. Until I fall asleep. When I find my teeth have been set on edge and I have an infernal headache.

  151. Max wrote:

    . Pastors with good hearts come in all theological flavors. Some of them even come around to a correct view of God’s plan of salvation after a while.

    ‘a correct view’ need not be something theologically spoken in doctrine;
    it can simply be expressed when a minister of the people of Our Lord stands up for those who are being persecuted and becomes persecuted himself as a result but still he stands ….. I think when that is seen, we can accept that such a minister believes deeply in the power of Jesus Christ to intervene in this world for good, and such a minister is himself standing in witness for Christ even at a cost to himself ….

    some things are beyond ‘words’ and we need to understand this if we are to recognize one another in this world as ‘Christ’ followers in the manner of how we treat one another, yes

  152. Christiane wrote:

    ‘a correct view’ need not be something theologically spoken in doctrine;
    it can simply be expressed when a minister of the people of Our Lord stands up for those who are being persecuted and becomes persecuted himself as a result but still he stands

    Action trumps words.

  153. @ JYJames:
    Like the Deebs note, “What does it look like?”, the million $$ question. Due to inflation, in our economy – billion $$ question.

  154. Max wrote:

    I think some of the Wartburgers are defending good ministers, without defending their theology.

    Sure, but at the same time these particular discussions literally trash much of their theology. Makes genuine respect to fly out the window, imo.

    You said: “Now, this “New” Calvinism is a totally different beast … the YRR army is militant, mean-spirited, aggressive, arrogant, and unloving. There is not much good that one can point to. ”

    Yes, obviously many of them can be, but I still have friends in those circles who would not fit the description of your last sentence.

  155. kin wrote:

    There seems to be a certain level of intellectual dishonesty when you guys say Wade is a “good pastor” even though he holds to a very “disgusting/distasteful/unbiblical/unorthodox” (tons of other negative modifiers from the majority of commenters here over the years) view of salvation.

    Kin, I also want to reconcile contradictions when I see them; especially when they come from a source of spiritual information, support, and community. My own contradictions usually keep me humble enough to consider these contradictions in context. I've always been able to find community where a few people are humble enough to serve each other in spite of their own contradictions. I personally feel that the role of a modern pastor is a fundamental contradiction in the fellowship. It takes an extremely humble person to serve in this capacity, in this environment where systemic contradiction is perpetuated and community uniformity is expected. I don't know exactly what Wade believes, but it appears that people are saying he serves humbly in spite of what contradictions they see in his theology; his heart colors his theology rather than his theology coloring his heart.

    I met a pastor a few years ago who I think would meet this description. (He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.”)

  156. kin wrote:

    You said: “Now, this “New” Calvinism is a totally different beast … the YRR army is militant, mean-spirited, aggressive, arrogant, and unloving. There is not much good that one can point to. ”

    Yes, obviously many of them can be, but I still have friends in those circles who would not fit the description of your last sentence.

    when they see the destructive behavior among their kind,
    what do they do? (head-in-sand, ‘look away’, or other forms of tacit approval?)
    or do they stand up for the victims of abuse?????

    in the neo-Cal world, who is witnessing for standing up against what has happened to victims, what is happening now to victims, and what may happen to victims as a result of certain neo-Cal ‘values’???? Is there even ONE person who say’s ‘this is wrong’? And if that person did stand up, against ‘authority’, what is the universal neo-Cal response to breaking the code?

    ?

  157. Christiane wrote:

    who is witnessing for standing up against what has happened to victims

    Where the rubber meets the road, the litmus test, the evidence of practiced theology, overriding stated beliefs.

  158. Christiane wrote:

    ‘the weight of evidence’ ….. I would ask for ‘sources’, yes

    I have re-read my comment several times and I do not see that I said ‘the weight of evidence.’ I used the word ‘evidence’ about one topic and the word ‘weight’ about a different topic, all of which I will be glad to discuss when the ODP is up and functioning.

    I tried here, but no way could I make it a reasonable length so I have deleted it. When we get the chance I will be glad to show you where I am coming from on both topics.

    .

  159. kin wrote:

    even though his clear Calvinistic views are very bad, potentially harmful, and erroneous (according to most of the commenters on threads like these).

    I hear you. I do not know Wade, but what I would say is that any theological view can create bad consequences, though the consequences may be very different. We talk a lot about feral Calvinistic consequences because that’s what is happening in traditional SBC churches. Muff and HUG talk about Calvary Chapel and others talk about Gateway and on and on. I could talk about some others beside SBC, but I don’t because it would blow up the thread. I have known Calvinists who are mild and come to their convictions but do not make those convictions the center of the universe because we see through a glass darkly right now. I suspect Wade is like those people.

  160. IMO there has to be both concern for individuals and also sound doctrine.

    Are you loving one another if you do nothing for the ‘other’ who needs help? Of course not.

    Are you loving God with all your heart, soul and mind if you teach error concerning God? I think not.

    We need both.

  161. Ken F wrote:

    The word to look up is apokatastasis.

    Beware the doctrine of apokatastasis. Its “origin” is Origen of Alexandria. The roots of the apokatastasis are the same as those of what we call Calvinism, which is the identification of the simplicity of the Platonic One with that of God the Father. The Platonic One was utterly simple and without any kind of differentiation. That means what the One does is identical to what the One is. When Origen used such a definition of God in his “On First Principles,” the immediate corollary is the blurring of the distinction between the generation of the Son and the creation of the world (Arianism comess from this, as does ESS). Origen therefore needed the apokatastasis to allow all of wayward creation to “return” to the Father, since they were all “one” in a very real way.

    Calvinism, and its older incarnation, Augustinian determinism, is an offshoot of the same idea. In Calvinism, especially the variety espoused by Jonathan Edwards, the created world is nothing more than an extension of the mind (Edwards) or the will (Calvin) of God. Therefore the world and God are “one” in the same way as Origen and his disciple Augustine envisioned.

    The 5th ecumenical council (Constantinople II) condemned the doctrine of apokatastasis in the mid-6th century. Both Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism recognize this council. Don’t reject the poisoned apples for the poisoned pears.

    Jim G.

  162. And of course, YRR icon John Piper is probably the most visible living disciple of Edwards.

    Jim G.

  163. Question.

    I keep hearing ‘neo-cal’ but I also keep seeing SBC mega here and I am starting to wonder. I have not heard any complaints on the gossip vine about the local church regarding abuse. They claim 6,000 people and I would think that if there are all that many abused people per capita we would have heard something by now. So I am wondering if all the churches who transition to Calvinist are by definition neo-cal or if perhaps there is enough variation from place to place that some, while Calvinist, are not all that much into abuses and such.

    In other words, is it correct to assume that neo-cal and abusive necessarily go hand in hand? I am not talking about doctrine, I am talking about abusing people (or not). I think their doctrine is wrong, but I have not heard any accusations against this local group regarding abuses.

    These would be the people that I recently characterized as being the poor man’s country club for the comparatively affluent, but they are definitely neo-cal; Mohler shows up occasionally for example.

    Does this question click with anybody? Am I the only one to wonder about this?

  164. Darlene wrote:

    Exactly, HUG. This was one of the very disturbing conclusions I arrived at while attending a Calvinist church. How could I really know if I was one of the elect? What’s even more disturbing is that in such a paradigm, God is the actual deceiver. I believe that such a deceiver wouldn’t be God, but a false god.

    Such doctrine exists to cause more pain and suffering, instead of the peace we are brought by the message of Christ Jesus. Furthermore, the whole point of the New Covenant is not to be exclusionary, but to be open so that all may have a chance to receive salvation. Paul specifically wrote against exclusionary Christianity based on religious background, ancestry etc… Jesus himself embraced all who reached out to him and rebuked those who rejected him. Not once did he ever reject a person on the grounds that they were not “elect” or for their refusal to believe in an “elect”.

  165. Christiane wrote:

    some things are beyond ‘words’ and we need to understand this if we are to recognize one another in this world as ‘Christ’ followers in the manner of how we treat one another, yes

    BINGO. All the theologians, all the preachers, all the kings men, all the church councils, and the endless array of doctrinal ideologies cannot alter one electron of this core truth.

  166. okrapod wrote:

    I keep hearing ‘neo-cal’ but I also keep seeing SBC mega here and I am starting to wonder. I have not heard any complaints on the gossip vine about the local church regarding abuse. They claim 6,000 people and I would think that if there are all that many abused people per capita we would have heard something by now. So I am wondering if all the churches who transition to Calvinist are by definition neo-cal or if perhaps there is enough variation from place to place that some, while Calvinist, are not all that much into abuses and such.

    Give them time to have church members with real life problems and see how they handle them. John Piper’s Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minnesota is excommunicating a godly Christian woman for leaving her abusive husband of decades in order to protect herself and her children.

    That story is replicated across the U.S. according to Christian women who have attended Christian counselor Leslie Vernick’s seminars.

    Matt Chandler & his pastors/elders at The Village Church in Texas subjected a godly Christian woman missionary (Karen) to church discipline before 6,000 church members for leaving her pedophile/child porn husband and annulling their marriage.

  167. okrapod wrote:

    In other words, is it correct to assume that neo-cal and abusive necessarily go hand in hand? I am not talking about doctrine, I am talking about abusing people (or not). I think their doctrine is wrong, but I have not heard any accusations against this local group regarding abuses.
    These would be the people that I recently characterized as being the poor man’s country club for the comparatively affluent, but they are definitely neo-cal; Mohler shows up occasionally for example.

    I personally think nearly all megachurches come with abuses, in order to support the idea that they should have that many people. I used to live in a suburban city with 5 megachurches, and they all had huge issues that they tried real hard not to acknowledge. And a lot of people that I met from those churches had no visible signs of being Christians or non-Christians 6 days a week, but they’d turn into ugly, vicious monsters the moment you said you didn’t like their church or their pastor. One abuse I’ve found at nearly all of them is that they usually cater nearly all their resources to one demographic, usually nuclear families with two parents and more than one child. Then they treat anyone not in that demographic like they are doing something wrong. And if those people get upset, the ones who do fit the demographic tell them they are not trusting God enough and should suck it up. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it happen over and over and over.

    As for your direct question, even Baptist churches that weren’t Calvinist have been subject to abrupt takeovers, so I wouldn’t trust equilibrium would remain true for a Calvinist Baptist church. It would be a lot easier for someone power-hungry to jump in there and change things than it would for a non-Calvinist church, especially one that might start directing a lot of money to TGC and Lifeway. And with all the New Calvinist resources Lifeway is producing, it’s likely that they would have to go outside the SBC to get non-Calvinista education materials.

  168. Sam wrote:

    Jesus himself embraced all who reached out to him and rebuked those who rejected him. Not once did he ever reject a person on the grounds that they were not “elect” or for their refusal to believe in an “elect”.

    Which is exactly why you won’t find New Calvinists camped out in the Gospels! They prefer to twist what Paul is saying, rather than to listen carefully to what Jesus is trying to say to them. They refuse to accept any teaching (even if it is from Jesus!) that would cast doubt on the tenets of reformed theology which they cling to as “truth” … all along ignoring ‘the’ Truth (Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life). There is nothing wrong with a New Calvinist that could not be fixed by flushing the teachings of men and immersing themselves in the Gospels for a few months.

  169. Muff Potter wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    some things are beyond ‘words’ and we need to understand this if we are to recognize one another in this world as ‘Christ’ followers in the manner of how we treat one another, yes

    BINGO. All the theologians, all the preachers, all the kings men, all the church councils, and the endless array of doctrinal ideologies cannot alter one electron of this core truth.

    We have relied too much on our ‘tribal labels’. I think the parable of the Good Samaritan illustrates Christ’s teaching of we may better recognize true witnesses of the God Who Is Love.

    ” Love not just those of your own tribe,
    your own class, family or people,
    but those who are different,
    those who are strangers,

    who are strange to your ways,
    who come from different cultural and religious traditions,
    who seem odd,
    those you do not understand.

    Love as the Samaritan loved the man he found
    beaten up by robbers,
    somewhere on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho.”

    (Jean Vanier, The Body Broken)
    http://www.msgr.ca/msgr/body_broken%2004.htm

  170. Jim Gifford wrote:

    The 5th ecumenical council (Constantinople II) condemned the doctrine of apokatastasis in the mid-6th century. Both Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism recognize this council. Don’t reject the poisoned apples for the poisoned pears.

    This is a good warning. I read somewhere that errors lie at opposite poles, which means that it is very easy to fall into an opposite error when confronting an error. I’m wondering if there is a similar dynamic concerning universalism. How one interprets that word will have a big impact on what one believes about it. I think all Christians are universalists when it comes to Adam’s sin impacting all mankind. The Bible talks about Jesus being greater than Adam, which leaves the door open to his salvation truly being available to all people and not just those who were lucky enough to be born into the right circumstances to be able to hear the gospel. But I think that free will means that some people could reject that offer for all eternity.

    This article is a bit lengthy, but indicates that what was condemned at the 5th council was probably not what Gregory of Nyssa taught (and perhaps Origin did not teach either): https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/apocatastasis-the-heresy-that-never-was-2/.

  171. Max wrote:

    Which is exactly why you won’t find New Calvinists camped out in the Gospels! They prefer to twist what Paul is saying, rather than to listen carefully to what Jesus is trying to say to them. They refuse to accept any teaching (even if it is from Jesus!) …

    Talking about Paul: 1 Timothy 6:3-4 (NIV courtesy Bible Gateway.com) “These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.”

    Misrepresenting this takes a lot of twisting!

  172. OldJohnJ wrote:

    Talking about Paul: 1 Timothy 6:3-4 (NIV courtesy Bible Gateway.com) “These are the things you are to teach and insist on. 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.”
    Misrepresenting this takes a lot of twisting!

    That’s why usually they just pretend verses like that don’t exist, just as they do for most of the gospels. If you bring them up, they will either find a way to avoid it or start quoting one of their theologians like Piper, often on a topic that doesn’t really address the verse.

    Their method of just ignoring anything that doesn’t fit has worked for a long time, but now they are throwing in their own sources or things other than the Bible as reasoning for things, and their followers still buy it up. Just in the last post we had people saying “This isn’t a bad post” about the guy who used Machiavelli as his support text. I think even a non-Christian would have trouble with that.

  173. kin wrote:

    Yes, obviously many of them can be, but I still have friends in those circles who would not fit the description of your last sentence.

    I personally think the reason for this is most people in any particular religion don’t dive very deeply into what their religion actually teaches. If they are nice people they will be nice irrespective of what their religion teaches. Likewise for mean people. However, some religions are much more prone to meanness based on what they actually teach. For example, I am certainly no expert on Islam, but I’ve not yet personally met anyone who has read more about it and discussed it with actual Muslims more than I have. I have met many very decent and honorable Muslims (I’ve attended Friday prayers with them in their mosques). But they are like that in spite of what the Quran and the Hadith actually teach concerning us infidels. There is no way to say that Islam did/does not teach violence both by doctrine and the historical record of early Islamic leaders. But this teaching is not what the nice Muslims follow. I think Calvinism has similarities. The nice Calvinists are nice in spite of what Calvin actually taught and practiced. The YRR’s are more like what people call the Islamists. But that is just my hunch.

  174. Ken F wrote:

    Darlene wrote:
    How is this the Good News that Jesus preached?
    I would be good news for the elect. But that pesky evanescent grace means the good news is bad news.

    You betcha, Ken. Not only that, but evanescent grace presents a god that messes with our minds and hearts so that we end up being confused and discombobulated. Does God really love me? Am I really a child of God or a reprobate destined for hell? You (generic you) cannot know for certain because that god is playing games with you.

  175. Darlene wrote:

    You (generic you) cannot know for certain because that god is playing games with you.

    It’s right out of Calvin’s Institutes: https://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/institutes.v.iii.html

    yet experience shows that the reprobate are sometimes affected in a way so similar to the elect, that even in their own judgment there is no difference between them. Hence it is not strange, that by the Apostle a taste of heavenly gifts, and by Christ himself a temporary faith, is ascribed to them. Not that they truly perceive the power of spiritual grace and the sure light of faith; but the Lord, the better to convict them, and leave them without excuse, instills into their minds such a sense of his goodness as can be felt without the Spirit of adoption.

    Still it is correctly said, that the reprobate believe God to be propitious to them, inasmuch as they accept the gift of reconciliation, though confusedly and without due discernment; not that they are partakers of the same faith or regeneration with the children of God; but because, under a covering of hypocrisy, they seem to have a principle of faith in common with them.

    When he shows himself propitious to them, it is not as if he had truly rescued them from death, and taken them under his protection. He only gives them a manifestation of his present mercy. In the elect alone he implants the living root of faith, so that they persevere even to the end. Thus we dispose of the objection, that if God truly displays his grace, it must endure for ever. There is nothing inconsistent in this with the fact of his enlightening some with a present sense of grace, which afterwards proves evanescent.

  176. Ken F wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    Tweed is nice as well.

    My wife agrees with you.

    the sheep lend their wool and it is dyed using green plants and brown peat and other colors from the nature, and spun into threads to be woven on a loom using the old patterns … what a beautiful and natural fabric comes from this process!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdWZX6JFxqk

  177. @kin:

    You caved to the temptation above in my post with letting my finger insert the “l” into the word “Founders”. Could have been more respectful.

  178. @ Christiane:

    Knowing what I know now (thanks in part to TWW), I totally agree with what you are saying about taking a stand. Very important, but “good” ought/has to be defined much more broadly than how one merely defines abuse. It’s possible they have taken a stand that I am unaware of.

    The folks I know routinely lay down their lives for people of no significance and they are not one bit interested in the lime light or how much $ they bankroll. They are not on a power trip. They do not at all fit the description that Max routinely broad brushes everyone in that camp into. They are incredibly humble people like our Saviour was.

  179. @ Gram3:

    I understand and agree for the most part, but far too often it seems there is a rancid flavor that condemns everyone in those circles, imo.

    Saying Wade is a good pastor but has destructive/terrible theology (in particular his view of salvation…not some peripheral issue like how old the earth is)is like saying your doc is a good physician because he has excellent bedside manners and is humble, but ignorantly administers toxic harmful poison when he treats certain life-threatning ailments.

    I may be missing something like I was when I’ve raised a concern about how people were referring to Piper years ago. It took a lot of reading and digesting comments here – in particular yours – to wake me up to what I see clearly now.

  180. @ kin:
    Who are they? How have they stood up to try to stop the abuses of innocent people by the neo-Cal leadership?
    Can you share this with us please?

  181. Ken F wrote:

    I personally think the reason for this is most people in any particular religion don’t dive very deeply into what their religion actually teaches. If they are nice people they will be nice irrespective of what their religion teaches. Likewise for mean people. However, some religions are much more prone to meanness based on what they actually teach.

    I agree with you in how this applies to Islam, but I don’t see how it applies to the people I am referring to since “nice” is far too inadequate to describe who they are. They are in love with Christ. Their lives have been transformed by the knowledge of Him. They love people more than they love their own comfort.

    They may not see issues of abuse that I see, but they most certainly do love Jesus and their lives are proof.

  182. kin wrote:

    They are incredibly humble people like our Saviour was.

    I know people in my former NeoCalvinist church who fit this description. But I can also say that were were hoodwinked by NeoCalvinism. And in other respects they have changed for the worse via the indoctrination methods used in NeoCalvinism.

    I am a better, nicer person since I am out of a hateful NeoCalvinist church. Everyone who stays around its toxicity is harmed by those hateful teachings of the pastors/elders.

    And when authoritarian NeoCalvinist leaders order people to do things, like go along with excommunication and shunnings, the membership does just that. So much for loving the way Jesus taught people to love.

    It’s the loving people who exit NeoCalvinist churches that we should pay the most heed to, in my opinion. Because they caught on to the sham.

  183. kin wrote:

    I agree with you in how this applies to Islam, but I don’t see how it applies to the people I am referring to since “nice” is far too inadequate to describe who they are. They are in love with Christ. Their lives have been transformed by the knowledge of Him. They love people more than they love their own comfort.

    It perfectly applies to them. Calvin was ruthless with people whom he deemed heretics. And Calvin’s Geneva was not such a great place to live for people who were not deemed heretics because of how harshly he exercised church discipline. The people you describe are the way they are in spite of what Calvin taught and practiced, which is exactly the point I was trying to make.

  184. @ kin:
    For one thing, a term like “Calvinism” is not particularly helpful because it is so broad and can mean so many different things. I do not think that Wade is similar to Tom Nettles or Tom Ascol or, saintspreserveus, Doug Wilson or Tim Bayly. I have spent considerable time in moderate Calvie circles, and they are really pretty fine folks. OTOH, I have had near-death experiences with Baptist 1689ers who were surely weaned on deli pickles. I mentioned S. Lewis Johnson a few threads ago who was a true gentleman and a scholar and a 5 point “somewhat modified Presbyterian” 😉 with a voice that could melt steel. He respected students and colleagues who did not share his viewpoints. That is what is needed, regardless of Calvie or not-Calvie.

  185. From what I can see in the quote from the “founders”, in 1982 a group of men came together, with inner motives to which I am not privy. To treat them the way I’d like them to treat me, I cannot be quick to think the worst about their motives. So: they felt they had seen a need in the Body of Christ and set themselves to do something to address that need as they perceived it.

    Fine. Just as long as they’re not among those who reject or criticise blogs like this one for doing exactly that.

  186. @ Velour:
    Your experience parallels mine somewhat with one of the last local organized churches we were part of. I, too, am glad we have nothing to do with that one, but we would prob have a relationship to some extent with the one I mention due to the people being on a different wavelength that is less toxic and less control freakish.

  187. @ Ken F:

    Sorry, looks like I got hung up on the word ‘nice’ and missed your point. I agree they ought to spend more time getting necessary perspective, but I have seen a lot of change over the years from what they held when they started on their journey in Christ. That’s always been encouraging to me, especially when change has been so difficult in organized groups we’ve been part of over the years.

    One thing I have always appreciated about them is how they have handled people who have been part of their group but have chosen to move on for whatever reason. That speaks volumes to me.

    You have a gift of researching – I’d like to see you correspond with Tom Wright and ask him why he supposedly missed the boat and holds to elements of PSA in the cross when no evidence in early church writings suggest it. 🙂

  188. Gram3 wrote:

    OTOH, I have had near-death experiences with Baptist 1689ers who were surely weaned on deli pickles

    That’s a good phrase that describes a group of them in Kentucky/SW Va we associated with about 17 years ago.

  189. I just can’t see any way to justify certain theological beliefs based solely on the fact that some people who participate in churches who hold those beliefs seem to be good/nice/caring people and some people who preach those beliefs have excellent personal and rhetorical skills.

    I have seen people with the best intentions disregard what is known about their or their child’s disease and turn to alternatives which are little more than superstition. They had the best intentions but the worst results.

    I have seen people lie down on the table for a surgeon who was technically and personally a living illustration of what one would want in a surgeon because he was so personally impressive, and then seen the medical authorities move against his abuses and lower the beam on him and the hospital which let him get away with some stuff. And all the while his patients loved and trusted him. Right on.

    The New Covenant is Jesus. Love God and love fellow man is a summation of the law (Jesus said so) but the law is not the New Covenant; Jesus himself is the New Covenant. We need to be extremely cautious not to evaluate Truth (as in I am the Truth) by whether it seems ‘nice’ at the moment, or evaluate people’s beliefs as to whether the people themselves seem to be ‘nice’ people.

    It is not loving to excuse and tolerate errors (bad medicine or bad surgeons or bad theology) just because of ‘nice’. Nice people get hurt that way.

  190. kin wrote:

    They are in love with Christ.

    I hope so, but you do not know that. Those who had done might works and even cast out demons in the name of Christ were some of those who did not make the cut in the story of the Judgment that Jesus told. And they wee surprised. I am surprised by what Jesus was saying there. I am personally convinced by observation that people can be emotionally attached to a Jesus who does not resemble the Jesus of the Scriptures. Another or a different Jesus, it seems.

    One’s emotional attachments can be treacherous. Both Judas and Thomas had ‘issues’ but both followed Jesus as they understood Him. One life ended in tragedy and the other in victory. But for a time there they were both apparently committed to Jesus. This is why it is not for us to judge someone else’s relationship with Jesus-either way.

  191. Kin wrote:

    You have a gift of researching – I’d like to see you correspond with Tom Wright and ask him why he supposedly missed the boat and holds to elements of PSA in the cross when no evidence in early church writings suggest it.

    I don’t know that I have the gift of research. Rather, I think I have the gift (or curse?) of not being able to avoid thinking about and eventually asking pesky questions. The internet makes it way to easy to find information, which makes it feel like cheating rather than real research.

    If by Tom Wright you mean N.T. Wright, then I don’t think he missed the boat. He uses penal substitutionary atonement (PSA) language, but not in a way that I’ve heard any PSA advocate use it. Here is something about PSA by him that is very recent: http://ntwrightpage.com/2017/01/30/the-royal-revolution-fresh-perspectives-on-the-cross/. Near the end we find this nugget:

    And so people hear what they think is the gospel, but instead of hearing ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only son’ they hear ‘God so hated the world that he killed his only son’. And the biblical truth of penal substitution is thereby both distorted and shrunk.
    Distorted: because, yes, there is a biblical truth we can call penal substitution, but it is not well expressed within the platonized eschatology and the moralized anthropology. It comes to clearest formulaic expression in Romans 8.1-4, there is ‘no condemnation for those in the Messiah’ because on the cross ‘God condemned Sin in the flesh’. He doesn’t say that God punished Jesus; he says God punished Sin – Sin with a capital S, we might say – in the representative flesh of the Messiah. That is obviously penal, and obviously substitutionary; but it belongs, not at the heart of a normal western narrative about how we get to heaven after all, but at the heart of Paul’s story of how humans are rehumanized, conformed to the Image of the Son.

    I recommend reading the whole article because pulling out just a portion of it does not do justice to his argument. If I understand him correctly, his views are much more in line with early church (and current Orthodox) views. I would not call him a PSA advocate in the normal way that people define PSA.

    Look at my updated list of link on PSA on the interesting items tabs under books. It has a link to “God in the Hands of Angry Sinners” by Baxter Kruger (2nd from top on the list) that seems to be very much in line with this NT Wright speech.

  192. This debate here on Calvanism vs free will is far from new! If you stand back, a significant amount of human conflict has been around “theology” … using the word in its broadest sence…
    The longer I live, especially as a practicing scientist/engineer/educator, the more I see both advancement of knowledge as well as the limits…. (human knowledge)
    When it comes to supernatural issues, i really see human limits. For example, if one starts with the premise that G$d is beyound time, and not constrained by time (a typical attribute of G$d taught by most branches of Judism/Chrsitainity/Islam), we just profoundly limited ourselfs to being able to understand “foreknowledge” ….
    . you can not understand what i just wrote without the concept of time…. you need what “comes before” to understand what each word in a sentance is trying to say. A “jumble of words” means nothing. All of our human comunication, mathematical proofs, scientific experiments, etc., need time to make sence of it. We all speak of “growing up” and becoming “mature”… i could go on and on….. So, is it any wonder that free will vs Calvanism/predistination/determinism/ is such a controversial subject? And, I have my doubts about anyone that thinks they understand it, and even worse, demand that their way is the correct way….

  193. @ Ken F:
    I accidentally double-indented the last two paragraphs in my comment above. Too bad we cannot edit our comments.

  194. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    When it comes to supernatural issues, I really see human limits … So, is it any wonder that free will vs Calvanism/predistination/determinism/ is such a controversial subject? And, I have my doubts about anyone that thinks they understand it, and even worse, demand that their way is the correct way …

    Scripture speaks much about the sovereignty of God. Scripture speaks much about man’s free will. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To attempt to put the mind of God into a neat theological box, is to stand in arrogance before Him.

  195. OldJohnJ wrote:

    Talking about Paul: 1 Timothy 6:3-4 …

    I like J.B. Phillip’s translation of this passage:

    “If anyone tries to teach some doctrinal novelty which is not compatible with sound teaching (which we base on Christ’s own words and which leads to Christ-like living), then he is a conceited idiot! His mind is a morbid jumble of disputation and argument, things which lead to nothing but jealousy, quarreling, insults and malicious innuendoes — continual wrangling, in fact, among men of warped minds who have lost their real hold on the truth but hope to make some profit out of the Christian religion.”

    There is no shortage of “conceited idiots” and “warped minds” in New Calvinism! TWW continues to document their existence. Thanks to the new reformers, SBC is experiencing more than its share of “morbid jumble of disputation and argument … quarreling, insults and malicious innuendoes, and continual wrangling.”

  196. “The role of the pastor is to embody the gospel. And of course to get it embodied, which you can only do with individuals, not in the abstract.” (Eugene H. Peterson)

    This was the opening quote in this post. Another Peterson quote from the same link is appropriate for this discussion:

    “Religion is a very scary thing, because a pastor is in a position of power. And if you use that power badly, you ruin people’s lives, and you ruin your own life.”

  197. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    if one starts with the premise that G$d is beyound time, and not constrained by time (a typical attribute of G$d taught by most branches of Judism/Chrsitainity/Islam), we just profoundly limited ourselfs to being able to understand “foreknowledge”

    I have been reading on the philosophy of time in relationship to God. There are more concepts than just either/or regarding God and time. I have not digested it enough to debate the point, but at this stage it looks to me that God existed before time and exists after time and therefore it can be said that God exists outside of time. But, if time began with a creative act of God, why could not God function both within that paradigm as well as outside of that paradigm?

    More than that, if the Logos became material and existed in time, and if the Logos was/is God, then how could it be said that God did not, at least in that sense, exist in time. And if God did exist in time in the incarnate Logos (and grow in favor with God and man) then how could God retroactively make that never have happened, as would have to be the case if one were to say that God could not exist in time as well as outside time.

    It looks to me that it is necessary that God exists in non-time but It does not look necessary to me that God could not also exist in time.

    Anyhow it is all interesting and I am just starting down this particular path of ideas.

  198. Christiane wrote:

    in the neo-Cal world, who is witnessing for standing up against what has happened to victims, what is happening now to victims, and what may happen to victims as a result of certain neo-Cal ‘values’???? Is there even ONE person who say’s ‘this is wrong’? And if that person did stand up, against ‘authority’, what is the universal neo-Cal response to breaking the code?

    I stood up to abuses at my former NeoCalvinist/9Marxist/John MacArthur-ite gulag. The price I paid, as many of you know, was to be excommunicated and shunned.

    Your point to Kin is accurate.

  199. @ okrapod:
    the neo-Cal masters have tried to create a ‘Jesus’ that suits their own agenda …. Now, with proposing that ESS become a part of the SBC BF&Message, the neo-Cal masters want to make their agenda a fixture of Southern Baptist belief

    I don’t see how Southern Baptist people will accept the whole magilla ….. were they so weak on their Christology that they can give the traditional understanding of Who Christ Is up, and exchange it for the sadly diminished Jesus of ESS ???

    Was the groundwork for this laid when the 2K BF&M removed Christ as the ‘lens’ through which all of Scripture was to be understood? THAT was a giant step and a huge red-light to traditional Baptists, but they did not respond but instead called it ‘necessary in order to limit the liberals’ interpretations of Scripture’

    ?

  200. Christiane wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    the neo-Cal masters have tried to create a ‘Jesus’ that suits their own agenda ….

    Aslan declawed and castrated, purring on His masters’ laps until needed as their attack dog/Enforcer. That does not seem like the most brilliant of moves.

  201. okrapod wrote:

    More than that, if the Logos became material and existed in time, and if the Logos was/is God, then how could it be said that God did not, at least in that sense, exist in time. And if God did exist in time in the incarnate Logos (and grow in favor with God and man) then how could God retroactively make that never have happened, as would have to be the case if one were to say that God could not exist in time as well as outside time.

    Try thinking it all through (like Calvin’s Institutes) and “MY BRAIN HURTS!”

    I think Chesteron once wrote that “The myths/stories are told by the 99% of the villagers who are sane. The Theology is written by the 1% who are insane.”

  202. Max wrote:

    Scripture speaks much about the sovereignty of God. Scripture speaks much about man’s free will. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To attempt to put the mind of God into a neat theological box, is to stand in arrogance before Him.

    Theology Perfectly Parsed, God All Figured Out.

    “SEE HOW CLEVER I AM?”
    — attitude I’ve run into far too often among wanna-be writers

  203. Max wrote:

    “Religion is a very scary thing, because a pastor is in a position of power. And if you use that power badly, you ruin people’s lives, and you ruin your own life.”

    And the other way – use power wisely and lives and people become better.

    Choice and consequences. Religion is amazingly transformative for good and bad, requiring discernment, TWW, and the TWW contributors like yourself – I learn so much here.

  204. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    From what I can see in the quote from the “founders”, in 1982 a group of men came together, with inner motives to which I am not privy. To treat them the way I’d like them to treat me, I cannot be quick to think the worst about their motives. So: they felt they had seen a need in the Body of Christ and set themselves to do something to address that need as they perceived it.

    Fine. Just as long as they’re not among those who reject or criticise blogs like this one for doing exactly that.

    But there can be Only One True Way.

  205. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I think Chesteron once wrote that “The myths/stories are told by the 99% of the villagers who are sane. The Theology is written by the 1% who are insane.”

    In myth and saga and legend, it may be that there is some primordial human genetic memory of ancient days, and if so, that would mean that the human mythological expressions of what is shrouded in the mysterious past may in fact hold more credence than the made-up agenda-bolstering theologies of the neo-Cal masters.

  206. Ken F wrote:

    It perfectly applies to them. Calvin was ruthless with people whom he deemed heretics. And Calvin’s Geneva was not such a great place to live for people who were not deemed heretics because of how harshly he exercised church discipline.

    Again, there can be only One True Way.

    The people you describe are the way they are in spite of what Calvin taught and practiced, which is exactly the point I was trying to make.

    I remember hearing the same point about Islam in the Christians-vs-Muslims rhetoric after 9/11.

  207. Darlene wrote:

    Not only that, but evanescent grace presents a god that messes with our minds and hearts so that we end up being confused and discombobulated. Does God really love me? Am I really a child of God or a reprobate destined for hell? You (generic you) cannot know for certain because that god is playing games with you.

    And the only thing you can cling to is to flatter that god with praise upon praise, or grasp for PROOFS that you’re REALLY one of The Elect, His Speshul Pets. Whether that PROOF is getting rich or parsing your theology more perfectly than the other guys. (As in “I don’t need to outrun the bear, I only need to outrun YOU.”)

  208. Darlene wrote:

    Yep, that stream of thought teaches that the church fell off the rails after all the Apostles died and it took the Reformation to make things right again.

    Why stop at the Reformation? According to Joseph Smith (Mormons), Charles Taze Russell (Jehovah’s Witnesses), Mo David (COGs), David Koresh (Branch Davidians), Sun Myung Moon (Moonies), Jim Jones (People’s Temple/Jonestown), et al, it took Our Founder God’s Special Messenger to make things right again.

    Unless, of course, one holds to the Trail of Blood proposition. In that case, there were Baptists waaay back in the First Century and they survived throughout the centuries to be known today as the Landmark Baptists.

    Because “Apostolic Succession” sounds too Romish.

    (Actually, this is an old old shtick. Claim Divine Right by tracing your bloodline back to the gods.)

  209. @ okrapod:
    Good points Okrapod..
    In my systematic theology class in college, in addition to the concepts of being apart from time, we started off with the old “omni’s” : Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence.
    These can tie you up in knots as well if you really meditate on these concepts…

    I use to say that physics and quantum mechanics held contradictions just like theology.. but a chemist colleague that does ultra fast spectroscopy said to him, quantum mechanics/modern physics does not propose contradictions, just limits.. in the lab he can apply these laws in experiments and actually observe the “limits” of our ability to understand things, just as these laws predict… so not a contradiction, just limits..
    So, there are limits in our understanding of the supernatural.. and these theologians, pushing extremes of their theology, are just operating in a “bubble” and should be ignored..

  210. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Darlene wrote:

    Not only that, but evanescent grace presents a god that messes with our minds and hearts so that we end up being confused and discombobulated.

    This ‘god’ is the opposite of the revealed God in the Person of Jesus Christ to whom the Gospels witness, this:

    ” St. Matthew 9:36 “When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless …”

    I ask ‘WHY?’ is it so important to people to have a ‘god’ who has not compassion?

    It’s not ‘biblical’, is it? It’s not in tune with the great witnesses to Our Lord: the Holy Gospels.
    In creating a vicious god who torments and plays with people, what is it that these ‘theologians’ hope to gain???? They deny who Christ is. They diminish Him. They focus on their own male ‘superiority’.

    The angels wept ….

  211. Christiane wrote:

    I ask ‘WHY?’ is it so important to people to have a ‘god’ who has not compassion?

    Because it’s harder to control people through compassion?

  212. Ken F wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    I ask ‘WHY?’ is it so important to people to have a ‘god’ who has not compassion?

    Because it’s harder to control people through compassion?

    could be …. I’ve thought this, too, expresses a related concept:

    ““You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” (Anne Lamott)

  213. Christiane wrote:

    ““You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” (Anne Lamott)

    Ouch! I suppose the real goal is to love all the people that God loves.

  214. @ Ken F:
    when I figure out how to do this, I will let you know; but here is a story about that kind of love that is so hard for us and how God helped someone:
    “http://www.familylifeeducation.org/gilliland/procgroup/CorrieTenBoom.htm

  215. Off topic

    usually, I can give Ray Comfort a pass on his ignorant films which are hackumntries with a liberal amount of product endorsement throughout. This one looks dangerous as it is dealing with suicide. I have not seen it but judging from Ray’s track record, in my opinion, it will follow the same line of rhetoric. Here is the trailer
    https://youtu.be/JdOfX55YBEk
    Ray always follows the same formula to make his videos Im fairly sure this one will follow the same line.

  216. We were travelling out of state at church time yesterday. There was no CotN in that town so we stopped at the biggest SBC.

    Wow. Heartbreaking. It started with two contemporary songs that did not tip toe through the TULIP but wallowed in it. There was no melody to discern, rather a windchime patternless tone repetition. Then there were two clearly LDS songs. Then another melodyless sort of chant. By this time the people were like abandoned infants who have given up all hope of comfort and love: eyes closed, hugging themselves, and swaying either side to side or front to back. The chorus was repeated endlessly. We sat and just watched. Only I would guess 1 in 20 were singing. Then a very Oprah like “help us to love ourselves” prayer. Then 40 minutes of…….nothing but business management aphorisms. Ended with a song written by a gay man telling the Lord he needs to “feel you inside me.” We left and all of us thought it was like a car dealership that sold all the inventory for scrap, but is striving mightily to convince the town to come weekly, tithe, and keep this dealership going. But with no cars to sell, why would anyone come?

    The name of Jesus was used twice at the end of prayers. Otherwise He did not exist.

    If that is what the SBC has become, all I can say is where is the paint? Somebody needs to write Ichabod over the door.

  217. brian wrote:

    This one looks dangerous as it is dealing with suicide. I have not seen it but judging from Ray’s track record, in my opinion, it will follow the same line of rhetoric. Here is the trailer

    This is how Ray Comfort addressed it in 2011 (it runs for about 7 minutes starting at 9:12). His bottom line: find a good Biblical pastor to talk with and get saved. It is a very superficial approach that does not even mention mental health care professionals. Hopefully his view has deepened in the meantime.

  218. Jeffrey J . Chalmers wrote:

    So, there are limits in our understanding of the supernatural.. and these theologians, pushing extremes of their theology, are just operating in a “bubble” and should be ignored..

    Yes!

  219. ishy wrote:

    But I think overall it is very unwise to dedicate ourselves to any framework.

    Like putting God in a box? A God too small?

  220. __

    Sine Qua Non :”The Proverbial Religious Theological Chicken Vs. the Egg Debate, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Q. When does the Christian life begin?

    With regeneration?

    Or

    With faith?

    (You decide…)

    huh?

    A Reformed Theologian (Calvinist) would say to his congregation that, regeneration must precede faith; Whereas, an Evangelical Theologian (of various ‘chosen’ flavors…) would say to his congregation that, faith must precede regeneration.

    With that understand, and amassed good academics books on the history of theology, and you should be well on your way to understanding the distinctions between the two, right?

    What?

    However, the adroit nagging question still begs an answer, proverbial chicken or de egg?

    Round and Round we go, let eternity take its toll?

    Roughly 150,000 mortals die each day across this vast globe, and we are arguing about religious semantics?

    (You gots ta be kidding!)

    The christian church is in such a sorry state of affairs, huh?

    I suppose dat ‘go into all the world’…, with this ‘theological’ argument, doesn’t really get much traction in heaven.

    [Snicker]

    RE-arranging da proverbial deck chairs yet again, huh?

    Skreeeetch.

    KRunch!

    The Revelations of Apostle John’s book: “11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

    Q. And What Of The Great Commission?

    (Matthew 28:16-20)

    14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    The church is playing with the pencils, and ‘true’ gospel has become a beggars dream?

    (sadface)

    The other shoe?

    The religion-less beggar knows much that the average pastoral type can only guess upon; and yet who draws up the codes for religious ordinances and 501(c)3 religious practices?

    Let death take a holiday?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-AVEZd0ToTY

    Jesus, I will need You more… (tears)

    ATB

    Sopy

    🙂

  221. __

    —> Sine Qua Non :”The Proverbial Religious Theological Chicken Vs. the Egg Debate, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    Q. When does the Christian life begin?

    With regeneration?

    Or

    With faith?

    (You decide…)

    huh?

    A Reformed Theologian (Calvinist) would say to his congregation that, regeneration must precede faith; Whereas, an Evangelical Theologian (of various ‘chosen’ flavors…) would say to his congregation that, faith must precede regeneration.

    With that understand, and amassed good academics books on the history of theology, and you should be well on your way to understanding the distinctions between the two, right?

    What?

    However, the adroit nagging question still begs an answer, proverbial chicken or de egg?

    Round and Round we go, let eternity take its toll?

    Roughly 150,000 mortals die each day across this vast globe, and we are arguing about religious semantics?

    (You gots ta be kidding!)

    The christian church is in such a sorry state of affairs, huh?

    I suppose dat ‘go into all the world’…, with this ‘theological’ argument, doesn’t really get much traction in heaven.

    [Snicker]

    RE-arranging da proverbial deck chairs yet again, huh?

    Skreeeetch.

    KRunch!

    The Revelations of Apostle John’s book: “11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

    Q. And What Of The Great Commission?

    (Matthew 28:16-20)

    14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    The church is playing with the pencils, and ‘true’ gospel has become a beggars dream?

    (sadface)

    The other shoe?

    The religion-less beggar knows much that the average pastoral type can only guess upon; and yet who draws up the codes for religious ordinances and 501(c)3 religious practices?

    Let death take a holiday?
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-AVEZd0ToTY

    Jesus, I will need You more… (tears)

    ATB

    Sopy

    🙂

  222. ishy wrote:

    I used to live in a suburban city with 5 megachurches, and they all had huge issues that they tried real hard not to acknowledge. And a lot of people that I met from those churches had no visible signs of being Christians or non-Christians 6 days a week, but they’d turn into ugly, vicious monsters the moment you said you didn’t like their church or their pastor. One abuse I’ve found at nearly all of them is that they usually cater nearly all their resources to one demographic, usually nuclear families with two parents and more than one child. Then they treat anyone not in that demographic like they are doing something wrong. And if those people get upset, the ones who do fit the demographic tell them they are not trusting God enough and should suck it up.

    Catering to a demographic:
    As a Letterman Show Page, Elna Baker seated the audience in three groups: The Beautiful People in rows 1-3, Average in middle rows, and “fat people, elderly people with a visible illness, people who looked like they might be disruptive, and goths…, the nosebleed seats. I’d seen Letterman a few years earlier. I was near the front of the line and somehow ended up in the nosebleeds. I remember being confused by it. The day I was trained, I put it together.” [She was fat then, lost weight & hired as a Page – from This American Life.]

  223. Christiane wrote:

    I don’t see how Southern Baptist people will accept the whole magilla ….. were they so weak on their Christology that they can give the traditional understanding of Who Christ Is up, and exchange it for the sadly diminished Jesus of ESS ???

    It’s not that they are necessarily weak on their theology as a group, but that they have no idea the discussion is even happening. Pastors avoid talking about all of this stuff like the plague. And those that join the ranks of the Calvinistas are usually very young, and not the main base of the SBC.

  224. JYJames wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    But I think overall it is very unwise to dedicate ourselves to any framework.
    Like putting God in a box? A God too small?

    Honestly, I think the Calvinistas and Founders want to make themselves gods and ignore the God of heavens entirely. That’s pretty much what they admit with the ESS theology — that men have the authority of God on earth.

    But yes, by putting ourselves in a box, we put God in a box. Though I think it’s mainly from pride and not wanting to admit that even with the Bible, human brains just aren’t capable of understanding everything we think we do.

  225. JYJames wrote:

    use power wisely and lives and people become better

    A true pastor doesn’t even realize he has power; he just goes about ministering in Jesus’ name and spiritual power accompanies his faithfulness. When a man thinks about having power, he will lead abusively by the flesh not the Spirit.

  226. Max wrote:

    spiritual power accompanies his faithfulness.

    Golden nugget of truth here. You nailed it, Max. Thanks again for putting cogently into words our common experience in His Kingdom. Ever grateful for the TWW community.

  227. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Aaarrrrggghhhhhh!!!

    It’s amazing that anyone takes him seriously anymore. Maybe their mental defenses have just been worn down so badly that they can no longer see the inconsistencies.

  228. ishy wrote:

    want to make themselves gods

    Without trying to offend anyone here, sometimes I’ve wondered if the pyramid structure of the pastor running the church could be idolatry-adjacent, even unintentionally.

  229. Velour wrote:

    I am having a nice holiday. Given your utterance about the Desiring God article…I won’t be reading it today. More heresies perhaps?

    I was having a nice day . Sat out on the porch just before sunset, taking photos of hummingbirds ……. I come in, check out JP ar DG…… Yep, more heresy!

  230. @ JYJames:
    Speaking of spiritual power …

    JY, I don’t know what it’s like in your area … but in my neck of the woods, church folks don’t pray much any more. Indeed, throughout much of the SBC kingdom, Wednesday night prayer meetings have been canceled for lack of interest. If God’s people don’t pray, they won’t have enough spiritual power to blow the dust off a peanut. And we wonder why the enemy is having his way in our churches?!

  231. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    I was having a nice day . Sat out on the porch just before sunset, taking photos of hummingbirds ……. I come in, check out JP ar DG…… Yep, more heresy!

    He is just following the example of John Calvin (peace be upon him)…

  232. Max wrote:

    but in my neck of the woods, church folks don’t pray much any more.

    What’s the point? Everything has already been ordained, even not praying.

  233. @ Ken F:
    Oh my goodness… that’s serious…

    Personally, I am desperate without God, and even desperate with God… thus, pray and read His Word daily.

    However, the wall (as in Nehemiah) of the Church, His people, only works for me with plenty of grout or cement or whatever it is, holding us all together and at the same time keeping us respectably apart. That in between, I feel, is Jesus or God Himself that both brings us together and keeps us apart, with respect to agency for each of us. I never want to attach myself to anyone without Jesus there in the tension of together/apart in fellowship.

    I realize this is personal, and we are talking theology, however, I take this all very personally because that is how I know God.

  234. Max wrote:

    Wednesday night prayer meetings have been canceled for lack of interest

    Leonard Ravenhill addressed this years ago, saying, “Why is there is a Minister of Music and no Minister of Prayer?”

    Ravenhill: ” … a man who kneels before God will stand before men. A man who is intimate with God will never be intimidated by men.”

  235. JYJames wrote:

    I realize this is personal, and we are talking theology, however, I take this all very personally because that is how I know God.

    I was being sarcastic. But if one believes the reformed creeds relating to God ordaining everything, then the only reason to pray is dry obedience because there is no way to move or influence that god.

  236. Ken F wrote:

    there is no way to move or influence that god

    Like the Baptist pastor who came to our house, after we had all, including him, witnessed a miracle. He sat on our couch in our living room and explained it away as impossible because that ended with the Apostles. The pastor hopped and skipped through Biblical texts to “prove”, “It just ain’t so.”

  237. okrapod wrote:

    I hope so, but you do not know that.

    Certainly not absolutely for sure, but I’m confident they experience Jesus every day. 🙂

  238. JYJames wrote:

    Leonard Ravenhill addressed this years ago,

    I cut my teeth as a young Christian on Ravenhill’s sermons and books. If only we had preachers like him in the 21st century church!

    Some of my favorite Ravenhill quotes:
    “If weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere.”
    “The reason we don’t have revival is because we are willing to live without it!”
    “Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?” (on his tombstone)

  239. Max wrote:

    ut in my neck of the woods, church folks don’t pray much any more. Indeed, throughout much of the SBC kingdom, Wednesday night prayer meetings have been canceled for lack of interest.

    Most likely God’s people are commuting to and from jobs on Wednesday nights, just like in my neck of the woods (California) and they don’t have time to add on one more thing to their week. It doesn’t, however, mean that folks don’t pray.

  240. Ken F wrote:

    Max wrote:

    but in my neck of the woods, church folks don’t pray much any more.

    What’s the point? Everything has already been ordained, even not praying.

    “In’shal’lah…”

  241. JYJames wrote:

    Like the Baptist pastor who came to our house, after we had all, including him, witnessed a miracle. He sat on our couch in our living room and explained it away as impossible because that ended with the Apostles.

    What was the miracle?

  242. Ken F wrote:

    But if one believes the reformed creeds relating to God ordaining everything, then the only reason to pray is dry obedience because there is no way to move or influence that god.

    Going through the motions because you’ve been ordered to, nothing more.

    “The hard, drab, grey, joyless path of Salvation.”
    — James Michener, Hawaii

  243. Ken F wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    I was having a nice day . Sat out on the porch just before sunset, taking photos of hummingbirds ……. I come in, check out JP ar DG…… Yep, more heresy!

    He is just following the example of John Calvin (peace be upon him)…

    “CALVIN’U AKBAR!”

  244. Velour wrote:

    Most likely God’s people are commuting to and from jobs on Wednesday nights, just like in my neck of the woods (California) and they don’t have time to add on one more thing to their week. It doesn’t, however, mean that folks don’t pray.

    Guess I’m getting nostalgic. As an old guy, I remember a different time in SBC life when Wednesday night prayer meetings were times of corporate sharing and praying. Sometimes those prayer meetings would go on for hours, as the Body of Christ interceded for sick folks, wayward children, etc. Maybe it was just a phenomenon in the churches I attended over the years. We would add and check things off those lists as God moved. As you note, work commitments and busy schedules get in the way these days. I suppose life has become too hectic to gather in such meetings and certainly hope that believers are praying as they ought. There is power in prayer.

  245. brian wrote:

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/healthy-churches-in-a-confusing-culture-a-conversation-with-9marks-erlc-tickets-33676214464?_ga=2.100849793.1615459440.1494015911-1137191255.1486158607

    At first, I thought this was a spoof. Too bad it’s not.

    SBC’s New Calvinists have used “side-bar” meetings like this at SBC national meetings in recent years do attract the YRR crowd. While they are there, the YRRs cast votes for SBC officers and resolutions which appeal to them and the reformed cause.

  246. Max wrote:

    As an old guy, I remember a different time in SBC life when Wednesday night prayer meetings were times of corporate sharing and praying.

    Wed. night services aren’t even prayer meetings anymore in most churches – not a whole lotta prayin’ goin’ on…….. just another sermon.

  247. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    well, if there is little time to pray, but there is great need for your prayer to be before the Lord, remember that WHEN you pray, the prayer goes into ‘eternity’ and becomes timeless in its presence before the Lord

    that’s why people light candles sometimes when they pray …. the candle symbolizes that even when you have left the Church and gone on to work,
    that prayer you said is still before God, even a the candle’s flame continues after you light it

    Prayer unites the temporal and the eternal. That it is powerful goes without saying; that it brings peace is known to many.

    It’s not the ‘time’ spent praying. It’s the condition of the heart that matters …. ‘sursum corda’ lift up your hearts to the Lord

    Too tired or sick to pray? Ask for others to help you. They will do this because this help is what our faith is all about: we bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Royal Law of Christ.

    Know this: even if you can’t pray, the Holy Spirit searches your heart and intervenes: ” the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words” (Romans, Chapt 8)

    Prayer is not a ‘should’, or a ‘must’;
    it’s like breathing ….. it’s happens, even if you are not conscious of it ….. lean into it and rest

  248. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Max wrote:
    As an old guy, I remember a different time in SBC life when Wednesday night prayer meetings were times of corporate sharing and praying.
    Wed. night services aren’t even prayer meetings anymore in most churches – not a whole lotta prayin’ goin’ on…….. just another sermon.

    That’s not everywhere. Our Baptist church has a pasta supper, then we discuss our daily readings from the chronological bible, then prayer time.

  249. kin wrote:

    Saying Wade is a good pastor but has destructive/terrible theology (in particular his view of salvation…not some peripheral issue like how old the earth is)is like saying your doc is a good physician because he has excellent bedside manners and is humble, but ignorantly administers toxic harmful poison when he treats certain life-threatning ailments.

    Interesting comment. It raises the question or thought whether Wade would become an excellent or outstanding pastor and not just a good pastor if he didn’t adhere to a destructive/terrible theology (in particular his view of salvation). It is kind of like the difference between a B+ grade and an A+ grade. In other words, does his theology in some way hamper his effectiveness or ability as a pastor?

  250. I say we need pastors who are NOT fulfilling completely made-up CEO/motivational speaker/standing in the spotlight each Sunday/face of the church/”I am the brand”/fundraiser roles.

    We need pastors who would never want to be The Man, who would never want anyone to talk about them in particular when they talk about their church…”Oh I just love my pastor!” Puke, puke puke! If that’s your attitude, you’re in a church that’s out of balance and you’re out of balance and probably in idolatry, your church is like a washing machine lurching across the floor and making a horrible racket–which is a great analogy for a lot of these pastors).

    We need pastors who are humble servants who step aside and let all those with teaching gifts teach, none of them under the white hot spotlight, none of them presuming to be anything other than just another part of a Body with Jesus as the head.

    We need lots of pastors, that is, people who are humble, who never seek the spotlight, who serve others, who wouldn’t be caught dead at one of these seminaries that teach them how special they are or a T4G conference or accepting honoraria to impart their wisdom at a someone’s mega church, who would blow a tube if anyone tried to make them the head anything or asked them to be the head speaker or vision caster, who would never talk about their anointing, their calling, but rather come under people and seek to help them find their calling and their anointing, who consider themselves nothing, bond slaves.

    There are probably a lot of pastors at any given fellowship, but you won’t likely see them up on a stage, they’re the ones working tirelessly and loving people, not calling attention to their names, never, ever putting their name on a church sign, willing to give up career, comfort, their very lives for others.

    Those people who call themselves “pastors”, they’re quite often the superapostles that Paul, a true pastor, warned you about.

  251. Law Prof wrote:

    I say we need pastors who are NOT fulfilling completely made-up CEO/motivational speaker/standing in the spotlight each Sunday/face of the church/”I am the brand”/fundraiser roles.

    Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! I’m having trouble locating those particular pastor qualifications in Scripture, yet there are a good number of those characters in American pulpits! How could that be?!

    Law Prof wrote:

    We need pastors who are humble servants who step aside and let all those with teaching gifts teach, none of them under the white hot spotlight, none of them presuming to be anything other than just another part of a Body with Jesus as the head.

    Do you reckon 21st century “Christians” would go to a church like that? Perhaps the problem lies as much with the pew as with the pulpit. Just maybe church folks don’t want pastors like that. Give us a King! So, God gives them what they want and sends leanness to their souls.

    Law Prof wrote:

    There are probably a lot of pastors at any given fellowship, but you won’t likely see them up on a stage

    Amen! I’ve known several of them during my 60+ year journey through church.

  252. Ken G wrote:

    In other words, does his theology in some way hamper his (Wade’s) effectiveness or ability as a pastor?

    NO, not by St. Ambrose’s standards, which were written a thousand years before Calvin ever drew breath:
    “”“For he who endeavours to amend the faults of human weakness ought to bear this very weakness on his own shoulders, let it weigh upon himself, not cast it off.
    For we read that the Shepherd in the Gospel (Luke 15:5) carried the weary sheep, and did not cast it off.

    And Solomon says: “Be not overmuch righteous;” (Ecclesiastes 7:17) for restraint should temper righteousness.

    For how shall he offer himself to you for healing whom you despise, who thinks that he will be an object of contempt, not of compassion, to his physician?

    Therefore had the Lord Jesus compassion upon us in order to call us to Himself, not frighten us away. He came in meekness, He came in humility, and so He said:
    “Come unto Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” (Matthew 11:28)
    So, then, the Lord Jesus refreshes, and does not shut out nor cast off, and fitly chose such disciples as should be interpreters of the Lord’s will, as should gather together and not drive away the people of God.

    Whence it is clear that they are not to be counted among the disciples of Christ, who think that harsh and proud opinions should be followed rather than such as are gentle and meek;
    persons who, while they themselves seek God’s mercy, deny it to others . . .”

    St. Ambrose (340-379 A.D.),
    a Father and Doctor of the Church

  253. Ken G wrote:

    In other words, does his theology in some way hamper his effectiveness or ability as a pastor?

    That depends on: (1) what one thinks the role of pastor is as to whether it is ‘pastor/teacher’ as some understand that verse or whether one understands pastor as ‘shepherd’ without the emphasis on teacher. and (2) whether or not one thinks that the idea of penal substitutionary atonement is false and harmful, meeting the criteria for ‘harsh’ in the words of Ambrose.

    Personally I think we have a lot more important issues right now than agitation over theories of the atonement.

  254. Max wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
    not a whole lotta prayin’ goin’ on

    Then, God will not make American great again.

    81% of white Evangelicals voted otherwise last November.

    And the Groupthink threshold is somewhere around 80%.

  255. okrapod wrote:

    Personally I think we have a lot more important issues right now than agitation over theories of the atonement.

    That’s what fired up the Thirty Years’ War, Europe’s first real World War.

  256. Christiane wrote:

    Prayer is not a ‘should’, or a ‘must’;
    it’s like breathing ….. it’s happens, even if you are not conscious of it ….. lean into it and rest

    AMEN. And don’t let anyone try and tell you otherwise.

  257. okrapod wrote:

    Personally I think we have a lot more important issues right now than agitation over theories of the atonement.

    Hi OKRAPOD,
    what issues would you prefer to focus on?

  258. okrapod wrote:

    Personally I think we have a lot more important issues right now than agitation over theories of the atonement.

    It depends on whether or not theology is important. And if it is important, at what point do the details become unimportant? For example, I think it’s important for us to know whether or not God exists and whether or not he is for or against us. Also, whether or not he expects us to do or avoid certain things. Whether or not someone believes certain atonement theories is probably a detail that does not matter much, unless it causes them to have a view of God that justifies mistreating others. People across ages and cultures have done a pretty good job of causing harm in the name of their god. Among other reasons why theology might be important, how it impacts the way we treat others certainly is important. Another reason it is important is if it drive us toward or away from faith.

  259. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    81% of white Evangelicals voted otherwise last November.

    Don’t know where that statistic comes from, but I do not believe it is possible to verify any part of it. For starters, what does “evangelical” mean? I think it can be made to mean whatever is useful to prove a point. It must be based on exit polling, and that is all that needs to be said for its reliability. I also think that it is impossible to know whether any given voter was voting *for* a given candidate or *against* the other candidate in a binary election, which is how most voters vote. So we could not conclude that a T vote would be a MAGA vote. For the record, I did not vote for the first time in my life. I had an excused absence.

  260. Gram3 wrote:

    81% of white Evangelicals voted otherwise last November.

    Don’t know where that statistic comes from, but I do not believe it is possible to verify any part of it. For starters, what does “evangelical” mean?

    Isolated statistics can be very misleading. For one, they are gathered by exit polls which may or may not be accurate (depends on sample size, sample selection, etc.). Also, an isolated statistic does not say much about the reasons behind it. This is an interesting article that attempts some analysis: https://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/myths-debunked-why-did-white-evangelical-christians-vote-trump.

  261. Ken F wrote:

    Whether or not someone believes certain atonement theories is probably a detail that does not matter much, unless it causes them to have a view of God that justifies mistreating others.

    Exactly, Ken F.

    And I appreciate the research you’ve done on the atonement and the links you’ve found to back it up. The NeoCalvinist teachings I was subjected to at my former 9Marxist church were absolutely hateful. And yes, they got The Cross wrong.

  262. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    What was the miracle?

    A prominent non-English-speaking business woman found she had cancer with only 2 months to 1 year to live.

    An English-only-speaking prayer lady with the gift of evangelism practiced her gift daily but admitted her Baptist pastor said gifts ended with the Apostles, and he never sanctioned her gift.

    One day the prayer lady said she had to go see the business woman but she needed transportation.

    “The business woman doesn’t understand English,” we told her.

    “No matter, I must see her TODAY”,” the prayer lady said.

    “Alrighty,” we responded and brought the prayer lady to the business woman. The prayer lady witnessed to the business woman in English – not about healing from cancer – but introducing her to Jesus. The two spoke in their two different languages. Later we realized the Holy Spirit had been talking. We also gave the businesswoman a Bible in her language.

    In two months to the day, the business woman died. In the interim, she sent for a Christian pastor to come from her home country and do her funeral. The funeral was completely in the other language (no English), with many others from her community hearing the Gospel for the first time – as she was well-known. The pastor preached on Psalm 23: “This prominent businesswoman, your friend and relative, took Jesus as her Shepherd and now she is with Him. You can be too,” he said. You could have heard a pin drop. They were all shocked that she had changed her religion.

    Then the prayer lady died, and the above story was shared at her funeral. Her family said that she had also spoken to them at times with a word from God, but they never listened, and now it was too late. They had thought her Holy Spirit connection with God was a bit off.

    Her Baptist pastor declared that theologically, the Bible proved that gifts and miracles had ceased. He refuted the work of the Holy Spirit in her life, upholding the correctness of his theology.

  263. Velour wrote:

    The NeoCalvinist teachings I was subjected to at my former 9Marxist church were absolutely hateful. And yes, they got The Cross wrong.

    I’m beginning to wonder which is cause and which is effect. I had been thinking that the abuses of Calvin’s Geneva were caused by his theology. But now I’m wondering if he was simply abusive to begin with, and his theology just reflects his abusive ideas. But there does seem to be a correlation – people who are abusive often who have a twisted view of God.

  264. kKen F wrote:

    Isolated statistics can be very misleading.

    S
    Any kind of statistics can be very misleading. In this particular case, I suspect this was a designer statistic which is a two word abbreviation for a three letter word, and if the results had gone the other way, the evangelical vote statistic might magically have gone the other way, too, depending upon the Narrative required. I can think of some good reasons for this implausibly large number coming from both sides.

    Naturally, all the evangelical Calvinists were elected to elect whosoever they elected their electors to elect.

  265. Historically inaccurate. Slanderous toward good men like Tom Nettles. Doctrinally in conflict with historic Protestantism – Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican. Careless handling of Scripture. But, then, as I sample this, I find it a place for disgruntled Christians and non-Christians who have an axe to grind with historic Christianity and Christ’s church.

  266. William Smith wrote:

    Historically inaccurate. Slanderous toward good men like Tom Nettles. Doctrinally in conflict with historic Protestantism – Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican. Careless handling of Scripture. But, then, as I sample this, I find it a place for disgruntled Christians and non-Christians who have an axe to grind with historic Christianity and Christ’s church.

    What? Are you a bit unhinged and delusional or just spoofing the type.

  267. Max wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    I say we need pastors who are NOT fulfilling completely made-up CEO/motivational speaker/standing in the spotlight each Sunday/face of the church/”I am the brand”/fundraiser roles.
    Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! I’m having trouble locating those particular pastor qualifications in Scripture, yet there are a good number of those characters in American pulpits! How could that be?!
    Law Prof wrote:
    We need pastors who are humble servants who step aside and let all those with teaching gifts teach, none of them under the white hot spotlight, none of them presuming to be anything other than just another part of a Body with Jesus as the head.
    Do you reckon 21st century “Christians” would go to a church like that? Perhaps the problem lies as much with the pew as with the pulpit. Just maybe church folks don’t want pastors like that. Give us a King! So, God gives them what they want and sends leanness to their souls.
    Law Prof wrote:
    There are probably a lot of pastors at any given fellowship, but you won’t likely see them up on a stage
    Amen! I’ve known several of them during my 60+ year journey through church.

    You and I Max, we are two folks on the lee side of 50 holding hands here wondering what happened to a perfectly fine church. I used to be a SoBap myself, was baptized SoBap, taught Sunday School in a SoBap, VBS, the whole nine yards. Brother Dewey and Brother Ernie and Sister Nancy from 35 years ago at my church would be aghast at what’s happened.

  268. @Ken F:

    Dude – can’t thank you enough for the Wright link! Absolutely wonderful/helpful perspective I needed.

  269. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud UNITED STATES

  270. @ Ken F:
    That statements are not slanderous but a response to the post. The Baptists in America, including the Southern Baptists are historically Calvinistic (using “Calvinistic” in the sense of the 5 responses of the Synod of Dordt to the Remonstrants – I think that restricting Calvinism to the 5 Points is actually a truncated Calvinism). See A. H. Strong: http://www.reformedreader.org/strong.htm And historically Luther, Calvin, and Cranmer were on essentially the same page on what is called the “doctrines of grace.” And, yes, Tom Nettles is a good man, who happens to have convictions about theology you disagree with.

  271. William Smith wrote:

    The Baptists in America, including the Southern Baptists are historically Calvinistic (using “Calvinistic” in the sense of the 5 responses of the Synod of Dordt to the Remonstrants – I think that restricting Calvinism to the 5 Points is actually a truncated Calvinism).

    William,

    Are you making a distinction between mild-mannered classical Calvinists and the new hateful, rabid breed of intractable NeoCalvinists? Do you know the differences? Because they are quite significant. And it’s the NeoCalvinists that people are protesting.

  272. @ William Smith:
    I attended, 7-12 grade, a “General Association of regular baptist” school and they were definitely NOT hard core Calvanists… one of my significant teachers (history and Bible) called himself a 2.5 calvanist, and the preachers were very much along that line.. And, they were VERY clear that they did not agree with hard core calvanist.. to the point of almost being hostile to it..

  273. William Smith wrote:

    The Baptists in America, including the Southern Baptists are historically Calvinistic

    Not exactly. I was born and raised Southern Baptist back in pre-CR day, and there was a strain of calvinistic thinking there at that time. However, I raised by children Free Will Baptist, and there was not the strain of calvinistic thinking there as had been with the SBC folks. It goes back historically to Particular Baptists vs General Baptists (the terminology having to do with different doctrines of the atonement) and continues to this day in various degrees in various Baptist denoms-sometimes on a continuum like everything else of course.

  274. @ kin:
    Hi KIN,
    Ken F. is one of my favorite link people here also. The links he directs folks too are informative and thought-provoking in my opinion, always a good read. I think he has done a great deal of research and has been generous to share his resources with us here. 🙂

  275. Gram3 wrote:

    kKen F wrote:

    Isolated statistics can be very misleading.

    S
    Any kind of statistics can be very misleading. In this particular case, I suspect this was a designer statistic which is a two word abbreviation for a three letter word, and if the results had gone the other way, the evangelical vote statistic might magically have gone the other way, too, depending upon the Narrative required. I can think of some good reasons for this implausibly large number coming from both sides.

    Naturally, all the evangelical Calvinists were elected to elect whosoever they elected their electors to elect.

    Sources have to be considered these days. I would hesitate to trust any ‘statistic’ that did not come from a reputable source, yes, especially concerning ‘exit polls’. These days, it’s so bad that you can turn to Fox News for an hour and then to CNN for an hour, and you would think they were on different planets.

    Sources are key.

  276. Christiane wrote:

    These days, it’s so bad that you can turn to Fox News for an hour and then to CNN for an hour, and you would think they were on different planets.

    This is called a “WHOSE Truth?” situation.
    Where TRUTH(TM) is “whatever Advances MY Agenda”.

  277. Lea wrote:

    William Smith wrote:
    Slanderous
    Everybody’s favorite word! *eyeroll*

    Don’t forget : BITTER(TM)

  278. Muff Potter wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    81% of white Evangelicals voted otherwise last November.

    Mind boggling isn’t it?

    Especially when around 80% is the Critical Mass for Groupthink to lock in.

    As a survivor of The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay, a part of End Time Prophecy choreography was how those Left Behind would blindly follow The Antichrist no matter what the evidence, how to them The Beast was God Incarnate and Could Do No Wrong. No matter what happened (as in all the Plagues/Trumpets/Scrolls/Thunders of Revelation going down as-written), nothing out of the ordinary, move along, everything’s normal.

    And now, these same types who preached this “History Written in Advance” are behaving EXACTLY the same as the Beast Followers of their Tribfics, apparently without realizing it at all. They follow and marvel, saying “Who is like unto The Trump? Who can stand against Him?”

    Either Charles Fort was right about “The Cosmic Trickster” or we’re all living in a South Park episode.

  279. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I’m beginning to wonder which is cause and which is effect. I had been thinking that the abuses of Calvin’s Geneva were caused by his theology. But now I’m wondering if he was simply abusive to begin with, and his theology just reflects his abusive ideas. But there does seem to be a correlation – people who are abusive often who have a twisted view of God.

    To the point the two mix and go synergistic on each other, justifying and amplifying each other so you don’t know where one ends and the other begins. One big circle, spinning ever faster.

  280. Law Prof wrote:

    What? Are you a bit unhinged and delusional or just spoofing the type.

    These days, assume a Dead Serious True Believer until proven otherwise.

    Because a spoofer can’t push it as far as a True Believer.

  281. Christiane wrote:

    These days, it’s so bad that you can turn to Fox News for an hour and then to CNN for an hour, and you would think they were on different planets.

    Reminds me of a few poetic lines;

    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools…. (Kipling)

    You gotta love iambic pentameter, but who says twist-ed’ or twis-ted’ ? I always say twis’-ted or twist’-ed. It was preordained that I would not be an English major.

    Oh well, but the knaves thing-quite right.

  282. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Where TRUTH(TM) is “whatever Advances MY Agenda”.

    “The purpose of argument is to change the nature of truth.”
    — Bene Gesserit saying —

  283. @ okrapod:
    LOVED ‘If’ by Kipling – the nuns made us memorize it and quote it when we were in grade school (6th, I think). . . .

    When I read about ‘patriarchy’ and about any government gathering that rules on women’s issues that is made up totally of men, I think of Kipling, this:
    “So it comes that Man, the coward,
    when he gathers to confer
    With his fellow-braves in council,
    dare not leave a place for her
    Where, at war with Life and Conscience,
    he uplifts his erring hands
    To some God of Abstract Justice –
    which no woman understands.”

    I think you might not be so alienated from poetry, OKRAPOD, if you can pull from Kipling to make sense and restore meaning to the chaos of our modern time. 🙂 So explore your latent talent and enjoy what you discover and share it …. why not?

  284. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I’m beginning to wonder which is cause and which is effect. I had been thinking that the abuses of Calvin’s Geneva were caused by his theology. But now I’m wondering if he was simply abusive to begin with, and his theology just reflects his abusive ideas. But there does seem to be a correlation – people who are abusive often who have a twisted view of God.

    I think that he (Calvin) was more than anything, a product of his times. Remember, in his day there was no such thing as The Rights of Man. You (generic you) were at the mercy (in autocratic terms) of kings, princes, magistrates, and their confederates in the clergy.

  285. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    What? Are you a bit unhinged and delusional or just spoofing the type.
    These days, assume a Dead Serious True Believer until proven otherwise.
    Because a spoofer can’t push it as far as a True Believer.

    That is starting to be so–there was a group back in my day with an appropriate to this conversation name that sung about truth being stranger than fiction: Bad Religion.

  286. William Smith wrote:

    @ Law Prof:
    To answer your questions: 1. “What?” is what I wrote. 2. No.

    OK, then you’re evidently for real, I’ll take your word for it. But your initial post does brand you as unhinged, not quite firing on all cylinders. You sound a little less loonie now, though. One more thing: as a former Lutheran of many years, your “doctrines of grace” theory as applied to him betray you to be ignorant of at least that part of your assertions.

  287. Muff Potter wrote:

    I think that he (Calvin) was more than anything, a product of his times. Remember, in his day there was no such thing as The Rights of Man. You (generic you) were at the mercy (in autocratic terms) of kings, princes, magistrates, and their confederates in the clergy.

    I’ve always felt that arguments from historicity were poor arguments. Who cares if that was the historical belief? That doesn’t mean someone had the right belief.

    I especially find this a poor argument when referring to the Reformers. I think, if anything, they were more likely to be wrong on a number of things because they were totally opposing immediately previous beliefs. A lot was just feeling the way and understandable, but some things, like how Calvin ruled Geneva, seemed clearly wrong to me. I don’t think the early church was at all like the Reformers wanted church to be and I don’t think it was what many people want it now to be.

    In the same way, who cares if Southern Baptists were Calvinist at their start? They were also proponents of enslaving other human beings, a belief that seems to be coming around again with the New Calvinists. Again, being historical doesn’t mean being right. It’s a terrible argument, and one that shouldn’t be used to justify anything.

    The measurement should always be Christ, not history.

  288. ishy wrote:

    Again, being historical doesn’t mean being right. It’s a terrible argument, and one that shouldn’t be used to justify anything.

    I agree with you, it makes nothing right. I do think it can sometimes explain though. In life, only a few people will swim against the tide. Most go along or are persuaded or are influenced by those around them (this can be in good or bad ways). Now, obviously the reformers were standing up for something to change, but maybe only in this one thing. That doesn’t mean they saw or cared about all the other things that needed to change.

    I will say that knowing Calvin or Luther or whoever were wrong about one thing doesn’t mean they were wrong about everything. I don’t, for instance, think all the bad in the calvinistas comes in some direct line from calvin! Some of this is because other churches with similar doctrinal influences come to completely different conclusions on things.

    After reading a number of things, I think the attempted purge of all the ‘liberals’/Moderates/whoever from the SBC did great harm because it encouraged a poor treatment of others and a huge amount of pride and other evils based in doctrinal ‘rightness’. This attitude is the huge issue with the SB Calvinist wing and it informs their treatment of Calvinist thought, maybe, so they are uninterested or incapable of smoothing the rough edges. [the fundamentalists/complementarian parts of it are the same in that they are ruthless towards anyone who thinks differently and that awful pride has made them set themselves up as mini gods.]

  289. ishy wrote:

    The measurement should always be Christ, not history.

    I’m in complete agreement. I never remotely implied that historicity should be a metric for the operation of the church universal in today’s world. I would also argue that the neo-cals and many present day arminian outfits to boot remain stuck in the 16th century, which was the overriding gist of my comment.
    I thank God for The Enlightenment, its thinkers, and the continuing influence it has on Christianity. In my opinion, the church universal is still evolving.

  290. Muff Potter wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    The measurement should always be Christ, not history.
    I’m in complete agreement. I never remotely implied that historicity should be a metric for the operation of the church universal in today’s world. I would also argue that the neo-cals and many present day arminian outfits to boot remain stuck in the 16th century, which was the overriding gist of my comment.
    I thank God for The Enlightenment, its thinkers, and the continuing influence it has on Christianity. In my opinion, the church universal is still evolving.

    Oh no, I was carrying on your argument, not refuting it, and addressing some of the other points in the thread.

  291. Muff Potter wrote:

    In my opinion, the church universal is still evolving.

    it is said that the important things of God transcend place and time …. in the Hebrew tradition, the celebration of Passover is experienced as though the celbrants are present THEN at the time of the very first Passover’;
    and in the celebration of the Eucharist, the same concept is celebrated: that Christians experience the Eucharist as if they were ‘present again’ at Calvary …..

    In Jewish tradition and in Christian orthodoxy, the deep things of God are eternal in their transcience: outside of the boundaries of time and place

    Christ ‘was’ and ‘is’ and ‘is to come’. So, yes, the measurement should always be about Christ. And yes, the Church universal is still evolving with Him at its head.

  292. William Smith wrote:

    The Baptists in America, including the Southern Baptists are historically Calvinistic

    There is no warrant for such a blanket statement which tends to mislead. There were non-Calvinistic Baptists which pre-dated the SBC in the America, including the South, and Dr. Nettles knows this. Lots of other people know that he knows this, too. In fact, every Southern Baptist historian knows this. No one has said that Dr. Nettles is not a good man. I assume that he is, but for some reason he is stuck on this groove.

  293. ishy wrote:

    . I’ve always felt that arguments from historicity were poor arguments. Who cares if that was the historical belief? That doesn’t mean someone had the right belief. I especially find this a poor argument when referring to the Reformers. I think, if anything, they were more likely to be wrong on a number of things because they were totally opposing immediately previous beliefs.

    Funny because that argument from tradition is precisely what Jesus fought when He walked among us. So when I hear these people claim to be following Christ when their arguments come less from Christ than from their own favorite church fathers (excluding, of course, the Arminian church fathers), I wonder exactly what about them resembles Christ at all and who they really follow.

    There are a lot of people out there, many of them Calvinists, many of them young and with the type of arrogance that only comes from profound ignorance and insecurity, who bluff about the “historical this and that” when they no more have the tools to put history in context than I have to sprout wings and fly. Their great learning often comes from attending seminars and seminaries and reading books popular within their circles where they hear one view only, taught by faux academics only slightly more knowledgeable than them. They can cherry pick some quotes of the reformers and scriptures and fire them right out at you, which they have been trained to do, but it is all bluff.

    They are simpletons, fakes. Don’t give them much time, their thoughts aren’t worth it.

  294. ishy wrote:

    In the same way, who cares if Southern Baptists were Calvinist at their start?

    Were the Landmarkers Calvinist? I’m so confused on the timeline… 🙂

  295. Gram3 wrote:

    ishy wrote:
    In the same way, who cares if Southern Baptists were Calvinist at their start?
    Were the Landmarkers Calvinist? I’m so confused on the timeline…

    I they did come later than Southern Baptists. I think people from every denomination have tried the apostolic succession argument at one point or other.

    Law Prof made a good point that the Christ often refuted arguments from history and tradition. But most of us know that Jesus isn’t really the model of many authoritarians. I do believe he is the way to confront those who may not have realized it yet. A lot of people in authoritarian churches think their churches are Christian when their church doesn’t follow Christ at all.

  296. Muff Potter wrote:

    I think that he (Calvin) was more than anything, a product of his times.

    Based on your comments below, I don’t think you mean this as a way to excuse Calvin’s behavior. But it’s a very common excuse for Calvin that I hear from Calvinists. Jesus did not live in such nice times, yet he was not a product of his time. I think he expects us to rise above our times. I suppose one can argue that people should not follow Calvin precisely because he was no better than a product of his times.

  297. @ Christiane:
    Thank you for your kind words. I have received much more from everyone here on this site than I have been able to contribute. Topics brought up in posts and comments have inspired me to investigate things I would never have thought to investigate. It’s been stimulating.

  298. William Smith wrote:

    That statements are not slanderous but a response to the post.

    What is your goal in interacting with people in the comments section of this blog? Are you hoping for civil dialogue? Hoping to learn? Hoping to change minds? You entered the conversation quite abruptly and rudely, which makes me wonder whether or not it is worthwhile to address your thought. And nearly everything you wrote is factually incorrect. Accusing all of us of slander and making false claims is not such a good way to enter a conversation. I’m wondering why you did it that way.

  299. @ ishy:
    I meant to leave a wink instead of a smiley…

    I think that it does not help the cause of Calvinism to highlight its historical connection to chattel slavery in the American South. Richard Furman and George Whitefield come to mind. There were so many, many others. Slavery is not inevitable within deterministic systems, but it surely fits well within them.

    I would really love to hear from Dr. Nettles or Dr. Haykin why they believe that the esteemed Calvinists in the American South defended chattel slavery and were so morally blind to it if Calvinism is the truest form of the Christian faith? Why did they send so many brave young men to their deaths to defend such a great moral evil and leave so many women widows and so many children orphans? The standard answer that “they were men of their times” is not an adequate response to those questions.

  300. Muff Potter wrote:

    I think that he (Calvin) was more than anything, a product of his times.

    Yikes. I just used that in a comment I just wrote. Top downism got me again.

  301. Ken F wrote:

    Accusing all of us of slander and making false claims is not such a good way to enter a conversation. I’m wondering why you did it that way.

    Because that’s the way William and people in his circle roll. Just what’s in their hearts, evidently. It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of their mouths that defiles them, I seem to recall someone great saying once.

  302. Gram3 wrote:

    I think that it does not help the cause of Calvinism to highlight its historical connection to chattel slavery in the American South. Richard Furman and George Whitefield come to mind. There were so many, many others. Slavery is not inevitable within deterministic systems, but it surely fits well within them.

    It’s becoming a habit now, but just like “The Gospel Coalition Machiavelli” is a frightening and enlightening web search, “The Gospel Coalition slavery” is another one. That one I had done previous to today when I saw one of their editors hinting that slavery might be supported by the Bible. Doug Wilson has also said that supporting marriage equality is worse than supporting slavery, and a few of the TGC people rushed to defend him.

    I don’t know what the Founders’ views are on that, but they certainly don’t seem to be supporting those who oppose the New Calvinists.

  303. William Smith wrote:

    The Baptists in America, including the Southern Baptists are historically Calvinistic

    Yep, the fact that SBC was formed by Calvinist slave-holders is indisputable. However, Southern Baptists had enough sense after the Civil War to distance themselves from their Calvinistic roots. They remained non-Calvinist in belief and practice as their primary default theology for over 150 years, until the New Calvinists came along to drag them back to where they don’t want to go … so they have to takeover churches by stealth and deception.

  304. Law Prof wrote:

    You and I Max, we are two folks on the lee side of 50 holding hands here wondering what happened to a perfectly fine church.

    LP, my father used to say there are three types of people in the world: (1) those who plan to make things happen, (2) those who make things happen, and (3) those who wonder “What happened?!”

    Most Southern Baptists fall in the latter category. How did they get there? Certainly, apathy and complacency about the things of God over the years have played a role. But, when it comes to Calvinization of their denomination … some are uninformed, some are misinformed, and many more are just willingly ignorant.

  305. ishy wrote:

    Doug Wilson has also said that supporting marriage equality is worse than supporting slavery, and a few of the TGC people rushed to defend him.

    Well, Doug Wilson co-authored a little book about slavery that made the argument that slavery was a good thing, so of course marriage equality has to be worse, because in his eyes it would be a bad thing.

    Seriously. I don’t remember many of the details anymore, except that most slaves were like members of the household, and that slavery was part of god’s plan for evangelism, even, as the slaves were more likely to hear the gospel from their christian owners than if they’d remained free in Africa. He talked about how emotionally close slaves and their owners and owners’ families were, and that books like Uncle Tom’s Cabin were grossly exaggerated (if not totally made-up) propaganda.

    Oh, there was also a charge of plagiarism against him and co-author Steve Wilkins, and if I remember right, all blame went to Wilkins. It has become sort of a pattern with Wilson–he’s been charged more than once with plagiarism and has been able to fob it off on a co-author. Either he has a way of getting co-authors to take all responsibility (even when he should get at least some of the blame), or he’s a really rotten judge of people to co-author books with.

  306. Gram3 wrote:

    I would really love to hear from Dr. Nettles or Dr. Haykin why they believe that the esteemed Calvinists in the American South defended chattel slavery and were so morally blind to it if Calvinism is the truest form of the Christian faith? Why did they send so many brave young men to their deaths to defend such a great moral evil and leave so many women widows and so many children orphans? The standard answer that “they were men of their times” is not an adequate response to those questions.

    What we were taught by the slavery proponents was that the South was fighting for states’ rights, not slavery. We were told that slavery would have died a natural death anyhow, within a decade or two, after the invention of the cotton gin.

    The other part of the argument, as I mentioned, was that in their view, slavery was actually benign. The civilized White Man was taking these uncivilized savages and teaching them about the bible and how to live in a civilized manner. Maybe not stated in those exact words, but that was the gist.

    This is not my view; I am simply reporting teachings by Doug Wilson and Steve Wilkins, among others.

  307. refugee wrote:

    What we were taught by the slavery proponents was that the South was fighting for states’ rights, not slavery. We were told that slavery would have died a natural death anyhow, within a decade or two, after the invention of the cotton gin.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention one irony. I don’t know if this is true or not (I don’t remember the source, whether I read this in a Wilson-approved history book, or more recently in a secular college history textbook), but evidently the Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves in the south, not slaves held in Northern states (like Maryland?). So it was seen as an act of war against the Southern states and their economy. One of the names I heard for the Civil War from Wilson and Wilkins (besides War between the States) was the War of Northern Aggression.

  308. refugee wrote:

    Doug Wilson and Steve Wilkins

    Steve Wilkins, another Federal Visionist, is also another fabulist. I have heard those stories as well. Let’s assume that their tales are true. None of those things makes chattel slavery moral or justify it. None of those things at all. The Civil War was a complicated mess, and anyone who says it was *not* about slavery or that it was *only* about slavery is not telling the truth. And anyone who denies that the Northern states did not profit from the Southern states’ agricultural output based on slave labor and indentured labor is also not telling the truth. It was ugly all the way around.

  309. refugee wrote:

    Oh, there was also a charge of plagiarism against him and co-author Steve Wilkins, and if I remember right, all blame went to Wilkins. It has become sort of a pattern with Wilson–he’s been charged more than once with plagiarism and has been able to fob it off on a co-author. Either he has a way of getting co-authors to take all responsibility (even when he should get at least some of the blame), or he’s a really rotten judge of people to co-author books with.

    There are so many things wrong with Doug Wilson, and yet so many people still defend him. I don’t get it at all. I think he would just be a huge liability.

  310. ishy wrote:

    There are so many things wrong with Doug Wilson, and yet so many people still defend him. I don’t get it at all.

    Cult Leader.
    “Who is like unto The Beast? Who can stand against Him?”

    (Incidentally, I’m a survivor of “Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist”. But Revelation can also be taken as describing repeating patterns in human society. This insight was a factor in cracking the hold of the Rapture Ready crowd.)

  311. @ Velour:
    I very much expect that the earlier Baptist Calvinists were much more polemic than the modern ones – it was the nature of the age, before the age of “niceness’ made strong conviction to be “unloving.” I think the modern proponents of Baptist Calvinism are not much different from the older ones.@ Max:
    refugee wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    I would really love to hear from Dr. Nettles or Dr. Haykin why they believe that the esteemed Calvinists in the American South defended chattel slavery and were so morally blind to it if Calvinism is the truest form of the Christian faith? Why did they send so many brave young men to their deaths to defend such a great moral evil and leave so many women widows and so many children orphans? The standard answer that “they were men of their times” is not an adequate response to those questions.
    What we were taught by the slavery proponents was that the South was fighting for states’ rights, not slavery. We were told that slavery would have died a natural death anyhow, within a decade or two, after the invention of the cotton gin.
    The other part of the argument, as I mentioned, was that in their view, slavery was actually benign. The civilized White Man was taking these uncivilized savages and teaching them about the bible and how to live in a civilized manner. Maybe not stated in those exact words, but that was the gist.

    @ Max:
    Calvinism and slavery go together? Only if the Scriptures and slavery go together. The end of slavery required the renunciation of Calvinism in order to go forward? What utter hooey.

  312. refugee wrote:

    What we were taught by the slavery proponents was that the South was fighting for states’ rights, not slavery. We were told that slavery would have died a natural death anyhow, within a decade or two, after the invention of the cotton gin.

    B**l. S**t.
    The cotton gin was what revived and grew The Peculiar Institution. It processed cotton fiber so easily and in such volume it made cotton into King Cotton and made the need for Animate Property boom like dot-coms in the Nineties.

    One of the names I heard for the Civil War from Wilson and Wilkins (besides War between the States) was the War of Northern Aggression.

    When you hear “War of Northern Aggression”, think FUNDAMENTALIST “The South Shall Rise Again”. As in Burning Cross and 1862-pattern Starry Cross. These days, only diehard White Supremacists use that term. (And the Jerk with the Kirk is in IDAHO, not Alabam or Ol’Miss! Only time the Klan got that far North was the Second Klan in the Roaring Twenties!)

  313. refugee wrote:

    Oh, there was also a charge of plagiarism against him and co-author Steve Wilkins, and if I remember right, all blame went to Wilkins.

    Falling on his sword to protect The Great One.

  314. @ Velour:
    I very much expect that the earlier Baptist Calvinists were much more polemic than the modern ones – it was the nature of the age, before the age of “niceness’ made strong conviction to be “unloving.” I think the modern proponents of Baptist Calvinism are not much different from the older ones.@ Max:
    refugee wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    I would really love to hear from Dr. Nettles or Dr. Haykin why they believe that the esteemed Calvinists in the American South defended chattel slavery and were so morally blind to it if Calvinism is the truest form of the Christian faith? Why did they send so many brave young men to their deaths to defend such a great moral evil and leave so many women widows and so many children orphans? The standard answer that “they were men of their times” is not an adequate response to those questions.
    What we were taught by the slavery proponents was that the South was fighting for states’ rights, not slavery. We were told that slavery would have died a natural death anyhow, within a decade or two, after the invention of the cotton gin.
    The other part of the argument, as I mentioned, was that in their view, slavery was actually benign. The civilized White Man was taking these uncivilized savages and teaching them about the bible and how to live in a civilized manner. Maybe not stated in those exact words, but that was the gist.

    @ Max:

    @ Mae:
    Sure you have your truth. I have mind. Welcome to post-modern relativism.

  315. refugee wrote:

    What we were taught by the slavery proponents was that the South was fighting for states’ rights, not slavery.

    Actually, both are true.
    In the South, States’ Rights was so intertwined with their Peculiar Institution there was no way to separate the two. The Right to Animate Property WAS one of the main States’ Rights they were fighting for!

    The North and South had developed two separate cultures clear back to Colonial times and American history between 1776 and 1861 was a long balancing act between the two to prevent the USA from splitting apart. NOBODY’S HANDS – NORTH OR SOUTH – WERE CLEAN ON THIS ONE!

    Plus, before the Civil War the name “United States” was a COLLECTIVE plural noun: “The United States ARE…”. After, it became singular: “The United States IS…”. Before the war, regional and state identity – North AND South – were much more important than afterwards.

  316. Ken F wrote:

    William Smith wrote:
    That statements are not slanderous but a response to the post.
    What is your goal in interacting with people in the comments section of this blog? Are you hoping for civil dialogue? Hoping to learn? Hoping to change minds? You entered the conversation quite abruptly and rudely, which makes me wonder whether or not it is worthwhile to address your thought. And nearly everything you wrote is factually incorrect. Accusing all of us of slander and making false claims is not such a good way to enter a conversation. I’m wondering why you did it that way.

    Simple, because what was written was slanderous toward Dr. Nettles and the claims made were false.

  317. Gram3 wrote:

    I think that it does not help the cause of Calvinism to highlight its historical connection to chattel slavery in the American South. Richard Furman and George Whitefield come to mind. There were so many, many others. Slavery is not inevitable within deterministic systems, but it surely fits well within them.

    Slavery is even being defended to this day within Extreme Islam, using the identical Cosmic Justification of SCRIPTURE – Since slavery is spoken about and regulated and normal in the Holy Book, it must be commanded by God.

    This leads to such things as blind people in Cameroon or Sudan being given seeing-eye SLAVES as a charitable gift because dogs are Unclean.

  318. Law Prof wrote:

    William Smith wrote:
    @ Law Prof:
    To answer your questions: 1. “What?” is what I wrote. 2. No.
    OK, then you’re evidently for real, I’ll take your word for it. But your initial post does brand you as unhinged, not quite firing on all cylinders. You sound a little less loonie now, though. One more thing: as a former Lutheran of many years, your “doctrines of grace” theory as applied to him betray you to be ignorant of at least that part of your assertions.

    Have you read Luther’s The Bondage of the Will?

  319. William Smith wrote:

    Simple, because what was written was slanderous toward Dr. Nettles and the claims made were false.

    Another Attack Dog coming out of the woodwork to Defend the Faith (and his ManaGAWD)?

  320. Velour wrote:

    Hemp Twill. LOL.

    No reference whatsoever to my misspent Woodstock youth. Hemp fiber cloth and paper are durable, long-lasting, and are making a comeback after years of demonization by a well meaning and yet misguided federal policy. An old work crony of mine has an Ephemeris (used for maritime navigation) published in 1854 on hemp paper with an all hemp binding and spine. It shows none of the signs of deterioration other non-hemp works of the period are prone to.

  321. William Smith wrote:

    Simple, because what was written was slanderous toward Dr. Nettles and the claims made were false.

    I don’t think you know the definition for slander. Please describe how he was slandered in this post.

  322. William Smith wrote:

    Simple, because what was written was slanderous toward Dr. Nettles and the claims made were false.

    It would be helpful if you would cite which claims were slanderous and then make a valid argument for your claim that said claims are slanderous. Because otherwise your claim that the claims of the post and the commenters are slanderous may itself be considered just as slanderous. See how that works?

    Do you have an explanation for why such bright lights of Calvinism in the SBC supported chattel slavery? Why they were so morally blind when they were so bound to obey God’s law?

  323. ishy wrote:

    “The Gospel Coalition slavery” is another one. That one I had done previous to today when I saw one of their editors hinting that slavery might be supported by the Bible. Doug Wilson has also said that supporting marriage equality is worse than supporting slavery

    I haven’t looked into that one, but who can be surprised when they embrace people like Doug ‘slavery is awesome’ Wilson.

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Before the war, regional and state identity – North AND South – were much more important than afterwards.

    Indeed. After reading about the southern Baptist Calvinists I was trying to remember what happened with the Presbyterians and basically the southern ones split off. I don’t think any of that was about Calvinism.

  324. ishy wrote:

    slavery might be supported by the Bible

    Also, and I think they do this with ‘patriarchy’ as well, a lot of people confuse slavery being IN the bible, with slavery being ‘supported’ by the bible.

    Different. Things.

  325. refugee wrote:

    but evidently the Emancipation Proclamation only freed the slaves in the south, not slaves held in Northern states (like Maryland?).

    I believe this is true, and slavery was not officially outlawed in all states till the 13th amendment.

    Also, I learned on one of those ‘track your ancestors’ shows that slavery was not outlawed on reservations until even later?

  326. Okay, I have chosen a fabric. Bamboo. Somebody gave RE a bamboo blanket some years back and it is great-comfortable, durable, soft to the touch, has a little weight to it, does well in the washer and dryer.

    Except I am not going to forsake okra for bamboo; bamboo is just a nickname.

  327. ishy wrote:

    That one I had done previous to today when I saw one of their editors hinting that slavery might be supported by the Bible.

    there is no way that hyper-patriarchy isn’t a form of slavery …… ‘graciously’ submit ?

    honestly, that business for wives isn’t the worst of it ….. look at the daughters who never leave home, don’t marry, never go to college, don’t even date unless their father chooses a ‘suitor’ to ‘court them’ …. when I see pictures of the beautiful Botkin sisters, I feel sad for them, for their lost freedom to be who they were meant to be

    hyper-patriarchy? a form of slavery which requires a ‘master’ and a, well, you can fill in whatever term you want, but don’t write down ‘respected human person’, no

    and what does hyper-patriarchy do for MEN but teach them to ignore the mature Christian standard for marriage of having awe and respect for one another and to mutually submit to one another “out of reverence for Christ.”

    Patriarchal marriages are not Christian models for marriage, no.

  328. @ Lea:

    Yes. I never heard it said seriously. But then, this resurgence of talk about both slavery and the civil war is more discussion of either than I heard for decades before this. I don’t know how this all got started, but it is odd that now this all comes up again.

  329. okrapod wrote:

    @ Lea:
    Yes. I never heard it said seriously. But then, this resurgence of talk about both slavery and the civil war is more discussion of either than I heard for decades before this. I don’t know how this all got started, but it is odd that now this all comes up again.

    I am suddenly reminded of a few things I have read by both Piper and Bruce Ware, emphasizing the “man’s place” returning to an earthly kingdom. And in a kingdom, everyone is really a slave to the King.

    John Piper writes: “God has revealed himself to us in the Bible pervasively as King, not Queen, and as Father, not Mother. The second person of the Trinity is revealed as the eternal Son. The Father and the Son created man and woman in his image, and gave them together the name of the man, Adam (Genesis 5:2). God appoints all the priests in Israel to be men. The Son of God comes into the world as a man, not a woman. He chooses twelve men to be his apostles. The apostles tell the churches that all the overseers—the pastor/elders who teach and have authority should be men.”

    Bruce Ware writes “What we see, then, is this: Because the Father is the eternal Father of the eternal Son, the Father always acts in ways that befit who he distinctively is as Father such that, among other things, he eternally possesses and expresses Fatherly authority; the Son as the eternal Son of the eternal Father correspondingly always acts in ways that befit who he distinctively is as Son such that, among other things, he eternally possesses and expresses a submission to act gladly and freely as Agent of the Father. The Bible’s discussion of the roles and functions of the Trinitarian persons points to this repeatedly. The Father sends and the Son goes. The Father plans and the Son executes the plan of the Father. The Father designs and the Son implements the design of the Father. One never finds the reverse. One never sees the Son commanding and the Father obeying, the Son sending and the Father going. There is a stubborn irreversibility in the outworking of the Trinitarian roles, along with other clear, unambiguous teaching that the Son is fully equal to and one with the Father.”

    I think Piper is dead wrong here. I think earthly kings were exactly opposite of how Jesus wanted to represent Himself. God is better than our idea of a King, and I don’t think He wants us to think of Him that way and Jesus makes that clear to the disciples over and over again. He’s God, not emperor or king.

    And Ware set up ESS theology and then compares men to this absolute king. Aside from the way it treats women, no one in TGC talks about where this puts men once you go deeper than that point. There’s only one king, but they all want to set themselves up as kings with everyone as their slaves. Nearly all of the New Calvinist leaders appointed themselves or their friends. They assigned themselves authority over others. It’s something straight out of a fantasy novel (apologies to GRR Martin).

  330. Christiane wrote:

    Patriarchal marriages are not Christian models for marriage, no.

    But they’ll swear up and down that this is what the Bible “teaches”.

  331. ishy wrote:

    And in a kingdom, everyone is really a slave to the King.

    Oh! And what was that article the other day about pastors only being 1 or 2 of 3 things and one of those things was ‘king’ (others being priest and prophet?). That stood out. Apparently ‘Leaders’ = ‘Kings’.

    I was reading an article about the Sister Cesnik Case and they interviewed someone who was talking abusive priests and he said this:

    There is yet another path of thought down which a narcissistic or otherwise maladjusted priest can be led astray, according to Sipe. And it goes something like this; To be male and celibate, as seen through the long lens of traditional Catholic perspective, is superior to being female and sexual, says Sipe. In fact, female sexuality is the scapegoat for a lot of earthly misery, from Adam’s fall on, acknowledges Catholic University’s Fr. Collins. “When you blame one group for something,” asserts Sipe. “and you declare another group superior, and then thirdly you reserve the power to this superior group, it lines up the inferior group to be used at the service of the superior group.” <b?The temptation for members of the elite, he continues, is to hold themselves blameless for breaking certain codes of behavior, and even for thinking themselves above such codes

    This quote is catholic specific obviously, but I think the general concept applies, particularly the bolded part, to a lot of this. How big of narcisst do you have to be to openly refer to yourself in the category of king? Comp theory, priests and pastors over parishioners, etc all go to the same end. nowhere good. I think there is a reason Jesus emphasized that we are to be servants, not kings!
    Servant does not = dictatorial boss.

  332. okrapod wrote:

    I don’t know how this all got started

    It’s because Dr. Nettles wants to assert that Calvinism is inseparable from SBC origins and apparently is also necessary to the health of the SBC, and some of us want to say that slavery is also inseparable from SBC origins which is something that Dr. Nettles also knows very well but is not quite so eager to acknowledge. I think that it is a curiously selective reading of the facts for a serious historian.

  333. ishy wrote:

    There’s only one king, but they all want to set themselves up as kings with everyone as their slaves. Nearly all of the New Calvinist leaders appointed themselves or their friends. They assigned themselves authority over others. It’s something straight out of a fantasy novel (apologies to GRR Martin).

    Yes, and that is how they sell the system to the male pewpeons. Going back to the Doriani post a few posts ago, he writes about the prophet-priest-king model which is nowhere in the text of the Bible. It is totally made up. ESS is totally made up. Male hierarchy is totally made up, or at least I am assuming it is because I have never had anyone produce the text where God ordains male authority over females prior to the fall. Not even the brain trust that met secretly at Danvers could produce those verses in their Manifesto. Not even the authors of RBMW. So, that’s totally made up. But it makes very small and insecure people feel like important people. It puffs them up, in other words, at the expense of other people. And that is exactly the opposite of what Jesus, the Messiah told us to do. They are preaching a false gospel and a false religion that crowds out the true gospel of freedom in Christ and mutual love and respect for one another.

  334. Gram3 wrote:

    Yes, and that is how they sell the system to the male pewpeons.

    But that’s just it–they want to rule all the other men, too. I guess they view it like Jesus’ ministry and their church takeovers–if you don’t talk about it, nobody will notice you are trying to take them over.

    I think Mars Hill was one place where that power struggle started coming out. Of course, only some of the peons have talked about that.

    And dee posted on Twitter about FBC Durham on an about Andy Davis taking over that church “confronted powerful deacons and committees” like he was a superhero battling evil villains”. If they think that giving absolute power to a pastor is going to stop other men from thinking they might be king, too–frankly, they’re idiots. Especially when they encourage their very young YRRs to be aggressive and militant while thinking of themselves as the smartest guy in the room.

    Highlander might have said “There can be only one”, but only Jesus is that. None of them will be it.

  335. Muff Potter wrote:

    But they’ll swear up and down that this is what the Bible “teaches”.

    I challenged a couple of seminary-educated guys to show me in my NASB where the Bible teaches that God ordained male authority over female as part of God’s good and beautiful design. They are very conservative, supposedly. I am very conservative, and at that point I assumed that we had a similar view of how to interpret the Bible, and that is that you do not make stuff up to get to a pre-determined “answer.”

    They could not do it. They were probably swearing up and down on the inside (in a different sense of the word), but on the outside they were just making up stuff that was silly and embarrassing. Complementarians are not conservatives. They are radicals who are agenda-driven in their interpretation of the Bible.

  336. ishy wrote:

    they want to rule all the other men, too

    The way they rule all the other men is to make all of the other men believe that they are the prophets, priests, and kings in their own homes. It is a ridiculous notion, but what is worse is that for men with tender consciences it is a heavy burden to bear. It is a horrible and abusive trap for men and for women, but in different ways.

    It is part of the over-interpretation of the metaphor of Jesus as the Bridegroom of the Church such that what is true of Jesus is or can be true of a human husband.

  337. okrapod wrote:

    Okay, I have chosen a fabric. Bamboo

    @Bamboo
    @Velour
    @Muslin
    @Hemp Twill

    I believe taking the name of a fabric on this blog makes one an honorary sibling of the daughters of Satin.

  338. Gram3 wrote:

    It is part of the over-interpretation of the metaphor of Jesus as the Bridegroom of the Church such that what is true of Jesus is or can be true of a human husband.

    They do make promises about becoming elders one day. And especially to the YRR–go to seminary, become a pastor, be in charge… At the rate they are turning out indoctrinated baby pastors, there’s bound to be a point where they start trying to kill each other for the positions in the larger churches (that pay better and make them famous).

    Those men are the bride, not the Bridegroom, though. Never heard them talk about that part of the Bible.

  339. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    Okay, I have chosen a fabric. Bamboo
    @Bamboo
    @Velour
    @Muslin
    @Hemp Twill
    I believe taking the name of a fabric on this blog makes one an honorary sibling of the daughters of Satin.

    I’m still Flannel.

  340. Has anyone discussed this yet: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/u-turn-north-carolina-story-church-reform

    When Davis finished his PhD in church history in 1998, he accepted the call as pastor of the historic First Baptist Church Durham, North Carolina. Scripture memory and meditation sustained him as he withstood a powerful faction of deacons and committee chairs. In 2001, his opponents tried to drive him away after he led the church to change the bylaws to reflect biblical roles of gender and authority.

    It’s the story of a highly successful New-Calvinist church takeover.

  341. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Has anyone discussed this yet: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/u-turn-north-carolina-story-church-reform
    When Davis finished his PhD in church history in 1998, he accepted the call as pastor of the historic First Baptist Church Durham, North Carolina. Scripture memory and meditation sustained him as he withstood a powerful faction of deacons and committee chairs. In 2001, his opponents tried to drive him away after he led the church to change the bylaws to reflect biblical roles of gender and authority.
    It’s the story of a highly successful New-Calvinist church takeover.

    Few posts up…

  342. ishy wrote:

    And dee posted on Twitter about FBC Durham on an about Andy Davis taking over that church “confronted powerful deacons and committees” like he was a superhero battling evil villains”.

    And yelling ‘repent’ at them because they dared to vote in a female deacon even though he told them not to! Clearly they’re all unregenerate because they 1. value a woman and 2. don’t do what they’re told. Which of those is the bigger sin, I wonder?

  343. I remember a lot of people going over to FBCD from Southeastern, even though it was about an hour drive. When people told me about the church, like it was some amazing display of Christian righteousness, it sounded to me like the worst possible church to join. Several single guys left the church I was at and started going there because they were recruited to a “mens power group” or something like that, and I remember being suspicious about it.

    I usually have a pretty good sense of when something is very wrong. Just like with that, I may not know why, but often years later I find out.

  344. William Smith wrote:

    Have you read Luther’s The Bondage of the Will?

    Luther’s Bondage of the Will seems to be one area where Calvin and Luther agreed. They certainly did not agree on everything. Even today, Lutherans and Calvinists disagree in significant ways. To paint the picture as if Luther and Calvin were tightly connected theologically is very misleading.

  345. ishy wrote:

    And dee posted on Twitter about FBC Durham on an about Andy Davis taking over that church “confronted powerful deacons and committees” like he was a superhero battling evil villains”.

    The church is listed on the church directories for Founders, 9Marx, and TGC. What could go wrong with that?

  346. Gram3 wrote:

    Do you have an explanation for why such bright lights of Calvinism in the SBC supported chattel slavery? Why they were so morally blind when they were so bound to obey God’s law?

    This is a very good point. That fact that the SBC Moved away from slavery is considered good, but the fact that it also moved away from Calvinism is considered bad. This is very inconsistent. Founders has no rationale to appeal to history unless they also want to also embrace their old fight for slavery. If the convention can change its mind on slavery then it can also change its mind on Calvinism. But that does not fit their agenda. No wonder they have to resort to misrepresenting the truth.

  347. Gram3 wrote:

    I think that it is a curiously selective reading of the facts for a serious historian.

    argumentum ad antiquitatem (argument from tradition)

    I need to see who gave this man a PhD and in what but did not tip him off about this. Or if he knows good and well but just hopes that nobody notices.

    Aha: Mississippi College, Southwestern for M.Div and PhD in ‘historical theology’. So who told him that if something is old/traditional then it is right, Southwestern or himself? If the seminaries where he taught let him also teach that old makes right because of tradition then things are a lot worse than just this one man’s ideas. Somebody might as well shut down the seminaries.

  348. okrapod wrote:

    If the seminaries where he taught let him also teach that old makes right because of tradition then things are a lot worse than just this one man’s ideas.

    Seems to undermine the whole foundation of the reformation. SOLA TRADITION!

  349. Muff Potter wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    Patriarchal marriages are not Christian models for marriage, no.

    But they’ll swear up and down that this is what the Bible “teaches”.

    In the sacrament of Christian marriage, the mature Christian standard is ‘either to other’, having awe and respect for one another, and mutually submitting to one another “out of reverence for Christ.”

    Without the ‘mutual’ service, the whole paradigm of the marriage lived ‘out of reverence for the Christ Who modeled self-giving’ falls apart.

    If a husband and a wife have a mature ‘love’ for one another in the Christian sense, they will seek ways to serve and honor one another …… you won’t hear ‘I’m the boss of you’ being yelled out by the husband OR the wife, no. No one is shamed by being treated as ‘lesser’. If anything, ‘honoring’ one another leads to mutual trust and strengthens the bond for those times when sickness and trouble may come.

  350. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    okrapod wrote:
    Okay, I have chosen a fabric. Bamboo
    @Bamboo
    @Velour
    @Muslin
    @Hemp Twill
    I believe taking the name of a fabric on this blog makes one an honorary sibling of the daughters of Satin.

    And don’t forget our beloved green-eyed Kevlar (aka Nancy2), fearless leader of our official camp in Kentucky – Camp Backbone!

  351. Ken F wrote:

    Founders has no rationale to appeal to history unless they also want to also embrace their old fight for slavery.

    Precisely. I do not think you will ever hear any of the Founders address that question, however. It is a silly argument to make for exactly that reason, but they count on people not thinking, and it is usually a good bet.

  352. okrapod wrote:

    I need to see who gave this man a PhD and in what but did not tip him off about this. Or if he knows good and well but just hopes that nobody notices.

    As I said in a comment (top downism got me again so I did not see your comment before I wrote mine) I think they believe no one will notice, and that is usually a good bet. Ages ago we had to take logic in high school. Dr. Nettles and his peers are not kids, so I assume these guys at least took at least one course in undergrad. No excuses. They publish in journals with editors. No excuses. I think the real reason is that no one cares if there is sound reasoning or if there is sound exegesis. I think that the only thing that matters is that a certain number of words need to be written on a certain topic from a certain viewpoint by a certain date. As I have said so many times before, let me see the publishing and conference contracts, and a lot of questions would be answered about a lot of things.

  353. Gram3 wrote:

    They publish in journals with editors. No excuses. I think the real reason is that no one cares if there is sound reasoning or if there is sound exegesis. I think that the only thing that matters is that a certain number of words need to be written on a certain topic from a certain viewpoint by a certain date. As I have said so many times before, let me see the publishing and conference contracts, and a lot of questions would be answered about a lot of things.

    Well, TGC is now openly using Machiavelli as a primary source for their articles and there was a slew of comments to the effect of “This article is SO BIBLICAL!” from their mindless followers. They’ve all figured out they can pretty much write whatever they want and people will still follow them.

  354. ishy wrote:

    Well, TGC is now openly using Machiavelli as a primary source for their articles and there was a slew of comments to the effect of “This article is SO BIBLICAL!” from their mindless followers.

    Mindless is right.

    I wondered if somebody just got out school, quoting Machiavelli. Do they do the classics/western civ stuff in seminary? It came off as they think they sound smart for quoting him, when what they actually sound is utterly without morals.

  355. Gram3 wrote:

    I think that the only thing that matters is that a certain number of words need to be written on a certain topic from a certain viewpoint by a certain date.

    Like writing pulp genre fiction during the Great Depression.

    Elron Hubbard (of subsequent fame) even loaded his typewriter with a roll of butcher paper so he didn’t need to stop to change sheets.

  356. ishy wrote:

    Well, TGC is now openly using Machiavelli as a primary source for their articles and there was a slew of comments to the effect of “This article is SO BIBLICAL!” from their mindless followers.

    Worship of ‘the powerful leader’ seems to be a fixture of our modern time. It’s as though ‘great leader’ will be strong enough to cut through to that place where ‘we’ will again be ‘strong’ and dominant.

    It’s an old play book. It has a terrible ending. Every time.

    What did they do with the great Leader Who came who did have the right play book??? They crucified Him.

    When will we ever learn???

  357. Christiane wrote:

    Worship of ‘the powerful leader’ seems to be a fixture of our modern time. It’s as though ‘great leader’ will be strong enough to cut through to that place where ‘we’ will again be ‘strong’ and dominant.

    “Germany was in real trouble —
    What a sad sad story!
    Needed a new Leader
    To restore her former Glory!
    Where oh where was he?
    Where could that man be?”
    — Mel Brooks, The Producers (by way of Doctor Demento)

  358. ishy wrote:

    Gram3 wrote:
    They publish in journals with editors. No excuses. I think the real reason is that no one cares if there is sound reasoning or if there is sound exegesis. I think that the only thing that matters is that a certain number of words need to be written on a certain topic from a certain viewpoint by a certain date. As I have said so many times before, let me see the publishing and conference contracts, and a lot of questions would be answered about a lot of things.
    Well, TGC is now openly using Machiavelli as a primary source for their articles and there was a slew of comments to the effect of “This article is SO BIBLICAL!” from their mindless followers. They’ve all figured out they can pretty much write whatever they want and people will still follow them.

    That is true of their followers, but those ranks are not greatly on the rise (if on the rise at all) and they are generally not influential people. TGC attracts a certain type, and they are not, in my experience, emotionally healthy types, but overgrown, underachieving, insecure boys with an absolute lust for power and massive daddy issues. I understand that’s a pretty harsh characterization and a stereotype, but that description has been true of every single male I have ever met who was involved with and who supported TGC-type groups. Not a single exception. Zero. This is anecdotal experience, but it’s powerful because it is echoed back by virtually everyone else I’ve known who has encountered such groups as an outsider or church member who was the subject of a takeover.

    These are not rational, decent people, they do not have any ultimate objective truth which governs them short of the pronouncements of their leaders and the examples of tyrants whom they idolize such as Mr. Calvin. Ultimately, many of them adhere to the Bible only in the most nominal sense: things like telling the truth, acting with decency, treating others as they would like to be treated, being humble, kind, loving, these are absolute nonsense to them. Of course they say the right words, of course they call themselves and their actions everything good. Means nothing. Truth doesn’t matter to one willing to lie and obfuscate to effect a church takeover. Kindness doesn’t matter to one willing to manipulate you to secure the power they crave–and shun and destroy your relationships with friends and family if they cannot.

  359. William Smith wrote:

    Have you read Luther’s The Bondage of the Will?

    Have you ever attended a Lutheran church, been a long time member and studied the man as a whole? Have you put forth anything supporting an adherence by LUther to all five points of Calvinism? No, of course you haven’t–because you can’t.

  360. Ken F wrote:

    To paint the picture as if Luther and Calvin were tightly connected theologically is very misleading.

    Of course it is. Of course. But William Smith is most decidedly very misleading. And very ignorant.

  361. Law Prof wrote:

    That is true of their followers, but those ranks are not greatly on the rise (if on the rise at all) and they are generally not influential people. TGC attracts a certain type, and they are not, in my experience, emotionally healthy types, but overgrown, underachieving, insecure boys with an absolute lust for power and massive daddy issues. I understand that’s a pretty harsh characterization and a stereotype, but that description has been true of every single male I have ever met who was involved with and who supported TGC-type groups. Not a single exception. Zero. This is anecdotal experience, but it’s powerful because it is echoed back by virtually everyone else I’ve known who has encountered such groups as an outsider or church member who was the subject of a takeover.

    I agree with you, and that has been my experience with the hardcore followers as well. But I wouldn’t underestimate them, either. In their takeovers, they are waging an indoctrination war. Everything from Lifeway now is written by Calvinistas, including the (strongly recommended) Sunday School curriculum and most of their pastoral resources. Even if people are not hardcore like the YRR, many are still going along without much of a fight. That’s a problem, too.

  362. @ Law Prof:
    In the Catholic Church’s recent efforts to re-examine the contributions of Martin Luther, there has been no findings that he was connected up to the TULIP of Calvinist teachings, no.

    Believe me, the Church would find it, if it were true, as the Church is very anti-TULIP. The only area where the Catholic Church intersects with Calvin is the belief that all that is good originates with God, but the connection breaks sharply where the Calvinists go off into claiming that God is the author of evil and people are pre-destined to hell from the moment they are created in their mother’s wombs ….. the Church abhors that extreme hyper-Calvinist teaching, yes.

    Luther is being re-examined by the Catholic Church for his positive contributions to Christianity. I would not be surprised if, in time, Martin Luther was declared a ‘Doctor of the Church’ for those contributions.

  363. Christiane wrote:

    In the Catholic Church’s recent efforts to re-examine the contributions of Martin Luther, there has been no findings that he was connected up to the TULIP of Calvinist teachings, no.

    It also looks like he did not believe in penal substitution in the way the Calvinists do. Luther was trained as a priest, Calvin was trained as a lawyer. That could make a difference.

  364. @ William Smith:
    I suspect you are no longer reading or responding here. That is unfortunate, because all you did was make some false accusations without defending them, and provided some misleading information. It leaves us thinking that you don’t know what you are talking about – you shot your credibility.

    For those New-Calvinists who are reading this, here are some problems with your movement, in no particular order:
    – The seminaries do not appear to be teaching critical thinking skills and alternative points of view. In the effort to not be liberal, they seem to have narrowed down the teaching to a very small subset of historical Christian thought. As a consequence, the pastors seem to bring this same theological narrowness to their congregations.
    – Group think. YRRs do not seem to be encouraged to read non-YRR material or run in non-YRR circles. And when they do, it seems to be for the purpose of exposing/destroying other thought streams rather than evaluating them on their merits.
    – The leaders (pastors, elders) seem to be snowflakes who cannot tolerate any kind of critical examination. People who ask pesky questions get disciplined or excommunicated, which keeps the closed system going.
    – They use words like “heresy” (and “slander”) much too easily. They are calling things heresy that have been believed for 2000 years. Before rushing to such conclusions, a bit more humility and honest historical study is in order.

    Forums like this exist because New-Calvinism does not give room for thinking people to think.

  365. ishy wrote:

    Law Prof wrote:
    That is true of their followers, but those ranks are not greatly on the rise (if on the rise at all) and they are generally not influential people. TGC attracts a certain type, and they are not, in my experience, emotionally healthy types, but overgrown, underachieving, insecure boys with an absolute lust for power and massive daddy issues. I understand that’s a pretty harsh characterization and a stereotype, but that description has been true of every single male I have ever met who was involved with and who supported TGC-type groups. Not a single exception. Zero. This is anecdotal experience, but it’s powerful because it is echoed back by virtually everyone else I’ve known who has encountered such groups as an outsider or church member who was the subject of a takeover.
    I agree with you, and that has been my experience with the hardcore followers as well. But I wouldn’t underestimate them, either. In their takeovers, they are waging an indoctrination war. Everything from Lifeway now is written by Calvinistas, including the (strongly recommended) Sunday School curriculum and most of their pastoral resources. Even if people are not hardcore like the YRR, many are still going along without much of a fight. That’s a problem, too.

    Perhaps I’m underestimating them, but in my opinion, they’re pipsqueaks acting at the margins, odd little people incapable of attracting much of a following except among similarly-emotionally stunted people such as themselves. I don’t think, in light of the whole of Christendom, that they have very much influence at all.

  366. Muff Potter wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Hemp Twill. LOL.
    No reference whatsoever to my misspent Woodstock youth. Hemp fiber cloth and paper are durable, long-lasting, and are making a comeback after years of demonization by a well meaning and yet misguided federal policy. An old work crony of mine has an Ephemeris (used for maritime navigation) published in 1854 on hemp paper with an all hemp binding and spine. It shows none of the signs of deterioration other non-hemp works of the period are prone to.

    Good to know, Muff.

  367. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Camp Backbone!
    Is that going to be virtual or real event?

    We are hoping for a real event. But we may have to settle for a virtual one before we can coordinate a real one!

  368. Law Prof wrote:

    Perhaps I’m underestimating them, but in my opinion, they’re pipsqueaks acting at the margins, odd little people incapable of attracting much of a following except among similarly-emotionally stunted people such as themselves. I don’t think, in light of the whole of Christendom, that they have very much influence at all.

    They control the largest evangelical denomination, run the largest “Christian” media outlets (Christianity Today, TGC), and own the largest Christian brand (Lifeway) in the US which sold 3 million books last year (according to their annual report). They may act like pipsqueaks, but I think any argument that they aren’t influencing Christians is pretty weak.

  369. ishy wrote:

    They control the largest evangelical denomination, run the largest “Christian” media outlets (Christianity Today, TGC), and own the largest Christian brand (Lifeway) in the US which sold 3 million books last year (according to their annual report).

    And they have redefined “Christian(TM)” to mean Themselves and Themselves Alone.

  370. Law Prof wrote:

    they’re pipsqueaks acting at the margins, odd little people incapable of attracting much of a following except among similarly-emotionally stunted people such as themselves.

    Like that odd little Austrian with the odd little mustache?

  371. Ken F wrote:

    Luther was trained as a priest, Calvin was trained as a lawyer. That could make a difference.

    I’m pretty sure it did.
    Has anyone published anything on this subject?

  372. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Has anyone published anything on this subject?

    I am sure some kind of compare/contrast related to priest vs lawyer has been addressed, but I don’t know where to look.