SBC Messengers to Elect a New President

“It’s always better for Southern Baptists when we have several good candidates” for convention president “because it gives us an opportunity to exercise our congregational polity” and discern the Holy Spirit’s leading “in a corporate context”.

Ken Hemphill

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:View_from_Reunion_Tower_August_2015_11.jpg

Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas (View from Reunion Tower)

Next month Southern Baptist messengers will gather in Dallas to conduct business at their annual gathering. The two-day event will begin bright and early on June 12th at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center (pictured above). No doubt the #MeToo #ChurchToo Movement will be discussed, and it will be interesting to see whether Paige Patterson delivers the keynote address, as planned months and months ago.

As emotionally charged as these topics are, they likely will not compare to what may happen when Southern Baptists elect their new president. You may recall that two years ago the presidential race was so close that ballots had to be cast twice and there was still no clear winner! The nominees were Steve Gaines and J.D. Greear.

An article in Christianity Today provides the details of what happened (see excerpt below).

In an unusually contested race, Southern Baptist messengers elected Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines as their next president this morning….

The SBC actually meant to elect a new president yesterday. But a rare tight race between the top two out of three candidates—North Carolina pastor J. D. Greear (45%) and Gaines (44%)—led to a runoff vote. (A candidate must receive just over 50 percent of the vote to win.)

Yesterday’s runoff vote was also too close to call, with Gaines receiving 49.96 percent of the votes and Greear receiving 47.8 percent. (More than 100 ballots were disqualified, yet were included in the determination of the total number of votes needed for a victory.)

This morning, in a surprise move, Greear pulled out.

Steve Gaines, who succeeded Adrian Rogers at Bellevue Baptist Church, has served as SBC president an additional year, as seems to be the denomination’s norm. His term is almost up, and another president will be elected.

In late January 2018, it was announced that J.D. Greear will run for SBC president once again. Here’s how the Baptist Press reported the news:

Two years after withdrawing from a closely contested election for Southern Baptist Convention president, North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear once again will be nominated for SBC president, Florida pastor Ken Whitten announced today (Jan. 29).

Greear, 44, “is all about what Southern Baptists have been all about,” Whitten, pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla., told Baptist Press in relaying his intention to nominate Greear during the SBC annual meeting June 12-13 in Dallas. “We bleed missions. We bleed evangelism, and we bleed the Gospel of Jesus Christ … J.D. Greear will give us the opportunity to impact another generation while continuing to honor the former generation of Southern Baptists.”

At the 2016 SBC annual meeting in St. Louis, neither Greear nor current SBC president Steve Gaines received a majority of votes on the first or second ballot for president. So Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., withdrew his candidacy and moved that the convention elect Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., on the third ballot.

The day after the news broke about his nomination, Greear posted an explanation on his website — Why I’m Accepting the Nomination for SBC President.

Dee and I wondered whether J.D. would run uncontested, as Fred Luter had done six years ago.

A couple days later another name was placed into nomination for SBC president — Ken Hemphill. Here is how the Baptist Press broke the news:

Ken Hemphill, an administrator at North Greenville University and a former Southern Baptist Convention seminary president, will be nominated for SBC president, a coalition of Southern Baptists announced today (Feb. 1) via a Baptist state paper.

“We desire to elect a man who is a Southern Baptist through and through, values our understanding of the Gospel, and, has an established record of affirming the cooperative work of our local churches through the associations, state conventions and national entities,” Louisiana Baptist Convention executive director David Hankins said according to the state’s Baptist Message newsjournal.

“We sought Ken out because of his record in these areas as well as his impeccable character, remarkable breadth of experience in Southern Baptist life, passion for missions and evangelism, and an active ministry of revitalization to pastors and churches,” Hankins said.

The Baptist Press article further stated:

Hemphill noted he is not “running against” any other candidate.

“It’s always better for Southern Baptists when we have several good candidates” for convention president “because it gives us an opportunity to exercise our congregational polity” and discern the Holy Spirit’s leading “in a corporate context,” Hemphill said.

So what are the differences between these two Baptist men? A post at onenewsnow.com gives a little bit of insight. (See below)

Southern Baptist “messengers” will choose between Dr. J.D. Greear, a 45-year-old North Carolina pastor who ran a close race two years ago and eventually dropped out to avoid a convention fight; and Dr. Ken Hemphill, who currently is the interim pastor at a church in Missouri. Dr. Hemphill, 70, has been in Southern Baptist leadership for decades, as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a national strategist out of Nashville until 2011.

The post goes on to state the following:

And while many in Southern Baptist circles are working hard to get their preferred candidate elected, Hemphill and Greear both say they aren’t in competition with each other. “J.D. and I are friends, and we both agreed that we would not in any way criticize the other person – and I think we’ve both been faithful to that,” says Hemphill.

Another post just published over at onenewsnow.com stated:

Dr. J.D. Greear of The Summit Church in North Carolina may have the upper hand, according to Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress.

“I think J.D. Greear may have a little bit of an edge … simply because during the last election, when it was a tie vote, he graciously stepped aside so as not to cause any controversy,” Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Dallas, recalls.

Dr. Ken Hemphill has been in Southern Baptist leadership for years, including serving on the SBC Board and as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“Both men who have been announced as candidates are friends of mine, JD Greear and also Ken Hemphill,” Jeffress continues. “[They’re] both respected within the Convention and either one would be a tremendous leader.”

Whoever ends up filling the position is expected to address a slow but relatively long-term decline in membership. Both Greear and Hemphill have spoken out in favor of church planting and evangelism. The incoming SBC president will also continue addressing racial reconciliation issues – once a blemish on the denomination’s record that has been the focus of leadership for years now.

As a Southern Baptist, I know that what makes the SBC presidency so important is that the one elected to the top post has important nominating privileges, and those put in charge will determine the course of the convention for years to come.

Two years ago SBC messengers were faced with the challenge of electing someone more traditional in his approach to soteriology (Gaines) or someone who was more Calvinistic/Reformed in his soteriology (Greear).

Over the next few weeks, I plan to put together some information that I believe will be helpful to Southern Baptist messengers who will be casting their votes for the next SBC president.


Comments

SBC Messengers to Elect a New President — 173 Comments

  1. I think they should elect me.

    The reason is that, whilst everyone else in history has groped in the dark, blindly inventing doctrines as best they can – or, worse, to satisfy their carnal lust for sin – I have grasped the eternal truth that “my” doctrines are to be plain statements of the pure and infallible Word of God that the Holy Scriptures hath revealedeth unto us. Thus, “my” doctrines are not mine at all, but belong unto the eternal Scriptures; They are inerrant and infallible. To vote not unto me is to vote not unto the Scriptures thereof, and to rebel unto the God who is contained and embodied within the Scriptures and whose entire fullness dwelleth therein unto bodily form.

    Look, I even write in medieval english. I must be ****ing holy.

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  2. Nick Bulbeck,

    You are really good at that, Nick. You really are.

    Now google it and read the transcript of the sermon that Michael Curry, primate of TEC here in the US, just delivered at the royal wedding That sermon is utterly typical/ classic of a certain type of preaching that I have mentioned before. Except the length of it, of course, limited as it was for the situation.

    This is not a political comment or a religious statement but rather a statement about preaching style.

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  3. Based on SG statement then it seems that the only thing the SBC can accomplish is to punish a church that calls a female pastor. They can remove that church from the rolls with lightning speed. I have always thought that one of the power players could get away with almost anything, I see now they can get away with absolutely anything. What a sham, and I’ve watched enough convention shenanigans to know the motion to remove PP will never be heard, the loyal sheep will make sure that no free thinker gets close to a microphone. The whole thing will be very well scripted. Personally I am hoping the presidential vote is the issue that allows the whole convention to show thier true colors. While the YRR want everyone to believe they are nice and noncombative, if JDG doesn’t get his right full turn, those young folk will demonstrate thier battling Baptist genetics.

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  4. Can I nominate Deb for president? I never “transferred my letter” from the big Baptist Church I joined after college, so maybe I still have some authority in the SBC.

    Casting lots would seem to be the “biblical” approach to selecting a new apostle… I mean, president.

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  5. You may indeed. Just get approved as a ‘messenger’ from your old church. That would grant you as much authority as anyone in Dallas for those two days.

    I look forward to subsequent articles on the election here.

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  6. Reminder: Steve Gaines is the successor to Adrian Rogers at Bellevue. Gaines has had a few “problems” himself – protecting an abuser, trespassing……
    Gaines is in eyebrow deep, too.

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  7. GSD:
    Can I nominate Deb for president? I never “transferred my letter” from the big Baptist Church I joined after college, so maybe I still have some authority in the SBC.

    Casting lots would seem to be the “biblical” approach to selecting a new apostle… I mean, president.

    You know they would stone you for nominating a woman!

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  8. I feel sure there has never been a woman nominated for SBC prez, though there’s no by-law against it. That would instantly be a top story. Hasn’t been a layperson elected SBC prez since the 1970s.

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  9. “… what makes the SBC presidency so important is that the one elected to the top post has important nominating privileges, and those put in charge will determine the course of the convention for years to come.” (Deb)

    Indeed. This is the most critical role that comes with the position. Election of a particular president signifies the maintenance of a ruling party or a passing of the mantle. If J.D. Greear is elected, it sends a signal to SBC’s YRR army that the New Calvinist movement has won the day, that their stealth and deception to plant reformed theology in the largest non-Calvinist denomination in America was all worth it. This would be the biggest deal in SBC since the Conservative Resurgence, signifying that the Calvinist Resurgence has replaced it and that one of their leaders now sits on the throne.

    Considering the overall mess in the SBC, I doubt that God will be smiling if either candidate wins. When a group of people wrangle over God’s plan of salvation (available to ALL or only some?), it has forfeited its gifting of evangelism to the nations. As a 60+ year Southern Baptist, I am saddened by the actions of our leaders; the future of the denomination looks grim.

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  10. Max: Election of a particular president signifies the maintenance of a ruling party or a passing of the mantle.

    However, Al Mohler has found a way to work around that system. He and his New Calvinist network have successfully planted Neo-Cal leaders at SBC seminaries, mission agencies, publishing house, church planting program, and a growing number of churches. This without ever being SBC President!

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  11. Deb: Meanwhile, the denomination is in terrible decline.

    Oh yes. It has declined in numbers, nickles, and impact on a lost world for the last 20 years. The influx of young reformers cannot replace the giftings and resources of exiting long-time members of the denomination. The New Calvinists may inherit tremendous SBC assets, but may have trouble keeping the lights on. As soon as a better movement comes along, Generations X, Y and Z will bail out. Instead of a throne, King Mohler may be left holding an empty bag.

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  12. Deb:
    Max,

    Yes. Meanwhile, the denomination is in terrible decline.

    Greear can “relaunch” the denomination, like he did for Homestead Heights Baptist.
    “The third Sunday I was there, I told the congregation that the vision God had given me was to change our name and relaunch the church. I had read that in older, established churches like ours, it took 90 people to get one person to Christ, but in a church plant, it took three. The idea was, What if we could relaunch like a church plant but retain some of the benefits of having a piece of property and 300 people as a core group?”
    SOOO much easier than launching a new denomination or “family of churches” from scratch. The key is already having the property and giving units– er– core group in place.

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  13. Virgil: Ken Kemphill’s interview on the podcast of Leighton Flowers. Ken explains his view of God’s love for all people, not just a supposed “elect.”

    This year’s election for SBC President really does boil out to a battle between soteriologies. Who would have ever thought that Southern Baptists would one day fuss over God’s plan of salvation?! It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen!

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  14. Dave A A: The key is already having the property and giving units– er– core group in place.

    The New Calvinists may find that they end up with a lot of SBC property, but not enough giving from their “core group” to maintain it.

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  15. ___

    “What Kinda Shape Is The Church In?”

    hmmm…

    ♪♩♪♩ hum, hum, hum .. “The world is watchin’, look at the shape the church is in ,
    There ain’t no doubt about it, Jesus’ people gotta love again…

    Today, unfortunately, many false 501c3 false prophets, and false shepherds have arisen and are deceiving and scattering many, and because iniquity has abounded,,the love of many folk’s has wax cold.

    huh?

    But Jesus is still the same, and one day He will turn things around and rule the world.

    What?

    Faith is still the things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen…

    No need ta give up…
    Because, help is commin’,

    You can count on it!

    Wheels up, riding like the wind…

    ATB

    Sòpy
    —-
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6ce5eyfECN0
    Bonus: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=c24XWOeH1go#fauxfullscreen
    Just because: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AJRPMAG_vGA#fauxfullscreen

    ;~)

    – –

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  16. Deb,

    I was trying to find a TWW piece from around 2009 which I believe made Greear upset enough that he criticized it from the pulpit — maybe about dumb sheep. Do you recall that one?
    Actually it’d be nice if before the vote you published a J D anthology. Topics could include not only “idiot sheep” and “revitalization, relaunch, renew, replant, reform” topics, but even Ezzo endorsements. And you might be able to link a few posts where you were unable to name him by name at the time. You likely won’t get the chance, since 16 new cases will come out of shepherds having sex with the sheeple.

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  17. Virgil: Ken Kemphill’s interview on the podcast of Leighton Flowers. Ken explains his view of God’s love for all people, not just a supposed “elect.”

    https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/soteriology-101/e/54461703?autoplay=true

    Thank you, Virgil. It was refreshing to hear Dr. Hemphill articulate the old, old story about God’s love for ALL people that Southern Baptists confessed and professed for over 150 years … until the New Calvinists arrived.

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  18. Max: Who would have ever thought that Southern Baptists would one day fuss over God’s plan of salvation?! It’s the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen!

    Max, I forget where I read it but I remember in my Baptist heritage class at NOBTS reading a comment by one of the many poor souls who had been deemed a moderate and then pushed out by the CR. The Mitch version of the quote was a prediction that at some point the SBC would be battling over soteriology. Even at that time it clear that at least two competing factions were attempting to gain control. Love him or hate him, Mohler is a brilliant strategist, although I’d say he simply repeated the formula many other prior had used in different movements.

    What amazes me is how similarity of secular politics and SBC leadership. Currently it seems that the new Young folks are ready to either have control or leave. Either option spells the end for the SBC. Neither side wants to share power, they only want power. So glad I saw the light and left and now am a perfectly content DONE, watching the train wreck from the side of the tracks.

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  19. mitch: Love him or hate him, Mohler is a brilliant strategist

    No doubt about it! Loved or loathed, Mohler certainly had a plan and worked the plan well.

    mitch: Neither side wants to share power, they only want power.

    At the end of the day, that’s the only power they will possess. When Ichabod is written over a denomination, the glory and power of God departs from it.

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  20. Mohler chose Calvinism over the Lord Jesus long ago. Having an intellect will not certainly save him. Calvinism is based upon a lie, and kind folks are waking up to that fact… plus, there is always the C.J. thingy…

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  21. Dave A A: Deb,
    I was trying to find a TWW piece from around 2009 which I believe made Greear upset enough that he criticized it from the pulpit — maybe about dumb sheep. Do you recall that one?

    Yes. Dee took it down a while back, not because there was anything wrong with it. It’s complicated… 🙁

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  22. Max: At the end of the day, that’s the only power they will possess. When Ichabod is written over a denomination, the glory and power of God departs from it.

    Interesting that you should bring that up. Back in 2004 (I think) when Steve Gaines had been chosen to succeed Adrian Rogers, he (Gaines) delivered a chapel sermon at SEBTS. I went to hear him, and this is the passage of Scripture from which he preached – Ichabod… I took notes and can go back and dig them up.

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  23. Is it just me or are there some hints in this post? Large SBC “entities”, SBC celebs galore…

    I don’t know the SBC players well enough to speculate but just wondering what y’all thought.

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  24. Max: The New Calvinists may find that they end up with a lot of SBC property, but not enough giving from their “core group” to maintain it.

    They could end up like the British nobility, who ended up with titles and castles but no money. But they likely have plans. Sell off underperforming assets (or troublesome ones). Continue to diversify by bringing in more partner organizations like Acts29, Harvest or SGC.

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  25. Jack: Nick for King!
    I would vote but there is no point since God has obviously placed Nick in authority over us.

    I’m still pondering where to go with this one.

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  26. ION: Fitba’

    So, today was the Cup Final, and Chelsea beat Evilchester United 1-0 thanks to an Eden Hazard penalty, despite having only 0.02% of possession. In fact, I think the penalty was the only time any of the Chelsea players actually kicked the ball. Never mind – they all count.

    My Dad, who died very nearly a year ago, was a lifelong Chelsea fan; he’d have been happy…

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  27. I honestly don’t see how the election is going to matter since the New Calvinists have control of everything anyway. And the non-Calvinists are just leaving, as everyone has said.

    I watched the royal wedding this morning. That sermon was brilliant! As were the expressions of the attendees who were clearly shocked but trying not to look shocked on worldwide television.

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  28. Leslie Puryear: I thought everyone might want to see what Al Mohler thinks about Calvinism being the only true belief system. Watch this.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6lRMMvNCn8

    “If you are a theologically minded, deeply convictional, young evangelical, if you are committed to the gospel and you want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ – if you want to see gospel built and structured and committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being reformed, basically being something like this New Calvinism or you’re going to have to invent some kind of label for what is just going to end up being the same thing. There just are not options out there, and that is something that I think frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism, I’m going to say basically, Where else are they going to go? Who else is going to answer the questions, who else is going to offer the resources they need, where else are they going to connect? This is a generation that understands that they want to say the same thing that Paul said. They want to stand with the Apostles. They want to stand with old dead people. And, they know they are going to have to if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Al Mohler)

    He just told 90+% of Christendom that they are not preaching and teaching truth, including the majority of Southern Baptists who are non-Calvinist! “There just are not options out there” ?! To Mohler, Calvinism = Gospel … period. Supreme arrogance! And to think that Southern Baptists have allowed him to takeover their denomination – truly amazing.

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  29. ishy: I honestly don’t see how the election is going to matter since the New Calvinists have control of everything anyway.

    Agreed. That package has already been delivered by Al Mohler … and he didn’t need the title of SBC President to accomplish his mission.

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  30. Dave A A: Continue to diversify by bringing in more partner organizations like Acts29, Harvest or SGC.

    I’m sure that is part of the plan. Bringing in those organizations, plus Mohler’s alliances with T4G and TGC, ‘might’ compensate for the loss of traditional Southern Baptists who don’t and won’t accept reformed theology as a default for the denomination. Those exiting could potentially number in the millions.

    We might also see SBC non-Calvinist churches, numbering in the tens of thousands, drop their affiliation with SBC and become independent works. The thing which has glued them together as a denomination has been the “Cooperative Program” supporting home and foreign missions through their cooperative giving. If you can’t accept the prevailing theology (which is trending toward Calvinism), there is no need to cooperate; no matter how you stretch it, New Calvinists are not evangelistic. David Platt gutted the foreign mission effort and Kevin Ezell is planting 1,000 new churches per year (predominantly reformed). The SBC is simply not the denomination which attracted most of its members.

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  31. Deb: (Gaines) delivered a chapel sermon at SEBTS … he preached – Ichabod

    Hmmmm … interesting topic to preach on at SEBTS. I wonder if he was sending a not-so-subliminal message to students and staff?

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  32. Obviously, I’m thinking about all kinds of chemistry puns at the moment, like “partial mohler quantities” and “2 mohler solutions”.

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  33. ishy: I watched the royal wedding this morning. That sermon was brilliant!

    I find it interesting that he thinks it important that no child go to bed hungry. What would really happen “when love is the way” is that no girl would grow up grasping for the right to teach men. That’s what God really cares about. Apparently.

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  34. Max: Supreme arrogance! And to think that Southern Baptists have allowed him to takeover their denomination – truly amazing.

    As we’ve both opined before, it seems that so long as the rank-and-file pew serfs can have their pot-lucks, picnics, and social functions continue as always, they don’t give a rat’s rip either way.

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  35. Muff Potter: rank-and-file pew serfs … don’t give a rat’s rip either way

    That certainly appears to be the case. But, I think if 45,000 pastors had “family talks” to explain that the message of the Cross of Christ preached historically (for the last 150 years) in SBC churches was about to go away, some of them would get stirred up about it.

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  36. Dave A A,

    Where do they come up this garbage? How can you possibly calculate that it takes 90 people or 3 people to bring someone to Christ? What even does that mean? And does it matter how many people it takes? Since when has God been concerned with efficiency? I feel kinda silly but it really makes me madder than it probably should.

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  37. Cdg: Since when has God been concerned with efficiency?

    I’ve thought of it as “gospel efficiency.” Of course I mean that winsomely.

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  38. Cdg,

    Marketing. Numbers game. By “coming to Christ” perhaps “they” mean signing a covenant and committing to tithing and volunteering in “their” organization (business, club, pyramid, ponzi). “The Purpose Driven Life” even lays out this strategy. It’s the one area where Cals (Neo- and Retro-) and Fundies and Seekers unite on common ground.

    Not sure this is New Testament or Gospel or even Jesus.

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  39. Max: I’m sure that is part of the plan.Bringing in those organizations, plus Mohler’s alliances with T4G and TGC, ‘might’ compensate for the loss of traditional Southern Baptists who don’t and won’t accept reformed theology as a default for the denomination.Those exiting could potentially number in the millions.

    We might also see SBC non-Calvinist churches, numbering in the tens of thousands, drop their affiliation with SBC and become independent works.The thing which has glued them together as a denomination has been the “Cooperative Program” supporting home and foreign missions through their cooperative giving.If you can’t accept the prevailing theology (which is trending toward Calvinism), there is no need to cooperate; no matter how you stretch it, New Calvinists are not evangelistic.David Platt gutted the foreign mission effort and Kevin Ezell is planting 1,000 new churches per year (predominantly reformed).The SBC is simply not the denomination which attracted most of its members.

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  40. From my acquaintance with the local flavor of Reformed-dom, it seems to me that organic growth (as in: biological reproduction) is pretty important for maintaining church membership numbers over generational timescales.

    The thought occurs to me that this might be an unarticulated (and perhaps unrecognized) motivation behind Complementarian theology. In church systems that are not energetically evangelistic, it is more important that the females be in the home gestating and rearing future church members. This is not to deprecate or reject the self-perception of Complementarians that their ideas are derived from Scripture, just to suggest a possible reason why they find those ideas compelling when they believe they encounter them in Scripture.

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  41. Depends on which group of Complementarian you’re visiting – some of them are pretty in-your-face “of course this is why we believe this” (ie. have kids, have as many kids as possible, make sure kids know only our way).

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  42. jyjames: Marketing. Numbers game. By “coming to Christ” perhaps “they” mean signing a covenant and committing to tithing and volunteering in “their” organization (business, club, pyramid, ponzi).

    You know, I’ve been struck recently by the similarity between recent trends in protestant evangelism and the medieval practice of selling indulgences. I don’t just mean porpoise-driven * stuff, but tent-crusade-based “revivals” back in the day. Sign up with us, and we’ll see you right with God. And now you’ve done it, we’ve got our statistics.

    I’m sure there’s a complex spectrum of motives throughout the evangelism industry, but there’s a reason behind the phrase “evangelistically speaking” – meaning, exaggerating.

    * Yes, I know – but mine’s funnier.

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  43. Nick Bulbeck: the similarity between recent trends in protestant evangelism and the medieval practice of selling indulgences.

    Pay up, and sin some more (instead of “Go and sin no more).

    … also similarities between the OT Talmud and the Evangelical Bookstore. Lots of rabbinic/pastor writing that adds to God’s Word for purcha$e. Dare say, if Jesus showed up in the flesh now, the Religious Leadership of today just might do the same as in Jesus’ time. Save the criminal and nail the Son of God on a cross.

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  44. Considering how in recent posts we have seen that some of our SBC “Leaders” feel that women being in positions of power over men is sinful and the sign of a “wicked world,” how will these men be able to walk into that convention center, without becoming sinful hypocrites? After-all, the convention is being held in the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, named after a woman who has served as a state Treasurer, a Congresswoman, a Senator, and is the current Ambassador to NATO, she doesn’t exactly stand up to their ideal of “Biblical Womanhood.” Though, I must say her life of service to her country and people seems more Biblical to me than many of the men currently “leading” Christendom.

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  45. Nick Bulbeck: You know, I’ve been struck recently by the similarity between recent trends in protestant evangelism and the medieval practice of selling indulgences. I don’t just mean porpoise-driven * stuff, but tent-crusade-based “revivals” back in the day. Sign up with us, and we’ll see you right with God. And now you’ve done it, we’ve got our statistics.

    Yes, I believe there are definite similarities. Great commentary!

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  46. I was reading a book on New Covenant Theology the other day. Don’t confuse it with Covenant (aka Calvinism) theology. Some differences. But the appalling statement was made early on that evangelicals must choose between it, Calvinism, or dispensationalism. There are no other evangelical options. Excuse me, there is Arminianism, Wesleyan Arminianism, good old Baptist modified Arminianism, and a host of varieties of Pentecostal Arminianism.

    Max–get the word out in the SBC if you can. The liberals are back in the guise of social justice warrior Calvinists. Baptists might not rear up on their hind legs over much, but will over liberalism!

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  47. Samuel Conner: In church systems that are not energetically evangelistic, it is more important that the females be in the home gestating and rearing future church members.

    Such churches have drawn inward, with little outward ministry focus. They wait for the “elect” to join them, rather than fulfilling the Great Commission to evangelize and extend the message of the Cross of Christ to the lost around them.

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  48. Cdg:
    Dave A A,

    Where do they come up this garbage? How can you possibly calculate that it takes 90 people or 3 people to bring someone to Christ? What even does that mean?And does it matter how many people it takes? Since when has God been concerned with efficiency? I feel kinda silly but it really makes me madder than it probably should.

    Me too. I suppose most people don’t mind when preachers invent stories or pull numbers out of the air…

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  49. Dave A A,

    This “formula” approach is not new… I have heard of other church and para-church groups use similar “metrics”…. Goes along with treating chuch, and more broadly Christainity, as a business in which you quantify “performance”… During later part of the 20th century some of our military calculated how many bullets we needed to shot to kill a enemy!

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  50. Samuel Conner: it is more important that the females be in the home gestating and rearing future church members.

    More important than what? Personally I think that being mothers of the future generation is terribly important.

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  51. okrapod: More important than what?Personally I think that being mothers of the future generation is terribly important.

    But then that goes out-of-balance into “Outbreed the Heathen” and “Barefoot & Pregnant” like we see in so many of the churches & parachurch groups under scrutiny in this blog…

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  52. Samuel Conner: In church systems that are not energetically evangelistic, it is more important that the females be in the home gestating and rearing future church members.

    It’s called “Bedroom Evangelism”.

    As one Puritan put it, “We Evangelize our Children”.

    Add Us-vs-Them tribalism and you get Quiverfull and “Outbreed the Heathen”
    (Very Darwinist, actually. “Survival of the Fittest” originally applied to relative reproductive success over time; those who produced more offspring with each generation would dominate the gene pool.)

    Or as one radical Euro-Mullah put it:
    “We conquer the lands of the Infidel! Our wombs shall be our weapons!”

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  53. Nick Bulbeck: You know, I’ve been struck recently by the similarity between recent trends in protestant evangelism and the medieval practice of selling indulgences. I don’t just mean porpoise-driven * stuff, but tent-crusade-based “revivals” back in the day. Sign up with us, and we’ll see you right with God. And now you’ve done it, we’ve got our statistics.

    And Membership Covenants to TITHE! TITHE! TITHE!
    “When coin in Pastor’s coffer rings…”

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  54. Max: Education does not produce one ounce of revelation.

    Beware, Max.
    I’ve been on the receiving end of “Holy Nincompoop” preaching, mistaking stupidity and foolishness for Godliness and glorifying/forcing it.

    Normally justified by “Foolishness of Men vs Wisdom of GOD”, taking the two as totally separate and mutually exclusive.

    That and abusive preachers and spiritual predators like their pew-serfs dumb as dirt.

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  55. jyjames: Cdg,

    Marketing. Numbers game. By “coming to Christ” perhaps “they” mean signing a covenant and committing to tithing and volunteering in “their” organization (business, club, pyramid, ponzi).

    During my time in-country there was also a folk belief that the only thing that mattered to God was your Sales Record in Saving Souls (not people). That your entire status before God was your Sales Numbers.

    Plus the “How Many did YOU Lead to Christ? I Saved More Souls Than YOU!” one-upmanship games.

    Granted, this was a lot of 20-year-old “Lone Ranger” Christians and 25-year-old Anointed Elders without much of a reality check, but…

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  56. Headless Unicorn Guy: But then that goes out-of-balance into “Outbreed the Heathen” and “Barefoot & Pregnant” like we see in so many of the churches & parachurch groups under scrutiny in this blog…

    I do not think that some people’s excesses are any excuse for people to come along and denigrate mothering, including mothering as a career choice, and that does look like what I am seeing. The secular media are even now telling us that the latest stats show that the fertility rate in our nation is even lower than it was, and it was already low. Individual choices are up to individuals, but slamming mothering is more than just individual choice, it is a philosophical position and I disagree with it, be it secular or religious.

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  57. Individuals act. Organizations are boundless. A thought to remember before committing to any institution (the pack), ideology (pack mentality), or system that wants one’s devotion.

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  58. okrapod: More important than what? Personally I think that being mothers of the future generation is terribly important.

    It’s important to be a parent. Not all of us can live on one salary. I played “Mr. Mom” for years while my wife worked the evening shift. I did the laundry, made dinner, did bath/story time, cleaned house. The biggest crime those obsessed with gender roles is to deny men the joy of doing the hard work of raising your kids and keeping house. Instead these families are forced into situations where the wife is forbidden to take a job. In this economy you have to hedge your bets, for the well being of your family. Marriage is no longer a partnership. This breeds financial stress & resentment and we start to see the seeds of domestic violence sown in a culture that limits the potential that a marriage can truly make 2 stronger than 1.
    If a family can make it work or finds itself in a situation where one parent has to stay home (military families where one partner is deployed comes to mind) then that parent is indeed working. Doing the life chores that the partner can’t do.
    But the key is partnership! No matter who earns the cash both partners are equal in the enterprise.

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  59. Samuel Conner:
    The thought occurs to me that this might be an unarticulated (and perhaps unrecognized) motivation behind Complementarian theology. In church systems that are not energetically evangelistic, it is more important that the females be in the home gestating and rearing future church members.

    I haven’t met many New Cals like that, though I am sure they are out there. Most have been rather smug in their “the rare elite elect”, though that doesn’t seem quite to gel with the way their greedy leaders act.

    I think New Calvinism tends to appeal to narcissists or those who are intensely controlling. Some I’ve known have had really obvious low self esteem and being a special snowflake really appeals to them. Either way, if you remove half of humanity from the equation, then there’s a lot less competition.

    I also see in eternal subordination of the Son the desire to be God. They want to not only usurp God’s position on earth, but what He alone owns.

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  60. okrapod: More important than what? Personally I think that being mothers of the future generation is terribly important.

    I see it as vital too. The only problem I have with it, is when religious ideologues claim that it must apply to all based solely on plumbing received at birth.

    At the other end of the scale, I have little patience with uber-feminists (the more rabid of the bunch) who look down their noses at women whose only desire is to marry a good man and raise kids.

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  61. okrapod: More important than what?Personally I think that being mothers of the future generation is terribly important.

    My comparison was between aggressively evangelistic churches that experience numerical growth through conversions of outsiders and other flavors of church that are more dependent on biological reproduction to maintain or increase numbers.

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  62. ishy: I haven’t met many New Cals like that, though I am sure they are out there. Most have been rather smug in their “the rare elite elect”, though that doesn’t seem quite to gel with the way their greedy leaders act.

    I see more of the “evangelism by breeding” approach in the Family Integrated Church movement, which is a branch of the larger neo-cal movement. [It’s also known as the NFCIC.] Mainline hipster neo-cals seem less concerned with this concept, maybe because their main growth strategy is “reforming” existing churches and denominations.

    Grow by making more human, or grow by deceit. It’s all scary.

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  63. GSD [Getting Stuff Done]: Mainline hipster neo-cals seem less concerned with this concept, maybe because their main growth strategy is “reforming” existing churches and denominations.

    Grow by making more human, or grow by deceit.It’s all scary.

    Yeah, they definitely do like the reformation by force and deception. Because that makes for lasting converts!

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  64. ishy: Yeah, they definitely do like the reformation by force and deception. Because that makes for lasting converts!

    Once you’ve carried out the Coup, “The Rule of The Party Is Forever”.

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  65. That laddie on the phone is getting louder. Doesn’t sound like whoever’s on the other end can get much of a word in edgeways.

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  66. So, the loud laddie’s off the phone, and has been replaced by a loud lassie who’s talking non-stop to a companion. There seems to be a kind of principle of conservation of volume in the carriage today.

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  67. GuyBehindtheCurtain,

    Print my comment if you are going to chide me. Or shut up gutless. You scrubbed thw piece on Greear. Why?

    Dee answered a few comments down. But in general acting like this is NOT a way to get us to do anything. GBTC

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  68. The Greek festival was this weekend. The weather was good and the whole neighborhood was packed out with cars. The Greeks mail all the neighbor tickets for some free food, so of course we avail ourselves of that. Short story, here I sit eating Greek green beans for breakfast. Literally.

    Moral of the story would be that one does not need to understand the culture, agree with all the theology or wince at some of the older widows over there who dress all in black with huge crosses, or have any strong opinion about icons. One can still value the fact that we have a conspicuous Greek orthodox segment of the population whose presence makes all of our lives more interesting.

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  69. Ken A:
    Max,
    So are you saying I can not believe that God loves all people and be a Calvinist? That is news to me.

    I don’t think all Calvinists believe that, but that is indeed what the New Calvinists teach.

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  70. Ken A: So are you saying I can not believe that God loves all people and be a Calvinist? That is news to me.

    This is a tricky question because it is both yes and no. Yes, God loves everyone. No, because he does not love everyone the same. Here is a typical reformed explanation: http://reformedanswers.org/answer.asp/file/40352

    Mosts Calvinists believe that God loves people other than the elect. They do, however, believe that God has a special love for the elect that is different from his love for others.

    What bothers me with this answer is how it makes God’s love as arbitrary as his unconditional election. It seems to me that God’s love for the reprobate is empty because a few years of common grace does not in any way balance out an eternity of conscious torment. If his electing love is what really counts, then no, God does not love everyone in a meaningful way because he has chosen not to elect (love) everyone. At least this is how I interpret what I’ve read about it from the reformed perspective.

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  71. Ken A: So are you saying I can not believe that God loves all people and be a Calvinist?

    The hyper among the New Calvinists teach that God hates those from birth who were predestined to Hell. They distort the passage from Romans 9 “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” to defend their doctrine. Indeed, they take multiple texts from Romans out of context to support the tenets of Calvinistic theology. The Calvinist God loves only the elect? The true God of the Bible is “patient toward YOU, not wishing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should reach repentance” (1 Peter 3:9). It’s hard for me to believe that the average Calvinist swallows such lies about Holy God to misrepresent His character this way, so I have to believe some still love all people. But, I have certainly met some hard-core among their ranks who hate those they feel are not the chosen elect.

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  72. 2 Peter 2 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord WHO BOUGHT THEM bringing swift destruction on themselves.

    ====
    I think this is a better verse for unlimited atonement.

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  73. drstevej: secretly introduce

    The SBC landscape is littered with stories of stealth and deception used by young reformers to takeover non-Calvinist churches.

    drstevej: destructive

    They have destroyed churches and denominations … and the faith of countless folks.

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  74. Max: The hyper among the New Calvinists teach that God hates those from birth who were predestined to Hell.They distort the passage from Romans 9 “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” to defend their doctrine.Indeed, they take multiple texts from Romans out of context to support the tenets of Calvinistic theology.The Calvinist God loves only the elect?The true God of the Bible is “patient toward YOU, not wishing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should reach repentance” (1 Peter 3:9).It’s hard for me to believe that the average Calvinist swallows such lies about Holy God to misrepresent His character this way, so I have to believe some still love all people.But, I have certainly met some hard-core among their ranks who hate those they feel are not the chosen elect.

    Hello. This is how Calvin expounds 2 Peter 3:9 – “Not willing that any should perish. So wonderful is his love towards   mankind, that he would have them all to be saved, and is of his own   self prepared to bestow salvation on the lost. But the order is to be   noticed, that God is ready to receive all to repentance, so that none   may perish; for in these words the way and manner of obtaining   salvation is pointed out. Every one of us, therefore, who is desirous   of salvation, must learn to enter in by this way.    But it may be asked, If God wishes none to perish, why is it that so   many do perish? To this my answer is, that no mention is here made of   the hidden purpose of God, according to which the reprobate are doomed   to their own ruin, but only of his will as made known to us in the   gospel. For God there stretches forth his hand without a difference to   all, but lays hold only of those, to lead them to himself, whom he has   chosen before the foundation of the world. [179]    But as the verb chorosai is often taken passively by the Greeks, no   less suitable to this passage is the verb which I have put in the   margin, that God would have all, who had been before wandering and   scattered, to be gathered or come together to repentance.”

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  75. Lowlandseer: This is how Calvin expounds 2 Peter 3:9 …

    No mention of Christ in Calvin’s exegesis. Like his followers today, especially within New Calvinism, there is a lot of reference to “God”, with little reference to Jesus, and hardly a word about the Holy Spirit. I wonder how Peter would expound on Calvin?

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  76. Max: Lowlandseer: This is how Calvin expounds 2 Peter 3:9 …
    No mention of Christ in Calvin’s exegesis. Like his followers today, especially within New Calvinism, there is a lot of reference to “God”, with little reference to Jesus, and hardly a word about the Holy Spirit.

    Well, it HAS been said that “Calvin Islamized the Reformation”, though I doubt there was any direct influence from Mohammed. More like parallel development.

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  77. Max,

    In the very next verse he says this:- “But the day of the Lord will come. This has been added, that the   faithful might be always watching, and not promise to-morrow to   themselves. For we all labor under two very different evils –too much   haste, and slothfulness. We are seized with impatience for the day of   Christ already expected; at the same time we securely regard it as afar   off. As, then, the Apostle has before reproved an unreasonable ardor,   so he now shakes off our sleepiness, so that we may attentively expect   Christ at all times, lest we should become idle and negligent, as it is   usually the case. For whence is it that flesh indulges itself except   that there is no thought of the near coming of Christ?”

    Three times in one verse isn’t at all bad. And I’m sure if you looked, you would find many references to the Holy Spirit too.

    Back to the potluck.

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  78. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar): I wonder if each and every Calvinist is one of God’s “elect”?????? ………

    Of course not! Just as not each and every non-Calvinist is reprobate and damned for eternity. Holding to any religious affiliation does not secure eternal salvation. It all boils out to “What are you going to do with Jesus?” In the fires of genuine revival, God is still “electing” souls … whosoever will may come.

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  79. Lowlandseer:    But it may be asked, If God wishes none to perish, why is it that so   many do perish? To this my answer is, that no mention is here made of   the hidden purpose of God, according to which the reprobate are doomed   to their own ruin, but only of his will as made known to us in the   gospel. For God there stretches forth his hand without a difference to   all, but lays hold only of those, to lead them to himself, whom he has   chosen before the foundation of the world.

    Perfectly clear, then, what that means for people. It means that a person would be foolish to count on anything that God has said since what God has left unsaid may be just the opposite in application, and both may be equally true, apparently. So glad the man spelled that out, because that is exactly what people have been accusing him of believing.

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  80. okrapod: Perfectly clear, then, what that means for people. It means that a person would be foolish to count on anything that God has said since what God has left unsaid may be just the opposite in application, and both may be equally true, apparently. So glad the man spelled that out, because that is exactly what people have been accusing him of believing.

    Not very comforting is it?

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  81. Samuel Conner:
    From my acquaintance with the local flavor of Reformed-dom, it seems to me that organic growth(as in: biological reproduction) is pretty important for maintaining church membership numbers over generational timescales.

    The thought occurs to me that this might be an unarticulated (and perhaps unrecognized) motivation behind Complementarian theology. In church systems that are not energetically evangelistic, it is more important that the females be in the home gestating and rearing future church members.This is not to deprecate or reject the self-perception of Complementarians that their ideas are derived from Scripture, just to suggest a possible reason why they find those ideas compelling when they believe they encounter them in Scripture.

    There is some superficial validity to some Comp practioners wanting to procreate. And, there is also a doctrinal evolution linking back to the Church Fathers era.
    (I am referring to allegorical interpretation of scripture, and New Israel doctrines.)

    THE REASON why comp exist, begins with Genesis 1:1. God created a lower world called Earth. The second comes from God deciding to make man in his own image.

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  82. Scott Shaver

    A response. Your comments will not be allowed because you acted like a jerk and made assumptions that are not only incorrect but cause me some pain as I think back on that time.

    You have no idea what happened when we started this blog. I was personally attacked in my community work because of a post that I wrote. It caused a tremendous upheaval in an organization that is near and dear to the hearts of my husband and me. In an attempt to try to smooth things over, the post was removed. I was a newbie to blogging and didn’t understand the ramifications of such a move.

    My willingness to remove the post did not do any good in the long run. In fact, the celeb pastor involved did not reciprocate. It is due to this longstanding and painful issue that I have started notifying folks that JD Greear believes that expressing concern about CJ Mahaney is “character assassination.”

    This has NOTHING to do with politics and if truth be told, I am relieved to have left the SBC for the conservative Lutheran church. I’ll let all of you guys determine what you want to do with the SBC. It is no longer my problem and hasn’t been for 3 years.

    Your comments are not allowed and you should be ashamed of yourself. I was on vacation last week and wasn’t breathlessly waiting for your question. You comments are not allowed.

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  83. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar): I wonder if each and every Calvinist is one of God’s “elect”?????? ………

    According to Calvin’s Institutes the elect can know with certainty that they are among the elect, but the reprobate cannot know because evanescent grace is indistinguishable from electing grace. The reprobate have an experience of grace that seems real until God withdraws it. But here is the problem: if the reprobate cannot be sure, how can any of the elect be certain they are not one of the recipients of evanescent (vanishing) grace? I don’t think Calvin addressed this. I think this is why sin-sniffing can be so attractive to Puritans and YRRs – it’s the closest one can get to being sure of one’s election.

    Calvinism collapses under its own weight.

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  84. dee: Your [troll’s pseudonym indicated] comments are not allowed and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    I think you’ve been charitable allowing even one of his/her comments to stand, although that comment is a particular embarrassment to him/her. It reminds me of the Family Guy episode where a drunk Peter tries standup, urinates in his own trousers and thinks the audience is laughing at his jokes.

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  85. Max,

    As you should be able to imagine, there is not total uniformity among all Calvinist. The view that God doesn’t love all people is a very simplistic view of Calvinist that hold it and those who portray it as a universal view of all Calvinist. While I believe election and predestination because of so many verses that use these words I also believe in the responsibility of men and women to believe the gospel.

    All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. – John 6:37
    Both these things are true. Jesus said them in almost the same breath.
    To say that our finite minds grasp absolutely what the scripture teaches about this is just simplistic.
    I don’t think this has to be an either or proposition.
    We have a responsibility to preach the gospel “to every creature”.

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  86. Ken A: To say that our finite minds grasp absolutely what the scripture teaches about this is just simplistic.

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

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  87. Max,

    There is probably an extreme there that should be avoided. Might there be another extreme that will not believe there clear teaching of scripture?

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  88. Ken A: We have a responsibility to preach the gospel “to every creature”.

    Tell that to the young reformer who pastors an SBC-YRR church plant in my community. On a “mission” trip to West Africa he was approached in a village by a young man who had been reading the Bible given to him by missionaries. He said he had been reading John chapter 3 and essentially asked the young “pastor” what he needed to do to be saved. The reformer answered “You don’t have to do anything. God’s grace has been extended to you.” Don’t do anything?! Don’t repent, don’t receive Jesus? Well, the young pastor certainly didn’t do anything … he delivered no message about the Cross of Christ, no leading the young man in a sinner’s prayer, no helping him in any way to understand it all. That was not preaching the Gospel to every creature, IMHO. There are several New Calvinist church plants in my area; I monitor their sermon podcasts. I have yet to hear a clear Gospel message.

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  89. Max: God is still “electing” souls … whosoever will may come.

    “Whosever Meaneth Me”! I have faith in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit ……. not John Calvin.

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  90. Nick Bulbeck:
    Note to Self: Stop using caramel flavouring in crème patissière.

    And put the tomato sauce on the pizza BEFORE the meat, peppers, etc.
    Yeah. I almost messed up our homemade pizza tonight. Ah, one of those weird chronic fatigue days. We did make 3 batches of strawberry jam this morning, though.

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  91. Nancy2 (aka Kevlar): “Whosever Meaneth Me”! I

    Nancy, are you aware that precious hymn didn’t make the cut in LifeWay’s 2008 revision of the Baptist Hymnal! I wonder if it had anything to do with the denominational trend toward Calvinism, since that song definitely does not support Calvinistic theology? “Whosoever Will” was chopped, too! If your church still uses an older version of the hymnal, encourage them to hold onto it!

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  92. Max,

    I share your frustration with what seems to be a majority of the YRR’s. It is not all the reformed crowd, I assure you. My church has clear gospel presentations most ever week. We evangelize. Like anything else you have to search for good churches and good pastors.

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  93. Ken A: I share your frustration with what seems to be a majority of the YRR’s. It is not all the reformed crowd, I assure you. My church has clear gospel presentations most ever week. We evangelize.

    We could debate what “gospel” and “evangelize” means in Calvinist vs. non-Calvinist camps ’til the cows come home. That debate has raged in Christendom for 500 years. My frustration, as a 60+ year Southern Baptist, is that I see the denominational gift of evangelism being forfeited as a wave of young, restless and reformed takeover SBC pulpits across the country. It is another gospel on their lips than the Cross of Christ for ALL people that characterized Southern Baptists for the last 150 years, no matter how you spin it.

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  94. Ken A: clear teaching of scripture

    If the meaning was as clear as advertised we would not have thousands of books, commentaries, and protestant denominations.

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  95. Ken F (aka Tweed): If the meaning was as clear as advertised we would not have thousands of books, commentaries, and protestant denominations.

    And in those as many concepts of God as there are people…

    I think if God had wanted us to understand Him much more perfectly, He would have given us a 1000 volume exegetical commentary instead of a somewhat jumbled book about people and their relationships to God.

    And had we as perfect of knowledge of what the Bible says as many claim to have, or if we had that 1000 volume commentary, then we’d probably stop seeking Him.

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  96. Max:
    SBC Messengers to “Elect” a New President

    DEB, was that a play on words in your title for this piece?

    I guess it was in God’s sovereignty that I worded the title that way. Love your comment!

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  97. Max,

    All of the churches around here have older versions. And, I have a nineteen-seventy-something version of Heavenly Highway Hymns!!!

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  98. ishy: And had we as perfect of knowledge of what the Bible says as many claim to have, or if we had that 1000 volume commentary, then we’d probably stop seeking Him.

    The Word of God speaks fresh to me each time I open it. It remains inerrant, even when we are errant. It remains absolute Truth, even when we interpret it in half-truth and mistruth.

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  99. Max: The Word of God speaks fresh to me each time I open it. It remains inerrant, even when we are errant. It remains absolute Truth, even when we interpret it in half-truth and mistruth.

    I agree. Insofar as holy books go, the Bible has no equal on the planet.

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  100. Re:

    The nominees were Steve Gaines and J.D. Greear.

    I think I sent Dee a link to a discussion Greear was having about complementarianism on Twitter with some guy.

    Yes, here it is:
    Greear Twitter Thread:
    https://twitter.com/jdgreear/status/994955230155542529

    Based on what I saw there, and what I know of SBC, the staunch conservatives are only going to dig their heels in deeper and never admit that complementarianism is sexist or wrong.

    They may or may not promise to crack down on how domestic violence and child abuse is handled, but probably not. Even if they do, they won’t actually follow through.

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  101. Samuel Conner: From my acquaintance with the local flavor of Reformed-dom, it seems to me that organic growth (as in: biological reproduction) is pretty important for maintaining church membership numbers over generational timescales.

    The thought occurs to me that this might be an unarticulated (and perhaps unrecognized) motivation behind Complementarian theology. In church systems that are not energetically evangelistic, it is more important that the females be in the home gestating and rearing future church members

    I don’t think it’s just Reformed people or complementarians, but all of conservative Christianity.

    The New Testament shifts from physical procreation to increase the kingdom of God to spiritual means (sharing the Gospel with non-believers).

    But most Christians want to harp on marriage, family, and natalism. So, if you’re single and childless, you and your needs are never considered or addressed.

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  102. Max: The Word of God speaks fresh to me each time I open it. It remains inerrant, even when we are errant. It remains absolute Truth, even when we interpret it in half-truth and mistruth.

    Love this.
    Brings John 1 to mind. John 1 makes me want to stand in awe or bow in awe or something in elation… from “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” … all the way through … “… and of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace … ”

    Thought about this verse a lot when my husband was dying. His fulness met me in my black hole of empty, and then His grace got me through and going again, and again, and again, as His is grace upon grace.

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  103. Nick Bulbeck: even though I thought it made sense on paper.

    Suitable for our present discussion: theory on paper vs. practice in reality. Jesus was good at the Reveal of the Fakes. So is the Holy Spirit today, if we let Him, as He did with Annanias and Saphira. (Not that caramel flavouring is evil – this analogy only goes so far.)

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  104. Samuel Conner: The thought occurs to me that this might be an unarticulated (and perhaps unrecognized) motivation behind Complementarian theology. In church systems that are not energetically evangelistic, it is more important that the females be in the home gestating and rearing future church members.

    Funny, my mainline reformed denom seems to get an awful lot of members who have left the Baptists because of complementarianism among other things…

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  105. ishy: I also see in eternal subordination of the Son the desire to be God.

    Yes.

    Many of these men want to be little gods of their own families. That is no way to love, though.

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  106. okrapod: The Greek festival was this weekend.

    Here too! And I was finally and able to go. Man I love pastitio.

    For the first time, I did go in the church and read up all the saints, most of whom were beheaded.

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  107. Lea: Funny, my mainline reformed denom seems to get an awful lot of members who have left the Baptists because of complementarianism among other things…

    Presbyterians are much more civilized than Southern Baptist New Calvinists 🙂

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  108. Russell Moore, today on Twitter, who has historically said the SBC needs to call complementarianism patriarchy and be better at patriarchy:

    “There would be no Southern Baptist Convention without Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. We desperately need a resurgence of women’s voices and women’s leadership and women’s empowerment, again. It is way past time.”

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  109. emily honey:
    Russell Moore, today on Twitter, who has historically said the SBC needs to call complementarianism patriarchy and be better at patriarchy:

    “There would be no Southern Baptist Convention without Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. We desperately need a resurgence of women’s voices and women’s leadership and women’s empowerment, again. It is way past time.”

    Girl, I was just looking at that!

    Russell Moore has been talking sense lately, but I have yet to see a mea culpa.

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  110. emily honey,

    Also he cued up the men to jump in with stuff like this:
    “We need godly men to fulfill their God-called roles that have forced women to bear a greater spiritual load than was intended.”

    Lord knows my poor little girl brain can’t handle as much ‘spiritual load’ as the men folk! I’ll just stick to cleaning house and leave all that spiritual stuff to men like Mr Patterson. Because that is working out well.

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  111. emily honey: I am *this* close to telling my story.

    I hope you do.

    I’m fully with Anne Lamott — ‘You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.

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  112. emily honey: Russell Moore, today on Twitter, who has historically said the SBC needs to call complementarianism patriarchy and be better at patriarchy:

    “There would be no Southern Baptist Convention without Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong. We desperately need a resurgence of women’s voices and women’s leadership and women’s empowerment, again. It is way past time.”

    Russell Moore, in the wake of Paige Patterson’s exit, is appearing to take the high road regarding the need for a “resurgence” of women. In his heart of hearts, he doesn’t really believe what he just said. It’s all about appearing to be better than those non-Calvinist patriarchal ole boys while one of their leaders is down for the count. The Calvinist Resurgence is not a healthy place for female believers – they will be subordinated along with Jesus. Moore is just trying to put a smoother edge on the “beauty of complementarity.” Don’t fall for it, women!

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  113. Lea: Yes.

    Many of these men want to be little gods of their own families. That is no way to love, though.

    “BOW TO ME!
    FAITHFULLY!
    BOW TO ME!
    IN ECSTACY!”
    — Black Sabbath music video I saw long ago (centering around a strutting gargoyle-like figure)

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  114. Ken A: there clear teaching of scripture?

    Filter that through someone whose time in-counrty included the Dake’s Annotated and Late Great Planet Earth and “clear teaching of SCRIPTURE” takes on a WHOLE new meaning.

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