Mark Dever Paves the Way for Andy Davis’ Pastoral Career

" But I wouldn't be there if it weren't for your [Mark Dever's] interest and what you [Mark] did paving the way. They would never have gotten my name."

Andy Davis (20:08 mark)

Andy Davis – Twitter

Just over five years ago (May 8, 2012), Andy Davis, who serves as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Durham, was interviewed by Mark Dever and Matt Schmucker. The 1 hour and 20 minute audio Revitalizing a Church can be heard on the 9Marks website. This interview followed an article written by Andy on the Reformation of First Baptist Church of Durham that had recently appeared on the 9Marks website and in its EJournal.

Here is an overview of how Andy Davis came to be pastor at First Baptist Church in Durham.

Andy was raised in eastern Massachusetts and attended MIT where he majored in mechanical engineering. He grew up Catholic and got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ early in his college career. One of Andy's fraternity brothers led him to faith in Christ during his junior year. Andy graduated from MIT in 1984 and began his secular career.

He soon met Mark Dever, who was a seminary student at Gordon-Conwell. A 1994 Urbana gathering appears to be where Dever and Davis first met. Together Mark Dever and Andy Davis began planting a Southern Baptist church in Topsfield, Massachusetts, which came to be known as New Meadows Baptist Church. Andy was strongly committed to sharing Christ in the workplace and had a flourishing Bible study.

During this time Mark exhorted Andy to go and hear Roger Nicole in the evenings as he (Roger) was retiring at Gordon-Conwell. Andy enrolled in the M.Div. program at Gordon-Conwell so that he could get course credit for the two semesters of systematic theology he planned to take.

Not long after that a woman in Andy's church prodded him to go on a 10-week mission trip to Kenya. That would necessitate Andy quitting his secular job because he only got two weeks of vacation. He prayed about it and decided to resign and go on the mission trip. Andy later met his future wife, and they were married in 1988.

************

Diversion from the interview:

Mark Dever, who was living in Cambridge, England and working on his Ph.D., was contacted by members of the New England church he had planted (New Meadows Baptist Church) for advice on how to choose a new pastor. On October 30, 1991, Mark responded with a list of nine must haves. These became the Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. Last fall the 9Marks organization proudly reprinted that letter on its 25th anniversary.

************

As you might have guessed, Andy Davis was called to pastor New Meadows Baptist Church, where he served from 1992 to 1993 for a total of 15 months. Based on Dever's letter to New Meadows, it appears Andy followed a pastor named 'Zane'. We presume this was Zane Pratt, whose bio indicates he began serving as a church planter in 1991. Zane also earned his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell. He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke, where he first met Mark Dever. In fact, when Zane Pratt joined the faculty of Southern Seminary a couple years ago, I remember reading what another SBTS faculty member wrote about Zane. Tom Schreiner revealed that it was Zane Pratt who influenced Dever to become not just a Christian but a Calvinist!

Back to Andy Davis… We're not sure why his ministry at New Meadows was cut short. We are wondering whether the church still exists because we cannot find anything about it on the internet. Perhaps it merged with another church or was an unsuccessful church plant. If anyone knows what happened to New Meadows Baptist Church, please let us know.

Andy's next career move was serving as a missionary in Japan from 1993 to 1995. He admits during the 9Marks interview that he did not feel called to a ministry of missions, although he did see some fruit while in Japan. Later in the interview, Andy reveals that he pastored a small group (10 people) while in Japan.

In 1995 Andy Davis began pursuing his Ph.D. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. While there, he attended Highview Baptist Church (which happens to be the church Al Mohler attends). Andy earned his Ph.D. in Church History in 1998, finishing in just 3-1/2 years. His dissertation was on Calvin's Eschatology. Andy stated during the 9Marks interview that he learned a lot from John Calvin about how to study the Bible. 

Beginning at the 15 minute mark, Andy Davis reveals that it was Mark Dever who recommended him to the pastor search committee at First Baptist Church Durham. Interestingly, the pastor search committee was initially interested in Mark Dever coming to pastor the church (after having been at Capitol Hill Baptist Church for four years). Mark and Aaron Menikoff drove down to Durham to meet with them. The meeting lasted 5 hours. Mark was in the midst of making significant changes at CHBC, so leaving that church was not feasible.

In August 1998 FBC Durham began considering Andy Davis to serve as its senior pastor, and on October 1998 he was called to pastor the church. Next year he will mark his 20th anniversary as pastor of FBC Durham.

Just after the 20 minute mark, Andy was encouraged to share what happened after he arrived at FBC Durham. He revealed that if he had known how painful the process of reforming the church would have been, he wouldn't have accepted the position. Andy shares that the first three years were rough!

The primary issue Andy Davis and the congregation struggled over was 'gender and authority'. Andy explained that the polity was of a different type (not elder led) when he first arrived.

I'm not going to summarize the rest of the audio which provides much detailed information of what happened as Andy Davis attempted to revitalize FBC Durham. we highly encourage you to listen for yourself all the way to the very end. It's quite eye-opening!

Remember, back in the 1998-2001 time frame, most Southern Baptist congregations knew nothing about the stealth mission to bring back Calvinism. Furthermore, it was in 1998 that the SBC revised its statement of faith to stress gender roles. Just after the 58 minute mark Andy Davis explained that most of the people that had problems with 'gender and authority' left the church rather than stay and fight.

On another note…

In a comment under our previous post regarding Andy Davis and FBC Durham, Jerome shared with us that back in October 1998 (the same month Andy was called to pastor FBC Durham) Andy delivered a sermon at Capitol Hill Baptist Church called "Sure and Certain Signs of the End" (see screen shot below):

https://web.archive.org/web/20001109233700/http://www.capitolhillbaptist.org:80/SermonSummaryMAIN98.htmI was interested to hear what Andy had to say back then, so I went to the Capitol Hill Baptist Church resource page, clicked on "Sermons" and selected October 1998.  Here is what I found:

10/25/98 – Justice Up Close

10/18/98 – Vision for Missions

10/11/98 – Arrival of Justice

The sermons delivered on October 11th and October 25th match the information procured through the wayback machine; however, it appears that Dever's "Vision for Missions" talk was substituted for Andy Davis' message that he delivered on October 18, 1998. The "Vision for Missions" message is categorized as a 'bonus talk' rather than as a 'sermon' like the other messages. (see below)

http://www.capitolhillbaptist.org/sermon/vision-for-missions/

Here is further proof that Andy Davis delivered that message – he submitted it to SermonCentral.

https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/sure-and-certain-signs-of-the-end-andy-davis-sermon-on-6752Why is this 1998 sermon by Andy Davis missing from the sermon archives of CHBC?

In closing, the reason we are taking issue with Andy Davis and his recollection of what happened at First Baptist Church of Durham, particularly during the 1998-2001 time frame, is because 9Marks has made such a big issue of it. Multiple posts have been written about the 'reform' of FBC Durham and distributed far and wide on the 9Marks website, the 9Marks EJournal, Southern Seminary's Magazine, The Gospel Coalition website, etc. Not only that, Andy Davis has written a book titled Revitalize to encourage other pastors to follow his lead in transforming a church.

We take issue with all of these publications because we believe they provide only one side of the story – the pastor's.

We hope you will take the time to listen to the lengthy 9Marks audio Revitalizing a Church and share your thoughts with us.

For more information on Andy Davis, you might want to read Tim Brister's post NCFII: Andy Davis on "Dangers in Reforming a Church", published way back in 2008.

Then in 2015 Southern Baptist Theology Seminary Press published a book by Al Mohler entitled A Guide to Church Revitalization. Mohler's 88 page book concludes with…

a series of interviews with Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.; Andrew Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina; and Croft. The interviews present evaluations of necessary components of church revitalization, including frank and honest assessments of the pastors’ early years of ministry in churches that experienced revitalization. (link)

Comments

Mark Dever Paves the Way for Andy Davis’ Pastoral Career — 337 Comments

  1. Great article, Deb.

    It will be nice to hear from solid Christians at the Durham Baptist church who had their church taken over by NeoCalvinism and all of its horrors.

  2. I know for a fact in 9 marks view I am unregenerate, thank God. But this is patently dishonest and deceptive in how this church was “reformed”/taken over.

  3. Deb wrote:

    @ Velour:
    FBC Durham is now being held up as the example of how to reform a church.

    Just hateful.

    The arrogance of these men knows no bounds.

  4. Dever’s Calvinism mentor Zane Pratt who pastored the 9Marksist exemplar “healthy church,” New Meadows Baptist, Topsfield, Mass., between Dever and Davis, is now VP at the SBC’s International Mission Board!

  5. @ Jerome:
    The same little circle of friends are trying to hold sway over millions of Southern Baptists.

    Mohler, Dever, Davis, Pratt, Platt, and Ezell (Mohler’s former pastor at Highview), along with a handful of others.

    It’s sickening!

  6. I again find it extremely disturbing how much these guys harp about their “authority.” Jesus clearly stated to the Pharisees in Matthew 23:8-12 how that we only have one Rabbi, Father and Master and they were not to seek those titles for themselves. This entire “movement” in the SBC is very much like the pharisaism Jesus so ardently taught against! Why would we want that again? My prayer is that the average ‘pew-peon’ Southern Baptist will wake from his/her slumber and see the destruction that is happening!

  7. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    They had to get Andy Davis ready for the pastorate at FBC Durham PRONTO! Is there any doubt Mohler (who attended the same church as Davis) helped his BFF Dever pull it off?

    Now FBC Durham is held up as the shining 9Marx example of how to reform a Southern Baptist church.

  8. RE: “Revitalize” by Andy Davis

    Deebs and others might wish to check out “Transitioning” by Dan Southerland.

    It’s the same recipe, just a different chef.

    “Transitioning” was the strategic corollary to Rick Warren’s “PDL/PDC”. And that movement, too, split a lot of churches, and hurt a lot of people, who did not want to be “transitioned”.

    Two differences:
    1. “Transitioning” focused on eliminating a traditional church and moving to the contemporary, seeker sensitive, marketing and entertainment model while Davis “Revitalize” seems to focus on ‘transitioning’ to Calvinist, 9 Marks, authoritarian polity and doctrine.

    2. “Transitioning” and PDL/PDC events largely occurred before the growth of the discernment blogosphere, so many never heard of it and were unable to connect the dots.

    “Revitalize”….”Transitioning”
    PoTAYto……PoTAYto

    Disclaimer: This comment should be in the other Davis post, but that thread was looking inactive.

  9. brian wrote:

    I know for a fact in 9 marks view I am unregenerate, thank God.

    So are more dear Christian friends. It is codswallop and Davis should be ashamed of himself.

  10. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    He completed a doctorate in church history in just 3-1/2 years??? No comment.

    Allow me. We see this happening a whole bunch with these schools. They do not have the same standards for doctorates that nonChristian schools have.

  11. Deb
    ROFL! ” He admits during the 9Marks interview that he did not feel called to a ministry of missions, although he did see some fruit while in Japan. Later in the interview, Andy reveals that he pastored a small group (10 people) while in Japan.”I wonder how many he called wicked and unregenerate?

  12. 9Marks leaders act so sanctimonious, but they are just thugs and liars. I’m sure Jesus would have a lot of choice words for them.

  13. Dr. Davis, in your second session on Gender and Authority (Sermon Audio 10/15/2000) you mention the death of Uzzah when he reaches out and touches the ark. Andy, when YOU replace God’s New Covenant with your church covenant, do you think that this pleases God? What about when you recite your church covenant during the New Covenant meal?

    Andy, I urge you to consider God’s authority and stop usurping it in the church by demanding submission to a new, “not from God” covenant.

  14. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    Andy Davis taught for ten weeks on Gender and Authority back in the fall of 2000. You can listen to his teaching on Sermon Audio.

    10 weeks ….. That’s a whole lotta preachin’ on just a handful of verses. And, never mind the Father, .son, and Holy Spirit ….. bein’ Christ-like is all about obeying worldly leaders and subjugating women!

  15. TWW should have a contest. It would be like the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, except with ties between any neo-cal you can name and Mohler, Dever or Piper. Let’s see how many neo-cals you can connect in the fewest degrees possible. Should be a lot of fun.

    Deebs determine the winner.

  16. dee wrote:

    So are more dear Christian friends. It is codswallop and Davis should be ashamed of himself.

    I’ve wanted to ask this for a while, but what is a “codswollop”? Is it a New England expression?

  17. Andy Davis explained that most of the people that had problems with 'gender and authority' left the church rather than stay and fight.

    This is what I was speculating on the other day. That also makes it easier to get changes voted in…you make people who value women's input feel unwelcome and they leave. done.

    Sidenote, this deacon/elder thing just seems silly to me. BOTH are biblical "roles". What does it matter if deacons function a bit like elders in a different church? I really don't see why it matters if you both or either or anything like that.

    Mark was in the midst of making significant changes at CHBC, so leaving that church was not feasible.

    It fascinates me to know this was going on while I was there and I was oblivious. Granted, I wasn't very involved so maybe that makes sense.

  18. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Dale Rudiger wrote: Andy Davis taught for ten weeks on Gender and Authority back in the fall of 2000. You can listen to his teaching on Sermon Audio. 10 weeks ….. That’s a whole lotta preachin’ on just a handful of verses. And, never mind the Father, .son, and Holy Spirit ….. bein’ Christ-like is all about obeying worldly leaders and subjugating women!

    So much for, sola scriptura. These men brag on how " biblical" they are, yet they continuously push Calvin's doctrines. All the while, they write book after book, article after article, promoting, defending Calvin's Institutes. Sola scriptura, my foot.

  19. Ken P. wrote:

    TWW should have a contest. It would be like the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, except with ties between any neo-cal you can name and Mohler, Dever or Piper.

    I’d wager that the majority of them wouldn’t even need to get past one degree! They all seem to be “Mohler-ites!”

    As I was researching this “movement” while our church was being stealthily attacked by our former pastor, I kept making the same connections to the same people and I felt like some kind of foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist! All the while our pastor was reassuring us that the “Gospel Project” Sunday School material he was pushing didn’t have any Calvinist leanings. My wife’s research into the main contributors’ backgrounds, however, told a completely different story.

  20. First time poster – quick question – what happened to New Meadows Baptist Church. I cannot find a website or active location for it.
    Any ideas if it is still in existence.

  21. Mark Dever Paves the Way for Andy Davis’ Pastoral Career

    “One Hand Washes the Other…”
    And if you’re not one of the Old Boys’ Network, sucks to be you, don’t it?

  22. Mae wrote:

    So much for, sola scriptura. These men brag on how ” biblical” they are, yet they continuously push Calvin’s doctrines. All the while, they write book after book, article after article, promoting, defending Calvin’s Institutes. Sola scriptura, my foot.

    But Calvin’s Doctrines ARE SCRIPTURE(TM)!
    Completely superseding those other 66 books!

  23. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Written by Davis himself in Oct. 2011 – it’s a long article.
    https://www.9marks.org/article/journalreform-first-baptist-church-durham/

    Perhaps Andy Davis and FBC Durham members are irritated, angry, etc. that we are talking about their church.

    I would remind them that it is Davis and his cohorts who have so widely publicized the reformation of FBC Durham via blog posts, articles, interviews, and books.

    We can’t in good conscience sit on our hands and say nothing in response. We don't want to see any more brothers and sisters hurt.

  24. J. wrote:

    First time poster – quick question – what happened to New Meadows Baptist Church. I cannot find a website or active location for it.
    Any ideas if it is still in existence.

    I can’t find any info.on it. There is a Sovereign Grace Church in Topsfield.

  25. Deb wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
    Written by Davis himself in Oct. 2011 – it’s a long article.
    https://www.9marks.org/article/journalreform-first-baptist-church-durham/
    Perhaps Andy Davis and FBC Durham members are irritated, angry, etc. that we are talking about their church.
    I would remind them that it is Davis and his cohorts who have so widely publicized the reformation of FBC Durham via blog posts, articles, interviews, and books.
    We can’t in good conscience sit on our hands and say nothing in response. We don’t want to see any more brothers and sisters hurt.

    More likely they were ostracized and run out. Imagine a Pastor bragging on his victory over them.
    Also, he makes a big deal over his repent sermon, as if people were too proud, ignorant, will full to do so. Which is totally unfair.I wouldn’t repent for for female deacons either….nothing to repent of.

  26. Not sure what to make of this… I just discovered that there is a mere 5 miles between Danvers, Massachusetts and Topsfield, Massachusetts.

  27. I listened to the interview. Now I’m dizzy. So much spin.

    In their minds, these guys don’t just have a better system. Their interpretation = truth. Biblical truth. They’ve nailed it. So everyone who opposes them is wicked, or deceived, or just stubborn, or unregenerate. To oppose them is to oppose god.

  28. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    He completed a doctorate in church history in just 3-1/2 years??? No comment.

    My PhD at Westminster Seminary required 2 years of courses (beyond my 4 year ThM degree); passing comprehensive exams in my field; demonstated reading ability in German and Dutch; and a dissertation [http://www.drstevej.com/smjdis.pdf]. It took me 8 plus years.

    My undergrad degree was at Ga Tech. I found Westminster classes far more demanding than engineering.

  29. Deb wrote:

    Not sure what to make of this… I just discovered that there is a mere 5 miles between Danvers, Massachusetts and Topsfield, Massachusetts.

    GC Seminary is right around the corner too.

  30. Suggestion:

    Listen closely this week at church. If the real gospel of sin/results of sin/God’s remedy in Jesus by the Blood is not preached, ask your preacher why not. If the same thing happens the next two weeks, find a different church or start one if you have to do so.

    It is their job on Sundays to spread the real, not the trademarked, gospel. It is your job to do the same the rest of the week when people ask the cause for the hope that is in you.

    Folks, if we sit on our wallets and vote with our feet we can change this. Otherwise we are just a bunch of whiney codependents complaining on the pity pot but refusing to make changes for health.

    Or at least that is how this old grandma sees it. While some are turning cartwheels for church growth, I’m fully on board with churches dying in droves if they won’t preach the truth and quit meddling otherwise.

  31. Lea wrote:

    Andy Davis explained that most of the people that had problems with ‘gender and authority’ left the church rather than stay and fight.

    This is what I was speculating on the other day. That also makes it easier to get changes voted in…you make people who value women’s input feel unwelcome and they leave. done.

    Once the people left who CARED about the dignity of the human person made in the image of God, then the male head-ship guyz could ‘do their thing’ …..

    they have built a whole religion out of the worship of the ‘male’ as a superior being who is not only physically ‘stronger’ (they promote keeping women muschle-free a la Piper, denouncing women in the military, and keeping grown women at home under their father’s rule til marriage);
    and they also worship the ‘male’ being as SPIRITUALLY
    superior to human persons who are not of the male sex.

    That’s it: neo-Calvinism is a sex cult. It is predicated on special elevation of the male sex, with benefits to be forthcoming as a result.

    Yuck!

  32. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    I listened to the interview. Now I’m dizzy. So much spin.
    In their minds, these guys don’t just have a better system. Their interpretation = truth. Biblical truth. They’ve nailed it. So everyone who opposes them is wicked, or deceived, or just stubborn, or unregenerate. To oppose them is to oppose god.

    THE PARTY CAN DO NO WRONG, COMRADES!

  33. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    In their minds, these guys don’t just have a better system. Their interpretation = truth. Biblical truth. They’ve nailed it. So everyone who opposes them is wicked, or deceived, or just stubborn, or unregenerate. To oppose them is to oppose god.

    Forgeddabout Jesus. Anyone who has seen Andy Davis, Mark Dever, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Joe Carter, Matt Chandler, or so on ……… has seen God the Father!

  34. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Forgeddabout Jesus. Anyone who has seen Andy Davis, Mark Dever, John Piper, Kevin DeYoung, Joe Carter, Matt Chandler, or so on ……… has seen God the Father!

    “If You Question What I Say to You
    YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER, TOO!”
    — Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”

  35. Christiane wrote:

    they have built a whole religion out of the worship of the ‘male’ as a superior being who is not only physically ‘stronger’ (they promote keeping women muschle-free a la Piper, denouncing women in the military, and keeping grown women at home under their father’s rule til marriage);
    and they also worship the ‘male’ being as SPIRITUALLY superior to human persons who are not of the male sex.

    That’s it: neo-Calvinism is a sex cult.

    Like all the Baalim and Asherim of the goyim surrounding the ancient Jews.

    It is predicated on special elevation of the male sex…

    And of the Sacred Male Organ and Precious Bodily Fluid?
    Priapus Rides Again!

  36. Mae wrote:

    It would creep me out to recite a church covenant while partaking of the Lord’s Supper.

    Reciting the Party Line as Body & Blood?
    (To a Romish Papist like me, that’s saying flat-out “God is NOT God, the Church Covenant is GOD!”)

    And this particular Image of the Beast can even (through its list of rules) “come to life and order all who do not bend the knee to be Disciplined(TM)”.

  37. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    He completed a doctorate in church history in just 3-1/2 years??? No comment.

    Another Honorary Doctorate(TM)?

    ANDREW M. DAVIS (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Durham, NC. In addition to his PhD, he also holds an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

  38. I just started listening to Mark Dever’s interview with Andy Davis where it is stated that Davis was raised a Roman Catholic and at one time wanted to be a priest. I will say the following without any hesitancy at all. In my years of being a Christan, the most acrimonious and belligerent were those Evangelicals who were formerly Roman Catholics. This is especially true within the Reformed camp.

  39. Christiane wrote:

    (they promote keeping women muschle-free a la Piper, denouncing women in the military, and keeping grown women at home under their father’s rule til marriage)

    I would really enjoy Piper’s take on the new Wonder Woman movie, and its Israeli ex-military star. I’m guessing he’s not a fan.

    So much of the hubub at this church was over the possibility that a woman could be nominated to be a deaconess, even though it had never happened. The idea that it could happen was a hill worth dying on, a principle that was worth anything to squash. Which makes me wonder… Do they really fear strong women this much?

    I’m starting to think you’re right, Christiane. The ease with which they talked about the issues of keeping authority and leadership in the hands of men makes me wonder if this has become a guy-power cult.

  40. It’s a bit unclear to me from reading the article, but how long did Andy Davis actually work at his secular job?

  41. And FYI, I just saw this new conference from Lifeway. Pipeline 2017: Succession on Every Level. Making sure the men stay in charge. Featuring all the likely suspects, including Barnabas Piper. Right down the road from Nancy2.

    http://myleadershippipeline.com/

  42. Darlene wrote:

    I will say the following without any hesitancy at all. In my years of being a Christan, the most acrimonious and belligerent were those Evangelicals who were formerly Roman Catholics.

    According to Wiki John Calvin was raised Catholic and was studying to be a priest when his father took him out of the program because, allegedly, the father thought that the lad could earn more money as a lawyer than as a priest. Eventually (when?) Calvin left the Catholic Church.

  43. okrapod wrote:

    According to Wiki John Calvin was raised Catholic and was studying to be a priest when his father took him out of the program because, allegedly, the father thought that the lad could earn more money as a lawyer than as a priest.

    The same reason my father wanted me to go into law — because that’s where the money is!
    (Fortunately, my father didn’t high-pressure me. Apparently Calvin’s did and then some.)

    Wonder if getting pushed into an unwanted career/profession was also a factor in Calvin’s psyche.

  44. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    saw this new conference from Lifeway. Pipeline 2017: Succession on Every Level. Making sure the men stay in charge. Featuring all the likely suspects, including Barnabas Piper. Right down the road from Nancy2.

    Somebody needs to tell John Piper that the mayor of Nashville is a woman!

  45. Darlene wrote:

    I just started listening to Mark Dever’s interview with Andy Davis where it is stated that Davis was raised a Roman Catholic and at one time wanted to be a priest. I will say the following without any hesitancy at all. In my years of being a Christan, the most acrimonious and belligerent were those Evangelicals who were formerly Roman Catholics. This is especially true within the Reformed camp.

    According to okrapod & Wiki, this goes WAY back. Like to the Reformation itself.

    Might be something where you flip one-eighty with equal intensity — if not greater hostility because you feel betrayed. But the intensity and personality and attitude remain the same. Like a nasty divorce or inheritance blood feud.

  46. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    I would really enjoy Piper’s take on the new Wonder Woman movie, and its Israeli ex-military star. I’m guessing he’s not a fan.

    JP would get the vapors around the DEEBS and the females who comment on TWW. Gal Gadot would send him into seizures!

  47. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Wonder if getting pushed into an unwanted career/profession was also a factor in Calvin’s psyche.

    How could it not be?

    Whether or not this had anything to do with anything it might be said that Calvin ‘showed them all’, his father, the Catholic church, the kids who got to do what they wanted when he did not, and the person he might otherwise have been.

  48. Ken P. wrote:

    TWW should have a contest. It would be like the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, except with ties between any neo-cal you can name and Mohler, Dever or Piper. Let’s see how many neo-cals you can connect in the fewest degrees possible. Should be a lot of fun.

    Deebs determine the winner.

    Great idea, Ken! A contest to unravel and expose the identity of the Christian mob bosses and their underlings and hit men.

  49. OkieTim wrote:

    “Transitioning” by Dan Southerland.
    It’s the same recipe, just a different chef.

    This is also now a word for “dying” in some churches… transitioning from the mortal body to eternal life, going to a better place, going to be with God.

    Actual quote from a friend: “My son transitioned three weeks ago.”

  50. I hope Andy reads this post. I think this is the point being made, but it seems obvious that it would be disrespectful to go into a church and change the polity by ousting those who have a different viewpoints – it is bound to make people feel cheated and disrespected. Much better to form your own church or join a church with a similar approach. If you want your reformation crusade don’t trample on your fellow Christians.

    Andy, you might think you won the war (your terminology), but in reality you won the battle and lost the war, because you created a legacy of hurt and bitterness. But you don’t know you lost the war because of your blinkered and selfish attitude.

  51. Darlene wrote:

    I just started listening to Mark Dever’s interview with Andy Davis where it is stated that Davis was raised a Roman Catholic and at one time wanted to be a priest. I will say the following without any hesitancy at all. In my years of being a Christan, the most acrimonious and belligerent were those Evangelicals who were formerly Roman Catholics. This is especially true within the Reformed camp.

    Precisely, Darlene.

    And what’s so curious about these NeoCalinvists is that they want to set up their churches exactly like Rome with the senior pastor in the position of the pope and the yes-men elders in the position of cardinals, complete with “the keys” — excommunication and shunnings of Christians for ANY trumped up reason (most notably using critical thinking skills).

  52. peter wrote:

    I hope Andy reads this post. I think this is the point being made, but it seems obvious that it would be disrespectful to go into a church and change the polity by ousting those who have a different viewpoints – it is bound to make people feel cheated and disrespected. Much better to form your own church or join a church with a similar approach. If you want your reformation crusade don’t trample on your fellow Christians.

    I wonder if these men even HEAR THEMSELVES …. what ever happened to ‘do unto others’???

    Or maybe they have re-written that part of sacred Scripture also?

    You have to feel for the people who are forced out of their own Church by these scoundrels. So wrong.

  53. During this time Mark exhorted Andy to go and hear Roger Nicole in the evenings as he (Roger) was retiring at Gordon-Conwell.

    Wait a doggone minute. Mark Dever wanted Andy Davis to listen to Roger Nicole preach/teach? The one and the same Egalitarian Roger Nicole!!! What irony! Less than a decade later, Andy Davis would have kicked a man like Roger Nicole to the curb at First Baptist Church Durham & told him to repent and call him “unregenerate”. Folks, just let that sink in for a moment.

  54. GSD [Getting Stuff Done] wrote:

    So much of the hubub at this church was over the possibility that a woman could be nominated to be a deaconess, even though it had never happened. The idea that it could happen was a hill worth dying on, a principle that was worth anything to squash. Which makes me wonder… Do they really fear strong women this much?

    I think they (these males) have a low self-esteem and need to ‘kick down’ in order to build themselves up. But it backfires. If all a man has to do is to kick the dignity of a woman down in order to elevate himself in his ‘church’, then he stands no taller than the most common wife-beating misogynist on the planet. These men are pitiful.

  55. @ Darlene:

    I didn't understand that either. Here is what Mark Dever wrote about Roger Nicole when he died.

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/carson-keller-and-dever-remember-roger-nicole

    Mark Dever:

    Roger Nicole was my systematic theology professor at Gordon-Conwell from 1982 to 1986. The last two years, I had the privilege of being his teaching fellow. He and his wife, Annette, were in our home, and my wife and I were in theirs. They were a loving, hospitable, remarkable couple. Roger’s outgoing nature, his fairness in argument, and his encyclopedic bibliographical knowledge made him an amazing tutor in theology. His special love for the doctrines of Scripture and the atonement have certainly left their mark on me. And for that I am thankful. His kindness in reveling in being called ‘brother’ rather than “Dr. Dr.” (he had two earned doctorates) was instructive. His delight in children was itself delightful. It was an honor to know him and be taught by him.

  56. linda wrote:

    Listen closely this week at church. If the real gospel of sin/results of sin/God’s remedy in Jesus by the Blood is not preached, ask your preacher why not.

    The Gospel should be taught at all times, but I am not sure that the topic of sin needs to be hit, head on, every single week.

    I tend to go to midweek services, when the lives of saints are frequent topics. The latest sermon explored the martyrdom of members of the Melanesian Brotherhood. Yes, it was about sin, deeply and memorably so.

    It was not, however, a loud call to repent. The preacher knows us well, and knows that we don’t need Sinfulness 101 every week. The sermon did not go easy on us, though: it shook me up. The words were written for us, not pulled off a website.

    Your comment is very thoughtful, so please understand that I’m not criticizing… just extending the discussion.

  57. Darlene wrote:

    Less than a decade later, Andy Davis would have kicked a man like Roger Nicole to the curb at First Baptist Church Durham & told him to repent and call him “unregenerate”. Folks, just let that sink in for a moment.

    Crazy, right?

    Nicole was the person someone linked before, right? I liked him.

    But goodness knows, if he voted for a woman deacon that would make him the worst, per Davis. Madness. This is madness, truly.

  58. Friend wrote:

    The Gospel should be taught at all times, but I am not sure that the topic of sin needs to be hit, head on, every single week.

    Yeah. Pretty sure we heard about pentecost on sunday and that was fitting.

    I think the key to good preaching is some balance in message, which is also why 'this year we're going through leviticus seems like a horrible idea.

  59. Friend–not offended. And not saying we need hellfire and brimstone every week. But our time among the Lutherans was eye opening for us, how powerful the Brief Order of Confession and Forgiveness was every single week. Sure kept us aware of the whole purpose of doing church:)

  60. Velour wrote:

    And what’s so curious about these NeoCalinvists is that they want to set up their churches exactly like Rome with the senior pastor in the position of the pope and the yes-men elders in the position of cardinals, complete with “the keys” — excommunication and shunnings of Christians for ANY trumped up reason (most notably using critical thinking skills).

    The reason for Reformation is “I SHOULD BE THE ONE SITTING ON THE IRON THRONE OF PETER DECREEING DOGMA EX CATHEDRA! BURNING HERETICS!” Nothing more.

  61. Deb wrote:

    @ peter:
    Andy Davis, with his strong ties to the Founders Ministries — he spoke at their conference in 2008 — led a quiet revolution at First Baptist Church of Durham back when none of us suspected something was afoot.
    http://founders.org/?s=Andy+Davis

    Notice these connections at the G3 Conferences. Just look at the speakers and the topics. There’s a New Reformation Modus Operandi. Tin foil hat? I don’t think so anymore.

    http://www.g3conference.comhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5ubZfnKAN4https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5ubZfnKAN4

  62. okrapod wrote:

    Whether or not this had anything to do with anything it might be said that Calvin ‘showed them all’, his father, the Catholic church, the kids who got to do what they wanted when he did not, and the person he might otherwise have been.

    “I’LL SHOW YOU! I’LL SHOW YOU!”
    And the casualties keep piling up to this day.

  63. From Mark Dever’s interview with Andy Davis:

    Mark Dever: “The writing of that article and the publishing of that e-journal back in November, has that opened up a new ministry for you?

    Andy Davis: “Yeah, it really has. I’ve had men contacting me expressing some of the grief they’re going through in church reform situations, some of the challenges, and some of the joys and successes sharing those with me – resonating with some of the things we went through – asking advice, asking prayer, driving to meet me some several hours. These are men who want to see reform happen in their church, want to see God glorified…so it’s opened up some new doors of ministry.

    Sounds like a description of the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” that comes first with these New Calvinists attempting to implement their “reform.” The Poor Pastor always seems to experience “grief” in the beginnings of the Stealth Mutiny of a church. Now, it seems like Andy Davis has become one of the Ministers of Reform – the go-to guy to help teach and coach other Calvinista pastors in the art of Church Take-Overs.

    Those of you attending an SBC or Evangelical church, you had better find out if they’re contacting Andy Davis, the Go-To guy for Church Reform. Your pastor might be emailing him, or calling him, or driving several hours just to learn the ropes of stealth take-over from Davis.

  64. @ Darlene:

    All this behind the congregation's back too. Imagine your pastor sneaking off to an advisor to get tips, elicit encouragement, so the reformation of YOUR church can be implemented.

    Again, these wolves won't start their own church from scratch, do the hard work that would require. Nope, instead they slip into an established church and then begin the reform. The Congregation has to comply to the Pastor's Calvinism so God can be (supposedly) glorified.

  65. Darlene wrote:

    Sounds like a description of the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” that comes first with these New Calvinists attempting to implement their “reform.” The Poor Pastor always seems to experience “grief” in the beginnings of the Stealth Mutiny of a church. Now, it seems like Andy Davis has become one of the Ministers of Reform – the go-to guy to help teach and coach other Calvinista pastors in the art of Church Take-Overs.

    My ex-NeoCalvinist pastors at my ex-gulag (Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley) were fond of telling church members from the pulpit and in emails to all church members “how persecuted” they were when they didn’t get their way (and had openly abused scores of godly Christian men and women of all ages and faced opposition for it).

  66. Darlene wrote:

    Wait a doggone minute. Mark Dever wanted Andy Davis to listen to Roger Nicole preach/teach? The one and the same Egalitarian Roger Nicole!!! What irony! Less than a decade later, Andy Davis would have kicked a man like Roger Nicole to the curb at First Baptist Church Durham & told him to repent and call him “unregenerate”. Folks, just let that sink in for a moment.

    Yes, I almost got whiplash when I read that, Darlene.

    They would have kicked the wonderful Roger Nicole to the curb.

  67. Mae wrote:

    Again these wolves won’t start their own church from scratch, do the hard work that would require. Nope, instead they slip into an established church and then begin the reform. The Congregation has to comply to the Pastor’s Calvinism so God can be ( supposedly) glorified.

    Of course not. Neo-Calvinism only grows exponentially because of takeovers. Most people think they are jerks and they know it. Plus, they get a building, money, and the acclaim from their buddies of being a “true Reformer”.

  68. CAVEAT: unpleasant comment to follow

    I was thinking about the post and how the ‘host’ Church was invaded and occupied, while original members were either ‘absorbed’ into the neo-Cal body or eliminated, with the end result being that the invaders took over the structure for themselves.

    And I thought, I have read about this phenomenon happening in the biological world, this:

    “The emerald cockroach wasp, also called the jewel wasp, is not a parasite, but it does abuse other creatures — particularly a certain species of cockroach in which the female likes to lay her eggs.

    “She finds herself a good one, she stings it — and the sting paralyzes it for a minute — and she’s able to get her stinger right inside the brain of the roach, that actually disables it from any instincts to run away,” Stewart says. “It makes it this very docile, obedient cockroach.”

    The wasp is then able to lead the cockroach around and place it wherever she’d like it to be before laying her eggs in the cockroach’s belly. After the larvae hatch, they eat the roach’s interior organs and use its outer shell as a protective exterior.”

    my apologies for the graphic nature of this example, but yet the human counter-part of the emerald cockroach wasp IS truly an invasive entity, consuming all before it,
    and having eaten the host’s (the roach) internal organs, the larvae will shelter within the roach’s shell for protection…..

    It’s ugly in nature. It’s so much uglier when the predator calls himself ‘Christ follower’. May God save innocent Christians from this kind of evil.

  69. ishy wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    Again these wolves won’t start their own church from scratch, do the hard work that would require. Nope, instead they slip into an established church and then begin the reform. The Congregation has to comply to the Pastor’s Calvinism so God can be ( supposedly) glorified.
    Of course not. Neo-Calvinism only grows exponentially because of takeovers. Most people think they are jerks and they know it. Plus, they get a building, money, and the acclaim from their buddies of being a “true Reformer”.

    And then write books, hold conferences on how it can be done….to the glory of God.

  70. Mae wrote:

    Again these wolves won’t start their own church from scratch, do the hard work that would require. Nope, instead they slip into an established church and then begin the reform. The Congregation has to comply to the Pastor’s Calvinism so God can be ( supposedly) glorified.

    Much easier to Steal than Work.

  71. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Much easier to Steal than Work.

    it is ‘invading’ under stealth in the worst way, without good will for the host Church who brings it in not knowing how the ‘never-ending’ neo-Cal story ends.

    with so many examples of neo-Cal takeovers now, surely the remaining Churches of the SBC can find a way to protect themselves from these destructive leeches

  72. Christiane wrote:

    with so many examples of neo-Cal takeovers now, surely the remaining Churches of the SBC can find a way to protect themselves from these destructive leeches

    Nope. Most SBC church members are clueless. And at the convention next week ………. sshhhhhhh! The big wigs in the know don’t talk about YRRs in public!

  73. Mae wrote:

    Again these wolves won’t start their own church from scratch, do the hard work that would require. Nope, instead they slip into an established church and then begin the reform. The Congregation has to comply to the Pastor’s Calvinism so God can be ( supposedly) glorified.

    There’s an ardent fan of Dever and 9Marx, Dr John Carpenter. He “planted” Covenant Reformed Baptist Church, of Providence NC/Danville VA in 2008, apparently from scratch. From the website it appears unlikely they’ve grown to over a hundred. Growing a church from scratch is unusually quite difficult. BUT, I found this about Carpenter’s earlier stint as interim pastor at an older SBC, complete with charming older building:
    http://fbchopewell.org/discover-us/history
    “In March 1991, the church by-laws were changed to include the entire Diaconate for ordination. In May 1991, women were included in the ordination service for the first time.
    ……….
    With the retirement of Rev. Cromer after 30 years of service in August of 2004, First Baptist entered into a time of “Intentional Interim Ministry” and hired Dr. John Carpenter to serve as Covenant Pastor for this period. An in-depth study of all programs and a restructuring of the church’s constitution and by-laws occurred. Rev. Angela Weston Hoff, a life-long member of First Baptist who had just finished her training at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, was hired as the assistant pastor/minister to youth and children. Angie would be the first female pastor to minister at First Baptist.”
    Just guessing and couldn’t find further detail, but sounds like a failed Calvinista takeover to me.

  74. drstevej wrote:

    My PhD at Westminster Seminary required 2 years of courses (beyond my 4 year ThM degree); passing comprehensive exams in my field; demonstated reading ability in German and Dutch; and a dissertation [http://www.drstevej.com/smjdis.pdf]. It took me 8 plus years.
    My undergrad degree was at Ga Tech. I found Westminster classes far more demanding than engineering.

    One of my friends took two years to get his doctorate in anthropology–but that was because he took six years to do his MA and had finished all his doctoral coursework and exams before he went out to do the fieldwork for the Ph.D. I went to his dissertation defense. That was, without a doubt, one of the scariest moments of my life, up there with “OMG will I pass the bar” and “Please God, I only have one car, I can’t smash it up.”

    I sat in a corner, quiet as a churchmouse, while five professors argued about whether this monster work (two volumes!) was worthy of a Ph.D. The hangup was that the key professor on the Ph.D had done his fieldwork in country before a revolution which had occurred a couple decades previously and didn’t have a clue as to the current situation. We were escorted out of the room and could hear them arguing–before they finally came out and said, “Oh, we’re passing the dissertation with these cosmetic changes.” Ironically, the key professor asked my friend to come lecture at his graduate seminar that night. Go Figure.

  75. okrapod wrote:

    Eventually (when?) Calvin left the Catholic Church.

    "Eventually" had to be "rather quickly" as he published the Institutes at age 27. Wikipedia says he broke with the Roman Catholic Church in 1530, which would be when he was around 20-21 years old.

  76. drstevej wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    He completed a doctorate in church history in just 3-1/2 years??? No comment.

    My PhD at Westminster Seminary required 2 years of courses (beyond my 4 year ThM degree); passing comprehensive exams in my field; demonstated reading ability in German and Dutch; and a dissertation [http://www.drstevej.com/smjdis.pdf]. It took me 8 plus years.

    My undergrad degree was at Ga Tech. I found Westminster classes far more demanding than engineering.

    Dr Steve, that’s what struck me!! Usually there are two years of courses, then you prep for and pass your general exams, and *then* you research and write your dissertation, which (frankly) separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. No way does it take 3-1/2 years (total) at any reputable institution.

    I think it’s different for the sciences, which have their own unique criteria (post-docs etc.), but for the liberal arts…no way!

  77. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    with so many examples of neo-Cal takeovers now, surely the remaining Churches of the SBC can find a way to protect themselves from these destructive leeches

    Nope. Most SBC church members are clueless. And at the convention next week ………. sshhhhhhh! The big wigs in the know don’t talk about YRRs in public!

    Since retiring from Big Corporate Job, I’ve been freelancing for a wonderful lady who runs a well- known copywriting service. She is a devout Southern Baptist. Her church is very missional, which I assume means it’s free of Neo-Cal influence. The church website doesn’t push any Neo-Cal books. (Yes, I stalked. :D) I hope and pray that she and her church remain outside of the Neo-Cal orbit! I don’t think she has a Calvinist bone in her body. And she’s one of the coolest folks I know!

  78. Why assume that any particular SBC church wants to prevent the swing to calvinism? Given the autonomy and diversity between churches I would not assume any all or nothing attitude toward much of anything among Baptist churches.

    The local SBC mega ‘transitioned’ to calvinist apparently without any problem, maybe because it was so gradual and maybe because size and money and position in the community seem to be what matters most. And the calvinists here in town do well for themselves-looking at downtown Presby and the Presby near where my son lives and the new-ish sizable one out toward the next county and now SBC mega-all of it is, well, intense and ‘up scale’ (for want of a better word).

    I am thinking that while there may well be oblivion at the church house, there is also a degree of indifference leading to whatever packs the pew and fills the collection plate is the way to go.

  79. peter wrote:

    in reality you won the battle and lost the war, because you created a legacy of hurt and bitterness. But you don’t know you lost the war because of your blinkered and selfish attitude.

    You are exactly right, but I am certain that Andy Davis and the 9Marks crew disagrees and simply does not care what anyone else thinks. They are blind. Totally blinded by their ideology. That is the charitable view.

  80. Darlene wrote:

    Roger Nicole!!! What irony! Less than a decade later, Andy Davis would have kicked a man like Roger Nicole to the curb at First Baptist Church Durham & told him to repent and call him “unregenerate”. Folks, just let that sink in for a moment.

    It was expedient to extol Dr. Nicole then and it would have been expedient to kick him to the curb at FBC Durham for his egalitarian views. Principles do not apply with these folks, as I learned the hard way. Power and control is the issue. What do they always talk about? AUTHORITY.

  81. So according to Google search and two of those “church finding” websites, the most recent address for New Meadows Baptist was 54 Main Street in Topsfield.

    http://www.churchfinder.com/churches/ma/topsfield/new-meadows-baptist-church

    http://www.churchangel.com/church/New-Meadows-Baptist-Church-109565.htm

    As far as I can determine, the original church building has been torn down, since the current building at that address (a hair salon) looks too small to have housed a church, per Google StreetView.

  82. AnonInNC wrote:

    So according to Google search and two of those “church finding” websites, the most recent address for New Meadows Baptist was 54 Main Street in Topsfield.
    http://www.churchfinder.com/churches/ma/topsfield/new-meadows-baptist-church
    http://www.churchangel.com/church/New-Meadows-Baptist-Church-109565.htm
    As far as I can determine, the original church building has been torn down, since the current building at that address (a hair salon) looks too small to have housed a church, per Google StreetView.

    Look again. Those houses, i.e. the hair salon and the other two structures on either side look as though they could have all been one dwelling at one time. Now, they look like 3 row homes.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/54+Main+St,+Topsfield,+MA+01983/@42.6401579,-70.9502754,3a,75y,292.74h,95.33t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sfzIeQuyKmIZbsYGI_7JUCg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e31a7ebfe88243:0x56db325a7e1c6b91!8m2!3d42.640429!4d-70.9501719

  83. drstevej wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:
    He completed a doctorate in church history in just 3-1/2 years??? No comment.
    My PhD at Westminster Seminary required 2 years of courses (beyond my 4 year ThM degree); passing comprehensive exams in my field; demonstated reading ability in German and Dutch; and a dissertation [http://www.drstevej.com/smjdis.pdf]. It took me 8 plus years.
    My undergrad degree was at Ga Tech. I found Westminster classes far more demanding than engineering.

    I learned that my ex-NeoCalvinist’s pastor’s (Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley) “Ph.D.” (cough) was from this diploma mill:
    http://faithcollege.org/degrees/

    Ditto for his other “advanced degree” from the same diploma mill.

  84. RE: the PhD in 3 1/2 years. My hubby earned a PhD in New Testament in 3 1/2 years from a top 5 school worldwide in that field (University of Durham in the UK). It also required knowing Hebrew and Greek and a reading knowledge of German and French. So, it is possible.

  85. @ Ken P.:

    “TWW should have a contest. It would be like the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, except with ties between any neo-cal you can name and Mohler, Dever or Piper. Let’s see how many neo-cals you can connect in the fewest degrees possible. Should be a lot of fun.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++

    in a diagram, it would be very illuminating.

    actually i’m getting claustrophobia just picturing it… the feeling of being closed in on…. smothered…

    with this much controlled propaganda, we can look forward to the incredibly shrinking original thought in this silly religion of ours. or maybe it’s already gone kaput… has anyone heard the final ‘poof’ yet?

  86. The 9 Marks folk usurp God’s authority when they create a church covenant to bind the conscience of their followers. Even worse, when they come to the love feast they commit the error of Cain. What is this error? They come into God’s presence with a sacrifice of grain – the work of their own hands. Abel pleased God when he brought the bloody sacrifice. We please God when we also bring the bloody sacrifice. At the new covenant meal we rely on what Jesus did on our behalf. Mark Dever and Andy Davis substitute their works covenant. They do not come to the meal in faith. They come to the table in the way of Cain.

  87. Dale Rudiger wrote:

    They come into God’s presence with a sacrifice of grain – the work of their own hands. Abel pleased God when he brought the bloody sacrifice. We please God when we also bring the bloody sacrifice.

    It seems to me that they do not come into God’s presence with any sacrifice at all-not even symbolically-but rather limit the understanding of even the the symbolism of the Eucharist to only something done in memory of Christ’s sacrifice and done as an ordinance (a commandment if you please). They are not saying that they participate in the offering of Christ but only that they remember it. Think a commemoration ceremony.

    I am not coming from a Catholic background like you, but rather originally from a Baptist background, so perhaps we ‘see’ it differently as to what the message may be that people get from the Baptist concept of what the Lord’s Supper is. We could both be quite correct in this.

  88. Parisi is some sort of technology consultant, focusing on religious nonprofits. He’s in the acknowledgments of Mark Dever’s Sibbes biography and Mrs. Dever’s PraiseFactory! curriculum.

    9Marks Vimeo channel – “Why did Mark Dever think specifically about these nine marks?”

    https://vimeo.com/9188382

    “1 Comment
    Paul Parisi
    Amen.”

  89. @ Jerome:

    Did you see in Elizabeth Kruck’s obituary that her son-in-law's name is Paul D. Parisi? (ed.) His name is listed along with hers at this link:

    https://www.bizapedia.com/ma/new-meadows-baptist-church-inc.html

    In Elizabeth’s obituary, another son-in-law is named Shawn D. Wright of Louisville, KY.

    I thought I had seen that name before. Here is his bio:

    http://www.sbts.edu/academics/faculty/shawn-d-wright/

    Shawn D. Wright
    Professor of Church History (2009)

    Wright came to Southern Seminary after serving Southern Baptist churches in New England. He has been active in church planting and pastoring and currently serves as one of the pastors at Clifton Baptist Church. In addition to teaching at Southern, he is active in teaching on the mission field and to missionaries there. In addition to contributions in journals, Wright co-edited Believer’s Baptism: Sign of the New Covenant In Christ (2007) with Tom Schreiner. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society.

    I have that book cited in Shawn's bio, Believer’s Baptism. I bought it just after it was published because my pastor (at the time) contributed a chapter to it. When I purchased this book I had absolutely no knowledge of the YRR (Neo-Cal) movement.

    Like Dever, Shawn has degrees from Duke, Gordon-Conwell, and SBTS.

  90. @ Gram3:

    Finding this evidence in the "neo-cal founders" background is quite significant… and the inconsistency is quite disturbing..

  91. I read it as Kruck was Parisi’s mother-in-law:

    …survived by her two daughters
    Heidi E. Parisi, her husband Paul D. Parisi, of Boxford, MA…
    Gretchen E. Wright, her husband Shawn D. Wright, of Louisville, KY…”

  92. @ Jerome:

    You're hired as a TWW researcher! The downside of the position is that we work for free here at TWW. 😉

    You won't find any ads on the side of our blog or in our comments (like The Gospel Coalition does).

  93. @ Jerome:

    King of Grace Church in Haverhill, MA (which as you pointed out is part of 'Sovereign Grace Churches') is in the same area as Topsfield, MA – about 14 miles away.

  94. The more I read what you people are saying that is happening, and the more I ask why this movement seems successful, the more I think that SBC left some gaps, created some vacuums, in people’s understandings which this movement fills, rightly or wrongly.

    When I was growing up Baptist I had scads of issues which were never addressed in church, and even which my dad did not deal with adequately no matter how many times he said ‘it says in the Greek’. I mean, stuff which I saw in scripture and which the SBC church was not addressing. Then along came a fundyfied SBC pastor, a Moody grad, with some answers, and I grabbed up on it like bread to a starving person.

    I am wondering if perhaps something like this goes on in Baptist churches which might explain why those who stay and become calvinists do so. Maybe somebody is giving them some answers and maybe any answer is better than none if you are that hungry for answers.

  95. @ Deb:
    It can be done. I did my Phd in systematic theology at SEBTS in 3 1/2 years. SEBTS is both rigorous and reputable, like SBTS. I did 2 years for my coursework, a semester for my comps, and then a year to write my dissertation. The one thing that helped me immensely is that I knew what my dissertation topic would be and did a lot of my research in my coursework. When it came time to write, I had a significant portion of research completed. It’s doable if you have a plan and are focused on completion.

    Jim G.

  96. @ okrapod:
    To some degree I think your observations could be right. Yet, every believer should research on their own, questions of the faith they wrestle with.

    Something I’ve observed in some who have been persuaded to the Calvinist leaning is their thinking; it’s not a big deal,this squabble of the church has been going on a long time, what difference does it make, let’s just get along. Pushed on their actual theology, many are not 5 point Calvinists. Plus, it’s the church they’ve always gone to, there are good programs, church has a school, etc. It is not always easy to leave one’s church, some will put up and shut up.

    Also I’ve observed, new members coming into the Congregation are already Calvinists, they don’t need persuading. So, the majority soon becomes the rule.

    Still my big objection is the deliberate plan of the Pastor to make it a Reformed congregation. Can you imagine the outcry if non Calvinists tried to take over the local reformed Baptist Church? In my mind that’s the critical issue. Where does one get the authority to plan the demise of a non Calvinist Congregation, and what happens to the believer who is run out, forced to leave?

  97. Wow! Davis received a double portion of the “spirit” in the early days of his ministry! He was blessed by both Dever and Mohler! It doesn’t get much better than that! When you are endorsed by at least one of T4G’s Fab Four (Mohler, Dever, Mahaney, Duncan), your ticket has been punched!

    T4G’s elite group of new reformers has now grown to ten who proudly proclaim “Ten years on, by God’s grace, we are still here, standing together for the gospel” http://t4g.org/about/ … which translates “standing together for Calvinism.” The New Calvinist movement wouldn’t be the same without them. They are indispensable, or so they think.

  98. @ Deb:

    I just asked google for the length of the combined MD/PhD programs. Answers vary with the shortest time that I found being what an occasional student can do is 6 years, the average time being 7-8 years, and the time if the two degrees are done separately being 4 each. Makes you wonder why combine the two is there is no time advantage to it.

    Kind of like the combined MD/JD degrees which did not exactly accomplish what some folks had hoped it would.

  99. Jerome wrote:

    Dever’s Calvinism mentor Zane Pratt who pastored the 9Marksist exemplar “healthy church,” New Meadows Baptist, Topsfield, Mass., between Dever and Davis, is now VP at the SBC’s International Mission Board!

    And with David Platt as President, IMB, is there any wonder what theological flavor is now on the throne over SBC’s foreign mission program? They have already purged 1,000 career missionaries from the new IMB.

  100. Root 66 wrote:

    My prayer is that the average ‘pew-peon’ Southern Baptist will wake from his/her slumber and see the destruction that is happening!

    The sleeping giant will only wake up if you try to steal his supper. He doesn’t really give a big whoop about theology, as long as the potluck dinners remain on the church calendar. In the meantime, the new reformers pick their pockets.

  101. okrapod wrote:

    The more I read what you people are saying that is happening, and the more I ask why this movement seems successful, the more I think that SBC left some gaps, created some vacuums, in people’s understandings which this movement fills, rightly or wrongly.

    I don’t know if I can address this completely, but maybe I can give an inkling of what I think might be happening:
    Many, many years ago, Southern Baptists used to have “Training Union” (some of you older baptists might recall that.) Training Union was basically a discipleship tool that taught baptists the basics of what it meant to be a baptist. The SBC doesn’t do that any more. I think the reason these Neo-Cals can run roughshod over churches is that Southern Baptists don’t necessarily know what they believe or why they believe it. The Neo-Cals seem to have “all the answers” and the rank-and-file baptist typically won’t object to them because they use very similar terminology. Being a good ‘Berean’ is the key to thwarting the spread of this “movement.”

    Frankly, when this came to our church, a TULIP was only a flower to me. But as I discovered what they really taught, I educated myself and knuckled-down on what I KNEW was the truth. Many Southern Baptists don’t like to “rock the boat” and like to do “what the preacher says” and the Neo-Cals have learned how to exploit the trusting nature most people have of their pastor. Usually by the time people catch on to what is happening, the governing documents have been changed, they’re forced to either sign the covenant or be removed from membership and suddenly they’re on the outside looking in! I’ve said it many times before and will continue to say it, God doesn’t sneak around in order to declare His truth–and neither should we!

  102. @ Darlene:
    TRUE STORY: I once asked Dr. Nicole (tongue in cheek) if he believed God predestinates some to be Arminians. He replied with a smile, “Oh, no. God is not the author or sin!”

  103. Mae wrote:

    Where does one get the authority to plan the demise of a non Calvinist Congregation, and what happens to the believer who is run out, forced to leave?

    I am not defending anybody, but they think they get the authority from scripture and the admonitions to preach the gospel, which is what they think they are doing.

    As to what happens to believers who leave? They go some place else. In my family YS and DIL took their children and left the United Church of Christ when it shattered over the LGBTQ issues. About that time RE took her kids and left SBC mega when mega drastically altered the children’s programs, trashed the worship service, and isolated mama with the never marrieds when her husband abandoned the family even though they did not blame her in any way for his leaving and were in fact very supportive. I left my UMC church when it fell apart due to congregational bullies which even the hierarchy could not get under control. Now we are all together at a different church, different denomination, different procedures and vocabulary and different worship experiences; and we are satisfied with it and they appear to be at peace with us. All of us are better off than if none of that mess had happened.

    Leaving has not been traumatic much less tragic for us, but then we were never abused. Abuse if a different story. Leaving is just part of life. We left KY (a good place) and went to NC (another good place) and it has worked out well. DIL was a social worker, and then went to law school-both worthwhile things to do. We took the kids out of public school and put them in a church school-with great results. I gave up nursing (which I still miss to this day) and went to med school (which was a mixed bag but turned out well). We left where we had lived over toward the coast and moved over toward the mountains, which has been good for us.

    So, I think that leaving is just something you do when the time comes to do it. Including churches.

    ‘Build thee more stately mansions, oh my soul.’… (The Chambered Nautilus)

  104. Max wrote:

    He doesn’t really give a big whoop about theology, as long as the potluck dinners remain on the church calendar. In the meantime, the new reformers pick their pockets.

    Perhaps this “movement” is a good thing for Southern Baptists and it will force us to abandon our “business as usual” attitudes. We must make a stand and “choose you this day whom ye will serve…”

  105. @ okrapod:
    Maybe they do go somewhere else, maybe not.

    We were emotionally invested in our church, had been very active within it for a long time. Being chased out was not a pleasant experience.
    Of the members who left, most have found other churches to attend. A few have not. Most who left have not become members of another church, and have no intention of ever becoming members.

    Choosing to change employment, location,lifestyle is part of life. Being forced to change something is not as easily digested.

  106. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Much easier to Steal than Work.

    I actually think this is much more true of the Calvinistas than anybody talks about. I went to school with these guys. They saw ministry as a way to an easy life. They thought they’d just study and preach and other people would do things like outreach and social ministry.

    And then they get out of school and start buying their sermons instead of writing them. They asked to be paid good sums by the church, then use their time writing books for which they think will make them famous and earn them lots of extra income. They demand to be paid the salaries of two incomes so their wives don’t have to work, while their church members are struggling in two-income families just to make ends meet. Then their wives write articles about how you should tithe a lot, bring your pastor’s family lots of food and gifts, and send lots of compliments, but oh wait–don’t expect anyone to thank you or respond because they are “too busy” (an actual article! http://stevenandersonfamily.blogspot.com/2017/05/15-ways-to-be-blessing-to-your-pastors.html).

  107. Mae wrote:

    Still my big objection is the deliberate plan of the Pastor to make it a Reformed congregation.

    I think the problem is that they seem to want to police what everyone believes, instead of just preaching what they believe and letting the church membership follow their own leanings. Like this female deacon thing. Which has nothing to do with reformed doctrine, really. He was actively ANGRY that people didn’t agree with him and voted differently. He read that as evil, not just disagreement.

    Dever seems to have some policy where the church obsessively makes sure someone takes what seems to amount to a test to make sure their ‘doctrine’ is right before they join. This is deeply weird to me and not typical of Baptist church past policy. Do you believe? Have you been baptized? Done. This crazy nitpicking like everybody in church is sitting for a theology exam is strange business.

  108. Mae wrote:

    Where does one get the authority to plan the demise of a non Calvinist Congregation,

    From Predestined Election — God’s Speshul Pet Elected by Divine Fiat before the foundation of the world. And The Elect Can Do No Wrong.

    and what happens to the believer who is run out, forced to leave?

    They get to burn in Hell for all Eternity as Predestined Reprobates, watched by the Predestined Elect from their catered box seats in Heaven. If they were Predestined Elect, they would have stayed.

  109. Lea wrote:

    This is deeply weird to me and not typical of Baptist church past policy. Do you believe? Have you been baptized? Done. This crazy nitpicking like everybody in church is sitting for a theology exam is strange business.

    Purity of Ideology, Comrade.
    Ye shall know who is Predestined Elect by their Perfectly Parsed Theology.

  110. ishy wrote:

    A short interlude, since a bunch is stuff is coming out of the SBC convention…

    Ya think the decline could also possibly be because people are wising up to the controlling and abusive leadership of the SBC??

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/june/southern-baptist-convention-churches-baptisms-sbc-acp.html

    From the link: “The denomination is down to its “lowest baptisms since 1946; lowest membership since 1990; lowest worship attendance since 1996,” according to historical analysis from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.”

    A predictable outcome when a once-great evangelistic denomination changes its focus … the new breed of SBC “pastors” are more concerned about reaching the masses for Calvin, rather than Christ.

    Even though SBC gained 500 churches last year (New Calvinist church plants), it lost 78,000 members – I suspect mostly non-Calvinists who joined the Done ranks. “It’s clear that evangelism and discipleship are waning … there is a lack of engagement” (Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay). Duh, that’s what happens Thom when you put a bunch of young reformers in the pulpit who tweet their lives away in coffee shops, rather than engaging the lost.

  111. Max wrote:

    The sleeping giant will only wake up if you try to steal his supper. He doesn’t really give a big whoop about theology, as long as the potluck dinners remain on the

    These pot lucks/fellowship meals fall in the laps of the women, for the most part. If the men want to control everything else in the churches, I think the women should hand the kitchen duties over to the men, too!

  112. ishy wrote:

    I went to school with these guys. They saw ministry as a way to an easy life. They thought they’d just study and preach and other people would do things like outreach and social ministry.

    The real top of the food chain isn’t the Apex Predator but the Apex Parasite.

  113. Max wrote:

    And with David Platt as President, IMB, is there any wonder what theological flavor is now on the throne over SBC’s foreign mission program? They have already purged 1,000 career missionaries from the new IMB.

    Because they preached that old gospel of Christ instead of the New Gospel of CALVIN.
    Impure Theology, Comrades.

  114. okrapod wrote:

    The local SBC mega ‘transitioned’ to calvinist apparently without any problem, maybe because it was so gradual and maybe because size and money and position in the community seem to be what matters most. And the calvinists here in town do well for themselves

    Before today’s Perfectly Parsed Theology and Utterly Correct Reformed Doctrine, remember the previous PROOF you were one of the Predestined Elect: Material Blessings, i.e. Getting Rich (by any means necessary – what Judgment(TM) do the Predestined Elect have to fear?).

  115. Root 66 wrote:

    We must make a stand and “choose you this day whom ye will serve…”

    I think the great multitude of Southern Baptists made their stand and choice years ago, leading to the proliferation of New Calvinism within SBC ranks. The average Southern Baptist no longer scares the devil when he gets up in the morning … prayerless and powerless he is.

  116. Lea wrote:

    Which has nothing to do with reformed doctrine, really. He was actively ANGRY that people didn’t agree with him and voted differently. He read that as evil, not just disagreement.

    So if Roger Nicole (a Calvinist as well as an egalitarian) had been supportive of female deacons at FBC Durham, Andy Davis would have berated him, too?

  117. ishy wrote:

    Ya think the decline could also possibly be because people are wising up to the controlling and abusive leadership of the SBC??

    I know when I joined my church they made some jokes that a good chunk of the church was former SBC, who left for one reason or another.

  118. Deb wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    Which has nothing to do with reformed doctrine, really. He was actively ANGRY that people didn’t agree with him and voted differently. He read that as evil, not just disagreement.

    So if Roger Nicole (a Calvinist as well as an egalitarian) had been supportive of female deacons at FBC Durham, Andy Davis would have berated him, too?

    If he were a nobody, yes. Since he was a somebody, no. imo.

  119. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    “Eventually” had to be “rather quickly” as he published the Institutes at age 27. Wikipedia says he broke with the Roman Catholic Church in 1530, which would be when he was around 20-21 years old.

    Let’s see…
    * Twentysomething Know-it-All…
    * Trained as a Lawyer…
    * Forced into an unwanted career path by Daddy…
    * Writing his magnum opus of Cosmic Importance (kinda like Karl Marx some 400 years later)…
    What could possibly go wrong with this combination?

  120. @ ishy:

    Interesting they noted AoG, because I know a lot of people who I grew going to church with go to those churches now.

  121. Max wrote:

    Duh, that’s what happens Thom when you put a bunch of young reformers in the pulpit who tweet their lives away in coffee shops, rather than engaging the lost.

    They have no sense of urgency to engage the lost, since everybody’s already sized up anyhow! What amazes me, though, is that they will swear up and down that evangelism matters to them, but when looking at their theology, it makes very little sense to evangelize! I think they just say they care in order to keep the majority of sheep from growing suspicious…

  122. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    My point being, Nancy2, is that the average Southern Baptist is more concerned with his flesh (e.g., potluck dinners) than spiritual things.

    Also, you will never find me arguing with the fact that women are the unsung heroes of SBC. Who teaches most of the Sunday School classes? Who shows up for prayer meetings? Who volunteers for VBS? Who lead children to Christ? Who have kept SBC churches open over the years? Our sisters are worth far more than their culinary skills to serving food for the Body of Christ … they ‘are’ the Body of Christ!

  123. Mae wrote:

    Being forced to change something is not as easily digested.

    I am sorry you all got hurt. I got hurt when my husband and I divorced. Personally, and this only applies to me, I have found that there can be life after hurt, but one has to make it happen-or so it was for me.

    So I have been on both sides of ‘issues’, both choice and compulsion. But no, I was never all that emotionally invested in church. However, the loss of a job and with it a career which necessitated the move across state and the building of a whole new professional life was ‘compulsion’ but none the less worked out for the best. So, the loss of a husband and the loss of that career path were due to compulsion, while the change from KY to NC and the change from RN to MD were by choice. Either way, all of it was to the good-in the end-for me and mine.

    Another quote from my poetry memory bank:
    ‘If you can see the things you gave your life to broken
    And stoop and build them up again with worn out tools..’ (Kipling)

    I mean, what is the option? The stuff hits the fan. Wipe the place down and go get another fan. In my case I have developed yet another cancer (as in, another primary) and week after next they are going to cut out more of me and send it all to the lab. I am about to get on first name basis with the OR techs at this rate. Don’t even think that I don’t know about dealing with circumstances which one did not choose. None the less, deal with it one must. And, IMO, there is no virtue in failing to just accept that stuff happens and-and-and-that much despised phrase-move on. Sorry, but it works for me.

  124. Max wrote:

    I think the great multitude of Southern Baptists made their stand and choice years ago, leading to the proliferation of New Calvinism within SBC ranks. The average Southern Baptist no longer scares the devil when he gets up in the morning … prayerless and powerless he is.

    It might be a case of “too little, too late” but I’m still not going down without a fight! 🙂
    Sadly though, instead of scaring the devil, we’ve asked him to come on in and bring a covered dish!

  125. Root 66 wrote:

    They have no sense of urgency to engage the lost

    That is not on the resume of a New Calvinist. To them, “evangelism” is harvesting the elect, rather than reaching the lost … they can do that by sitting their skinny jeans on a stool and letting the predestine come to them.

  126. Root 66 wrote:

    Sadly though, instead of scaring the devil, we’ve asked him to come on in and bring a covered dish!

    And when he comes in, he steals, kills and destroys.

    It may be too little, too late … but this old guy is still a New Calvinist fighter. They may have won a few battles, but the war – well, it’s not over. But God …

  127. Max wrote:

    They may have won a few battles, but the war – well, it’s not over. But God …

    Amen, Max! I’ve read the end of the book and I know how it turns out!

  128. This is thing that was quoted on twitter from someone named James Hamilton’s “sermon”.

    “Some of our contemporaries act like they don’t have the intelligence or sophistication 2 embrace [male-female hierarchy].” J Hamilton CBMW

    Sophistication. *headdesk*

  129. Mae wrote:

    And then write books, hold conferences on how it can be done….to the glory of God.

    And FINANCIAL Proof that they are Truly Elect.

  130. Max wrote:

    My point being, Nancy2, is that the average Southern Baptist is more concerned with his flesh (e.g., potluck dinners) than spiritual things.

    I agree. I think that if women quit busting our tails laying out such great meals and “submitted” KP duties to the men, attendance would drop by at least 25%!

  131. @ okrapod:
    Moving on sure….we are attending a church we like very much, made new friends, retired…All changes we have rolled with.
    I too have two cancers as well, Multiple Myeloma and breast cancer, on chemo as I write, not what I’d wish on my worst enemy but, I roll with what cancer has brought too.
    However, I will continue to actively oppose the takeover of churches by the Calvanistas because a lot of believers will be emotionally battered, shone the back hand of fellowship. Since it happened to me, just can’t be complacent, hoping it won’t happen to others.

  132. Max wrote:

    That is not on the resume of a New Calvinist. To them, “evangelism” is harvesting the elect, rather than reaching the lost … they can do that by sitting their skinny jeans on a stool and letting the predestine come to them.

    To their reserved Twitter stool in the hippest Starbucks.
    (Along with all the other Entitled mooch-boyz…)

  133. @ Max:
    just had a thought:
    does the new ‘Calvinism’ fit better with the prevailing political allegiance of evangelicals in the SBC?

    are there certain ‘teachings’ that are more apropo to what appeals in the political realm?

  134. Lea wrote:

    If he were a nobody, yes. Since he was a somebody, no. imo.

    Highborn and Lowborn, just like in Westeros.
    The Lowborn exist only for the convenience and enrichment of their Lords the Highborn.

  135. Mae wrote:

    However, I will continue to actively oppose the takeover of churches by the Calvanistas because a lot of believers will be emotionally battered, shone the back hand of fellowship.

    in such cases,
    was it ever REALLY ‘fellowship’?
    such ‘fellowship’ as you experienced sounds very conditional on circumstances rather than rooted in the peace and love of Christ

  136. Christiane wrote:

    does the new ‘Calvinism’ fit better with the prevailing political allegiance of evangelicals in the SBC?

    The largest Calvinist denomination (I believe) in the US is extremely liberal.

    okrapod and mae, I wish you the best in treatment. I have a little cousin dealing with lymphoma right now and its rough.

  137. Christiane wrote:

    are there certain ‘teachings’ that are more apropo to what appeals in the political realm?

    Islamic Predestination was always apropos to the omnipotent (and Predestined) whims of whichever Sultan or Shah was on the throne. And to their (Predestined) Court Favorites of the week, whether secular or Clerical.

  138. Christiane wrote:

    Mae wrote:
    However, I will continue to actively oppose the takeover of churches by the Calvanistas because a lot of believers will be emotionally battered, shone the back hand of fellowship.
    in such cases,
    was it ever REALLY ‘fellowship’?
    such ‘fellowship’ as you experienced sounds very conditional on circumstances rather than rooted in the peace and love of Christ

    No, before the new pastor came it certainly was. Still have good fellowship with those who left along with us. We don’t all go to the same church but still get together for meals and prayer.

  139. Mae wrote:

    No, before the new pastor came it certainly was. Still have good fellowship with those who left along with us. We don’t all go to the same church but still get together for meals and prayer.

    what kind of ‘pastor’ does this to a community?

    good you still meet with your brothers and sisters from time to time

  140. Christiane wrote:

    what kind of ‘pastor’ does this to a community?

    One that wants absolute control instead of desiring the genuine fellowship and ‘koinonia’ the Bible teaches that we should have. It’s much easier to control people when they are scattered and startled than when they are at harmony and fellowship with one another. Our former Neo-Cal pastor and his wife loved to keep the pot stirred for this very reason!

  141. @ Lea:
    Thank you Lea.
    There are good, new treatments out there for a lot of cancers. Hopefully your niece will respond to one.

  142. Root 66 wrote:

    What amazes me, though, is that they will swear up and down that evangelism matters to them, but when looking at their theology, it makes very little sense to evangelize! I think they just say they care in order to keep the majority of sheep from growing suspicious…

    I suspect they mean “Calvinize” or “Covenantize” when they say “Evangelize”. They don’t target non-Christians at all, as far as I can tell.

  143. Christiane wrote:

    does the new ‘Calvinism’ fit better with the prevailing political allegiance of evangelicals in the SBC?

    I doubt it, since evangelicals have always been pretty much ‘conservative’. And I wonder how much religion influences people anyhow since the Catholic split was almost 50/50.

    I think that ‘evangelicals’ took up that word so they could be both cross-denominational and also fundamentalist without the stigma of that ‘f’ word. But it did not keep them from being fundamentalist. Calvinism seems to be ‘how’ they are fundamentalist, but IMO those who like the fundamentalist mind set might just as easily have taken up with some other form or it had another form been available.

    Which is really sad, because there is enough in Christianity to be passionate about without making up the rules as you go along, if being passionate is what they are after.

  144. okrapod wrote:

    Calvinism seems to be ‘how’ they are fundamentalist

    Yes! This is what I think too. (Except it’s also Calvinism PLus other stuff like comp.)

    I think the religious/politics stuff is more about demographics than anything. Which is true of a lot of things, actually.

  145. @ okrapod:
    I look at the treatment of women, and on that alone, I wonder at how the ‘beliefs’ religious impact certain political choices, particularly in allowing for the ‘one issue’ voters to hold their noses and vote a certain way.

  146. Andy was strongly committed to sharing Christ in the workplace and had a flourishing Bible study.

    Now we know why his engineering career didn’t work out, but I imagine he’s doing alright. Biblical manhood ain’t cheap.

  147. Stan wrote:

    Now we know why his engineering career didn’t work out

    HA! My first thought was that he must have been fun to work with.

  148. Christiane wrote:

    I look at the treatment of women, and on that alone, I wonder at how the ‘beliefs’ religious impact certain political choices, particularly in allowing for the ‘one issue’ voters to hold their noses and vote a certain way.

    I think it is just the opposite. What you seem to see as religious opinion which would spill over into the secular arena I see as secular sociopolitical opinion which is spilling over into the religious arena. Maybe I think that because some ideas about women pre-exist the neo-cals at least for as long as my life time and are pretty prevalent in the larger culture including especially that segment of society which does not darken the church door and for which we have names in the South.

    I think that people pick their church affiliations where they find like minded people, but that the opinions are long ago formed by culture and family and economics and politics and self interest and such like. And I think that the neo-cals have not caused that but rather have tapped into it and use it to their own advantage.

  149. Max wrote:

    Even though SBC gained 500 churches last year (New Calvinist church plants), it lost 78,000 members

    Members die, leave, and are keyed out for insubordination and other reasons which are legitimate. If children are not recorded as members until they are 18, then that messes up the net membership statistics for the Calvinistas.

  150. Deb wrote:

    if Roger Nicole (a Calvinist as well as an egalitarian) had been supportive of female deacons at FBC Durham, Andy Davis would have berated him, too?

    Jumping in here, but I honestly believe that Andy Davis would do whatever Mark Dever tells him to do. That is how this System works. Andy Davis and the other Former Interns know who made them, as this post points out. Dever and 9Marks have made Complementarianism a non-negotiable Gospel issue, so I am confident that Roger Nicole’s view’s would be politely dismissed though “of course they have great respect for him as a scholar and a gentleman. etc.”

  151. okrapod wrote:

    I have developed yet another cancer (as in, another primary)

    So very sorry to hear that. We will be praying for your recovery. I wish that I had your resilient attitude.

  152. ishy wrote:

    Root 66 wrote:
    What amazes me, though, is that they will swear up and down that evangelism matters to them, but when looking at their theology, it makes very little sense to evangelize! I think they just say they care in order to keep the majority of sheep from growing suspicious…
    I suspect they mean “Calvinize” or “Covenantize” when they say “Evangelize”. They don’t target non-Christians at all, as far as I can tell.

    Agree. Evangelize = Calvanize.

  153. Thank you for your kind comments. Today I learned, through nerve conduction studies and EMG (that really hurts!) that I have partial paralysis of a main nerve innervating my foot. The is what is causing complete toe drop in my left foot. The neurologist said “You are an interesting case.” I told him I don’t like it when doctors say that!!!

    Thankfully, I have some experts helping me, especially my doctor from Duke. I am now on Enbrel, Methotrexate and Plaquenil as well as high dosage prescription nonsteroidals. In order to try to save nerve function, I will have to be on high does steroids for the next two weeks and on Tuesday I got a big honking dose of steroids as a shot.

    However, something really good happened today and I will be keeping you all posted on this. I am working with Project Fight of the Salvation Army here in North Carolina to set up a fund for health care as well as to develop a referral system to heath professionals of all kinds-doctors, dentist, nutritionists, pharmacists, etc. to provide for medical and other health care needs.

    I learned that many trafficked victims are brought the States and are here illegally. through no fault of their own. They were promised papers, etc as well as good jobs and then the bait and switch occurs. Sadly, this limits their access to Medicaid, etc.

    I will keep you all posted as I try to see how anyone who is interested could help by making tax deductible donations on the form on money, medical and dental care, prenatal care, etc. I have the means to approach lots of medical folks that I know to help. We already have cardiology taken care of or Bill gets no dinner!!!

    I am so grateful for this blog and all of you since I can still do all this stuff even if I have some disability.

  154. Wow, Dee, that sounds very heavy-duty!! I hope and trust they can make it better! Will you be going on to Prednisone? I was recently on that stuff and absolutely hated it. But I’ve been told there are newer alternatives to it with fewer side effects.

    Prayers and hugs!!!!

  155. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Will you be going on to Prednisone?

    yes- I had a huge systemic injection of it on Tuesday and am on high dose by mouth for two weeks. They have to do it to get the swelling down to try to save the nerve function. This is little choice for me in the matter. Thank you.

  156. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:
    But- I will be permanently on Plaquenil, Methotrexta, and Enbrel along with prescription strength nonsteroidal They are not steroids. Enbrel is the fairly new stuff you have heard about. Phil Mickelson, the golfer, takes it. My husband say maybe I should take up golfing now!

  157. linda wrote:

    Brief Order of Confession and Forgiveness

    Agreed… powerful small reminders. And repetition can work wonders if we pay attention.

  158. Mae wrote:

    these wolves won’t start their own church from scratch, do the hard work that would require. Nope, instead they slip into an established church and then begin the reform.

    Or do the third option, which is actually to learn what an established church is about and work their way from a beginner’s position to something with more responsibility.

  159. Max wrote:

    My point being, Nancy2, is that the average Southern Baptist is more concerned with his flesh (e.g., potluck dinners) than spiritual things.

    I agree and I regret, in retrospect, having participated in my ex-NeoCalvinist church’s Sunday Fellowship Meals. I now see it for what it is: a form of Love Bombing to ensnare people.

  160. @ Dee Parsons:
    Hoping you get relief soon…. Prednisone, the drug we love to hate, but it can do wonders.
    I thank you and Deb for this blog. During my church crisis back six years ago, somehow I stumbled upon the blog. I learned so much about from it about Neo Calvinism…it was truly a God send. Everything happening all began to make sense.
    Sincere thanks and best wishes as you heal.

  161. Yes, indeed, the drug we love to hate!! Keeps you up all night, but yes, it does get the swelling down. Hope you feel better very soon. What an ordeal!

  162. Gram3 wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    I have developed yet another cancer (as in, another primary)

    So very sorry to hear that. We will be praying for your recovery. I wish that I had your resilient attitude.

    Oh my gosh, just saw this. So sorry!! Prayers and much love!

  163. Gram3 wrote:

    Dever and 9Marks have made Complementarianism a non-negotiable Gospel issue, so I am confident that Roger Nicole’s view’s would be politely dismissed though “of course they have great respect for him as a scholar and a gentleman. etc.”

    Non-negotiable huh? For this issue (complementarianism) alone, their religion will not see the 22nd century. Nor will arminian outfits (calvary chapel comes to mind) who insist upon patriarchy as the only viable ethos for ‘Bible believeing churches’.

  164. Max wrote:

    that’s what happens Thom when you put a bunch of young reformers in the pulpit who tweet their lives away in coffee shops, rather than engaging the lost.

    It’s not just the lost who lose out. These guys could stand to return phone calls from their own members, visit their own shut-ins, say a prayer with a sick member in the pre-op area, etc.

  165. Dee Parsons wrote:

    In order to try to save nerve function, I will have to be on high does steroids for the next two weeks and on Tuesday I got a big honking dose of steroids as a shot.

    Does this mean two weeks from now you’ll look like a female Arnold Schwarzenegger?

    If so, as long as you are one of those dreaded Muscular Women(TM), try to run into John Piper and go “BOO!”

  166. Dee Parsons wrote:

    However, something really good happened today and I will be keeping you all posted on this. I am working with Project Fight of the Salvation Army here in North Carolina to set up a fund for health care as well as to develop a referral system to heath professionals of all kinds-doctors, dentist, nutritionists, pharmacists, etc. to provide for medical and other health care needs.

    I’m a regular donor to Salvation Army ($100/month), it’s a family tradition established by my father. Is Project Fight also active in Southern California?

  167. Praying for all the ill.

    Dee, been fighting something similar year and a half, only the drop is shoulder drop, which caused herniated discs in the neck, and well, all down hill from there. Just finished exhaustive testing. Inflammatory markers are high but no RA or PA or SLE, etc. Docs say I am also an interesting case. Best bet is that the 2015 flu shot was administered too high due to healing wound from a lesion removal by dermatologist. Think it hit either a nerve or not one but two bursa’s. At any rate, many meds and procedures later, told to just live with it. Cannot tolerate any more steroids, shots or oral. Can’t tolerate NSAIDS well. Nerve conduction tests showing a lot of damage, may or may not prove permanent.

    Some days are good, some days are not, but all are much better than a year ago.

    Praying for you, and you pray for me.

  168. Dee Parsons wrote:

    In order to try to save nerve function, I will have to be on high does steroids for the next two weeks and on Tuesday I got a big honking dose of steroids as a shot.

    Oh no! I hate steroids. Steroids make me hawgry……… I mean so hawngry my belly feels like it’s going to pop and I can’t zip my pants hawngry! I hope they don’t have the same effect on you!
    Dee Parsons wrote:

    I am so grateful for this blog and all of you since I can still do all this stuff even if I have some disability.

    And we are grateful for you.

  169. Christiane wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    I look at the treatment of women, and on that alone, I wonder at how the ‘beliefs’ religious impact certain political choices, particularly in allowing for the ‘one issue’ voters to hold their noses and vote a certain way.

    It is said that when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act, he said “I’ll have the [blacks] voting straight-ticket Democrat for the next 100 years!” (Though in his later years LBJ was apparently much less racist than other Dems from the Solid South, he was also a politician first and foremost.)

    Since Nixon’s subsequent Southern Strategy and the rise of the Moral Majority and their successors (Christianese wanna-be GOP kingmakers), I wonder if GOP strategists feel the same about their Born-again base, AKA “Just dangle Outlaw Abortion and Prayer in Schools and Those Gays in front of their noses and whistle ‘Here, boy!’ We’ll have those God Squadders voting Republican for the next 100 years!”

    With both of these, I am reminded how the Cold War-era KGB would flatter & manipulate Activists in the West for their own ends. (They called such “Red Fanboys” [skubalon]-eaters because they’d swallow all the manipulative Party propaganda. Never to their face, of course.)

  170. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Steroids make me hawgry……… I mean so hawngry my belly feels like it’s going to pop and I can’t zip my pants hawngry! I hope they don’t have the same effect on you!

    As long as your muscles don’t explode like that one Steroid Wonder bodybuilder…

  171. Friend wrote:

    Praying for both of you.

    Me, too.
    @Mae – a few years ago, my aunt had aggressive breast cancer. The treatments were hard on her, but she is thriving now! …….. Retired with good benefits and thoroughly enjoying spoiling her only grandchild (age 19 mos.) absolutely rotten …. with a lot of help from my uncle in the spoiling part!
    I hope things go that well for you.

  172. Aside from the hyper-authoritarianism and 20 other things going on in this situation…

    A neutral question, making sure I’m reading it correctly: My understanding from reading his perspective is that he viewed the role of deacons at FB Durham as *actually* functioning as elders in practice while (in his opinion) using the term deacon when they should have been using the term elder, and that’s why he opposed it? He was really opposing female eldership? But he used to be okay with women deacons and still is, or used to be and is not now? Or never was. Confused about all that still.

    Anyways. The SBC for me was constant mixed messages and contradictions about women, experientially in the day to day and theologically in the written/spoken and the ever changing applications of it.

    This article I saw earlier is a good example of contradictions and confusing application:

    https://brnow.org/Opinions/Guest-Columns/June-2017/How-to-involve-more-women-in-SBC-life

    The contradictions and fallacies are inherent in the theology itself. The confusion and difference of opinions are not just mere margin of errors and differing interpretations and misapplications of an otherwise healthy theology.

    For me, it was looking at it from Wesley’s Quad and really thinking through Scripture and theology and questioning everything, finding themes and messages in all my and other women’s bad experiences in the system that kept happening (and looking at others experiences in general, even positive ones). Ans looking at what it means for women metaphysically and epistemologically in salvific functions (priesthood of all believers, fruits of the Spirit and access to the Spirit, approaching God freely in mind and heart before Christ, and so on). And at the basic human level of what it means to be human. Looked and thought about everything I could ponder about, and it doesn’t hold up to me in any sphere.

    I don’t even think complementariansim goes with the philosophy and theology of what it means to be Baptist at heart and in mind. In effect, women can’t really be *Baptist* if they’re complementarian. I find soul freedom and the liberty of conscience of a female to lose their essence and definition in complementarian theology and philosophy.

  173. linda wrote:

    Best bet is that the 2015 flu shot was administered too high due to healing wound from a lesion removal by dermatologist

    Did you know that there is more information coming out with people who develop bad bursitis, tendonitis, etc. after the flu shot? I found out about it this year when I had to take my stepfather to the orthopedic surgeon for a terrible flare up with tons of fluid in his elbow and shoulder joint about 4 weeks after the fly shot in that arm.

    The Ortho told us that he has seen some of this of the last couple of years and that they are doing some studies on this. Also, the flu shot developed for Norway by Glaxo Smith Kline cause a noticeable uptick in narcolepsy in small children. That is being studied as well.

    I shall pray for you. I am so sorry that this happened to you.

  174. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):
    The methotrexate has caused me not to be hungry- a side effect that I can live with!!! Also, I get sick with narcotics but I can tolerate the low dose Tramadol (37.5) with acetaminophen when the pain is severe, about 1 time a day right now. I hate it but it makes me not hungry-another good side effect. So, I have lost a few pounds. One should never let an easy opportunity to lose weight to pass one by!!!

  175. Lea wrote:

    Dever seems to have some policy where the church obsessively makes sure someone takes what seems to amount to a test to make sure their ‘doctrine’ is right before they join. This is deeply weird to me and not typical of Baptist church past policy. Do you believe? Have you been baptized? Done. This crazy nitpicking like everybody in church is sitting for a theology exam is strange business.

    I think this nitpicking, questioning, examining people on the part of Neo-Cals is because they want to make sure the membership is “regenerate.” They see themselves as the Police of Pure Doctrine and Overseers of Sincere Faith. Big Brother on Steroids.

  176. emily honey wrote:

    In effect, women can’t really be *Baptist* if they’re complementarian.

    Interesting comment (all around).

    I went to that article and stopped at this:

    Some may question the increase in female leadership, but this is primarily an issue of culture, not theology. No one is talking about challenging complementarian views, and women are not demanding to be elected elders or seeking to fill the pulpit.

    The ones that would are leaving. Many that are left have to be cringing at this stuff, though. I agree with you, you can’t claim to support women in leadership and still claim the comp stuff. It just doesn’t work.

  177. emily honey wrote:

    I don’t even think complementariansim goes with the philosophy and theology of what it means to be Baptist at heart and in mind. In effect, women can’t really be *Baptist* if they’re complementarian. I find soul freedom and the liberty of conscience of a female to lose their essence and definition in complementarian theology and philosophy.

    Agreed. 9Marks believes that the only authentic Baptist values are the English Particular Baptist values. They don’t value the ones you mention and which were modified in the BFM2K because those are traditional Anabaptist values which cannot be correct because they are not Reformed hierarchical and church-clerical values. Ironically the English Particular Baptists were influenced by the Anabaptists. Go figure.

    That is the heart of the matter, IMO. It is about elitism and economics.

  178. Dee–I learned that about 6 months into this. Within hours of the flu shot I could not lift my arm above my shoulder. By that night I had an extremely high fever, my legs would not stop making peddling motions, and I was throwing up. By the next morning I felt fine except a mildly sore shoulder.

    A couple of months later I woke at night feeling like someone had tried to rip my arm off. I could not control the movement of it and the pain was like nothing I ever experienced, way worse than childbirth. I grabbed the arm, rolled over and felt fine. But severe tendonitis set up in the elbow. Got a cortisone shot and PT and seemed better, then the neck went out, then the shoulder. Two shots in the shoulder, a shot in the neck, numerous x rays, two mri’s, tons of meds, and best they can offer is “we don’t really understand but if it is from the flu shot it should heal in 15-24 months.

    My shoulder is very visibly several inches lower than the other one. Arm is constantly sore, shoulder aches and collarbone hurts frequently. Neck also hurts daily but at least I can now sleep more than 1 1/2 hours a night and can lie comfortably if I stay stock still on my back. But hey, I’ll take it as I CAN sleep. All the cortisone gave me permanently pink cheeks and worsened my osteoporosis.

    2016 flu shot, given in other arm, did not have any side effects at all. Go figure.

  179. emily honey wrote:

    I don’t even think complementariansim goes with the philosophy and theology of what it means to be Baptist at heart and in mind. In effect, women can’t really be *Baptist* if they’re complementarian. I find soul freedom and the liberty of conscience of a female to lose their essence and definition in complementarian theology and philosophy.

    I agree!

  180. dee wrote:

    One should never let an easy opportunity to lose weight to pass one by!!!

    Ha! Like in The Devil Wears Prada: I’m just one stomach flu away from reaching my goal weight?

  181. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    He completed a doctorate in church history in just 3-1/2 years??? No comment.

    If he somehow went summers, too, maybe it equated to 5. Benefit of the doubt, though I don’t know the man so I don’t know if he deserves it.

  182. Ken P. wrote:

    TWW should have a contest. It would be like the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”, except with ties between any neo-cal you can name and Mohler, Dever or Piper. Let’s see how many neo-cals you can connect in the fewest degrees possible. Should be a lot of fun.
    Deebs determine the winner.

    It’s too easy with any Acts 29 pastor – they are all connected to Driscoll even today (they’re just hiding it).

  183. On another note, Piper’s daily devotional today is quite good. It’s a great description of what is happening in New Calvinism: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/when-reason-serves-rebellion

    One profound biblical insight we need to know is that our hearts exploit our minds to justify what our hearts want. That is, our deepest desires precede the rational functioning of our minds and incline the mind to perceive and think in a way that will make the desires look right.

    Doing the evil we love makes us hostile to the light of truth. In this condition, the mind becomes a factory of half-truths, equivocations, sophistries, evasions, and lies — anything to protect the evil desires of the heart from exposure and destruction.

    “half-truths, equivocations, sophistries, evasions, and lies” – what a great description of the New Calvinist movement. May the Lord deliver all of us (and them) from this curse.

  184. hoodaticus wrote:

    Oh oops Driscoll wasn’t mentioned – my bad

    Well, if you want a mention of Driscoll, this was featured on TGC today: http://www.bobthune.com/2017/06/pipeline-shrinking/. Here is how it describes Driscoll’s departure from Acts29:

    Certainly Acts 29 has seen its share of organizational challenges during these years – most notably Mark Driscoll’s descent from leadership and all its attendant chaos.

    Organizational challenges?!?!?
    Descent from leadership?!?!?

    Really? This proves the point I made about Piper’s devotional for the day – “half-truths, equivocations, sophistries, evasions, and lies”.

  185. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Ouch! Scroll down and read the last comment made by “Mary”!
    http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/lottie-moon-falls-11-3-million-annie-armstrong-down-13-1-million/#comment-65501

    Rocket science is NOT required to figure out this trend in the SBC! The Neo-Cals want to rid baptist churches of, as David Platt calls them, “those superstitious altar calls!” Is it any wonder numbers are down when they don’t see the significance of offering people an opportunity to respond to the Gospel?!?

    Also, giving to missions is probably down because many baptists (like myself) are beginning to wonder about the direction of SBC missions and are a little more scrupulous with their wallets!

  186. Dee Parsons wrote:

    I am so grateful for this blog and all of you since I can still do all this stuff even if I have some disability.

    Dee, even though I am not a Southern Baptist, or an Evangelical for that matter, I am thankful that you & Deb are sounding the alarm on the abuse of all kinds within Evangelicalism. May your endeavors to help others be blessed! I hope you get well and heal soon.

  187. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    dee wrote:

    One should never let an easy opportunity to lose weight to pass one by!!!

    Ha! Like in The Devil Wears Prada: I’m just one stomach flu away from reaching my goal weight?

    Back when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, I asked the endocrinologist if I could hold off on treatment until I lost another ten pounds.

    Unfortunately, if I’d waited till then to start meds, I probably would have already turned into a homocidal maniac in overdrive.

  188. Prayers for all the suffering in this little cyber-community: Dee, Christiane, Mae, Okrapod, Linda, and anyone else going through illness and pain right now.

  189. Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    dee wrote:

    One should never let an easy opportunity to lose weight to pass one by!!!

    Ha! Like in The Devil Wears Prada: I’m just one stomach flu away from reaching my goal weight?

    Back when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, I asked the endocrinologist if I could hold off on treatment until I lost another ten pounds.

    Unfortunately, if I’d waited till then to start meds, I probably would have already turned into a homocidal maniac in overdrive.

    Please delete “already.” Sometimes I get tripped up by those complicated tenses!

  190. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    hoodaticus wrote:

    Oh oops Driscoll wasn’t mentioned – my bad

    Well, if you want a mention of Driscoll, this was featured on TGC today: http://www.bobthune.com/2017/06/pipeline-shrinking/. Here is how it describes Driscoll’s departure from Acts29:

    Certainly Acts 29 has seen its share of organizational challenges during these years – most notably Mark Driscoll’s descent from leadership and all its attendant chaos.

    Organizational challenges?!?!?
    Descent from leadership?!?!?

    Really? This proves the point I made about Piper’s devotional for the day – “half-truths, equivocations, sophistries, evasions, and lies”.

    “Organizational challenges” is Corporate-Speak on steroids. Reminds me of the weasel-words top management uses when some head honcho is booted out: “…leaving to pursue other opportunities.” LOL!!! *Everyone* knows what it really means, so why not come right out and say so?

  191. hoodaticus wrote:

    Catholic Gate-Crasher wrote:

    He completed a doctorate in church history in just 3-1/2 years??? No comment.

    If he somehow went summers, too, maybe it equated to 5. Benefit of the doubt, though I don’t know the man so I don’t know if he deserves it.

    I have no idea, either, and I probably should not have said anything. But in the cases I’m familiar with, once you complete your coursework, you don’t really have summers off anyway. You’re working semi-independently under certain profs’ guidance to read for your generals. After you pass your generals, you’re working with your adviser to complete your dissertation. And it’s pretty much 24/7 or close to it, all year ’round.

  192. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    Ouch! Scroll down and read the last comment made by “Mary”!
    http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/lottie-moon-falls-11-3-million-annie-armstrong-down-13-1-million/#comment-65501

    Why should anyone give money to a missionary offering named after two women when women are so poorly treated by the Calvinista SBC?

    that’s it …… the Calvinista’s have worked on men’s egos to the point where the men won’t give $ to offerings named after women;
    so maybe soon Annie and Lottie will be ‘set aside’ same as the YRR did to Our Lord, and the new offerings will be named for Paige Patterson (he’s already got a stained-glass window in his honor, so why not?)

    Strange, the mean-spiritedness of SBC male head-ship guyz towards women, when they are drawing money from offerings that are inspired by the self-giving of two Christian women …. go figure

  193. @ Jerome:
    @ Darlene:

    Well, let’s just say I love to research on the internet, too. I came up with the same address and a phone number. I couldn’t help myself, but called. I’m grateful no one answered because it’s after midnight there. Instead, I got a recording that I had apparently called a business named “Pete’s Design.”

    I also googled to find a Southern Baptist Church Directory and tried Topsfield and tried the zip code in the directory and nothing came up.

    And lastly, drum roll please…I not only found a hair salon at the address, but a dentist, too, and this actually makes me rather sick to my stomach, a New Age/Buddhist Healing Center: “Blossoms Healing/Budrose Center for Spiritual Growth/Crystal Boutique. Is that what New Meadows Baptist Church got “revitalized” into? (Heavy Sarcasm)? What I found particularly sickening is seeing something labeled the “Melchizedek Method” which seems blasphemous or sacrilegious to me. Where’s the books/interviews, etc. about that “revitalization” effort? Oh wait. Mark Dever started that church, right? So it didn’t need revitalizing, right? It should have been a healthy church, right? So the locale of the church that received the infamous, Mark Dever, Paul wannabe pretendtobe style letter, providing the 9 Marks of a Healthy Church is now a place of pagan religion that is alleges “After a Full Spectrum healing you may feel energetically expanded, see colors, have visions, sense spiritual guidance, enjoy inner calmness and clarity.” Folks I do not recommend this. Please do not get involved in it. It’s the occult!!!!! I emphasize this because I’m providing the link here to prove what I’m saying and yet I don’t want to as it’s sickening/blasphemous/demonic stuff. Here’s the link: http://blossomhealings.com/services/ Maybe one of the Deebs could check out the link to validate what I’m saying and then remove it from my comment. 🙂

  194. @ Sister:
    I wrote the above comment really late last night (well past midnight/early this morning). Looking at it this morning, I would have written it a little differently. I want Jerome and Darlene to know that I only started it with @Jerome and @Darlene because I wanted to acknowledge/add to their great input researching the address of New Meadows Baptist Church. Beyond that, my comment & harsh sarcastic rhetorical questions were not meant to be directed to them at all and I did not mean for it to come across that way. Sorry, about that! Instead, I want the world to see the awful irony of what became of the recipient of the letter that began 9 Marks.

  195. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:
    Ouch! Scroll down and read the last comment made by “Mary”!
    http://sbctoday.wpengine.com/lottie-moon-falls-11-3-million-annie-armstrong-down-13-1-million/#comment-65501
    Why should anyone give money to a missionary offering named after two women when women are so poorly treated by the Calvinista SBC?

    That’s what I was thinking too. Maybe women are leaving the SBC congregations, and taking there checkbooks with them.

  196. Mae wrote:

    I thank you and Deb for this blog. During my church crisis back six years ago, somehow I stumbled upon the blog. I learned so much about from it about Neo Calvinism…it was truly a God send. Everything happening all began to make sense. Sincere thanks and best wishes as you heal.

    Yes, there's a playbook. Glad the information we share here helped you perceive what was going on at your church.

  197. Velour wrote:

    I agree and I regret, in retrospect, having participated in my ex-NeoCalvinist church’s Sunday Fellowship Meals. I now see it for what it is: a form of Love Bombing to ensnare people.

    Yes, love bombing is alive and well. We must be on guard!

  198. @ Sister:

    I checked out that website. That has been popular in some settings. At one time nurses were allowed to wave their hands over patients in some healing ceremony under some circumstances. There was a name for that, but I have forgotten the name. I also either never knew or have forgotten the details of that as in what circumstances, and does one have to sign permission, and were they wanting to train nurses? some nurses? all nurses? in it–or just what.

    Anyhow, I was seriously concerned about this before one of my previous surgeries. What should I do as a Christian if I wake up from anesthesia to find some nurse waving her hands over me. I weighed several approaches and finally settled on the idea that the thing to do would be to start screaming hysterically. I could always blame it on incomplete recovery from the anesthetic along with post op pain causing panic precipitated by suspicious hand waving. That would get documentation in the medical records which I could later use to sue everybody in sight-the nurse, the hospital, the doctor, and somebody’s uncle and likely they would make a monetary offer in order to not go to court. That then would solve my Christian responsibility and also net a profit which could help some gandkid eventually go to college.

    This is not humor, folks, this was actually my exact plan. Unfortunately nobody waved any hands that I ever found out about. If they did it after anesthesia induction and prior to draping then they just got away with it. I was rather disappointed to tell the truth because like the old A team on TV I do love it when a plan comes together, and I sort of considered it a test of my own courage and daring. And perhaps a God-given opportunity; you never know.

    On, well. If they do it this time, which I doubt, I am just going to use it as an opportunity to denounce Satan and all his ways (using liturgical vocabulary) and then file a complaint with hospital administration.

  199. @ Sister:
    I went to a message therapist, who asked if she could do Reiki, I declined. But, not knowing exactly how it was done, I quickly prayed for the Lord to place a headache around me from any evil spiritual presence.
    Have had many surgical procedures under anesthesia, do not remember ever having anyone hovering over me doing weird things. Again, I pray the Lord’s protection, as one is completely helpless situation. If ever it did happen, I would definitely complain and report to administration.

  200. Sister wrote:

    And lastly, drum roll please…I not only found a hair salon at the address, but a dentist, too, and this actually makes me rather sick to my stomach, a New Age/Buddhist Healing Center: “Blossoms Healing/Budrose Center for Spiritual Growth/Crystal Boutique. Is that what New Meadows Baptist Church got “revitalized” into? (Heavy Sarcasm)

    Wow- good research.

  201. @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    like in the vicinity of Hanging Rock State Park?

    i’m exploring it on Google maps. A virtual escape and exploration sounded nice, from my bed thousands of miles away.

    slow morning, very slow, here…

  202. Friend wrote:

    It’s not just the lost who lose out. These guys could stand to return phone calls from their own members, visit their own shut-ins, say a prayer with a sick member in the pre-op area, etc.

    I know three SBC-YRR church planters in my area. None of them make hospital and nursing home visits, nor take phone calls from members. Pray with hurting folks?! Nope, not in their skill set. I guess they are just too busy … busy tweeting their lives away in the local coffee shops and swapping the latest Piper Points, Dever Drivel, Mahaney Malarkey, etc. These young rebels are more interested in reforming than pastoring … they all like the title “lead” pastor, but fall short of actually leading the Body of Christ as they ought. Maybe I’m just an old guy and stuck in my archaic ways, but this new thing doesn’t look much like Church to me.

  203. @ Max:

    ” they all like the title “lead” pastor”
    +++++++++++++

    i like the title “lead pastor” as much as i like smelling formaldehyde.

    i remember when i first started running across that title. my first thought was, “ah, overcompensating, i see.”

    it’s just so pompous, trumped up, when those are the last things ‘pastor’ should be associated with… so oxymoronic.

  204. Max wrote:

    more interested in reforming than pastoring

    Correcting others… for some, their pleasure. Demonstration of being smarter than others. Can be bullying at its core. “Reform” means correcting what was.

    Reforming oneself, however, plain-speaking, is personal growth, i.e., The Journey.

  205. elastigirl wrote:

    i like the title “lead pastor” as much as i like smelling formaldehyde

    I share those sentiments. It’s the stench of death … a sure sign that you are in a New Calvinist church. In my area, the young reformers assign themselves that title, even if they are the ‘only’ pastor on staff. They have to keep up appearances with their ministry peers – they are all “lead” pastors in their world. The title comes with the mantle of arrogance which has been cast over them.

  206. Lea wrote:

    Their interpretation = truth. Biblical truth.
    Pretty sure that’s on a ‘how to ID a cult/scary religious system’ list or two.

    Yep. This is from Dr. Lifton’s criteria for identifying thought reform:

    Aura of Sacred Science
    The beliefs and regulations of the group are framed as perfect, absolute and non-negotiable. The dogma of the group is presented as scientifically correct or otherwise unquestionable.

    Rules and processes are therefore to be followed without question, and any transgression is a sin and hence requires atonement or other forms of punishment, as does consideration of any alternative viewpoints.”

  207. @ Max:

    Don’t expect our Pastor to be at beck and call, they are human.
    However, visiting the sick elderly is so important. Not just to lift the sick and elderly spirits, but those observing these sweet visits.

    Last year I was gravely ill, in ICU, hospitalised 15 days. Our retired former pastor, and our new Pastor came to pray visit several times. The staff commented on how fortunate I was to have a car I g community.Gave me a little opportunity to share my faith.

    Oftentimes, what the Pastor ( congregants as well) do and say outside of the Church building speaks to people as much a perfectly crafted Sunday sermon.

  208. Max wrote:

    In my area, the young reformers assign themselves that title, even if they are the ‘only’ pastor on staff. They have to keep up appearances with their ministry peers…

    “Ministry peers” as in “Head Apostles” and “Prophets/Priests/KINGs”?

    Why don’t they just proclaim themselves God and be done with it?
    (They’re already building up a track record in demanding human sacrifice…)

  209. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    The beliefs and regulations of the group are framed as perfect, absolute and non-negotiable. The dogma of the group is presented as scientifically correct or otherwise unquestionable.

    Dianetics, anyone?

  210. Mae wrote:

    Don’t expect our Pastor to be at beck and call, they are human. However, visiting the sick elderly is so important.

    I realize there are mixed feelings in the Wartburg community about my late mother’s pastor, Adrian Rogers. But, the man sure convinced me he had a pastor’s heart during my mother’s hospital confinements. Even as a pastor of a mega-church (28,000+ members), he made routine hospital and nursing home visits. He visited and prayed with my mother several times, as he did all members of his church when they were sick – he loved her, she loved him.

  211. Sister wrote:

    So the locale of the church that received the infamous, Mark Dever, Paul wannabe pretendtobe style letter, providing the 9 Marks of a Healthy Church is now a place of…

    …Pop Buddhism Lite for the Shirley MacLaine set, Magick Crystals and all.

    “Mystic Crystal Revelation
    And the Mind’s True Liberation —
    AQUARIUS! AQUAAAAARIUS!”
    Hair: the Musical

    As well as other tenants you find in a strip mall.

  212. @ Max:

    i find that title in all kinds of denominations and un-denominations.

    just one of the other cookie-cutter samenesses in churches across the board. they are all like competing franchises.

    starbucks starts using their invented coffee words, pretty soon every other place offering coffee starts using them, too. i know, pure marketing. but pure junior high social copycat behavior, too. it’s just ridiculous for a church.

    for God’s namesake institution, this is beyond embarrassing.

  213. @ Max:

    To his credit Max….good testimony.

    Have never agreed with retired pastor or new pastor’s theology 100%. But, BIG but, they both have a shepherd’s heart, joyful, caring pastors. Love the Lord and they love(d) their flock(s).

  214. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Catholic Gate-Crasher:

    like in the vicinity of Hanging Rock State Park?

    i’m exploring it on Google maps. A virtual escape and exploration sounded nice, from my bed thousands of miles away.

    slow morning, very slow, here…

    Yes! We are about 20 minutes from Hanging Rock. 🙂

  215. Mae wrote:

    Have never agreed with retired pastor or new pastor’s theology 100%. But, BIG but, they both have a shepherd’s heart, joyful, caring pastors. Love the Lord and they love(d) their flock(s).

    A pastor’s theology has a way of taking care of itself if there is a genuine love for the Lord and others. In all the hubbub about the New Calvinist movement, no one talks much about their love.

  216. @ Max:
    How about the verse “the last will be first and first will be last”….. maybe someone should us the title of Caboos pastor!

  217. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “Mystic Crystal Revelation
    And the Mind’s True Liberation —
    AQUARIUS! AQUAAAAARIUS!”
    — Hair: the Musical

    saw this on Broadway oh so many years ago ….. opening scene:
    we are sitting in the audience and the players are literally entering from the back and walking forward stepping on the armrests of peoples’ seats ….. so effective and evocative of the time in how the players and the audience together were blended in the performance ….. good memories

  218. Max wrote:

    I realize there are mixed feelings in the Wartburg community about my late mother’s pastor, Adrian Rogers. But, the man sure convinced me he had a pastor’s heart during my mother’s hospital confinements. Even as a pastor of a mega-church (28,000+ members), he made routine hospital and nursing home visits. He visited and prayed with my mother several times, as he did all members of his church when they were sick – he loved her, she loved him.

    I have heard great things about Rogers, but problem with him was that he wanted men to control the WMU.

  219. @ Max:

    Adrian Rogers is the main reason why I became a Baptist. Almost 30 years ago I used to watch him weekly on television. I even ordered his messages on cassette.

    I believe his intentions regarding women were good; unfortunately, his support of complementarianism has led to some of the problems we are witnessing today.

  220. Deb, thanks! Also, thanks Okrapod and Mae for sharing your thoughts/experiences. You have the right perspective on the Reiki/New Age stuff in going in prepared by prayer. I will pray for all three of you.

    To everyone, I want to share my further thoughts/analysis. I did more research today, but mostly I’ve gleaned a lot to chew on from info/links from other commenters already listed between this post and the previous one. I want to point out some things that I don’t think have been noticed/discussed yet.

    Hindsight (after my previous posts), I suspect 54 Main Street, Topsfield, MA, was never a church building, per se, I suspect it was just a place where they leased an office and/or met.

    From this web site, I see it’s mixed use as commercial/residential:

    https://www.propertyshark.com/mason/Property/110354322/54-Main-St-Topsfield-MA-01983/

    Jerome mentioned Andy’s wife being a Deacon (which I think he assumes as she is 1 of the 3 signers of these articles of organization), but I also noticed their post office address adds “P.O. Box 11” to 54 Main Street:

    http://corp.sec.state.ma.us/CorpWeb/CorpSearch/CorpSearchViewPDF.aspx

    I think the church is still active “on paper,” but physically/functionally defunct as nothing can be found after someone filling in as pulpit supply in 1995 as Jerome pointed out for C. Matthew McMahon:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20120320035436/http://www.apuritansmind.com/mcmahon-biography-and-curriculum-vitae/

    My analysis comes from these links, plus one from Deb had from the previous post that has Mark Dever’s bio from the Congressional Record:

    https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-1995-01-12/html/CREC-1995-01-12-pt1-PgS819-4.htm

    Plus, further corroboration comes also Deb’s quote from Mark from a TGC article:

    Mark Dever:

    Roger Nicole was my systematic theology professor at Gordon-Conwell from 1982 to 1986.

    So here’s my observations/food for thought:

    1. Mark Dever graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Duke (not a Southern Baptist University) with Major Concentrations in Medieval European History and New Testament Studies, May 1982.

    2. From there, the 22 year old goes to Massachusetts to attend the not Southern Baptist, Gordon-Conwell Seminary from 1982 to 1986 for his Master of Divinity (MDiv) which takes him 4 years (others noticed the 3 ½ year PhD seeming short, a 4 year Master’s seems a little long to me).

    3. BEFORE completing his MDiv in1986 which would give him some “Christian street cred” for eligibility to become a pastor and while serving as a Pastoral Assistant at a CONGREGATIONAL church, in Massachusetts, 25 year old Mark Dever was ordained at First BAPTIST Church in 1985 in Kentucky (perhaps his hometown?). Isn’t that a little odd that the Southern Baptists would ordain someone that young, who doesn’t have a MDiv yet and hasn’t been/isn’t even going to one of their seminaries?

    4. This ordination coincides/is the same year (I assume intentionally) he becomes the pastor of the church plant, New Meadows Baptist Church, 1985. Again it’s the year before he gets his Mdiv!

    5. Why, and why Southern Baptist? My guess is that he had connections and it got him a paying gig, which at the young age of 25 gave him the chance to put “Pastor” on his resume before he even had his MDiv. Pretty good for someone with only a bachelor’s and who up until that point had not completed seminary and wasn’t Southern Baptist.

    6. So what happens, when he completes the MDiv a year later at 26 after only being at New Meadows’ pastor for a year? He left the church and went to Kentucky to get a Masters in Theology which he completes a year later. He built quite the power resume to send to Cambridge. (Or maybe that was part of the deal in ordaining him-that he had to go to a Southern Baptist seminary?)

    7. Mark pastored New Meadows 1985-86, 5 years before it officially existed as a corporation, which didn’t come until 1991.

    8. Zane Pratt was the next pastor, but from the Google searches I have done, it appears to me that he prefers to mention “he has experience as a church planter and pastor in New England,” rather than state the name of the church. Could he be embarrassed that he left and it failed?

    9. Again, Mark starts the church in 1985, but it doesn’t officially become a church until May 1991, 6 years later. At that time, Andy Davis is surely already attending because his wife signed the Articles of Organization. Zane has probably already left or was planning to. Otherwise, he would have signed the Articles.

    10. So by the time the church officially stood up in May of 1991, it had already lost it’s first 2 pastors and must have written the first one, Mark, for advice which prompted his October letter where he wrote his 9Marks of a healthy church pontifications rather than saying, “Hey, I graduate in July and I will be back to help.”

    11. Andy had completed his MDiv in 1990, but didn’t resign/become pastor until 1992 even though he was presumably already going there again his wife signed the Articles of Organization in May of 1991.

    12. Unfortunately, the lasting legacy of New Meadows appears to be: a line in Mark’s bio in the Congressional Record stating he was Pastor there; “experience with a church plant in New England” with Zane’s biography; the place where Andy Davis resigned from his engineering job in order to pastor in his bio, and the ghost church that was the recipient of Mark’s epistle, a failed church plant that was the stepping stone that launched 3 would be celebs. I bet they hate that you are exposing this. “Step aside, nothing to see here.” 🙂

    13. I’ll conclude with one last sad, but humorous observation. I found this link from a Jerome comment to a post May 16. He was pointing out much of the same stuff that has been posted in the current Wartburg Watch posts about New Meadows. Anyway, from the link, I noticed something else. From Mark’s own mouth, in an interview, Capital Hill Baptist Church began from a woman led Bible prayer meeting in 1867! Gasp!

    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/ministry-capital-interview-mark-dever/

    Capital Hill’s web site uses “gender neutral” language in describing its origins:
    http://www.capitolhillbaptist.org/about-us/our-history/

    Missing is where the church founders were told to repent! ☺

  221. @ elastigirl:
    The first people to start collecting money for foreign and domestic missions were the women involved in the early days of the WMU. Those collections morphed into the Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong offerings.

  222. @ Sister:

    Thanks so much for your extensive research. I may have to amend the post with some of this great information!

    Ghost church is right! Too bad the church plant wasn't in Salem. It's ironic that the letter to this 'ghost church' is the foundation for the 9Marks organization. No wonder there are problems!

  223. @ Nancy2 (aka Kevlar):

    Thanks Nancy. I see complementarianism through a different lens all these years later. Glad my hubby never bought into it. He has always thought it was a bunch of nonsense. Wise man…

  224. okrapod wrote:

    At one time nurses were allowed to wave their hands over patients in some healing ceremony under some circumstances. There was a name for that, but I have forgotten the name.

    There is something called reiki which somebody at yoga was trying to tell me about that sounds a little similar, but they may actually touch which i don’t think a nurse would do. But I didn’t totally understand what they were saying and I may have had a ‘say what’ look on my face the whole time.

    I follow a goofy site that seems to have articles every other day about crystals which I have never read.

  225. Mae wrote:

    @ Sister:
    I went to a message therapist, who asked if she could do Reiki, I declined.

    And this is what I get for not reading ahead. Yes, it sounded like that to me too.

  226. Sister wrote:

    Jerome mentioned Andy’s wife being a Deacon (which I think he assumes as she is 1 of the 3 signers of these articles of organization)

    Four signed the New Meadows Baptist Church Articles of Organization (Paul Parisi, Elizabeth Kruck, Christine Davis, and Philip Weaver). Several lines above, where it asks for “Directors (or officers having the powers of directors)”, “Directors” has been typed over with x’s and replaced with “Deacons”.

    http://corp.sec.state.ma.us/CorpWeb/CorpSearch/CorpSearchRedirector.aspx?Action=PDF&Path=CORP_DRIVE1/2013/1115/000486403/0066/000000362136_1.pdf

  227. Deb wrote:

    I believe his intentions regarding women were good; unfortunately, his support of complementarianism has led to some of the problems we are witnessing today.

    Yes, sadly, Brother Rogers held that position. But if you asked my mother (a member at Bellevue) about his views on gender roles, she would respond “He has a pastor’s heart and loves his sisters in Christ” … discussion over! He certainly demonstrated that to our family during her last days on earth. Unfortunately, Southern Baptists don’t have a corner on the truth, even some of the best preachers among them.

  228. Thanks Jerome. It was right in front of my nose & I missed it. Sorry! I always seem to have the ability to notice the obscure at the same time miss something right in front of me. Looking at it again, I see paragraph j confirms my thought that they had an office at 54 Main Street where they also met. @ Jerome:

  229. @ Sister:
    Sorry for the @ Jerome at the end. I didn’t realize I had to move my cursor past the program language to type my response when it defaulted to putting the cursor before it.

  230. @ elastigirl:

    Thanks for the link. I managed to read it all, and for those who perhaps did not I want to point out that it presents a balanced narrative of the mixed issues concerning money, missions, and women.

    In my preparation to what I originally thought was my calling to missions I was immersed both at home and at church and in Baptist organizations with the BSU (Baptist Student Union) and also at a couple Baptist schools, in the controversies over both missions and women from childhood on. During summers when I was in med school I went to Carver School, which had previously been called the WMU Training School. I spent a short time of discernment on site at one of the Baptist mission fields in Africa. This is my limited background in Baptist missions and Baptist women controversies. I was born into this conflict of ideas, I grew up with this conflict of ideas, I personally investigated where and how I could. But I have no degree in this and I did not seek appointment from the Board after my time on site.

    Having said that, I believe that there has been way too much ‘attitude’ on both sides of the issues. I believe it is time to put Lottie to rest, and time to quit with the ‘I am better than you because I did/did not marry and did/did not go to darkest Africa as a missionary and my husband is/is not in full time christian work.’ Let me say it straight out-there have been nasty attitudes allowed to be expressed on both sides of the women/missions issues, and there have also been struggles over the allocation of monies for various reasons.

    Deal me out of the next round. Oh. I forgot. I already dealt me out. Good choice on my part.

  231. Sister wrote:

    Mark Dever graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Duke (not a Southern Baptist University)….From there, the 22 year old goes to Massachusetts to attend the not Southern Baptist, Gordon-Conwell Seminary from 1982 to 1986….while serving as a Pastoral Assistant at a CONGREGATIONAL church, in Massachusetts, 25 year old Mark Dever was ordained at First BAPTIST Church in 1985 in Kentucky (perhaps his hometown?). Isn’t that a little odd

    Perhaps not so odd considering Southern Baptists get a hefty tuition discount at SBTS.

    At Duke Dever attended a PCUSA church, and the 1995 Congressional Record bio says that Dever was a minister at the UCC Topsfield Congregational Church for three of his four years at Gordon-Conwell. It was in the last year as Dever prepared to go to SBTS that he established Southern Baptist credentials.

  232. @ Max:

    Agree…..he was very wrong on pushing the complimentary position. Still believe he was a gentle man who did indeed love the Congregation equally in his affections.

  233. @ Jerome:

    There can be reasons to align with the SBC. Notice that Billy Graham was raised Presby and his wife and children continued Presby but Billy was Baptist. There is a very pragmatic reason for that told around, but I don’t know the truth of the matter so I won’t repeat it.

  234. Not mentioned is the vital ministry of evangelists Amy Stockton and Rita Gould at Capitol Hill Baptist (then known as Metropolitan Baptist Church):

    From the Washington Post archives, 1931 and 1940

    http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost_historical/doc/150268623.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Mar+7%2C+1931&author=&pub=The+Washington+Post++%281923-1954%29&edition=&startpage=4&desc=2+BAPTIST+WOMEN+WILL+LEAD+REVIVALS

    “2 BAPTIST WOMEN WILL LEAD REVIVALS
    Came Here From Detroit to Hold Services 3 Weeks at Metropolitan.
    Dr. John Compton Ball, pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Church, Sixth, and A streets northeast, where he has been for more than a generation, has invited two nationally known young women evangelists, Miss Amy Lee Stockton and Miss Rita Gould, of California, to hold a revival at his church.”

    http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost_historical/doc/151308348.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Feb+24%2C+1940&author=&pub=The+Washington+Post++%281923-1954%29&edition=&startpage=6&desc=Baptists+Plan+Two+Weeks%27+Revival+Service

    “Baptists Plan Two Weeks’ Revival Service
    Coast Evangelists To Launch Program At Metropolitan
    A two-week revival service will be launched tomorrow at the Metropolitan Baptist Church, with Miss Amy Lee Stockton and Miss Rita Gould, evangelists from San Jose, Calif., in charge. It will mark their twelfth appearance at Metropolitan Church.”

  235. @ Jerome:
    @ Jerome:

    Jerome. Thanks for the clarification. We’re both correct, but you are more correct than I am. 🙂 This is another case where I missed the obvious. I previously didn’t understand what you meant when you kept saying UCC. I was thinking you were referring to a church title not a denomination. (In the late 1990’s, I moved from the Midwest to Massachusetts & lived there several years before returning to the Midwest. I loved the beauty of the old white painted churches with steeples. I had a preconceived notion that they were now probably very liberal United Church of Christ type churches, though, but I can’t pinpoint what my belief was based on. I decided to try the nearby Congregational church anyway & was delighted to find out it was evangelical & learned the other Congregational church in town was/is also. They are not at all affiliated with the UCC. They are part of the 4C (Conservative Congregational Christian Conference) denomination. I think it was even written in the title of the church property where I attended that they could not go liberal. They were very proud of being Congregational. So now when I saw Massachusetts & Congregational the United Church of Christ was not on my radar at all. I didn’t see it listed that way in the Congressional Record or on their web site, but it probably is on their web site somewhere. I know you are absolutely correct though as I was able to look them up through the UCC. Here’s interesting history about the denominations. They have the same New England roots although neither are headquartered in New England.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Congregational_Christian_Conference

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Church_of_Christ

  236. Disclaimer: I sometimes listen to Adrian Rogers on youtube. Sometimes I agree with him and sometimes I do not, but for me it is a window back into ‘how we were back then’ and a marker, as it were, of the paths we have traveled on certain issues.

    The whole comp thing got way out of control, but at the time there was an element of feeling that it was a ‘correction’ for some societal ideas about women that had developed after The War. After The War there was a societal push for women to go back home, marry and have kids. Mostly they did and they gave us the boomer generation. Some did not. Attitudes developed. I have no quotes from ‘leadership’ but rather I have decades of listening to what people say, unofficially, just people’s attitudes. And people took sides. Of course they did. I am talking here about women and girls-the world I grew up in. Taking sides.

    So along comes the CR and people like Rogers and they and their ideas had/have adherents and opponents. Of course they do. But with all that money involved, and all that politics involved, and all that societal disruption, and all that opportunity to build empires of like minded people involved there was a perfect setup for things to get both ugly and excessive. Of course.

    To say that churches were divided is the tip of the iceberg-families disagreed among themselves. I am mostly on one side of the issues, and my sister is on the other side of the issues. All-our-lives. It is and has been painful all-our-lives. Personally, I even disagree with myself on the first and third tuesdays of every month with an R in it.

    IMO Adrian Rogers was a man of his time who held some ideas which I think are long since no longer accurate or feasible, but he himself seems to have been an extraordinary person with a mastery of the art of evangelical preaching of that era.

  237. Sister wrote:

    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/ministry-capital-interview-mark-dever/

    “installed as the pastor on the last Sunday of September 1994; I began preaching the first Sunday in October 1994; and I’ve been there ever since.”

    The weekend of his installation Dever held a panel discussion “What’s Wrong with the Local Church” featuring

    CHBC member Carl F.H. Henry,
    newly minted Southern Seminary President Al Mohler,
    and several pals who like Dever had served under Roy Clements at Eden Chapel, Cambridge:
    Don Carson, Bill Kynes, and Fred Catherwood.

    http://www.stevemaughan.com/sermons/roy-clements/

    “Eden Baptist church. The minister at the time was Roy Clements….Don Carson was the supporting act, Mark Dever was the intern”

    Dever, Mohler, Carson, and Kynes went on to be council members of the Gospel Coalition.

    Fred Catherwood was a deacon at Eden Baptist, the son-in-law of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and a longtime officer of the Iwerne holiday camps).

  238. From the Washington Post archives, Sept. 24, 1994:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1994/09/24/upcoming-events/bf38e688-c885-499e-89ed-2decd726faa7/?utm_term=.fe36cbeb37bf

    “The Rev. Mark E. Dever will pose the question “What’s Wrong With the Local Church?” to a seven-member panel at 7 p.m. today at Capitol Hill Metropolitan Baptist Church, 525 A St. NE. Forum panelists include Don Carson, professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago; Fred Catherwood, president of the Evangelical Alliance of Great Britain; author and theologian Carl F.H. Henry; the Rev. Bill Kynes, pastor of the national Evangelical Free Church in Annandale; and the Rev. R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville.”

  239. Note the title of the 1994 panel discussion “What’s Wrong With the Local Church?” was a more negative formulation than the later “Church Reform” and current “Healthy Church” iterations of Dever’s Marksist ideology.

    In the Ligonier interview Dever describes the shift from “Center for Church Reform” to “9 Marks of a Healthy Church”:

    “a generous donation from a neighbor allowed us to get started in November 1998. We were originally called the Center for Church Reform, but then we noticed pastors getting into trouble with their congregations for referring to an organization that seemed to suggest that they should change. So we decided to go for the simple positive name”

  240. @ Deb:

    Deb wrote, “I believe his intentions regarding women were good; unfortunately, his support of complementarianism has led to some of the problems we are witnessing today.”

    Mae wrote, “he was very wrong on pushing the complimentary position. Still believe he was a gentle man who did indeed love the Congregation equally in his affections.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    this bothers me. how good men can have such atrocious blind spots. how a good man like Adrian Rogers can be legitimately described as above, and yet do this:

    Usurp the money and the control of the WMU (Women’s Missionary Union).

    Strip away the vague & sterile corporate-speak in which it was discussed, & the honeyed tones in which it was undoubtedly delivered, this is what he did:

    He blackmailed the WMU (Womens Missionary Union) that if they did not give control of their organization (all female, started because they weren’t allowed to participate in the SBC, & meeting in a methodist church because they weren’t allowed to meet in a SBC facility) and the money they generate to the male SBC governing board they would be denied a position on the SBC Exeutive Committee.

  241. Woman are disregarded until (some) christian men want to benefit from their accomplishments, and then proceed to steal them. And claim the credit for them.

    Money changes everything.

    (i’ve seen the same thing in my experiences with AOG)

  242. elastigirl wrote:

    Woman are disregarded until (some) christian men want to benefit from their accomplishments, and then proceed to steal them. And claim the credit for them.

    I don’t care how much people like this Adrian guy. This was wrong.

    I think what happens is they all create an echo chamber and convince themselves of their own righteousness. Is that how they tamp down their conscience? Or was it always missing? I’m guessing it’s 50/50

  243. @ elastigirl:

    WMU is not an SBC entity like other groups but rather functions as an auxiliary. WMU chose to keep it that way. They were offered the option to change if they would commit to total allegiance to SBC which would mean they would drop those former SBC churches that left SBC and went with CBF. Along with that they would be having their board of directors appointed through SBC channels instead of autonomously by the WMU. WMU declined to do that. So, no reorganization took place. I recall that there was a lot of heat and passion about it at the time for some people, but it looked to me like much ado about extremely little at the time.

    Google can direct you to the meeting in 2006? 2005? in Greensboro, NC where action was taken on this. Actually, here it is. The messengers at the convention voted it down.

    http://www.baptistdigest.com/archive/article/no_change_for_wmu/

    If there have been changes since then Max or some of the others here will be able to bring the story up to date. I have not kept up with it after the initial dust up.

  244. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Max:

    i find that title in all kinds of denominations and un-denominations.

    just one of the other cookie-cutter samenesses in churches across the board. they are all like competing franchises.

    “Great big churches on the hillsides
    Great big churches made of ticky-tacky
    Great big churches on the hillside
    And they all look just the same;
    There’s a Mega and a Giga
    And a Re-formed Seeker-Sensitive;
    And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
    And they all look just the same…”

  245. Christiane wrote:

    saw this on Broadway oh so many years ago ….

    I remember you couldn’t get away from the song “Age of Aquarius” on the radio. Heavy rotation, all stations.

    Being a kid at the time, I misheard the chorus as “Angels’ Aquarium”.

  246. @ okrapod:

    i did some more reading last night. found an article copyrighted 2001 by a Dr. Bruce Prescott & Dr. Rick McClatchy. i haven’t verified the present circumstances, but one potential change is that WMUs publications could be supplanted by materials put out by other SBC agencies.

    i can totally see this happening — seems to me that christian media is controlled by a relative few, certainly one of the big players is Lifeway. I can see Lifeway flooding the marketplace with its material, including things aimed at women, in a quest for control (if not profits).

    Here’s a bit from the article:

    “When the WMU refused to submit to the wishes of the Pressler-Patterson coalition, it was targetted for attack. In 1995, in a letter mailed to 40,000 pastors, Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board (IMB) and appointee of the Pressler-Patterson coalition, publicly denounced the WMU for publishing mission education material for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) — even though the WMU had done such things for other groups in the past. The chairman of the trustees of the IMB likened the WMU to an adulterous woman for producing mission education resources for the CBF. WMU also learned in 1995 that the IMB had secretly applied to trademark the name “Lottie Moon Christmas Offering,” — the name WMU has used for decades to collect mission offerings.

    In 1998 James Hefley, another key leader in the Pressler-Patterson coalition, stated that there were two “possible outcomes” of attempts to marginalize WMU’s influence in SBC life. First, the SBC could revoke its relationship with the WMU and start a similar new organization under SBC control. Second, the SBC could prepare it own materials for missionary education and women’s ministry. The second strategy is being implemented gradually as other SBC agencies have started producing competing women’s ministry materials.

    At present, the WMU is in a state of decline. As long as it remains independent, the new leaders of the SBC will work to hasten its demise. As the WMU declines there will emerge in the SBC a new women’s ministry that will unquestioningly submit to male authority.

    http://centerforbaptiststudies.org/pamphlets/freedom/women.htm

  247. …i also found an article discussing how people are manipulated through concentration of media ownership. Perhaps some here are familiar with the Propaganda Model (it was news to me until last night — although common sense told me as much).

    Seems to me it’s relevant in christian culture, in that media seems concentrated in the hands of a few. the small circle of powerbrokers have seized the mic. a monopoly in the marketplace of ideas. propaganda, brainwashing.

    anyway, here’s an excerpt:

    “The theoretical foundation of this report is Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s propaganda model (PM). In short, the model contends that mass media institutions are owned and controlled by large corporations whom have relationships in business and social circles with other corporations and political officials. These relationships result in self-censorship on the part of the media entities because they depend on advertising revenue and political support from their sponsors and cohorts. It is argued that the media are unable to detach themselves analytically from the dominant sectors because of these economic, political, and social relationships (Herman & Chomsky, 1988).”

  248. okrapod wrote:

    If there have been changes since then Max or some of the others here will be able to bring the story up to date.

    WMU still operates as an auxiliary organization under the SBC umbrella … barely. Participation at the local church level has dropped significantly … mostly baby-boomers who are holding on by their fingernails. Historically, WMU has had oversight of SBC’s Royal Ambassadors and Girls in Action programs to educate children about the mission field; those groups are also on decline due to IMB funding cutbacks. I’m sure New Calvinist leaders will find a way to extinguish the 125 year old women’s organization shortly or somehow bring it in line with the new reformation of men-only leaders.

  249. Max wrote:

    I’m sure New Calvinist leaders will find a way to extinguish the 125 year old women’s organization shortly or somehow bring it in line with the new reformation of men-only leaders.

    Well, then they can d@mn well name it the MMU………. and the men can learn to make pillowslip dresses for orphaned girls in Africa!

  250. Lea wrote:

    I don’t care how much people like this Adrian guy. This was wrong.

    I think what happens is they all create an echo chamber and convince themselves of their own righteousness. Is that how they tamp down their conscience? Or was it always missing? I’m guessing it’s 50/50

    Humans have a long history of tamping down their conscience in the service of “lofty ideals” and “grand and beatific visions”. And it’s not restricted to just religious ideology. The 20th century has hosted the brutality of fascist and communist regimes too.
    And yes I think you’re right. The echo chamber drowns out Jiminy Cricket, sprays him with DDT, and removes him as a pesky nuisance in the service of a “greater ideal”.

  251. Lea wrote:

    I don’t care how much people like this Adrian guy. This was wrong.

    Rogers is dead and gone. And over time, so will any religious ideology that refuses to recognize women as powerful allies and grant them full enfranchisement.

  252. @ Deb:

    i’m sure that’s the case. none of this information was available. while i struggle with the dichotomy, it seems he truly was a very good person in other areas.

    i apologize if my comments seem like a challenge. i don’t mean that in the slightest. i’m just very amazed at the information i’ve come across. at how someone who by all accounts was an outstanding person, yet at the same time can be so oblivious to the egregiousness & consequences of his decisions and actions and words.

    in all honesty, it’s prompting me to evaluate myself.

  253. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar) wrote:

    MMU

    In New Calvinist life, there isn’t “evangelism” or “mission” as Southern Baptists historically (for the last 150 years) have defined those terms. The mission is to harvest the elect, not reach the lost. A Men’s Missionary Union (MMU) would focus on a mission to take Calvin to the uttermost part of the earth.

  254. Jerome wrote:

    2 BAPTIST WOMEN WILL LEAD REVIVALS

    That is enough to make any of the manly men at 9Marks to faint. Women, lead, revival. Cannot have any of those.

  255. elastigirl wrote:

    i mean the outstanding person himself can be so oblivious. (not the people giving account of said person)

    He was anything but oblivious. Note in the link that I gave you that he had the backing of the executive committee of the SBC, but it was the messengers (reps) who voted it down. And note the direction of the SBC not just then but right on. Rogers knew exactly which way the wind was blowing. And, if I may say so, his proposal might have ‘saved’ the work of the WMU from eventually marginalization if, indeed, the conventions was going to go full hog calvinist, and if, indeed, your all’s predictions about the fate of WMU turn out to be correct.

    I am biased. I admit. My mom refused to participate in WMU or attend either circle meetings or general meetings at our church even though she taught SS, worked in VBS, sang in the choir, went on visitation and on community religious census taking, and was just generally at church quite a lot. I am not sure what her beef with WMU was at the time. But years later when the fracas came up about reorganization I attended a meeting at a local moderate baptist church which had both SBC and CBF affiliation where a WMU person spoke, and personally I did not agree with some of what she was saying-mostly about single women on the field.

    I could be wrong; I see through my own glasses and my own experiences like everybody else. But I have yet to find anything where I am the only one to hold some opinion on anything. Alas, I am not unique. I am thinking that if ‘all’ the Baptist women were gung ho WMU as it historically has been, then perhaps the current picture would be different. It looks to me like in the joint struggles over ‘missions’ (which is changing) and ‘women’ (which is changing), perhaps some changes in thinking need to be considered. Hard to balance both of those issues while trying to do missions like in days of yore and thinking about women as in days of yore, when we do not live in days of yore.

    So, yes, in relative yoredom when I was in Africa the missionary women, yes the women, were saying to me go home and get married. Find somebody and marry him if at all possible. And if not, then seriously reconsider whether you need to be a missionary or not. And if they ask you tell the Board to send us more married couples and fewer single people. There were some real problems. Like the opposition of the indigenous people to single women. Real trans-cultural issues.

    IMO perhaps funding groups (the WMU) and sending agencies (IMB) and denominational structures (SBC) need to pick their issues and all get on the same page. Is it missions or is it social restructuring of the personnel force or is it keeping the contributors happy or is it theological nit picking or what.

  256. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Deb:
    i’m sure that’s the case. none of this information was available. while i struggle with the dichotomy, it seems he truly was a very good person in other areas.

    Like the Confederates in Harry Turteldove’s Guns of the South, who were (mostly) fairly decent people with a major blind spot when it came to Race and their Peculiar Institution. Or the Germans (by then 100% Aryan) in the same author’s In the Presence of Mine Enemies, many of them decent people stuck in an evil system.

  257. Muff Potter wrote:

    Humans have a long history of tamping down their conscience in the service of “lofty ideals” and “grand and beatific visions”. And it’s not restricted to just religious ideology. The 20th century has hosted the brutality of fascist and communist regimes too.

    Both of which functioned as One-True-Way POLITICAL State Religions.
    A Cult(TM) doesn’t need to be based on a religion per se.

    And yes I think you’re right. The echo chamber drowns out Jiminy Cricket, sprays him with DDT, and removes him as a pesky nuisance in the service of a “greater ideal

    “Greater Ideal” like Citizen Robespierre’s “Republique of Perfect Virtue”, always waving from the other side of the “regrettable but necessary” Reign of Terror?

  258. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    We were talking about racial relationships one day at work and I think I said ‘people are complicated’. How can you hate and love at the same time? I don’t understand it, but I guess it comes down to how people sort and categorize things in their brain? I think we know that it is easier to do evil to a people if you dehumanize them first. I see some of the statements about women in certain quarters heading in this direction.

  259. @ Deb:

    “We are wondering whether the church still exists because we cannot find anything about it on the internet. Perhaps it merged with another church or was an unsuccessful church plant. If anyone knows what happened to New Meadows Baptist Church, please let us know.”

    I searched the internet and all I could find is an address and a phone number – 54 Main Street and (978)-887-8911 as listed in, what I believe to be, a current directory of churches in Topsfield. I didn’t call.

  260. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    One church building I’ve found that doesn’t look like a repurposed Wal-Mart:

    Lake Perris SDA Church, Perris, CA.
    Go to Google Street View and enter “380 W 3rd St, Perris, California” for a look.
    (Address should come up with a direct front view; click a little ways down the street for an oblique view.)

    I noticed this one a couple years ago while on my way to the Perris Railroad Museum just south of town. It’s a streamlined A-frame reinterpretation of classic Gothic church architecture. Unlike a lot of churches these days, it looks both contemporary and “classically churchy”. No mistaking this building for any other function.

  261. elastigirl wrote:

    i apologize if my comments seem like a challenge. i don’t mean that in the slightest. i’m just very amazed at the information i’ve come across. at how someone who by all accounts was an outstanding person, yet at the same time can be so oblivious to the egregiousness & consequences of his decisions and actions and words.

    in all honesty, it’s prompting me to evaluate myself.

    Stick to your guns elastigirl, it’s a puzzle to me too. George Whitefield, one of the so-called “lions of the faith” lobbied successfully to get slavery legalized in Georgia back in the 1700s (it was a colony back then). All of course sanctioned by “Scripture” and a grand view of the Almighty’s “purpose”.
    The older I get, the more I’m convinced that there is no grander purpose in Scripture than to not do the kinds of things to others I wouldn’t want done to myself.

    By all means evaluate yourself, but stick up for and be fair to yourself too.
    Your conscience will tell you if your words and deeds hurt others in real time and in tangible ways, or if they’ll set a whole chain of human suffering and misery in motion. And if your words and deeds don’t contribute the the egregious evil in this world? Relax, enjoy life, and do the best with what you’re given in the here and now, you’re doing fine.
    End of 55 gal. drum rant.

  262. @ Muff Potter:

    i just didn’t want Deb to feel it was a personal challenge to her.

    yes, i have to agree that purest religion (by any name or no name whatsoever) is treating people the way you want to be treated. putting their welfare, dignity, & happiness first. such a pleasant & happy way to live, too.

    [so unsettling when those wearing the christian label, especially the leaders, do and say the contrary, while so many ‘heathens’ excel at it without even trying or thinking about it.
    cause for reevaluation, that’s for sure.]

    when i’ve watched a film, read a book or article or listened to a presentation that covers errors of the past, i find myself thinking “what were they thinking?!? how could they have done that?!?” and then feeling some satisfaction that i live in such an enlightened era with such superior understanding.

    but then my next thought is how each of these past eras felt & thought the same thing. So i have to catch myself….. what am i missing? what are we missing here and now?

    but as you say, how can you go wrong with the golden rule? and much will go wrong when even otherwise outstanding people ignore it. and to ignore it for the sake keeping one’s theology intact…. a colorful array of words comes to mind.