Judge Paul Pressler Has Another Accuser

“He suspected nothing, the affidavit says, until Pressler groped him when they were alone in the steam bath.”

Baptist News

https://www.google.com/search?q=stained+glass+window+paul+pressler+and+image&client=firefox-b-1-ab&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=tIZb5RELaKqXwM%253A%252CzStIeukiIrBPwM%252C_&usg=__TrLPtHOAi3tCHWorrVgUasVkMME%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjk55Tc04fYAhXhRt8KHdCGAdgQ9QEINTAF#imgrc=4Y10tJrICNoGKM:Paul and Nancy Pressler

As the #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements have been gaining momentum, we can’t help but wonder whether they have propelled another ‘alleged’ victim of Judge Paul Pressler to come forward.

Earlier this week the attorney representing a man who is suing Paul Pressler for alleged sexual abuse filed the first in a series of affidavits in the United States District Court for the Second District of Texas Houston Division. The attorney claims those affidavits corroborate his client’s claims.

The unnamed individual is a married man, currently in his 50s, and living in New York, according to a Baptist News Global article.

When he was 16 or 17, he was a member of a youth group at a Presbyterian church in Houston. The leader of that church youth group was Paul Pressler. According to the Baptist News Global article, members of this youth group attended a weekend retreat at the Pressler Ranch. Allegedly, Pressler told the teen that there was a shortage of beds and asked if he would be willing to share a bunk with Pressler. According to the affidavit, the teen recalls “feeling a typical teenage aversion to sleeping beside him (Pressler)”, but did not think at the time that it was an unreasonable request. He recounts in the affidavit that during the night Paul Pressler told him that he was cold. Without asking for permission, Pressler rubbed his feet against the teen’s under the covers.

As an aside, how in the world did a Paul (the Presbyterian) Pressler come to have such a tremendous influence over the Southern Baptist Convention?

The Baptist News Global article states:

The affidavit also says Pressler used to take boys from the youth group to saunas and showers at the Houston Oaks Country Club, typically when no other club members were around. They usually would carpool after Bible study in groups of four to 12, but one night he rode with Pressler and noticed he was the only passenger. He asked who else was going, and Pressler said they were the only two.

He suspected nothing, the affidavit says, until Pressler groped him when they were alone in the steam bath.

“I was absolutely not aroused,” the statement says. “I froze. Shocked, stunned and utterly frightened, I had no idea what to expect next. I was naked and trapped — miles from home — and I needed to be beyond Pressler’s reach.”

“My instincts told me to carry on as though nothing had happened — to end the incident with no further incident. With great difficulty, I talked calmly, while staying alert. We returned to the locker room and dressed. Then Pressler drove me to my car without further incident. I went home and from that moment I have stayed away from him.”

Daniel Shea the Houston attorney who filed the April 3 motion, indicated that “other affidavits will follow” and “new corroborators continue to come forward.”

The Baptist News Global article reveals that…

Shea’s motion came in response to a motion for summary judgment filed March 30 by the Southern Baptist Convention, one of a number of organizations and individuals accused in the lawsuit of being co-conspirators. While denying any wrongdoing, the SBC argued that the lawsuit is barred by statute of limitations.

Allowing the case to proceed, the motion said, “would involve discovery regarding documents, events and people spanning 40 years.”

The BNG article concludes with this:

Pressler, a former justice on the Texas 14th Court of Appeals, has denied all allegations in the lawsuit. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

You may recall that when the Pressler’s first accuser came forward last year, we covered it here. That post included screen shots of the petition filed on behalf of Gerald Duane Rollins, who alleges he was molested by Pressler from the age of 14 until about four years ago. That post contains some interesting historical information, which we strongly encourage you to read if you haven’t done so already. Here is the portion of that TWW post which bears repeating.


According to a Baptist Press article, it was 50 years ago (March 1967) that Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson had their infamous meeting in New Orleans at Cafe du Monde to discuss their mutual concerns about the liberal direction in which they believed the Southern Baptist Convention was heading. At the time, Patterson was a seminary student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Pressler was an attorney (he would be appointed to the bench in Texas three years later).

In his book A Hill on Which to Die: One Southern Baptist’s Journey, Pressler recounts how the conservative resurgence (takeover) of the Southern Baptist Convention occurred. He figured out how to bring about a theological shift in the denomination by the systematic appointment of like-minded Southern Baptists to key positions. The turning point occurred in June of 1979 when Adrian Rogers, a Memphis pastor, was elected SBC president.

Those individuals who played significant roles in the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative resurgence takeover, are being immortalized in stained glass windows in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s new chapel – the J.W. MacForman Chapel and Performing Arts Center – which was dedicated six years ago.

The total number of stained glass windows that will adorn the chapel is expected to total 69. No doubt the images of SWBTS president Paige Patterson and his wife Dorothy will be featured prominently.

The stained glass window depicting Paul and Nancy Pressler was completed several years ago and has already been installed in the chapel.

What is wrong with this picture???


SBC Voices has also called attention to this most recent court filing against Paul Pressler, and we hope they will continue to follow these developments. We found one comment under the SBC Voices post to be intriguing (see below):

http://sbcvoices.com/new-accusers-step-forward-against-judge-pressler/#commentsRest assured, we will be updating our readers regarding any new developments involving Paul Pressler.


Comments

Judge Paul Pressler Has Another Accuser — 205 Comments

  1. GMFS

    As significant as the events described above are for the person making the claims against Mr Pressler, I want to draw something entirely different out here. From the article:

    According to a Baptist Press article, it was …[51 years ago in March 1967]… that Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson had their infamous meeting in New Orleans at Cafe du Monde to discuss their mutual concerns about the liberal direction in which they believed the Southern Baptist Convention was heading.

    Point 1 of 3: today’s concerns

    There are believers today, in 2018, who are sharing mutual concerns about the direction, not only the SBC, but the wider landscape of non-sacramental groups of professing christians, is heading. Constantly clubbing the decapitated monster of “liberalism”, they are building a 21st-century equivalent of the first-century circumcision party, with an ever-wider clerty/laity (or “LORD’s anointed”/”sheep”) divide and ever more power and authority in the hands of the elite.

    Point 2 of 3: today’s concerns Part II

    Against this backdrop of unaccountable power, abuses of all kinds are inevitable. The harbouring of sexual predators is one, and arguably the most serious, of those abuses. It’s so serious for precisely those reasons that the elite downplay it: it really matters how we treat the so-called “little people” in Jesus’s Kingdom. It is in “the world” that they are expendable in the cause of “unity”, where unity is defined by the reputation of celebrities.

    Point 3 of 3: Change

    Whatever these meetings in cafés were like 50 years ago, the result has been a sweeping change in church cultures, and that change has bristled with toxic side-effects. But if that change could be caused, then by the same token it can also be reversed. Even if it takes decades, it has to be possible.

  2. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Whatever these meetings in cafés were like 50 years ago, the result has been a sweeping change in church cultures, and that change has bristled with toxic side-effects. But if that change could be caused, then by the same token it can also be reversed. Even if it takes decades, it has to be possible.

    It’d be nice if we could organize a group that runs counter to groups like TGC.

  3. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Nick,
    Outstanding observation! And yes, change IS possible, but it cannot come from merely our own efforts. It comes when we are revived and awakened by the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit and when we become angered and grieved by the things that anger and grieve Him! When we awaken from our slumber and realize that it’s not just an earthly struggle, then change WILL happen!
    Ephesians 6 puts it this way, when Paul tells us about putting on our armor:
    “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
    We must realize that the task at hand is far above what we can do in our own human strength. Therefore, we must fortify and ready ourselves for the spiritual battle that lies ahead.
    I guess I never really considered how powerfully that passage applies to how we should respond to the current evil and abuse that has permeated many pulpits around us. We should be careful to note however, that memorializing these evildoers in stained glass is NOT part of the plan!
    But yes Nick, I too believe that this trend can be reversed. It happens when we “little people” put our armor on and expose the evil that surrounds us!

  4. Every time I see Judge Pressler, i remember my law school friend who died of AIDS while he was clerking at the 14th Appellate Court and how we had to conceal the cause of his death so that he didn’t become a Paul Pressler sermon example. That is all.

  5. ” … Paul (the Presbyterian) Pressler …”

    ” … it was 50 years ago (March 1967) that Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson had their infamous meeting …”

    I have long suspected that there was another “closet” that Pressler was in … a closet Calvinist. A primary architect of the Conservative Resurgence, he claimed to be “traditional” in SBC belief and practice but evidently Calvinist at heart. Dr. Patterson also took an odd position on Calvinism. On one hand, he was very vocal about the proliferation of New Calvinism in SBC ranks, but signed the Abstract of Principles (a Calvinist confession of faith) while President of SBC’s Southeastern Seminary! Traditional non-Calvinist Southern Baptists are learning you can’t trust either one of these guys.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the stained glass windows of Pressler, Patterson, and Page in the chapel at Southwestern Seminary. Depictions of all the heroes of the Conservative Resurgence will most likely be replaced by images of Mohler, Moore, Ezell, Platt, etc. when the New Calvinists take over there after Patterson’s retirement. After all, it has been about a Calvinist Resurgence all along, not a Conservative Resurgence. Patterson’s retirement won’t be far in the future – the man is already done; he just hasn’t quit yet.

  6. Max wrote:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the stained glass windows of Pressler, Patterson, and Page in the chapel at Southwestern Seminary. Depictions of all the heroes of the Conservative Resurgence will most likely be replaced by images of Mohler, Moore, Ezell, Platt, etc. when the New Calvinists take over there after Patterson’s retirement. After all, it has been about a Calvinist Resurgence all along, not a Conservative Resurgence. Patterson’s retirement won’t be far in the future – the man is already done; he just hasn’t quit yet.

    Excellent commentary!

  7. Max–excellent comment! I’m old enough to remember when we were taught over and over and over in SBC churches the priesthood of THE believer, soul freedom, and soul competency. We were also taught works were never part of salvation but were results to be expected, that Jesus is Lord over the church, and that we are NEVER under the spiritual authority of other human beings. That, not so much the whens wheres and hows of baptism, made a person a Baptist. Sinful behavior–deliberately breaking the clear teachings of the Bible–could cost you membership. However, it has to be remembered that all comers were accepted into membership on profession of faith and baptism.

    Today the only difference between our local SBC churches and our local Presbyterian churches in our new town seems to be the when where and how of baptism.

    No thank you. I really am a Baptist at heart. But I find a local Wesleyan Holiness church much closer to what scripture teaches and what the SBC used to teach. Our local SBC’s seem much more interested in weeding out those deemed non elect, or in weeding out those who might actually think, than they are in seeing souls saved.

    I would love a concerted, organized, real resurgence of the Southern Baptist faith. Til then, our decision is made to be “elsewhere”.

  8. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Against this backdrop of unaccountable power, abuses of all kinds are inevitable. The harbouring of sexual predators is one, and arguably the most serious, of those abuses. It’s so serious for precisely those reasons that the elite downplay it: it really matters how we treat the so-called “little people” in Jesus’s Kingdom. It is in “the world” that they are expendable in the cause of “unity”, where unity is defined by the reputation of celebrities.

    Build a stage.
    Put on a show. (worship)
    Fill the arena.
    Collect fees, money. (tithes)
    Promote celebrities. (leaders, pastors)
    Surround celebrities with an entourage. (hierarchy)
    Fund celebrities’ secret life.
    Establish rules for the paying masses. (convenants, tithing, gender)
    Enforce those rules, from on high – the hierarchy. (touch not my annointed)
    Disallow discourse. (no gossip)
    Discard dissenters. (block them)
    Etc.

    The church = the world, in this scenario. The power brokers, game, strategies – all the same, except the church is using God/superpower and his heroes (pastors) as authority, and afterlife/Eternity as carrot/goal/threat – Hell, Heaven.

    It’s interesting that in 2018 the church goes this direction, because in the business world, people like Simon Sinek today promote shared power and discourse from bottom (where the insight is) to top (where the administration is) in a company. Even Amazon promotes comments.

  9. The current Provost at SWBTS is Craig Blaising. He and I were classmates at Dalas Seminary many years ago. He is a great guy all this reminds me to pray for the good people in that institution.

  10. @ drstevej:
    I hope he is lobbying for better subjects for those expensive stained glass window. Maybe the apostles? Jesus? Not a local attorney, please.

  11. JYJames wrote:

    The church = the world

    Which, of course, is not the Church at all. Much of the American “gospel” is another gospel, which is not the Gospel at all. Yet, the masses are attracted to it. Why? Because it’s as comfortable as the world they come from … no challenge to be different … no need to be salt and light … no cross to carry … pursuit of holiness not necessary.

  12. Max wrote:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the stained glass windows of Pressler, Patterson, and Page in the chapel at Southwestern Seminary. Depictions of all the heroes of the Conservative Resurgence will most likely be replaced by images of Mohler, Moore, Ezell, Platt, etc. when the New Calvinists take over there after Patterson’s retirement. After all, it has been about a Calvinist Resurgence all along, not a Conservative Resurgence.

    Please, pleas be wrong. Please!!

  13. dee wrote:

    I hope he is lobbying for better subjects for those expensive stained glass window.

    Knowing Craig, he’d probably prefer just Bible verses.

  14. Good post, Deb. We have friends who have admired Pressler for years. I know these stories must be hard for them.

  15. If these charges are true, it is the straw that breaks the camels back for me. On this blog there is now Pressler, Patterson, Mohler, Moore, many other mega church pastors and seminary professors with problems. Not all of the same kind but each serious. It can’t be reformed. It is too corrupt. The whole thing is rotten.

  16. linda wrote:

    I’m old enough to remember when we were taught over and over and over in SBC churches the priesthood of THE believer, soul freedom, and soul competency.

    Those long-established Baptist doctrines were diminished in the 2000 revision of the Baptist Faith and Message … one of the first flags trending the denomination toward reformed belief and practice. Al Mohler was on the revision committee.

  17. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Constantly clubbing the decapitated monster of “liberalism”, they are building a 21st-century equivalent of the first-century circumcision party, with an ever-wider clerty/laity (or “LORD’s anointed”/”sheep”) divide and ever more power and authority in the hands of the elite.

    I used to buy into all of the culture war stuff until about a year or two ago, when I realized two things. 1. What is the victory plan for the culture war. Total “Christian” domination of all of our institutions? Would that really be so good given how the prominent culture warriors live and treat people? After studying the lives of people like Doug Wilson, a dedicated culture warrior, I think not. I don’t want any one ideology in total control of our culture. 2. When you call something a war, it justifies you in your own mind to do whatever you have to do to defeat your enemy. Look at the Holocaust, Japanese internment, suspension of habeas corpus, the murder committed in the 30 years war, pogroms committed by crusaders, the fire bombing of Dresden, etc. I know there are counter arguments on some of these examples, but the point remains that, in war, people set aside normal standards of decency. Is that what Christians should be doing? Treating those who disagree as enemies and trying to destroy them.

    The funny thing is, I have some sympathy for some of the culture warrior positions. I’m disgusted by their tactics, and I’m not so sure I’m right about everything as I was before. Religious certainty can be dangerous, especially when you use it to “declare war” on others who are also created in the image of God.

  18. @ dee:
    Mohler has been behind appointments of New Calvinist leaders at most SBC entities … Akin at Southeastern, Allen at Midwestern, Ezell at NAMB, etc. I’m sure he has a hand-picked successor to replace Patterson. It would be a disgusting walk for the new reformers in the SWBTS chapel with all those non-Calvinists glaring at them. The windows will come down, be painted over, or replaced by mug shots of the faithful of the reformed revolution. Putting up those windows was a dumb idea in the first place. The walk of fame has already become a walk of shame for some of those guys.

  19. Yet another Godly Highborn pedo. (Ehebephile, actually.)
    Highborn enough to have his Image in stained glass alongside that of Paige Patterson.
    And SAME SEX Ehebephile.
    Looks like HOMOSEXUALITY is also a Privilege of Rank. “Touch Not Mine Anointed…”

    According to the Baptist News Global article, members of this youth group attended a weekend retreat at the Pressler Ranch. Allegedly, Pressler told the teen that there was a shortage of beds and asked if he would be willing to share a bunk with Pressler.

    Riiiiight. Boys and Girls, THAT is a standard M.O. of a sexual predator. All that’s missing is a mention of the prey’s sleepwear from the waist down disappearing inexplicably come bedtime.

    Years ago in early Furry Fandom, we had a Big Name Furry SMOF who used that exact M.O. to “have his way” with same-sex jail bait (usually up-and-coming artists he admired) at SF and Furry cons. (Room-sharing/room-packing at cons is an old Fannish tradition, as money is tight for a lot of fen.)

  20. Ken A wrote:

    It can’t be reformed. It is too corrupt

    Shhhh … don’t use “reformed” and “corrupt” next to each other like that!

  21. Max wrote:

    I’m sure he has a hand-picked successor to replace Patterson. It would be a disgusting walk for the new reformers in the SWBTS chapel with all those non-Calvinists glaring at them. The windows will come down, be painted over, or replaced by mug shots of the faithful of the reformed revolution.

    Just like Heroes of the Party icons in the old USSR.

  22. Max wrote:

    Depictions of all the heroes of the Conservative Resurgence will most likely be replaced by images of Mohler, Moore, Ezell, Platt, etc. when the New Calvinists take over there after Patterson’s retirement.

    Who’s Court Favorite THIS Week?
    (And who from last week as of now Never Existed?)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmvCHwiDjDQ

  23. Max wrote:

    It would be a disgusting walk for the new reformers in the SWBTS chapel with all those non-Calvinists glaring at them.

    Hall of Fame = Hall of Shame. Walk the pedo gallery.

  24. Has anyone noticed that the Presslers are standing in a bed of tulips in the stained-glass window depicting them? Tulips … think about it.

  25. @ Max:
    I was at the SBC meeting in New Orleans in 1990 when all of these shenanigans took place. A very sad time indeed, and times have been sad ever since!

  26. One of the things that window makes me think is, low church people are way worse at iconography than high church people. I’m saying this as someone who has been a low church protestant all of my life.

  27. Florence in KY wrote:

    I was at the SBC meeting in New Orleans in 1990 when all of these shenanigans took place.

    The beginning of the end of a once-great evangelistic people of faith. At that point, Southern Baptists forfeited their denominational gift of evangelism.

  28. Just like the Andy Savage situation, I do not care about “statutes of limitations”…. For so long I have listened to christain preachers/groups throw around their moral superiority compared to the secual “world”. These clowns in this conservative revolution in the SBC sure pitch this, one of the more fanous of which is Al Mohlers Youtub video about “where will they go!” Even if “ Pressler” did not rape these boys, if he took boys to saunas by themselves, that alone should disquify him, peroid. To me, that is verging on, or is a sicko, unless there is a better explaination….. denial through your lawyer is a guilty person speaking to me…. and I do not give a rats @$$ about the legal system, this is above, beyound that.. but being an ex judge, I am sure he is a master of knowing how to maniplutae the legal system…

  29. @ JYJames:
    The church has always been slow to react to changes in culture… I would argue the church stilll is struggling on how to respond to the scientific revolution which now over 1000 years old….

  30. Dee, do you think a case like this (if successfully litigated) might pressure the SBC to finally create a database of abusers? I know this case is a bit unique. However, I wonder how it might play in helping that worthy cause of creating a clearinghouse to protect children in SBC churches.

  31. Max wrote:

    Has anyone noticed that the Presslers are standing in a bed of tulips in the stained-glass window depicting them? Tulips … think about it.

    Duly noted.
    At least those awful Papists have the good sense to confine their stained-glass revery to figures and themes from Scripture.

  32. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    being an ex judge, I am sure he is a master of knowing how to maniplutae the legal system…

    Good point. Fitting for his cohort. (A pastor or theologian can become a master of knowing how to manipulate scripture to fit the latest moral shenanigans in their influence, as in Scottish Pastor Ian Campbell probably had a biblical go-around for his behavior, playing in his mind the whole time he was on the prowl.)

    The Evangelical (dare I say) “Biblical” Bubble operates without Rule of Law at the most basic level – regarding preying on minors, sexual harassment, finances, gender, etc.

    I was actually praying about the Biblical aspect this week, like, “Dear Father in Heaven, Where is the Scripture that says grace does not mean predators use the church for their playground?” and this verse popped up on audio Bible: “But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the LORD.” Isaiah 26.10. Thank you, Lord.

  33. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    they are building a 21st-century equivalent of the first-century circumcision party, with an ever-wider clerty/laity (or “LORD’s anointed”/”sheep”) divide and ever more power and authority in the hands of the elite.

    It should be no surprise. Really. Legalism brings about the sinfulness of sin and authoritarianism and hierarchical structure is a hotbed for more sin. We will keep seeing it, one train wreck at a time, at least I hope we do…better that than whitewashed tombs, “…beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. What sorrow awaits you.”

  34. JYJames wrote:

    “Dear Father in Heaven, Where is the Scripture that says grace does not mean predators use the church for their playground?”

    Ezekiel 34 is also very good.

  35. Not surprised about Judge Pressler. Years ago I attended a Baptist Church with Pressler in the audience and the church pastor practically worshipped Pressler during the pastors introduction. It was sickening. I am no fan of Pressler, but it is still a sad day. And hope those stained glass windows are relegated into a museum of memorabilia and out of the SWBTS chapel.

  36. Mark wrote:

    the church pastor practically worshipped Pressler

    Times have changed – now they are worshiping Mohler throughout the SBC kingdom.

  37. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Regarding point one: A 21st century equivalent of a circumcision party. Your mention of circumcision party is most timely. But I suggest you consider it (groups such as Neo-Calvinist) is more then equivalency to the circumcision group of antiquity.

    This is another point where I break with those around me on doctrine. It is not an equivalent, but one and the same. A twenty century lineage, of teacher to student, with various forms of transmission.

    Some transmissions took place with direct contact, but others with written teachings.

    This is the Leaven of the Pharresses, in the flesh. We where warned to beware of this Leaven.

  38. Deb wrote:

    Tip toe through the tulips…

    That’s exactly what Southern Baptists have been doing … it’s high time to squash the heck out of them!

  39. @ JYJames:

    “I was actually praying about the Biblical aspect this week, like, “Dear Father in Heaven, Where is the Scripture that says grace does not mean predators use the church for their playground?” and this verse popped up on audio Bible: “But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the LORD.” Isaiah 26.10. Thank you, Lord.”

    That verse describes what we are seeing being exposed perfectly!

  40. Max wrote:

    Ken A wrote:

    It can’t be reformed. It is too corrupt

    Shhhh … don’t use “reformed” and “corrupt” next to each other like that!

    Sorry, I am proudly reformed in my theology. I don’t find this funny at all. All these guys profess to be the “real” Christians. As a kid the Southern Baptist I knew caused me to think there was something really wrong with Southern Baptist Churches. After the Lord saved me I didn’t want anything to do with it because of what I saw as a kid and a teenager. I should have gone with those impressions. How it breaks my heart the condition of the Christians in this country. Just awful.

  41. Ken A wrote:

    All these guys profess to be the “real” Christians.

    Yep, a big red flag when any group proclaims they are the sole keepers of truth – be wary of such real deals! The New Calvinists claim they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the gospel that the rest of Christendom has lost – buyer beware!

  42. Ken A wrote:

    Sorry, I am proudly reformed in my theology.

    What does it mean to be “proudly reformed”? Your comment made me think about the relationship between pride and theology. I’m guessing that you are not actually proud about it in a negative way. But the New Calvinists do seem to be proud in a negative way. How would your view differ from theirs. Thanks.

  43. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    GMFS
    As significant as the events described above are for the person making the claims against Mr Pressler, I want to draw something entirely different out here. From the article:
    According to a Baptist Press article, it was …[51 years ago in March 1967]… that Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson had their infamous meeting in New Orleans at Cafe du Monde to discuss their mutual concerns about the liberal direction in which they believed the Southern Baptist Convention was heading.
    Point 1 of 3: today’s concerns
    There are believers today, in 2018, who are sharing mutual concerns about the direction, not only the SBC, but the wider landscape of non-sacramental groups of professing christians, is heading. Constantly clubbing the decapitated monster of “liberalism”, they are building a 21st-century equivalent of the first-century circumcision party, with an ever-wider clerty/laity (or “LORD’s anointed”/”sheep”) divide and ever more power and authority in the hands of the elite.
    Point 2 of 3: today’s concerns Part II
    Against this backdrop of unaccountable power, abuses of all kinds are inevitable. The harbouring of sexual predators is one, and arguably the most serious, of those abuses. It’s so serious for precisely those reasons that the elite downplay it: it really matters how we treat the so-called “little people” in Jesus’s Kingdom. It is in “the world” that they are expendable in the cause of “unity”, where unity is defined by the reputation of celebrities.
    Point 3 of 3: Change
    Whatever these meetings in cafés were like 50 years ago, the result has been a sweeping change in church cultures, and that change has bristled with toxic side-effects. But if that change could be caused, then by the same token it can also be reversed. Even if it takes decades, it has to be possible.

    Accountability, no matter the denominational stripe. If it’s viewed as too big for that to occur, it’s got to get smaller.

  44. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    Ken A wrote:
    Sorry, I am proudly reformed in my theology.
    What does it mean to be “proudly reformed”? Your comment made me think about the relationship between pride and theology. I’m guessing that you are not actually proud about it in a negative way. But the New Calvinists do seem to be proud in a negative way. How would your view differ from theirs. Thanks.

    I just don’t think I can ignore all the verses that confirm the reformed positions. I hold to them because I think the Bible clearly teaches them. And if the Bible teaches it, I want to affirm it and get the blessing there. I don’t think I should deny things that God teaches in His word.
    I am appreciative of the heart for the downtrodden and abused here by Dee and Deb. Also the many thoughtful comments.
    I guess my theology isn’t very different from the New-Cals. I hope that I am not a “Calvinista” though. I definitely don’t hold to their male domination of women and their abusive authoritarianism.

  45. @ Ken A:
    I appreciate your thoughtful reply to Ken F. One of my biggest struggles with Reformed Theology is the concept of ‘limited atonement’.

    So glad you don’t embrace male domination.

  46. Ken A wrote:

    I guess my theology isn’t very different from the New-Cals. I hope that I am not a “Calvinista” though.

    While the tenets of faith are similar, there’s a world of difference in the behavior of “New” Calvinists vs. classical Calvinists. I have found the latter to be much more civil in their discourse (such as you Ken) than your neo-brethren. Additionally, you don’t hear classical Calvinists subordinating Jesus, belittling female believers, and taking over non-Calvinist churches. Contrary to what the new reformers think, the New Calvinist movement is not a God Thing – there is nothing Christlike about it.

  47. Deb wrote:

    @ Ken A:
    I appreciate your thoughtful reply to Ken F. One of my biggest struggles with Reformed Theology is the concept of ‘limited atonement’.
    So glad you don’t embrace male domination.

    Is the death of Christ sufficient for every human being. I will never “limit” the atonement that way. Thanks for your encouraging reply.

  48. Ken A wrote:

    I just don’t think I can ignore all the verses that confirm the reformed positions. I hold to them because I think the Bible clearly teaches them.

    Thanks for the feedback. You clearly do not come across as a New Calvinist, which is very good.

    One of my problems is how I try to get an insider’s view about opposing opinions. I don’t know why I do this. So although I disagree with many theological viewpoints, I can understand why people from those viewpoints would think the way they do. I cannot personnaly accept reformed theology, but I respect those who embrace it out of conviction and humility. The New Calvinists seem to embrace it with a sense of pride/elitism, which made me think about your statement.

    This is one of my favorite cartoons for dealing with multiple viewpoints. I hope the link works. https://goo.gl/images/bBhfW8

  49. Ken F (aka Tweed) wrote:

    I hope the link works.

    The link does not work. But searching images with “calvin and hobbes neo-cubist strip” will get you to the cartoon.

  50. Deb wrote:

    One of my biggest struggles with Reformed Theology is the concept of ‘limited atonement’.

    A lot of self-proclaimed Calvinists struggle with that, too. They get nervous about declaring that Christ’s sacrifice was “limited”, so they retreat to 4-point Calvinism. R.C. Sproul, Calvinist icon, said that moderate (4-point) Calvinism doesn’t really exist because all 5-points of reformed theology work together and you are either a 5-point Calvinist or not a Calvinist at all. He put it this way:

    “There is confusion about what the doctrine of limited atonement actually teaches. However, I think that if a person really understands the other four points and is thinking at all clearly, he must believe in limited atonement because of what Martin Luther called a resistless logic.”

    Personally, I wouldn’t limit the Son of God to anything.

  51. Max wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    One of my biggest struggles with Reformed Theology is the concept of ‘limited atonement’.
    A lot of self-proclaimed Calvinists struggle with that, too. They get nervous about declaring that Christ’s sacrifice was “limited”, so they retreat to 4-point Calvinism. R.C. Sproul, Calvinist icon, said that moderate (4-point) Calvinism doesn’t really exist because all 5-points of reformed theology work together and you are either a 5-point Calvinist or not a Calvinist at all. He put it this way:
    “There is confusion about what the doctrine of limited atonement actually teaches. However, I think that if a person really understands the other four points and is thinking at all clearly, he must believe in limited atonement because of what Martin Luther called a resistless logic.”
    Personally, I wouldn’t limit the Son of God to anything.

    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but all (pantas) to come to repentance.

    1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for all (holou, from holos, referring to entire, compete) the world (kosmou).

  52. Muff Potter wrote:

    At least those awful Papists have the good sense to confine their stained-glass revery to figures and themes from Scripture.

    Catholics and Episcopalians/Anglicans/Lutherans also use church history as sources. It was not unknown for donors/patrons to show up on stained glass or paintings but as minor figure (e.g., an onlooker at the last supper or a member of the crowd in the sermon of the mount) or in a very small frame above or below the main picture. For historical figures the expectation would be that the person depicted is dead (e.g., Martin Luther or Thomas Crammer). Admittedly they can also get carried away; I’m not sure how Stonewall Jackson ended up in the Episcopalian National Cathedral.

  53. Max wrote:

    Ken A wrote:

    Additionally, you don’t hear classical Calvinists subordinating Jesus, belittling female believers, and taking over non-Calvinist churches. Contrary to what the new reformers think, the New Calvinist movement is not a God Thing – there is nothing Christlike about it.

    I don’t claim to speak for (actually against) all “classical Calvinists,” but every.single.one (except two) I’ve met in my adult life, which has been spent in & around several Presbyterian and Reformed denominations, absolutely believes the Bible is quite clear on the subordination of women and obedience to males (originating both in the subordination of the Son and the created order of things).

  54. Max wrote:

    Ken A wrote:
    Additionally, you don’t hear classical Calvinists subordinating Jesus, belittling female believers, and taking over non-Calvinist churches. Contrary to what the new reformers think, the New Calvinist movement is not a God Thing – there is nothing Christlike about it.

    Sorry, I meant to add that I am actually confused by the statement “you don’t hear classical Calvinists…belittling female believers.” I’d like to be directed toward any of the Puritan or Reformed heroes (ie, heroes to the classical Calvinist) who do NOT believe in the subordination of women as clearly indicated in their writings. I know there are relatively modern Reformed theologians and believers who reject patriarchy, but have never heard of them referred to as “classical Calvinists”. Possibly I don’t understand the way you are using the term.

    @Ken A, I also am glad to hear you don’t believe in male domination or abusive authoritarinism.

  55. @ Max:

    I Hold the doctrine of Limited Attainment… Here is a parable I wrote to explain…

    The Parable of the Amyraldian

    Unlimited Atonement yet Limited Attainment

    A wealthy man buys ten tickets to Hawaii and has his Son pay cash for them. He sends a letter to ten people with a ticket purchased for them and invites them to join him in Hawaii.

    He also sends a Special Courier to deliver three of the tickets to a select group of the ten and has the Courier earnestly persuade them to go {His persuasion is irresistible!} The Courier then escorts them onto the plane insuring they get to Hawaii.

    The other seven get the letter and the ticket that has been purchased for them, but because they hate the wealthy man [he makes them feel guilty] they refuse to use the ticket. They each think. If I ever go to Hawaii, I’m going MY way. No one is paying my way, especially not That Guy!

    The wealthy man, his son and the courier rejoice with the three in Hawaii. The other seven never make it and their tickets, while paid in full, are never used. While the three are in the beauty of Hawaii with the wealthy man a plague strikes the home towns of the seven and they perish.

    NOTE: This is an artificially constructed parable to show how the price can be paid in full for those who refuse to receive the gift. The Father’s election and the Spirit’s persuasion are limited to the elect, yet a ticket purchased by the Son is legitimately extended to all.

    Unlimited Atonement yet Limited Attainment

  56. 2 Peter 2:1

    But FALSE PROPHETS also arose among the people, just as there will also be FALSE TEACHERS among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who BOUGHT THEM, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

    ====

    Jesus paid the price even for false prophets/ teachers who deny Him.

  57. drstevej wrote:

    @ Max:

    I Hold the doctrine of Limited Attainment… Here is a parable I wrote to explain…

    NOTE: This is an artificially constructed parable to show how the price can be paid in full for those who refuse to receive the gift. The Father’s election and the Spirit’s persuasion are limited to the elect, yet a ticket purchased by the Son is legitimately extended to all.

    Unlimited Atonement yet Limited Attainment

    The Bible is clear that there is both election and free will. I believe it is more like unlimited atonement leads to equal opportunity but, because of man’s free will, unequal results. In my view, The Father not only pays for the tickets in advance but also sends special and persuasive emissarys to ALL and not just a select few. The free will of man will result in some using the ticket and some not. I do not believe GOD predetermines the elect. To me there is a big difference between knowing who the elect are (because of seeing down the road of history as to who will make the right choice) and predetermining who is saved and who is damned.

  58. drstevej wrote:

    The Father’s election and the Spirit’s persuasion are limited to the elect

    What are your thoughts on evanescent (vanishing) grace? Do you agree with Calvin that God tricks some people into thinking they are among the elect even though they are not?

  59. Divorce Minister wrote:

    Dee, do you think a case like this (if successfully litigated) might pressure the SBC to finally create a database of abusers? I know this case is a bit unique. However, I wonder how it might play in helping that worthy cause of creating a clearinghouse to protect children in SBC churches.

    Or, could it be that insider knowledge of cases like this is why the SBC is so reluctant to create a database?

  60. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    confused by the statement “you don’t hear classical Calvinists…belittling female believers.”

    While classical Calvinists believe women are to be subordinate to men, my experience has been that they aren’t so stupidly vocal about it as the New Calvinists. The new reformers have put a meaner slant on complementarity than the old guys. In an SBC-YRR church plant near me, you can cut the oppression with a knife the way they treat their women folk. If you look closely, you can see the bondage on the countenance of young women there, as they hear teachings about being lesser citizens in the Kingdom and have to live that out in church and home. I hope it’s not like that in all YRR churches – perhaps the young pastor at this particular church plant just hates women.

  61. I agree with Gus Nelson. The original lawsuit was a total mess. It really caused me to disrespect the attorney. I couldn’t make out “what” was being charged with a crime, the conservative resurgence or Paul Pressler.

    Don’t get me started on the stained glass windows. Sigh.

  62. Bill wrote:

    The Bible is clear that there is both election and free will.

    The Bible speaks about the sovereignty of God. The Bible speaks about the free will of man. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To put the mind of God into a neat systematic theological box is to stand in arrogance before Him.

  63. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Calvin’s position on Reprobation.

    I don’t want anyone to think that I am making this bigger than it deserves compared to the charges of victims but one thing that really shocked me in the original lawsuit was that Pressler had a presbyterian background. (That can be good or bad depending on the situation)

    Who knew? But it explains a lot in their approach to structure and hierarchy.

  64. @ Bill:
    Many of us believe that you are elect as a “result” of your choice. Sometimes we forget that the letters in scripture were written to professed believers.

  65. Lydia wrote:

    Many of us believe that you are elect as a “result” of your choice.

    I have seen thousands “elected” as the Holy Spirit moved in revival services over the years (when SBC actually had those). I still remember the day that God touched me in that way; in that moment, I chose to receive or reject the Gospel. An encounter with the living Christ is so hard to explain to folks who don’t believe in having a personal relationship with Him … those who prefer to put their faith in doctrines about grace, rather than a direct experience of Grace.

    Lydia, you and I are kindred spirits – I have always felt that in these blog exchanges. Wishing you the best for you and yours. I don’t know how much longer I can read and comment on these things.

  66. @ Max:
    Bless you, Max. I have come to the point where I honestly believe that our relationship with Jesus Christ is such a personal thing ( I am not necessarily speaking of experiences but a decision on faith) that it can only become corporate when we decide to focus on good/evil in terms of our human relationships. The corporate experience with other believers becomes somewhat impossible for me when they believe my very existence is a sin and I was arbitrarily chosen by a random arbitrary god and a sort of philosopher king set has to regulate me according to their superior beliefs. No can do. The eventual fall out from those wrong beliefs are horribly stifling And have proven deadly throughout history.

    I am a big believer in “self” government because I believe that was God’s original intention for each and everyone of us to subdue the earth as created in His image. Created with ability of “choice” is the biggest responsibility we have from the time we can reason. And what is even weirder to me is that in just about every strata of our society whether religious or secular we play down the concept of personal responsibility in our choices.

  67. Max wrote:

    at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    confused by the statement “you don’t hear classical Calvinists…belittling female believers.”

    While classical Calvinists believe women are to be subordinate to men, my experience has been that they aren’t so stupidly vocal about it as the New Calvinists.

    Thanks for you answer, Max. While I don’t question your experience, my experience has been with classical Calvinists – the opposite of what I see described here as YRR and new Calvinists – and the bondage, abusive authoritarianism and gender obedience are so extreme that people I know outside these circles (including DV workers, legal professionals and therapists) can’t seem to relate.

    And again, while I hope they don’t align with your personal beliefs, the “reformed heroes” these people constantly reference and quote have abusive views of women. Have you read Calvin on women? Have you read William Gouge? His treatise on the family was constantly quoted to me. I could go on…

    I’m not trying to pick an argument. I would genuinely like to know if there is a way to reconcile classical Calvinism with non-abuse of women. The way it was taught and justified to me is not just a practice you can jettison because that’s not our culture any more. It is intertwined in the theology.

  68. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    It is intertwined in the theology.

    Agreed. Subordination of women comes with the Calvinist package. My comments about classical vs. neo Calvinists were based on my experience with reformed folks within traditional SBC churches which have a majority membership of non-Calvinists and only a sprinkling of Calvinists who don’t openly practice what they really believe (except at home perhaps). The exception to that certainly is within SBC church plants where the YRR have set up shop and oppress the living daylights out of female believers (they will be judged for that). I am well aware of authoritarian “put your women in their place” by classical Calvinists in other expressions of faith and even in some SBC churches where old guard Calvinists are in leadership, particularly in rural churches. Unfortunately, SBC is trending toward Calvinism – so most/all SBC churches will be of this flavor within a decade.

  69. JYJames wrote:

    Jesus

    4 Teachings of Jesus That His Followers (Almost) Never Take Seriously By Brandan Robertson
    1. Jesus, not the Bible, is God’s living and active Word that brings life.
    2. The only way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven is through DOING the will of God.
    3. Condemnation isn’t Jesus’ style.
    4. You’re supposed to sacrifice yourself and speak words of blessings for those you disagree with the most.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/brandan-robertson/4-teachings-of-jesus-that_b_6343320.html

  70. JYJames wrote:

    Max wrote:

    SBC is trending toward Calvinism

    Too bad Jesus is not good enough.

    It’s done….it will make the SBC another shoulda, coulda, woulda denomination….

  71. @ Max:
    Alternatively, perhaps the young pastor is in conflict with his wife…

    If she won’t kowtow to him at home, maybe he can shame her into subservience (as opposed to submission, in the mutual sense) by preaching some sort of mandate publicly and slapping a biblical label on it. He may not be able to control her, but maybe the peer pressure will have an effect in softening her to his will.

  72. refugee wrote:

    @ Max:
    Alternatively, perhaps the young pastor is in conflict with his wife…

    Or getting P-whipped behind the scenes.

    In a male-supremacist culture, the only way for an ambitious wife to wield POWER is indirectly, by manipulating her husband while remaining Sweet and Winsome in public. (With a side effect of training herself to be a manipulative Sociopath.)

    And Pastor Hubby dares not lift a finger against She Who Must Be Obeyed (in secret), so he takes it out getting even with anything without a Y Chromosome.

    Sicko, huh?

  73. Max wrote:

    at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    It is intertwined in the theology.

    Agreed. Subordination of women comes with the Calvinist package.

    Comes with the package of viewing everything as Win-or-Die Power Struggle — Boots on Faces all the way down, Hold the Whip or Feel the Whip, nothing in-between. Especially bad when locked into Cosmic Importance by Divine Right.

  74. Ricco wrote:

    I used to buy into all of the culture war stuff until about a year or two ago, when I realized two things. 1. What is the victory plan for the culture war. Total “Christian” domination of all of our institutions? Would that really be so good given how the prominent culture warriors live and treat people? After studying the lives of people like Doug Wilson, a dedicated culture warrior, I think not.

    Three words:
    THE HANDMAID’S TALE.

  75. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    Every time I see Judge Pressler, i remember my law school friend who died of AIDS while he was clerking at the 14th Appellate Court and how we had to conceal the cause of his death so that he didn’t become a Paul Pressler sermon example. That is all.

    Ever wonder if Fred Phelps’ REAL sin was being too direct and blunt about it?
    Not using the Proper Code Words?

  76. @ Max:

    Thanks, Max. Funnily enough, in a sick sort of way, in addition to Gouge, Baptist Jack Hyles’s “Woman the Completer” series was also pounded into me as teaching the proper way I should think of and behave.

  77. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    Sorry, I meant to add that I am actually confused by the statement “you don’t hear classical Calvinists…belittling female believers.” I’d like to be directed toward any of the Puritan or Reformed heroes (ie, heroes to the classical Calvinist) who do NOT believe in the subordination of women as clearly indicated in their writings. I know there are relatively modern Reformed theologians and believers who reject patriarchy, but have never heard of them referred to as “classical Calvinists”. Possibly I don’t understand the way you are using the term.
    @Ken A, I also am glad to hear you don’t believe in male domination or abusive authoritarinism.

    I am going to have to agree. To my dismay, there is a considerable strain of the reformed camp that are terrible in their views on women. They just can’t seem to grasp that a man is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved the church. That is what I should be living up to. I fall very short. How Christ loves the church! That truth is something I cling to. Without it all of us are in a lot of trouble. ESS is heresy. To use it as a trump card in marriage or over women in any other fashion is just manipulation.

  78. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    I’m not trying to pick an argument. I would genuinely like to know if there is a way to reconcile classical Calvinism with non-abuse of women. The way it was taught and justified to me is not just a practice you can jettison because that’s not our culture any more. It is intertwined in the theology.

    The more I read of Calvin and those considered Calvinist “heroes”, the more I feel the same way. I think many liberal Presbyterians and other egalitarian classical Calvinists have no clue what Calvin actually taught.

    However, groups can and do change from their origins and still claim some of those origins and leave what they consider more problematic ones behind. The Baptists were somewhat split between Calvinists and non-Calvinists in their origins, but only the New Cals are claiming that people have to go back to what they consider founding beliefs (even if Calvinism was never the only founding soteriology).

    The problem comes in trying to force people to believe something and not letting them encounter God for themselves or work through the theology. I don’t think force ever results in true belief and it will always end up in some sort of counter-resistance movement.

  79. @ Lydia:
    I think I’m correct in saying that he has always been Baptist and it was his wife who had the Presbyterian background. He did study at Princeton but that institution had long lost its Reformed foundation. The good guys had moved on and founded Westminster Theological Seminary.

  80. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Wow, wondered how ladies like Noel Piper and Nancy Wilson manage. They don’t exude a pushover persona. Good insight. Ruth Bell Graham famously said, “There’s a time to submit and a time to outwit.” Billy Graham was not exactly authoritarian; mostly not even at home.

  81. Max wrote:

    Bill wrote:

    The Bible is clear that there is both election and free will.

    The Bible speaks about the sovereignty of God. The Bible speaks about the free will of man. It all works together in a way that is beyond human comprehension. To put the mind of God into a neat systematic theological box is to stand in arrogance before Him.

    Agreed. I don’t understand in my feeble brain exactly how they work together but I believe they do. There is so much we as humans can’t wrap our minds around on this side of heaven.

  82. Ken A wrote:

    ESS is heresy. To use it as a trump card in marriage or over women in any other fashion is just manipulation.

    More like spiritual/emotional abuse.

  83. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    I think I’m correct in saying that he has always been Baptist and it was his wife who had the Presbyterian background. He did study at Princeton but that institution had long lost its Reformed foundation. The good guys had moved on and founded Westminster Theological Seminary.

    I was referring to this from the post:


    When he was 16 or 17, he was a member of a youth group at a Presbyterian church in Houston. The leader of that church youth group was Paul Pressler.”

    That probably communicates different things to different people depending on their background. Pressler was not really that well known in these parts during CR but I would have never guessed he had been involved in a Presbyterian Church based on what I knew later. It’s probably my ignorance.

    Btw, Grudem went to Westminster. 🙂

  84. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    I wish it were all sunny unicorns in churches across the ailse. I have found it very similar, sadly. What you can or can’t say, believe or disagree with. Same tactics from another perspective.

  85. ishy wrote:

    The Baptists were somewhat split between Calvinists and non-Calvinists in their origins

    The Southern Baptist Convention was founded primarily by slave-holding Calvinists, including pastors and deacons who were apparently comfortable oppressing others. They felt that God was on their side during the Civil War until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. After the War, Southern Baptists distanced themselves from the founders’ theology and remained largely non-Calvinist in belief and practice for 150 years until the New Calvinists came into the picture to take the denomination back to their roots. I doubt that many SBC-YRR are aware of SBC’s sinful origins.

  86. drstevej wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    The good guys had moved on

    J Gresham Machen, John Murray and Cornelius Van Til

    What makes them the “good” guys?

  87. ishy wrote:

    The more I read of Calvin and those considered Calvinist “heroes”, the more I feel the same way

    Is that anything like “The more you read about Ayn Rand, the more repulsive she becomes”?

  88. Ken A wrote:

    To my dismay, there is a considerable strain of the reformed camp that are terrible in their views on women. They just can’t seem to grasp that a man is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved the church. T

    Again, when you can only see things in terms of Zero-Sum Power Struggle…

  89. Max wrote:

    The Southern Baptist Convention was founded primarily by slave-holding Calvinists, including pastors and deacons who were apparently comfortable oppressing others.

    In every Christian culture climate, there always seems to be the Stand Alones who do the right thing, no matter their Christian affiliation. (Like an OT prophet, maybe?) The Casper ten Boom Family, circa WW2, come to mind. Don’t recall their church affiliation but their own pastor refused to shelter a Jewish baby, in the opening scenes of “The Hiding Place”. The ten Booms kept going to church, but probably not many of their fellow church goers stuck their neck out completely for the Gospel as they did. It’ll all get hammered out in Eternity, sheep and goats and all that, Eternal reward or damnation or everything in between.

  90. JYJames wrote:

    In every Christian culture climate, there always seems to be the Stand Alones who do the right thing

    … and a greater number of Go Alongs who end up on the wrong side of the road, led by blind men.

  91. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Ken A wrote:

    To my dismay, there is a considerable strain of the reformed camp that are terrible in their views on women. They just can’t seem to grasp that a man is supposed to love his wife as Christ loved the church. T

    Again, when you can only see things in terms of Zero-Sum Power Struggle…

    Or God’s divine decree, reflecting his character and the created order of things…

  92. Max wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    The Baptists were somewhat split between Calvinists and non-Calvinists in their origins

    The Southern Baptist Convention was founded primarily by slave-holding Calvinists, including pastors and deacons who were apparently comfortable oppressing others. They felt that God was on their side during the Civil War until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. After the War, Southern Baptists distanced themselves from the founders’ theology and remained largely non-Calvinist in belief and practice for 150 years until the New Calvinists came into the picture to take the denomination back to their roots. I doubt that many SBC-YRR are aware of SBC’s sinful origins.

    I know plenty of southern (and not) Reformeds who espouse the above reprehensible views on the Civil War and slave-holding.

  93. @ Lowlandseer:
    Thanks for this info. Wondering how much time Pressler spent in the Presbyterian church his wife must have been attending.

    I hope all the facts will come out about this.

  94. drstevej wrote:

    Solid theology, men of character and excellent teachers.

    And men who didn’t leave didn’t have these same traits?

  95. Max wrote:

    and a greater number of Go Alongs who end up on the wrong side of the road, led by blind men.

    “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:14.

    With the plethora of churchfolk reveals right now, Matt. 7:14 is no surprise. I feel like, “OK, Jesus, we get it. Enough seen, enough said. It’s overwhelming.”

    Just saw a post by a friend of all sides of the Willow Creek/Hybels debacle, and they say – Pray! Don’t be judgmental. Be kind. – since all parties involved are near and dear to their heart while the Muddled Media frenzy plays out. Hmmm…

  96. Max wrote:

    I doubt that many SBC-YRR are aware of SBC’s sinful origins.

    Many Lutherans are ignorant of how their religion (in Germany) was made complicit in the Holocaust.
    Even so, there were still Lutherans who resisted and paid dearly.
    Our deeds define us and ripple outward throughout eternity no matter how much ink has been expended to claim otherwise by both Reformed and Arminian camps.

  97. I am beyond stunned that a stained glass window depicting anyone would be put in a church or chapel. Further words fail me.

  98. According to Baptist Press articles and Convention annuals, Pressler’s church membership was apparently with River Oaks Baptist of Houston in the 1950s, Second Baptist of Houston in the 1960s, First Baptist of Houston in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and back to Second Baptist of Houston in the 2000s. Oddly, at the 1979 Convention, Pressler was registered as a messenger from First Baptist of Bellaire, Texas, and when his credentials were called into question, he claimed he was an “honorary member” of that church.

  99. The story told by Paige Patterson in Jerry Falwell’s Fundamentalist Journal, May 1985, p. 20:

    “Judge Pressler was a member of Second Baptist Church of Houston during that [1979] convention and was involved in supply preaching and interim pastoral work in Southern Baptist churches at that time. He also spent some time on Sunday evenings before church addressing several Bible study groups including an independent Presbyterian youth group.”

    But a 1979 Baptist Press article reported that Pressler said at the Convention when questioned that he was a member of First Baptist of Houston.

    Huh?

  100. Hello Ken F, Nick, and Muff,

    Hope you all are doing well. Finally had a chance to listen to the podcast that Ken had asked me to. I’d like to thank Ken for recommending it. He was right that it was helpful in summarizing the main points of that doctrine. Now after listening to that podcast, here’s my thoughts:

    Recently we attended the funeral of a longtime friend who had devoted his life to helping people get off the streets. For years, he had run a faith based type of rehab program. At his funeral—let’s just say that’s one of the most powerful funerals I’ve ever seen. One by one, people who had been helped by him through the years were sharing their stories.

    There was a big, burly man who looked like he had come from the world of Sons of Anarchy—even down to the big knife in the holster on his belt. He shared about a time in his life when he was living on the streets. Having trouble thinking straight. Couldn’t get his head clear. He described how when he was at the lowest point of his life, this pastor had taken him into his own home. That really surprised him because living on the streets, he was used to people just walking by, not even wanting to look at him. Getting that second chance had made a huge difference in his life.

    It wasn’t easy. There’s a certain amount of structure, discipline, and healthy boundaries necessary for rehab to work. People who run rehab programs will tell you that one of the most important skills they teach people is to get up early in the morning and go to work. That starts with having the discipline to go to bed at a regular time most nights. Of course, there’s more to it than that, but you understand what I mean. (And yes, there are “functioning addicts” who still hold their jobs while hiding their habit. That’s a whole different discussion.)

    So this gentleman was describing how he was having a hard time with following the rules because he didn’t want anyone telling him what to do. He kept butting heads with the pastor. Finally he decided that he didn’t need anyone’s help. So he storms out the door, thinking that he can take care of himself.

    He doesn’t have a car or a place to stay. But as he’s walking down the street, he hears the voice of the Holy Spirit saying, “This is your last chance.” That stopped him dead in his tracks. Of course he argued with God for a long time. Finally he decided to go back.

    What changed his mind was realizing that someone had believed in him. That he wanted to repay that kindness by making the most of his opportunities.

    The end of the story is that he had come to the funeral to say thank you to someone that had really helped him. That he had been able to hold down a job, get a car, move into an apartment. Now he had a family of his own.

    That’s a huge accomplishment. I have tremendous respect for the people that have walked away from drug addiction because staying clean and sober is really hard.

    Now going back to our discussion from earlier—let’s think about this from a purely analytical point of view.

    What would have happened if in that moment of frustration when he stormed out the door—what if he had returned to the streets? We know that the Holy Spirit draws people to God. But do people have the ability to resist the Holy Spirit?

    Please hear me out on this.

    None of us here believe that God predestines anyone to be an addict. Thus part of us understands that God doesn’t make our choices for us. Yet that’s the root of what we’ve been debating:

    Question—Does God force us to do anything?

    Calvinism says that according to “irresistible grace” that God can force us to do anything He wills. Yet that assumes that God just overrides our free will—turning us into mindless robots whenever He wants. That leads to this:

    Question—When someone struggling with addiction sticks a needle in their arm, is it God’s responsibility to override their choice by pulling the needle back out?

    No. God will allow us to choose the path of addiction. So if God won’t make that choice for us, will He force us to do anything else?

    Question—If someone rejects Christ, does God still “reconcile” them later—meaning does God forcibly save them against their own will?

    The answer is yes—according to that podcast. Now as the group was discussing here earlier—Calvinism teaches “Limited Atonement.” The idea that Jesus only died for a lucky few and the rest of us are totally screwed. I can’t accept that because of all the verses describing how:

    “God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”
    2Cor 5:19-20 (HSCB)

    If we look at the full context of that verse it describes:

    “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.”
    2Cor 5:17-18 (NLT)

    These verses blow the idea of Limited Atonement right out of the water. They help us understand that Jesus really did die for the whole world. Yet does that reconciliation happen even if we reject it? Nope. Whether or not we belong to Christ is still our choice. Jesus made it clear that not everyone belongs to Him. Jesus set a boundary to define where the line is drawn saying:

    “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
    John 14:21 (NLT)

    Thus we have a choice whether we obey His commandments or not. So what happens to really evil people who devote their lives to hurting others?

    Listening to this podcast, what really stood out to me was their discussion on Hitler.

    Christian Universalism (CU) requires us to believe that Hitler went to Heaven.

    So in the podcast they got really harsh on anyone who has trouble believing that, because their whole doctrine falls apart if Hitler didn’t make it into Heaven. This podcast was slamming the audience as being self righteous if they had trouble with the idea that Hitler ended in Heaven. They even used sin-leveling to accuse us of being just as bad as Hitler. Nope. Not even close. We are good people who can’t even fathom that level of cruelty.

    Listen to these quotes from the podcast:

    “JMF: People raise the issue of, does God love Adolf Hitler, does God love Mussolini? They can’t comprehend that somebody who was that destructive of other people could possibly be saved…..”

    “RP: I do think God loved Hitler, because Hitler was a human being made in the image of God and terribly broken and warped and evil – but not so broken that he can’t be restored in Christ (after death), not so evil that God can’t change him by the Holy Spirit….. I don’t see how it can be a Christian instinct that it would be somehow appropriate for God to save me but not Hitler….”

    (Yes, God loves people. Loving people is not the same thing as making their choices for them. Besides Hitler didn’t want to be saved. He rejected Christ. )

    (Here comes the sin-leveling)

    JMF: “We all have in us to be exactly like Hitler…..”

    (No we don’t!)

    RF: “Do you think you deserve to be saved? Hitler doesn’t deserve to be saved, it would be wrong for him…but you’re okay, it’s all right if God saves you, that doesn’t require too much grace “because I wasn’t really that bad.” I think it betrays a failure to understand God’s grace, God’s love….”

    (End of Quotes)

    There’s more we could quote, but I didn’t like the parts where they were starting to slam the audience. So we’ll skip past those.

    Now if you really study history you find that Hitler actually deeply hated Christianity because it wasn’t violent enough for him. He admired the Japanese culture because they worshipped the Emperor as God. He actually wanted his people to be more like the Kamikazi pilots who crashed their planes into ships as an act of worship to the Emperor. By the way—that’s why it was such a big deal after the war when the Japanese Emperor made a public announcement that he wasn’t God.

    So Hitler said all kinds of religious sounding things as a control mechanism to keep his people in line. But the reality was that he chose the path of pure evil. Hitler never repented. Yet this podcast says that even if he died unrepentant, he can still repent anytime in hell and then walk right into Heaven.

    They actually believe that if right now Hitler is getting what he deserves in hell, then somehow that proves that God’s love, God’s power, and the cross have all failed.

    Nope. God’s love, power, and the cross work just fine. It’s our choices that get in the way. God never forces us to accept Christ.

    Remember when Jesus grieved in Matt 23:37 because people wouldn’t allow Him to do the reconciliation that He wanted to do? Was Jesus “deficient?” Nope. Jesus had plenty of power.

    What we have a hard time understanding is that God sets boundaries too. One of those boundaries is that God won’t make our choices for us.

    That’s why Christian Universalism is deception. It lulls people to sleep on the pathway of destruction, convincing them that they can do whatever they feel is right and God will accept it. That’s why the Bible warned us: “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatever a man sows that will he also reap. He that sows to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.”

    And Jesus warned us again in Matthew 7:21-23 that just because we choose to do things a certain way doesn’t mean that God will accept it. In that passage, Jesus specifically rejected “lawless” people—those who refuse to accept God’s boundaries. The truth that God gives instructions and expects us to follow them.

  101. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    I know plenty of southern (and not) Reformeds who espouse the above reprehensible views on the Civil War and slave-holding.

    And I specifically avoided saying “southern” Baptists, because I think that the founding of the SBC was not motivated by theology. Baptists go farther back than that.

  102. Bridget wrote:

    Thanks for the responses, but the article doesn’t answer my question about the other mens traits, that could have made then just as “good” but different.

    A seminary (as was Princeton Seminary) whose faculty abandons teaching biblical truth for another gospelis sufficient reason to say adios.

    Gal. 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

  103. drstevej wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    What makes them the “good” guys?

    Solid theology, men of character and excellent teachers.

    I certainly would not agree their determinist theology was “solid”.

  104. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    ishy wrote:

    The more I read of Calvin and those considered Calvinist “heroes”, the more I feel the same way

    Is that anything like “The more you read about Ayn Rand, the more repulsive she becomes”?

    I keep looking for the millions who were murdered based on her Objectivism after leaving the Soviet Union.

  105. Muff Potter wrote:

    Our deeds define us and ripple outward throughout eternity no matter how much ink has been expended to claim otherwise by both Reformed and Arminian camps.

    Bingo.

  106. Lydia wrote:

    determinist theology

    What do you mean by the term determinist? This?

    “In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.”

  107. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    I’d like to be directed toward any of the Puritan or Reformed heroes (ie, heroes to the classical Calvinist) who do NOT believe in the subordination of women as clearly indicated in their writings.

    Yeah, I think it would be hard to find this. But, I do have friends who are more classical Calvinists who aren’t raging complementarians, and who have good, equal marriages. And I think it has more to do with their own internal integrity, and just the human capacity to be kind and thoughtful toward their spouse.

    Neo-calvinism + internal dysfunction = A Big Mess

    So, does Calvinism [or Neo-Cal] breed dysfunction? I think it can, but it doesn’t always.

  108. Lydia wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    ishy wrote:
    The more I read of Calvin and those considered Calvinist “heroes”, the more I feel the same way
    Is that anything like “The more you read about Ayn Rand, the more repulsive she becomes”?

    I keep looking for the millions who were murdered based on her Objectivism after leaving the Soviet Union.

    That’s just because Objectivists never got the political POWER of the Communists.

    I have no doubt that if Rand (and her CULT) had gotten the same power of life and death over an entire country as Comrade Stalin, her Objectivist regime would have been every bit as bloody as Stalin’s Communist regime.

    Absolute Power plus Utter Righteousness is a really bad combination.
    No matter what the Perfectly Pure, Utterly Correct Ideology behind that Righteousness.

  109. Leslie wrote:

    I am beyond stunned that a stained glass window depicting anyone would be put in a church or chapel. Further words fail me.

    Tells you their REAL object of worship, doesn’t it?

  110. at least I’m sort of out wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    Again, when you can only see things in terms of Zero-Sum Power Struggle…

    Or God’s divine decree, reflecting his character and the created order of things

    WIth these guys, is there a difference?

    “Men of Sin” will ALWAYS glom onto any Cosmic-level Justification for what they wanted to do anyway — God, Jesus, SCRIPTURE, Torah, Koran, Marx, Freud, Darwin, Nature, Science, whatever.

  111. Lydia wrote:

    I certainly would not agree their determinist theology was “solid”.

    I agree. As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure (and vice versa). One can make a good argument that Calvin was a false teacher because of his innovations that departed from historical Christianity.

    I have not yet heard a Calvinist make a good case for Calvin’s evanescent (vanishing) grace. He had to invent it because his five points fall apart without it. Yet Calvinists never talk about it. Why not?

  112. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Just as God didn’t trick anyone into thinking they were saved when they weren’t, so Calvin didn’t invent evanescent grace to prop up his teaching. Take a look at free will Baptist prevenient grace and you’ll see that it looks remarkably like the evanescent kind. It’s also Scriptural, in my Reformed opinion. 🙂

  113. Bit of correction concerning Christian Universalism: there are many kinds. My PBU forbears were called no hellers, but did believe in hell. They just believe you get your hell in the here and now. I know of CU’s who believe in a literal hell every bit as hot and horrid as any fundamentalist. They don’t believe you get to leave it the moment you repent. They believe it lasts as long as “this age”, whatever that proves to be, is. And some point out scripture referring to sin that won’t be forgiven in this age or the next, whatever that next age proves to be. So they would tell you flat out Hitler might be in heaven only after a few billion years in torment. Some like Calvinists believe in irresistible grace, but not all. Many hold grace to be resistible but believe that with the trio of God’s love, His wrath, and His patience all will eventually freely repent.

    Some CU’s believe no one will be heaven until they have repented and put their faith in Jesus, but not all believe that. So when you point out the inconsistencies in Christian Universalism be sure to “pick your flavor” rather than mix and match them altogether. They don’t all agree with each other any more than all Baptists do:)

  114. drstevej wrote:

    A seminary (as was Princeton Seminary) whose faculty abandons teaching biblical truth for another gospelis sufficient reason to say adios.

    Interesting curse there for brothers in Christ.

    I’d have to say, after looking at alumni, I’d probably be in alignment with as many who stayed as with those who left. I wouldn’t call one particular group good and the other not, though.

  115. @ Bridget:
    No curse, just a statement of fact regarding the actions of those who put together the Auburn Affirmation to lead people into error.

  116. I’ve just started reading “From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement is Historical, Biblical, Theological and Pastoral Perspective” and the authors quote Andrew Fuller, an English Particular Baptist, in the Introduction. Being a bit of a geek I looked up the quotation and found what I think is a better one that could be applied to the discussions that happen here. It is to be found in Volume Two of Fuller’s Works, in an essay called “A Defence of The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation” where Fuller responds to points made by people who disagree with his views. He points out that they frequently go about trying to prove things which he never thought of denying, principles appear to be assumed rather than proved, and conclusions drawn from premises which are themselves the very subject in debate. For all that he values them highly as “brothers in Christ” and concludes the chapter by saying:-
    “Finally, Let us all take heed that our attachments to Divine truth itself be on account of its being Divine. We are ever in extremes; and whilst one, in a time of controversy, throws off all regard to religious sentiment in the gross, reckoning the whole a matter of speculation, another becomes excessively affected to his own opinions, whether right or wrong, without bringing them to the great criterion, the word of God. Happy will it be for us all if truth be the sole object of our inquiries, and if our attachment to Divine truth itself be, not on account of its being what we have once engaged to defend, but what God hath revealed. This only will endure reflection in a dying hour, and be approved when the time of disputing shall have an end with men.”

  117. Max wrote:

    I have long suspected that there was another “closet” that Pressler was in … a closet Calvinist

    This has probably already been stated, but if he was a Presbyterian there was no ‘closet’.

  118. Lea wrote:

    if he was a Presbyterian there was no ‘closet’

    Yeah, that’s a dead giveaway “if” he was a Presbyterian – or was it his wife’s church and the Baptist just tagged along? You know, I get tired of trying to figure out what theological flavor these SBC leaders are. I doubt seriously if the champions of the Conservative Resurgence knew that there were those in their number who really had Calvinist Resurgence on their mind. It seems that some of the SBC elite desire to be elusive so they can always ride the wave of which theology is in power at any given time. Darn it, just tell me who you are! You will always know who I am! I certainly don’t agree with Al Mohler and his agenda, but I respect him for showing his stripes when he became SBTS President. Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson … who knows for sure?

  119. Lowlandseer wrote:

    Just as God didn’t trick anyone into thinking they were saved when they weren’t, so Calvin didn’t invent evanescent grace to prop up his teaching.

    Thanks for the feedback. I would like to believe what you wrote, but I’ve read that section in Calvin’s ICR quite a few times and I cannot see it your way. Calvin seems to make it very clear that God gives a false sense of faith to some people, and then later withdraws it so that he can judge them more harshly for that false faith. And this false faith is indistinguishable from real faith. If God himself gives people this false faith, how is that not trickery?

    Also, from what I have read, Calvin was not able to explain Christians who fell into unbelief or sinfulness because it violates “perseverance of the saints” for believers to fall away and die in that state. So he needed to postulate evanescent grace as a way to show that they were never true believers to begin with, even though they once had all the marks of grace and were indistinguishable from the true saints. The reason evanescent grace is necessary is tied to the free will question. If a person can freely walk away from faith, it means that grace is not irresistible. So if election can only be by the will of God, then apostasy would have to be by that same will. Hence, vanishing grace.

    I can see how evanescent grace is consistent with the five points of Calvinism. It makes perfect sense to me that a Calvinist would agree with it. What I don’t understand is why I never hear any of them talk about it or defend it.

    But the real question is how does it tie into this thread? If we become like that which we worship, and if we believe that God tricks some people into believing what is not true, then why would a leader of that movement think it wrong to not be fully truthful? I could be making too much of this connection, but it’s at least plausible that believing in a God who deceives makes deception more palatable.

  120. Lowlandseer wrote:

    No curse, just a statement of fact regarding the actions of those who put together the Auburn Affirmation to lead people into error.

    The Auburn Affirmation was not mentioned until now. Reading up on it, it appears to be particular to the Presbyterian Church at that time. I’m assuming all Princeton theologians that agreed with it are the bad guys, and the ones that divided over it are the good guys? Reading up on it makes me believe that the situation was a bit more complicated than “putting the statement together to lead people into error.”

    I’ll leave the Presbyterians to themselves to be led by their conscience where scripture is not clear. But I won’t call some good and others not over it.

  121. Max wrote:

    You know, I get tired of trying to figure out what theological flavor these SBC leaders are.

    Not to be cavalier about theology, however, if someone is abusing children (i.e., Judge Pressler), assaulting minors (Andy Savage), or grooming women to be their covert side chicks (Hybels, with Vonda Dyers testimony today), does their theological flavor matter? Not being of the theological bent myself, this is an honest question. Is there a correlation between criminal behavior and theology?

  122. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Great explanation.

    “The reason evanescent grace is necessary is tied to the free will question. If a person can freely walk away from faith, it means that grace is not irresistible. So if election can only be by the will of God, then apostasy would have to be by that same will. Hence, vanishing grace.”

    Another aspect to this are the more melancholy temperaments of youth who try to make sense of the determinism and fall into despair needing proof they were really truly “chosen” for salvation. How could they know? There are all sorts of problems here. Perhaps they should “feel” irresistible grace —but don’t? Their volition is of no consequence in the salvic equation so there is nothing they could really “do”. It reminded me of reading the Puritans, btw. So, in the end, their “doctrinal” doubts are really sins. And that is the worst part of it? . These are nothing but doctrinal doubts but that is never explained because Calvin is the Good News. It’s all about Reformed. It’s so fatalistic it makes me weep for them. Thankfully, few teens are that intense but the ones I knew were in constant despair. And several became rabid atheists including one rabid YRR pastor,a doctrinal expert, who led many young persons to Calvin. I have just seen too much fall out and havoc wrecked in churches here at ground zero.

    So, if they walk away, they weren’t “chosen”. Either/or.
    Ironically, atheism is deterministic, too.
    There is no freedom. No victory. Fatalism.

  123. Lydia. wrote:

    but the ones I knew were in constant despair.

    I read your reply to my wife. She asked me to post that you nailed it, perhaps far more than you know.

  124. @ Bridget:
    Years ago, I read up on the “Downgrade” controversy in England. I came away less than impressed with Spurgeon. I was disgusted with him. He broke Fellowship with his own brother over “doctrinal” differences as if his brother could not be a true believer. Spurgeon saw himself as a martyr. Sigh.

  125. Lydia. wrote:

    How could they know? There are all sorts of problems here. Perhaps they should “feel” irresistible grace —but don’t?

    I’ve read that this was one of the reasons Puritanism died out. What do you do when you preach the necessity of a conversion experience but also preach determinism? There has to be a doctrinal change, or any kid who didn’t have that experience but grew up in the church and want to remain.

    Really good comment! What I see happening is “fruit” or “works” prove that we were saved. It’s called “evidence of salvation” at churches I’ve attended, and it has lead to lots of sin sniffing and all kinds of silly things being labeled sin.

    My struggle and ultimate rejection of Calvinism came from a different place. For a long time I thought that my mom’s suicide had to have been outside of her control because of “God’s Sovereignty.” If a more of dust doesn’t move an inch one way or another without his command (Piper), then her death was part of the plan. This is repulsive to me on lots of levels now, but what initially cause the house of cards to collapse was if my mom had no control over whether or not she killed herself, then who in my life would be next? Would I be next? If my answer was I wouldn’t because I’m elect, then was my mom reprobate? I just couldn’t hold the 5 points together at that point. For me, when one point fell, the whole thing fell apart.

  126. @ Lydia.:
    My church just loves Martyn Lloyd-Jones. I had a similar reaction when reading about his conflict with John Stott when Lloyd-Jones tried to get all the “evangelicals” to break communion with the Anglican Church. It seems to me these divisions and breaking of communion are always reinforced by people’s theological certainty and a higher value placed on conformity than unity and freedom. Seems very similar to the “conservative resurgence.”

  127. Lydia. wrote:

    He broke Fellowship with his own brother over “doctrinal” differences as if his brother could not be a true believer. Spurgeon saw himself as a martyr. Sigh.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a martyr.
    Spurgeon?
    I’ll leave it at that…

  128. Lydia. wrote:

    And several became rabid atheists including one rabid YRR pastor,a doctrinal expert, who led many young persons to Calvin.

    Matt Slick’s (well known apologist for Calvinism) own daughter converted to fundamental atheism.

  129. So it is clear – the “intrigue” in my comment at SBC Voices arises from my affiliation with The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Yes, I am a Calvinist (before my matriculation at SBTS). No, I am not in favor of pedophiles getting away with it. Being a Calvinist and attending SBTS don’t correlate to protecting pedophiles.

  130. Max wrote:

    Sin has no particular theological affiliation.

    So a promoter of any creed can be a fake. Wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    I guess I’d rather focus on: “Who are the wolves?” instead of, “Who are the most sheeplike?”.

  131. Max wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    if he was a Presbyterian there was no ‘closet’
    Yeah, that’s a dead giveaway “if” he was a Presbyterian – or was it his wife’s church and the Baptist just tagged along? You know, I get tired of trying to figure out what theological flavor these SBC leaders are. I doubt seriously if the champions of the Conservative Resurgence knew that there were those in their number who really had Calvinist Resurgence on their mind. It seems that some of the SBC elite desire to be elusive so they can always ride the wave of which theology is in power at any given time. Darn it, just tell me who you are! You will always know who I am! I certainly don’t agree with Al Mohler and his agenda, but I respect him for showing his stripes when he became SBTS President. Paul Pressler and Paige Patterson … who knows for sure?

    That s the problem here. In his own testimony and the testimony of others he was “saved” in a Baptist church before he reached teenagehood and stayed with that denomination all his life, yet people scratch around to try and find it otherwise. And as Gus said, the problem isn’t the denomination or creed -it’s sin. And the cause of sin is…? The Bible is clear but, again, there is a tendency to say “Did God really say that. Did He really mean that? Original Sin seems to stick to its tried and trusted way of diverting believers away from God.

  132. Lydia. wrote:

    @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Great explanation.
    “The reason evanescent grace is necessary is tied to the free will question. If a person can freely walk away from faith, it means that grace is not irresistible. So if election can only be by the will of God, then apostasy would have to be by that same will. Hence, vanishing grace.”
    Another aspect to this are the more melancholy temperaments of youth who try to make sense of the determinism and fall into despair needing proof they were really truly “chosen” for salvation. How could they know? There are all sorts of problems here. Perhaps they should “feel” irresistible grace —but don’t? Their volition is of no consequence in the salvic equation so there is nothing they could really “do”. It reminded me of reading the Puritans, btw. So, in the end, their “doctrinal” doubts are really sins. And that is the worst part of it? . These are nothing but doctrinal doubts but that is never explained because Calvin is the Good News. It’s all about Reformed. It’s so fatalistic it makes me weep for them. Thankfully, few teens are that intense but the ones I knew were in constant despair. And several became rabid atheists including one rabid YRR pastor,a doctrinal expert, who led many young persons to Calvin. I have just seen too much fall out and havoc wrecked in churches here at ground zero.
    So, if they walk away, they weren’t “chosen”. Either/or.
    Ironically, atheism is deterministic, too.
    There is no freedom. No victory. Fatalism.

    It’s actually more a case of who saves man. Does God save him or does man save himself? Or is it a bit of both?Then why does God want to save him? Is God sovereign or not? Can man thwart God thereby making God less than God? Everything else flows from that

  133. @ Ken F (aka Tweed):
    Hello Ken. I suppose it ties into this thread because the bogeyman’s name (Calvin) was raised in comment 12 by one of his detractors and it snowballed from there. It would be great if everyone stuck to the topic raised but it never happens.

  134. @ Lowlandseer:
    That is the oldest Neo Cal “gotcha” insult in the arsenal. So you are claiming that I believe I am a god who can resurrect myself from death? That is basically the charge. (been down this road quite a bit)

    Sadly, what you are saying ( although you guys have a roundabout complicated way to get there) is that I don’t have the “ability” to repent and believe. God has to force it. And worse, it was random! And my belief that I have the “ability” to “respond” and the volition to participate in repentance and faith means I am not humble and don’t give our Lord all the credit as a worm.

    Why does God’s Sovereignty automatically mean determinism? I will never get that.

    It’s all about our “responding” and our “ability” to respond.

  135. Gus Nelson wrote:

    So it is clear – the “intrigue” in my comment at SBC Voices arises from my affiliation with The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Yes, I am a Calvinist (before my matriculation at SBTS). No, I am not in favor of pedophiles getting away with it. Being a Calvinist and attending SBTS don’t correlate to protecting pedophiles.

    It’s sad that Mohler brought that connection and image to SBTS by partnering with, defending, protecting and promoting Mahaney even to the point of ridiculing SGM victims and their families. For years. I think it’s sad no one with responsibility and influence at SBTS would stand up to Mohler.

  136. @ Ricco:
    Great way to put it. It really is about conformity. If the Neo Cal movement had not used manipulative stealth tactics, and just been totally honest, it could have been for a great way to dive in and study together with civilized rousing debates. That has actually been needed in the Body after all the fads and movements. But the goal was conformity.

    But it’s not about “doing” the will of God unless it’s about believing “correct doctrine”. It gets old being told over and over you don’t know the true Gospel by 30 year olds who come from a bubble world. Or, that I believe I can save myself.

  137. @ Ricco:
    I am so sorry. You have really wrestled with a lot. You make a good point about the 5 pts. I came to same conclusion that they all fall if one point falls. I am not a fan of systematic theology.

  138. @ Ricco:

    Ricco,

    Very sorry to hear about your Mom. Can’t imagine how deeply painful that must have been for you. My heart goes out to you.

  139. Lowlandseer wrote:

    It would be great if everyone stuck to the topic raised but it never happens.

    But that did not stop you from joining the conversation. 🙂

    It’s actually not very far off topic to tie in a person’s behavior with their theology since the two are not unrelated.

  140. @ Lydia.:
    It’s clear to me that you are reading into my comment something I neither said nor implied. And you do that quite a lot. So let’s be clear. I am not a neo-Cal. I am not “one of those guys”. And with reference to your earlier remark to me, I am also honest, decent, fair and just as a believer, Finally, I repeat what I said earlier to Ken F. It’s usually non-Calvinists who bring up the man’s name and divert the thread so maybe you could all get over him and concentrate on living your life before God.

  141. Lydia. wrote:

    I think it’s sad no one with responsibility and influence at SBTS would stand up to Mohler

    Paul Debusman, a 35-year employee of the seminary, tried. Mohler fired him. Mohler quickly sent those with any voice at SBTS who might challenge him packing – he cleaned the house of potential dissenters when he became President of SBC’s flagship seminary.

  142. Ricco wrote:

    when one point fell, the whole thing fell apart

    90% of Christendom has come to the same conclusion over the centuries.

  143. @ Lowlandseer:
    I should have given you a heads up and I apologize. This was totally unnecessary and a typical Calvinist hit:

    “It’s actually more a case of who saves man. Does God save him or does man save himself? Or is it a bit of both?Then why does God want to save him? Is God sovereign or not? Can man thwart God thereby making God less than God? Everything else flows from that”

    But it’s so normalized in that world you may not be able to see it from another perspective— that the questions are meant to frame the response or the person thinks they are their own god. Another problem I have with Calvin’s ST. It’s a set up.

    Let me blow your mind. I believe God is “man centered”. Gasp. God is not a narcissist who solely focuses on His own Glory as we are told ad nauseum. In fact, God is also Jesus Christ Himself Who doesn’t fit in that “Sovereign” definition mold by His own actions. I don’t for one minute believe Jesus came playing a bait and switch con with His “repent and believe” message while knowing some COULD not respond because they had not randomly been chosen by Him and given the “ability” to do so before the foundation of the world. That would be cruel. The fact that our Lord is all knowing does not automatically mean He also determined —even before creation. That is not love.

  144. @ Jerome:
    Lol. Some things never really change —we just know about them quicker. The first time JD Greear ran for SBC president, he had to first inform his church they were SBC.

  145. @ Lowlandseer:
    I think it may have started with this:

    “I think I’m correct in saying that he has always been Baptist and it was his wife who had the Presbyterian background. He did study at Princeton but that institution had long lost its Reformed foundation. The good guys had moved on and founded Westminster Theological Seminary.”

    Some of us have not had “good guy” experiences with Westminister. I never personally knew Van Til, Gresham, etc nor the Princeton guys of that time so I have no idea who is/isn’t a “good guy”. I realize you are viewing “good guy” from a doctrinal lens category.

    Frankly, most of us have no idea if any of them are good or bad guys. That is the number one problem of having gurus we cannot know personally. Who knows if they are torturing puppies or knitting socks for the Salvation Army in their basements? 🙂 I learned this the hard way in the mega world. People think they know the speaker, writer, etc, but don’t. Its cult of personality. It’s why I am careful about promoting anyone. I may find their scholarship interesting/informative but beyond that, I have no clue if they are decent or not. That is one reason why it’s wise to never “follow” or enshrine mere humans. I include Calvin in that. And I think we do know enough about his actual life to question even more.

    I also came to my own personal conclusion that the Neo Cals took Calvins doctrine to its logical conclusion and that has been the biggest problem of all. I’ve known Calvinists all my life and even did business with the Presbyterians HQ/Seminary back in the 80’s. Wonderful people. They were either the frozen chosen variety or the social justice variety. The former kept to themselves with decorum but both played down the determinism and certainly did not use it as a weapon for conformity.

    The Neo Cals forced many of us to analyze the doctrine. It’s healthy to do so and I have no problem with people choosing (it’s a choice!) what filter to use to understand scripture. My problem began with the stealth and manipulation of the YRR movement. They made it an “us and them” proposition. The good guy/bad guy dichotomy. And they always tried to frame it with the clever gotcha question, “who saves man”. Then the whole ridiculous black hole of ordo salutis. After so many years of that I am afraid I did not handle my response well. My only excuse is all the fall out I have witnessed from so called “good guys” with correct doctrine. And I will tell you, the seeker leaders are just as bad but with different methods.

    Jesus never fails. I hold on to that.

  146. @ Lydia.:
    A rather jaundiced view and again deliberate misrepresentation of fact, so I’ll leave it there with my mind I blown.

  147. Un-blown*.

    Who said ““If the five-point Calvinist is right and no payment has been made for the non-elect, then how can God genuinely love the world and desire the salvation of all?”

    Answer: Mark Driscoll, ‘Death by Love:Letters from the Cross”, Crossway, 2008, p 173.

  148. @ Lowlandseer:
    I have one circling OHare. Trying to explain another perpesctive as best I can.

    As to your above comment, I honestly have no idea what it is supposed to mean or prove?

  149. @ Lowlandseer:
    I don’t see only “facts”, necessarily. Just different perspectives on what things mean. Such as the good guy/bad guy dichotomy.

  150. @ Lydia.:

    Yes.
    Yes.
    And yes.

    Before the foundation of…
    Does not have to mean a point on a linear time line even though it’s construed as such by many teachers, both reformed and non-reformed.

    The Bible is rigorously clear and self-evident in many places.
    But in other places it does not ‘clearly teach’ as much as we’d like it to.

  151. Lydia. wrote:

    @ Lowlandseer:
    I have one circling OHare. Trying to explain another perpesctive as best I can.
    As to your above comment, I honestly have no idea what it is supposed to mean or prove?

    It shows that you might have more in common with MD than you think.

  152. Muff Potter wrote:

    But in other places it does not ‘clearly teach’ as much as we’d like it to.

    Calvinism to me is an attempt to explain some things we see in the bible.
    Free Will explains others.
    I believe the truth is some incomprehensible middle and I’m ok with that.

    I see the real problems in most churches stemming not from Calvinism, that is merely the flavor of the month for the authoritarian, patriarchal, and often too young to have any idea what they are about, in crowd. They may use these theological systems to distract and try to get what they want, which is generally power, money, etc. So I do not like the constant bringing up of Calvinism (except insofar as we can have a friendly theological discussion, which is always fine) as the *reason* for these abuses. I don’t believe it is.

  153. Lea wrote:

    So I do not like the constant bringing up of Calvinism (except insofar as we can have a friendly theological discussion, which is always fine) as the *reason* for these abuses. I don’t believe it is.

    Nor do I believe that Calvinism is the sole cause of abusers having full access to prey in their churches.
    Calvary Chapel is allegedly rife with it (sex abuse of minors), and they claim that they’re not Calvinists in their theology.

  154. @ Lowlandseer:

    That is weird. Back in the day, the Driscollites said I was a rebellious ungendered egalitarian Open Theist. (Which I gather is a heretic) Now you think I have a lot in common with him. 🙂

  155. @ Lea:
    FYI- I experienced spiritual abuse from the seekers. They just use different methods. My take on Calvin’s actual life is that he was a tyrant. I think that bent is built into the Institutes. Especially his teaching on reprobation. That is just my opinion and I am a nobody.

  156. @ Lydia.:
    And this is why you are right to talk about ideas more than people. It’s like in politics when someone will bring up a person on your “side” and say “well, that person disagrees with you, what do you think about that.”

    If Driscoll holds the same opinion as me on something, that doesn’t invalidate my opinion automatically.

  157. Lydia. wrote:

    That is just my opinion and I am a nobody.

    Nobody is a nobody Lydia!

    My perspective is one of somebody who has found peace in an egalitarian space that happens to be Presbyterian. What came from theology and what did not, I cannot say. I think good people are good people, and theology is only a problem when it gets in the way of that.

  158. Lydia. wrote:

    Why does God’s Sovereignty automatically mean determinism? I will never get that.

    Because Fatalism is so comforting. “Whatever will be, Will Be” and you don’t have to do a thing except Go With The Flow. The Perfect Excuse Machine, no matter what you want or do.

  159. Lydia. wrote:

    @ Ricco:
    I am so sorry. You have really wrestled with a lot. You make a good point about the 5 pts. I came to same conclusion that they all fall if one point falls.

    Just like (in another context) Young Earth Creationism and Resurrection/Salvation.
    Package Deal — can’t have one without the other, Take It or Leave It.

  160. Muff Potter wrote:

    Lydia. wrote:
    And several became rabid atheists including one rabid YRR pastor,a doctrinal expert, who led many young persons to Calvin.

    Matt Slick’s (well known apologist for Calvinism) own daughter converted to fundamental atheism.

    Same Fundamentalist Personality, Same Fanaticism, Different (and opposite) Ideology.

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